Friday, November 7, 2008

Some Interesting FAQs on U. S. Paper Money

By Alan Herbert, Bank Note Reporter
November 04, 2008

Q. I can't believe that the $1 Federal Reserve Notes weren't printed before 1963. I thought they dated back to World War I?

A. There were $1 Federal Reserve Bank Notes beginning with the 1918 series, but not Federal Reserve Notes, which are a different class of note. The year 1963 is correct for the debut of the $1 FRN.

Q. Has Thomas Jefferson's home, Monticello, appeared on any other coins or paper money besides our nickel?

A. There was a Monticello Bank that was organized in 1852 at Charlottsville, Va. Several of the notes issued by this bank carry the design of the north front of Monticello, in a quartering view similar to the original Felix Schlag nickel design. The notes were issued in $1, $2, $5, $6, $7, $8, $9, $10, $20, $50 and $100 denominations.

Q. What is the average amount of coins and paper money that U.S. households have on hand at any given time?

A. A 1985 survey by the Federal Reserve System determined that the average is $100 in coins and paper money per household in the United States. A rather startling figure was also reported. They discovered that about 75 percent of the coins and paper money that is on the government books as outstanding is nowhere to be found. It's a rather big sum, since the estimate is that about $154 billion has "disappeared."

Q. What is the record for the number of times a denomination appears on a printed bank note?

A. Some years ago I ran across the statistics on a prime candidate, the Confederate $10 note of Sept. 2, 1861, depicting an Indian family in the center. It has the word "TEN" repeated 16 times in each of 34 columns, or a total of 544, plus the large "TEN," two Arabic 10s in the lower corners and three Roman "X" numerals, for a total of 550 times. Just imagine what they would have done if they had printed a back design on these notes as well.

Q. How many of the state-chartered banks issued $10,000 notes?

A. The only listing I can find is for the Girard Bank of Philadelphia as being the one such bank to issue that large a note. The bank issued the notes in the 1830s and 1840s. James Haxby's Standard Catalog of U.S. Obsolete Bank Notes, 1782-1866, shows a proof of the note.

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