In April 1861, just two months after the provisional government was established, the Confederacy started printing their own currency. More than $1.7 billion was produced, in almost every denomination imaginable, and in literally thousands of designs—at one point there were 140 different types of $10 notes alone.
Though it was accepted throughout the South, currency was printed by each state—and even each bank; and since metal was scarce, only paper money was printed. This led to the introduction of “fractionals”—bank notes in denominations less than one dollar. While a member of the Confederacy, North Carolina minted the smallest denomination of any state—a five cent bill. Like most of the currency of the time, it was only printed on the front of the bill. And just as it was small in denomination, the five cent bill was small in physical size, measuring only about 3″ × 1 ½″.