Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Nigerians Urged to Respect Their Currency

By Google News

The Nigerian authorities insist that citizens show more respect for the country's currency, the naira.

At weddings any self-respecting guest will stick banknotes onto the forehead of the dancers, musicians or the bride. Flamboyant types throw them by the handful to be sure their generosity gets captured on video.

With the exception of some new low-denomination polymer notes, naira bills are normally grubby, torn and smelly.

Fear of thieves prompts many people to store the notes in their underwear or their socks. With temperatures of 35 C (95 F) in the shade, small wonder the notes do not smell fresh.

The Central Bank's five commandments are as follows:

"Do not store the naira indecently". The photo shows a young woman stuffing a wad of notes inside her bra. The bank instead bids "Neatly arrange your money in pouches" and shows the same girl slipping those very notes into a backpacker-style money-belt.

Other commandments are: "Do not squeeze the naira, do not stain the naira, do not deface the naira."

But the point that has most amused or outraged Nigerians is "Do not spray the naira".

A picture of a wealthy Nigerian woman throwing handfuls of naira over the bride and groom amid great merriment at a wedding is juxtaposed with a photo of the right way to do things - hand the money over in an envelope.

Two years ago when the bill with the "respect the naira" clause was brought before parliament, the senator presenting it had barely finished speaking when several senators started ripping up copies of the draft bill in protest.

Just before leaving office in May 2007 Olusegun Obasanjo signed the bill into law. But Nigerians have carried on just as before, using naira bills to note down phone numbers or clean their ears and nails, wrote Reuben Abati of the Guardian.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Fun Facts About U. S. Paper Money

By Bureau of Engraving and Printing

During fiscal year (FY) 2007, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing will produce approximately 38 million notes a day with a face value of approximately $750 million.

95% of the notes printed each year are used to replace notes already in, or taken out of circulation. During FY 2007, 45.47% of the notes printed are $1 notes.

The first paper currency issued by the U.S. Department of the Treasury were Demand Notes Series 1861.

During the Civil War period, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing was called upon to print paper notes in denominations of 3 cents, 5 cents, 10 cents, 25 cents, and 50 cents. The reason for this is that people hoarded coins because of their intrinsic value which created a drastic shortage of circulating coins.

In 1929, the size of currency was reduced to about 2/3's of its former size when production was converted to 12-subject plates. The familiar portraits and back designs of our currency were also established at that time.

The approximate weight of a currency note, regardless of denomination is (1) one gram. There are 454 grams in one (1) U.S. pound, therefore, there should be 454 notes in (1) one pound(Avoirdupois system). If the troy system were used, there are (12) twelve ounces in (1) one pound; therefore, if one note weighs approximately (1) one gram, then (1) troy pound contains approximately 375 notes.

If you had 10 billion $1 notes and spent one every second of every day, it would require 317 years for you to go broke.

A stack of currency one mile high would contain over 14½ million notes.

Currency paper is composed of 25% linen and 75% cotton. Red and blue synthetic fibers of various lengths are distributed evenly throughout the paper. Prior to World War I the fibers were made of silk.

Between the Fort Worth, Texas and the Washington, DC Facilities approximately 18 tons of ink per day are used.

Have you ever wondered how many times you could fold a piece of currency before it would tear? About 4,000 double folds (first forward and then backwards) are required before a note will tear.

The average life span of a Federal Reserve Note by denomination:

Denomination ...... Life Span

$ 1 ............... 21 months
$ 5 ............... 16 months
$ 10 .............. 18 months
$ 20 .............. 24 months
$ 50 .............. 55 months
$100 .............. 89 months

The 100 dollar note has been the largest denomination of currency in circulation since 1969.

The obverse and reverse of the Great Seal of the United States appeared in a currency design for the first time when the $1 Silver Certificate. Series 1935, was issued. The Seal dates back to 1782 -- before the Constitution.

The legend, "In God We Trust," became a part of the design of United States currency in 1957 and has appeared on all currency since 1963.

The largest note ever printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing was the $100,000 Gold Certificate, Series 1934. These notes were printed from December 18, 1934 through January 9, 1935 and were issued by the Treasurer of the United States to Federal Reserve Banks only against an equal amount of gold bullion held by the Treasury. These notes were used for transactions between FRBs and were not circulated among the general public.

The origin of the "$" sign has been variously accounted for, however, the most widely accepted explanation is that the symbol is the result of evolution, independently in different places, of the Mexican or Spanish "P's" for pesos, or piastres, or pieces of eight. The theory, derived from a study of old manuscripts, is that the "S" gradually came to be written over the "P," developing a close equivalent of the "$" mark. It was widely used before the adoption of the United States dollar in 1785.

Contrary to popular belief, the automobile pictured on the back of the $10 note is not a Model "T" Ford. It is merely a creation of the designer of the bill.

The hands of the clock in the steeple of Independence Hall on the reverse of the $100 Federal Reserve Note are set at approximately 4:10.

Martha Washington is the only woman whose portrait has appeared on a U.S. currency note. It appeared on the face of the $1 Silver Certificate of 1886 and 1891, and the back of the $1 Silver Certificate of 1896.

The beginning of an establishment for the engraving and printing of U.S. currency can be traced as far back as August 29, 1862, to a single room in the basement of the Main Treasury Building where two men and four women separated and sealed by hand $1 and $2 U.S. notes which had been printed by private bank note companies. Today there are approximately 2,800 employees who work out of two buildings in Washington, D.C. and a facility in Fort Worth, Texas.

During Fiscal Year 2007, it cost approximately 6.2 cents per note to produce 9.1 billion U.S. paper currency notes.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The First “United States” Banknotes

By Nutmegcollector

The United States government did not print banknotes until 1861. However, almost immediately after adoption of the Constitution in 1789, Congress chartered the first Bank of the United States and authorized it to issue paper bank notes to eliminate confusion and simplify trade. The bank thus served as the quasi central bank of the United States.

This $50 note was issued in 1801, exactly midway in the bank's twenty-year Charter.

The bank was headquartered in Philadelphia with branch offices in eight major cities: Baltimore, Boston, Charleston, New York, Norfolk, Washington D. C., Savannah and New Orleans.

Thomas Willing, whose signature appears on the note, was the bank's president 1791-1807. Previously, he held offices as President of the Bank of North America, Mayor of Philadelphia, the Secretary to the Congress of Delegates at Albany, and Judge of Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

George Simpson, whose signature also appears on the note, was the bank's cashier 1795-1811 and in that capacity served as the day-to-day manager of the bank.

The bank closed in 1811 when Congress failed to renew its charter.

In 1816 the U. S. Congress chartered the second Bank of the United States. When its charter expired in 1836, the bank continued to operate under a charter granted by the State of Pennsylvania until 1841.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Zimbabwe Unveils $50-Million Bank Note

The Associated Press
Last Updated: Friday, April 4, 2008 1:28 PM ET

Authorities in Zimbabwe have issued a new mega bank note in an attempt to cope with the troubled African country's runaway inflation.

The size of the new note? Fifty million Zimbabwean dollars.

The new bill, issued Friday, marks the third time in three months that the central bank in Harare has issued a higher denomination note in response to the country's 100,000 per cent annual inflation rate.

In practical terms, the $50-million bill is worth just $1 US in trading on Zimbabwe's widely used black market.

That means it can buy just three loaves of bread.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

The Expanding Euro Zone

By Nutmegcollector

Eurozone refers to countries that have adopted euro as the common currency. It includes 15 European Union members, 17 of their oversea territories, and 6 non member states. 9 members are still waiting to join. Approximately 318 million people live in the eurozone. This number will grow to about 413 million by 2014. By comparison, about 326 million people live in countries with U. S. dollar as the legal tender.


European Union:

Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain.

Pending - Slovakia (2009), Lithuania (2010), Estonia (2011), Bulgaria (2012), Hungary (2012), Poland (2012), Czech Republic (2013), Latvia (2013) and Romania (2014)

European Union members currently chosen not to join - Denmark, Sweden and United Kingdom.

Non European Union States:

Andorra, Kosovo, Monaco, Montenegro, San Marino and Vatican.

French Oversea Departments, Dependencies and Territories:

French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Reunion, Saint Martin, Saint Barthelemy, St. Pierre & Miquelon, and Mayotte

Portuguese Autonomous Regions:

Azores and Madeira

Spanish Territories and Autonomous Regions:

Balearic Islands, Canary Islands, Ceuta, Melilla, Islas Chafarinas, Penon de Alhucemas, Penon de velez de la Gomera

Schingoethe Obsolete Currency Collection on Auction

By R.M. Smythe
Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Manhattan, New York – Spink Smythe ( to offer Part 14 of the Schingoethe obsolete currency collection April 9th, 2008. The auction will contain 1037 lots of obsolete notes.

When it came to coins and paper money Herb Schingoethe collected almost everything, but it was obsolete currency that his wife Martha liked to collect most of all. She fell in love with the incredible diversity of issuers, and with the artistic quality of the vignettes on the notes. She enjoyed meeting and dealing with the people who bought and and sold obsolete currency. Martha had the skills and the energy required to organize and maintain everything they acquired. Her husband Herb had the passion to collect on a grand scale. Together they created what is now known as the Schingoethe collection.

On April 9th, 2008 Spink Smythe will be offering part 14, as this incredible collection continuing the tradition of exceptional rarities and choice notes from many diverse series. This sale feature the final section of Illinois notes from Herb’s core Illinois collection that were treasured by Herb and Martha. The sale also includes many western rarities including some exceptionally rare Utah notes. This sale also contains notes from the North, South and Midwest, including many pieces from Connecticut, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Tennessee. Many well vignetted and choice proof notes that Herb and Martha prized are also featured.

Some of the more interesting notes being offered at this sale include:

Lot #1978 - Estimate $7,500-12,500
UT. Great Salt Lake City. Deseret Currency Association. $2. March 4, 1858. (Similar to Rust 87, but hand signed). Series A Note. Printed on thin, frail white paper. Book and plow flank title. Typeset, large `2” at the right. Handwritten signature of Brigham Young. Another historic and rare issue of note. The series was created to use in payments to defenders against the impending Johnston’s Army incursions by the Federal Government. These notes were backed by livestock and the majority of this typeset issue, Series A, B and C, were burned and replaced by the copper plate notes with vignettes. Generally, these are rarely offered. This example, has much body to it. Small body hole. For the issue, Fine-Very Fine is the proper classification.

Lot #1971 - Estimate $10,000-15,000
UT. Kirtland . Reissue-Kirtland Safety Society Bank. (Rust 69). Regular issued Kirtland $3 note printed by UBSH.Train coming over hill. Medallion busts in each corner. Dated March 8, 1837 in Kirtland and signed by Joseph Smith, Jr. and Sidney Rigdon. The note was reissued in Salt Lake City and countersigned on the face by Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball. Also, signed by N.K. Whitney and with the secret mark of “TB” for Thomas Bullock. Embossed seal of the Twelve Apostles. Only 23 Reissued $3 notes were authorized and logged in the Church’s records. This serial number 4635 is listed in the Rust census. This note is stunning and one of the finest we have seen. It is clearly superior to the Ford VI lot by perhaps two grades. A boldly impressed seal and vivid brightness. Light wrinkling, the note is nearly full Very Fine-Extremely Fine. On eye appeal, it might be judged finer. Likely not to need an upgrade. There may not be a true uncirculated note of the reissued series due to the usage and circumstance.
The reissued notes were quite historic in that Young made “them good as gold” as was promised back in Ohio by Joseph Smith. The Kirtland notes raised much controversy in the 1830’s era politics of Ohio and the advance of the Mormon religion. However, there is no doubting the significance of this paper money issue as one of the most famous in American annals of finance through paper promissary loans.

Lot #1013 - Estimate $1,500-3,000
CT. Hartford. Hartford Bank. (CT-165 G72; G120; G160). Red stamped on back: Property of American Bank Note Co. Proof. Uncut sheet of three $1-$2-$3. $1.Two women supporting oval portrait of Washington surmounted by eagle. Oval female portrait. Jenny Lind. $2. Sailor reclining on coil of rope. Oval portrait of young lady distracted from reading. Liberty, resting on a large 2. Red overprint outlined, white center TWO. $3. Extra wide vignette covering entire bottom, and sides of note. Replete with allegorical references to Industry, Navigation, Education, and Agriculture, all flanking an anchor, and other trade items Choice Uncirculated.

Lot #1987 - Estimate $3,000-6,000
UT. Salt Lake City. Bingham Canyon & Camp Floyd RR. $10. Jan. 15, 1874. (Rust Unlisted). Red protector and “10″, green back with maidens. Serial No. 18. Plate A. Train rounds bend. Indian warrior, left. Athena standing, right. Payable at the Salt Lake City National Bank. Not in the Mormon & Utah Coin and Currency book by Alvin Rust, nor in the legendary John F. Ford Jr. Collection. An important Rarity. Fine.

Lot #1979 - Estimate $4,000-6,000
UT. Great Salt Lake City. Deseret Currency Association. $3. Oct. 1, 1858. (Rust 97). Blue paper. Rare Series B note. Man shearing sheep flanked by cattle. Seated hunter peering through spyglass. Indian with rifle and powderhorn. Large beehive underprint. Signed by H. B.Clawson. Printed script signature of Brigham Young. Drawn by henry Maiden and Engraved by D. McKenzie. VF, small notch out of upper left corner.

Lot #1832 - Estimate $2,500-4,000
RI. Providence. Globe Bank. $50. 18__. (RI-305 G62a; Durand-1379). Proof on India paper mounted on card. Navigation reclining with book, globe and dividers. Bold full green overprint. ABN. R-7. Choice Uncirculated, well centered.

Lot #1982 - Estimate $1,500-3,000
UT. Salt Lake City. Walker Brothers. $1. January 1, 1863. (Rust Unlisted, similar to 116-117). Overall pink underprint. Green back. Walker Bros private bank building with flag flying off the top. Indian princess. Payable in U.S. Treasury Notes. A rare issuer that acted as a merchant and private bank. The operation was profitable and in 1885 converted to the Union National Bank of Salt Lake City.VG, minor fold splits. Corner tip off.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

"D. B. Cooper" Skyjacking Notes on Heritage Auction

By Heritage Auctions
April 1, 2008

(Dallas, Texas) – Fifteen $20 Federal Reserve Notes from the infamous 1971 “D. B. Cooper” skyjacking will be offered to the public for the first time in June by Heritage Auction Galleries of Dallas, Texas ( The notes are owned by Brian Ingram, 36, of Mena, Arkansas who was eight years old in 1980 when he found the only ransom money ever discovered from the still-unsolved skyjacking.

“Some of these notes have the initials of investigators who examined the recovered money after Ingram found it along the banks of the Columbia River near Vancouver, Washington in February 1980,” said Steve Ivy, Co-Chairman of Heritage and a long-time paper money collector.

“The serial numbers all match the FBI’s list of $20 bills given to the skyjacker known as ‘D.B. Cooper’ who parachuted from a jetliner with the cash somewhere between Seattle Washington and Reno, Nevada during a rainstorm on November 24, 1971. The 15 pieces consigned by Ingram include two Series 1963-A and four Series 1969 Federal Reserve Notes.”

The D.B. Cooper cash will be offered as part of a big auction of Americana memorabilia in Dallas and online, June 13 and 14.

“As a collectible, these notes cross several lines of interest. Of course, they appeal to many currency collectors, but they also have great appeal to people who enjoy general Americana and popular culture items as well as those who collect ‘outlaw’ items, an area that has a big following,” said Ivy.

Ingram said the money almost didn’t survive its discovery.

“We were going to make a fire along the river bank,” Ingram recalled. “I was on my hands and knees smoothing out the sand with my arm, and I uncovered three bundles of money just below the surface. My uncle thought we should throw it in the fire.”

Ingram found approximately $5,800 of the $200,000 ransom given to the skyjacker, and the FBI later returned a small portion to his family.

Ingram owns 84 D.B. Cooper bills and fragments that were authenticated by PCGS Currency in February and encapsulated in specially-labeled protective, archival storage holders. The labels have the FBI’s 1971 artist’s sketch of the sunglasses-wearing skyjacking suspect who has still not been found.