10 Cents, Encased Postage Stamp, United States, 1862

10 Cents, Encased Postage Stamp, United States, 1862

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Usage conditions apply
The encased postage stamp was used as a form of currency during the war. The idea stemmed from the fact that stamps had an inherent value, but if they were passed around without any sort of protection they became soiled and worthless, not to mention the adhesive backing caused problems after multiple transactions. John Gault solved this problem by using a brass disk and cardboard piece that served as a backing while a disk of clear mica lay on top of the stamp. A brass frame secured the components together, thus, allowing the stamp to be viewed and protected. This encased postage stamp depicts George Washington and is worth ten-cents. The back bore the encasement patent date, “AUG 12, 1862,” and “J. GAULT.”
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
place made
United States
Physical Description
metal, mica (case material)
paper (overall material)
overall:.15 cm x 2.45 cm; 1/16 in x 31/32 in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
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Work and Industry: National Numismatic Collection
Civil War
Coins, Currency and Medals
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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