National Gold Bank Notes were banknotes first authorized on July 12, 1870 by the United States Government. They were redeemable by the issuing bank in gold coin.
These notes were a sort of hybrid of two currency types; national bank notes and gold certificates. They were issued in California because gold coinage was the preferred means of exchange during this era, and coinage was difficult for larger transactions. Denominations were issued in $5, $10, $20, $50, $100 and $500. They used similar design and layout templates as the National Bank Notes of the time with two important differences. First, the paper the notes were printed on was a yellow "gold" color. Secondly, the reverse design has a remarkable, detailed engraving of gold coins.
In total, less than about 500 examples of this issue have survived. Among paper money collectors these notes are highly prized. Most surviving notes have advanced wear and tear, and no uncirculated examples are known. The most "common" note would be the 5.00 denomination issued in San Francisco. Mid-grade examples in 2005 would sell for the $4000.00 to $5000.00 range. Higher denominations are scarcer and would sell for much more, especially the higher the grade/denomination.
National Gold Bank Notes