Q: I found a $1,000 certificate from the Bank of the United States among my father’s things after he died. It’s dated Dec. 15, 1840, and is No. 8894. There are portraits of six men along the sides. The only one I recognize is Benjamin Franklin. Is this certificate valuable?
A: The Bank of the United States was chartered in 1791 in Philadelphia, which was the United States capital at that time. The men pictured on your note are David Rittenhouse (the first director of the U.S. Mint), William Penn, Thomas Paine, Robert Morris, Benjamin Franklin and Robert Fulton. An original banknote would sell for more than $100, but this particular banknote is a commonly found fake.