Archive for the ‘Rare Dollar Bills’ Category

The $2 and $100 Bills-The Rarer Currencies

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

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The first two dollar notes were called United States Notes or “Legal Tenders”. They were issued by the Federal Government in 1862, featuring a portrait of the first Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton. In 1869, Thomas Jefferson’s portrait started being used and the same portrait has continued to be used for all two dollar United States Notes and all two dollar Federal Reserve Notes. Monticello was first featured as the vignette on the back of the two dollar United States Note in 1928. Monticello was Thomas Jefferson’s estate in Virginia.

In 1976, in celebration of the United States bicentennial, a two dollar Federal Reserve Note was introduced. Thomas Jefferson’s portrait was still on the face but Monticello was replaced on the back by a vignette of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. This painting of the Declaration of Independence was painted by John Trumbull. The original portrayed forty-seven people, 42 of whom were signers out of the fifty-six on the Declaration of Independence. Because of a limited amount of space on the two dollar note, five of the forty-seven were left off. The most recent printing of the two dollar note was in 2003 and at this time there are no plans to redesign it.

The first one-hundred dollar notes were also called United States Notes or Legal Tenders. They were issued by the Federal Government in 1862 and they featured a vignette of an American eagle. Benjamin Franklin first had his portrait on the one hundred dollar note in 1914, the first series of these Federal Reserve Notes. The one hundred dollar note is the largest denomination of Federal Reserve Notes that are currently issued in the United States. The life span of a one hundred dollar Federal Reserve Note is 89 months on average. This is much longer than other denominations of currency since this is rarer and circulated less than they are.

In 1996, the one hundred dollar Federal Reserve Note featured large portraits, watermarks and color-shifting ink. The notes also included micro-printing, which is lettering so small that it is hard to replicate, on the front of the note. “USA 100” is written in the numbers located in the lower left corner and “United Sates of America” is in one line on the left lapel of Benjamin Franklin’s coat.

Since 1928, the vignette on the back of the one hundred dollar note has featured an engraving of Independence Hall, the former State House of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia. Independence Hall is often called the birthplace of our Nation because inside is where the Declaration of Independence was signed and where the Constitution of the United States was drafted. It has been said that the man and women in front of the hall close to the building are embracing but there is no record of that. The hands on the clock on the hall are set to 4:10. There doesn’t seem to be any explanation as to why this time was chosen.

How and Why to Start a Savings Account

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009

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Put your money where the bank is.

Get that cash out from under your mattress and your bra is not a good hiding spot. I’ve seen some funny and innovative places that people have hidden their cash but none of those places is safer than the bank. Does your mattress doesn’t pay you to put money under it? Well a bank does.

First things first, you want to find the bank that’s for you. If you’re a walk-in type of person, you’ll want a bank that has a branch in your area. If you’re internet savvy, you might want a bank where you can control everything online. Interest rate is also a big factor you should take into consideration when choosing a bank. The higher the interest rate, the more money you will make putting your money in that bank. Some banks require or “suggest” you start your account with a certain amount. This could be anywhere from $500 to $5000 to much more. Some suggest you keep a certain minimum balance your account. These are all things you want to know before you start putting your money anywhere and before you sign anything!

Next you should decide if you’re saving towards a purpose (like a home or car) or just to save for your future. Something like this can make a difference to the banker when you go to open your account. Decide on an amount from every paycheck that will go into your account automatically. Try not to deviate from this amount. A general rule is 10% of the money you bring in. You could also set up a change jar and save up extra change and dollars in between paychecks. You’ll be AMAZED how much change adds up. Once you’ve chosen your bank and you’re familiar with that bank’s practices, policies and interest rate go ahead and sign up. If you do this online you may have to send in a form with your signature or some official documents.

Why in the world would you want to start a savings account to begin with? Isn’t a checking account enough? Isn’t my pocket enough? Well, to tell the truth, the easier the access you have to your money, the more likely you are to spend it. That’s just a simple fact. You need to have some backup money that you have access to but that isn’t the easiest, first route you go through to pay for something. You need a savings account to save for an emergency. In case your car breaks down or you have something unexpected comes up from across the country. You don’t want to have to pull out a credit card if you don’t have to. Save for retirement, save for college, save up for a vacation. No matter what it’s for, even just a rainy day, even just a dollar here and there, SAVE your money. You’ll thank me later.

The Story of Change- No not President Obama, I’m talking about money here!

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

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The story of American money started more than three centuries ago. Before this, settlers mostly bartered goods for goods. Crops like tobacco and corn and pork and butter were widely used. Learning from the Native Americans who used stringed clamshell beads, or wampum, European colonists adopted the wampum among trades with the Native Americans and then, amongst themselves.

The Massachusetts Bay Colony contracted John Hull to begin minting coins. Hull set up a mint in Boston and began producing “NE” (New England) coins in 1652. The NE coins were very easy to counterfeit, only having NE on one side and XII on the other. The coin was redesigned from 1667-1682. Eventually as more and more people came to the New World and brought their money with them, the settlers and colonists relied on foreign money for buying and selling. Money from Europe, Mexico and South America could be found at any given time. These coins mixed in with the NE coins and wampum and were all used for purchasing, barter and trade.

Early in the 18th century, a large amount of copper coins were imported from England and Ireland for the purpose of making more coins for the colonies. In 1776, dollar-sized coins were produced with a sundial and the inscription “Mind Your Business” on the front and “American Congress We Are One” on the back. These pieces were struck in three different metals; those struck in pewter are scarce or rare, while the silver and brass examples as extremely rare. The Articles of Confederation, adopted on July 9, 1778, gave Congress the ability to place the value on the coins that were struck by each state. At that time, the states each had the right to strike their own coins, there was just no fluidity in their values until the Articles came about.

Finally in 1792 the U.S. Mint was established by Congress. The U.S. Mint makes all U.S. Coins and became an operating bureau of the Treasury Department in 1873. To this day, U.S. coins typically have a mint mark showing which mint it was produced by. The Philadelphia Mint has been the longest in continuous operation, since 1792. The Denver Mint began coin producing in 1906. The newest mints were the West Point, New York, and San Francisco which gained official status in 1988.

From 1965-1968 there were no identifications used to tell where coins were minted. In 1968 the mints resumed putting their initials on the coins. Coins minted in Philadelphia had a P or no letter, Denver has a D, West Point a W and S for San Francisco. To this day, look at your coins and right under the date there should be a letter telling you where that coin was minted and if no letter is present, your coin was minted in Philadelphia!

Coins’ designs and values have changed over the years from the half-penny to silver dollars. The designs will continue to change as society deems it necessary . For now, the coins in your pocket have come a long way to get there because there was a time when there was a lack of United States coins.

Currency Tracking Websites

Thursday, October 16th, 2008

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Ever wondered where the money in your pockets have been, or where it goes to after you’ve spent it. Wonderaustralian currency no more as currency tracking websites, like our very own TrackDollarBills, have been emerging at a steady rate all over the internet. Currency bill tracking is a phenomenon which is catching on fast and its expected to grow rapidly in the coming years. As so, dozens of currency tracking sites have been set up all around the world to help facilitate this popular hobby. Generally, what a currency tracking website does is aid in the process of tracking the movements of banknotes as it travels from hand to hand, state to state, region to region, and country to country. Of course, extensive website user participation is vital. This, not only has made the concept a possibility, but its now become such an interesting activity to pursue, making it a fun and exciting way to past time.

Basically, users will begin the tour of mapping out the voyage of the bill in interest by registering it on their respective currency tracking sites. They do this by registering the serial numbers of the banknotes that they wish to track, and the route or journey of the bill will be displayed in the form of graphs, statistics, and various other reports. These information will then be notified to all subsequent or past users, each time the same serial number is entered again on the system. The sites primarily provides users with information like the time between each entry of a duplicate dollar bill, the distance the bill travelled, as well as any comments or remarks that a user may want to include regarding that specific note.

Depending on the laws of the countries issuing the currencies, some of these tracking sites actually encourages its users to slightly mark the notes they wish to track, before spending it. This practice, of course, has created many controversies and unwanted attention from the authorities, as its considered as tempering or defacing the currency.

Apart from TrackDollarBills, some of the other international leading websites for currency bill tracking are EuroBillTracker, EuroTracer, and MyEuroBill, all of which tracks the Euro currency. Others include WheresWilly and CanadianMoneyTracker for the Canadian Dollar, MoneyTracker for the Australian Dollar, CashFollow for the Swiss Franc, SEK-Tracker and Sedlarna for the Swedish Kronor, FindLizzy and CashPath for the Pound Sterling, WheresMyBucks for the South African Rand, WheresRenminbi for the Chinese Yuan, TrackGandhi for the Indian Rupee, and WhereIsYusof for the Singapore Dollar.

south africa currencyMost of these sites are administered by specific groups or non-profit organizations, and its day to day operations are supported primarily by volunteers and users who help populate the sites with content, either through the forums, chats, blogs, email support, and various other tasks. These currency tracking sites are usually free to use but some sites do charge a fee for extra features.

To date, these currency tracking sites would have registered and tracked down billions of dollars worth of currency and over a million users, worldwide. The establishment of these currency tracking websites have also inspired other sites that tracks exclusive objects such as used books and even statistical patterns of human travel!

The Gold Certificate

Friday, October 10th, 2008

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gold certificate First issued in mid-1860’s, and actively used between the years 1882 and 1933, the Gold Certificate was issued as a form of paper currency here in the United States. Generally, a gold certificate acts like a certificate of ownership that gold owners hold instead of actual gold.

Because of the fact that the Gold Certificate was a type of paper currency intended to represent actual gold coinage, the practice of its redemption for the precious metal was ceased in 1933 by the United States Government, and until 1964 it was actually deemed illegal for anyone to possess these notes. This prohibition was lifted in 1964 though, as to allow currency collectors to legally own it. This resulted in the issue being converted to the standard legal tender, without its initial correlation to gold.

The issuance of the Gold Certificate was actually officially discontinued in 1928, before the termination of the Gold Standard by the United States Government in 1933, ultimately ceasing its circulation altogether. The permanent suspension was also largely due to the public’s fear that the notes would become obsolete and invaluable over time.

The Gold Certificate was approved under the Act of March 3, 1963, which is also the same act authorizing the issuance of the United States Notes. The actual year of print is said to vary between the years 1963 and 1965. This was probably because it doesn’t carry a printed series date, as this information was hand-dated upon issue. It is also said that the first few series of the Gold Certificate had the identification of each gold depositor, in lieu of payment.

The first issues of the Gold Certificate has a vignette of an eagle, and this was evenly featured on all the denominations it comes in. Later issues, like series 1870, 1871 and 1875, had depictions of various historical figured printed on it, with abstract designs featured on its reverse.

With the exception of Series 1888, 1900, and 1934, which was only issued to specified gold depositors, Gold Certificates from Series of 1882 and onwards was made payable to the bearer, making it transferable and redeemable for its equivalent value in gold.

Just like all other United States currency, the Gold Certificate was produced in two sizes; large and small. The larger sized Gold Certificates were put into circulation between the years 1865 and 1928, and the smaller sized ones between the years 1928 and 1934. The reverse side of all these notes were printed in orange, with the exception of the 1928 series, which were in green and more similar to the Federal Reserve Notes in design.

Along with the $5000 and $10000 notes from the Series of 1888, all of the notes from Series of 1900 have been redeemed and no longer carries the legal tender status. Most of these notes have already been destroyed, and the remaining, which was at kept in a box in a post office near the United States Treasury in Washington D.C., during that time, has a tale with an interesting twist to it. It was said that during a fire in late 1935, employees of this post office threw burning boxes out into the streets, including the box containing the only remaining notes of series 1900. This box was said to have burst open and it contents snatched up by the surrounding people gathered near the building. Unfortunately though, these notes were already deemed worthless at that time. Today, this series of Gold Certificates carries only a few hundred in numismatic value amongst collectors.

The Incredible Two Dollar Bill

Thursday, September 11th, 2008

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two dollar bill

The $2 bill is arguably the most controversial US currency of all time. One of the rarest and least use denomination, the $2 bill’s obverse illustration of Thomas Jefferson, adopted in 1929, is the oldest design of all US paper currencies today, whereas, The Declaration of Independence drawing, featured on its reverse, was designed in 1976.

It could be that the reason why the $2 bill is so scarce today is because it’s the least circulated currency in history, currently running at a 1% float! The $2 bill was first introduced in 1862, and in 1966, a century later, its production was stopped following the discontinuation of the United States Notes, which was the currency class it was assigned to at that time. Unlike the rest of the denominations, the $2 bill did not make the reassignment to the Federal Reserve Note class of the United States, largely due to its lack of popularity back then. Its demise was however short lived. The $2 bill made a comeback in 1976, as part of the bicentennial, and was finally inducted into the Federal Reserve Note class.

Most $2 bills in circulation today are from the 1976 series, with the newer bills printed as and when needed. It is said that the demand for the $2 bill is so low that a single batch of prints will last for years. Its perceived rarity is said to be largely due to the lack of public knowledge of the currency and its even more sporadic printing. Its almost never traded in commercial transactions, even as change, and this led to a greater propensity to store any $2 bills encountered, which over time resulted in its decline.

The $2 bill was also, initially, only assigned to a single class currency, the United States Note, which had a statutory limit of, $346,861,016, in circulation at any given time. This class was later passed on to the $5 bill and here was where the imminent doom of the $2 bill began, completely seizing its production in 1966.

Even after the reintroduction of the $2 bill in 1976, it didn’t garner enough interest amongst businesses to generate potential increase in circulation, although, it was greeted with adequate curiosity and was primarily seen as a collectible.

These days, contrary to a widespread fallacy that the currency is no longer in use, the $2 bill continues to strive in proving its worth as a tradable currency and is slowly working its way back into the hearts of the masses. The only way to achieve this feat, according to the US Treasury, is for businesses to use them as they would any other denomination and for banks to stop shunning them out.

Given all that, surprisingly enough, in 2005 alone, 61 million $2 bills were printed, a steep and significant surge since 1990. Could this be an indication that the $2 bill is here to stay, or will it continue to inspire more urban legends and myths and someday disappear again into oblivion, as it did once before. What’s your take on it?

Rare Bills You May Never Touch

Saturday, July 5th, 2008

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dollar bill thousandHave you ever seen a $5,000 bill up close? If you are like most people, probably not. Back in 1969, the circulation of the 1945 series of bills in denominations over $100 was stopped. These bills were printed as Federal Reserve notes only between 1918 and 1945. Even though you may never get to touch one of these rare bills, it is interesting to hear about them. Take a look at these facts on the larger denomination paper currency that is no longer in circulation.

These are the faces printed on these bills:

$500 William McKinley
$1,000 Grover Cleveland
$5,000 James Madison
$10,000 Salmon P. Chase
$100,000 Woodrow Wilson

There are different images printed on the backs of these old bills as well. On the $500 large sized, blue seal Federal Reserve note, there was an image of DeSoto Discovering the Mississippi in 1541. On the back of the blue seal 1918 series $1,000 bill, there is an image of an eagle. On the green seal $5,000 bill, there is an image of Washington Resigning his Commission. There is an image of The Embarkation of the Pilgrims on the green seal $10,000 bill (series 1918).

The series 1934 $100,000 bill simply said, “The United States of America -100,000- One Hundred Thousand Dollars” on the back. This was a gold certificate that was never released for general circulation. It is not legal for collectors to possess this bill. It was also the only one of these bills that was printed red on the back.

These bill denominations were discontinued simply because they were not used very often. These bills are no longer available from the government. Those few that still remain in existence are in the hands of those individuals who collect rare currency.

You can see images of these bills on the Bureau of Printing and Engraving Website: