Posts Tagged ‘serial number’

Facts About the One Dollar Bill

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

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Did you know:

o that the 1st one dollar notes were issued by the Federal Government in 1862. They featured a portrait of Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase?

o that the first use George Washington’s portrait on one dollar notes was on the 1869 United States Notes?

o that the inclusion of “In God We Trust” on all currency was required by law in 1955. It first appeared on paper money in 1957, on one dollar Silver Certificates, and on all Federal Reserve Notes starting in 1963?

o that the first one dollar Federal Reserve Notes were issued in 1963. It had George Washington on the face and the Great Seal on the back? This remains unchanged.

o that of all the notes printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, one dollar notes make up 45% of all currency made?

o that the life span of a one dollar bill is 21 months?

o that the face and back designs of all U.S. paper currency, except the backs of the one and two dollar bills were adopted in 1928?

o that George Washington is on the one dollar bill, Thomas Jefferson is on the $2, Abraham Lincoln is on the $5, Alexander Hamilton is on the $10, Andrew Jackson is on the $20, Ulysses Grant is on the $50, and Benjamin Franklin is on the $100?

o that notes of higher denominations, while no longer produced featured William McKinley on the $500, Grover Cleveland on the $1000, James Madison on the $5000, and Salmon Chase on the $10,000?

o Faceplate Numbers and Letters are the small numbers and letters that can be found in the lower right and upper left corners of a bill?

o In the left corner of the dollar bill is the Note Position Number? This consists of the Note Position Letter and a quadrant number. The Note Position Letter is followed by the Plate Serial Number. This identifies the plate the note was printed from. The Plate Serial Number for the back side of the note is in the lower-right corner.

o that bills that have a small “FW” in the lower right corner on the front of the bill indicate that the bill was printed at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing’s Western Currency Facility in Fort Worth, Texas?

All of these things contribute to what the dollar is today. You probably haven’t thought much about The Great Seal or the Note Position Letter and Plate Serial Number. If you take a closer look at that dollar in your pocket, you can trace it back to its exact location on the plate it was printed from. It may not be top on your list of things to do when you’re paying for your cup of coffee but someone could certainly track this dollar to its roots if they wanted to. Take a look, you might find something interesting yourself!

Enter A Dollar Bill

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

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In order for a user to begin tracking down their US paper currency on the TrackDollarBills website they musttrackdollarbills first access the ‘Enter A Dollar Bill,’ page. Of course, this can only be done after they’ve registered as a member and have logged into the site. Once a member has entered all the information required, and upon hitting the ‘submit’ button, they will then be able to view all of the reports, graphs, and statistics generated for that particular dollar bill in question.

The information that a user is required to enter in order to properly track their dollar bills are the bill’s denomination, the bill’s series, it’s serial number, the user’s current zip or postal code, the current country of residence, where was the bill obtained or received from, what is the current condition of the note, and any comments or findings that a user may want to note down on that particular bill.

The denomination of the dollar bill one wishes to track is the first entry which is required. This should essentially be $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100, accordingly. Making sure that the right amount is entered is vital in ensuring an accurate reading.

The next piece of information needed is the bill’s series or the year that the bill is printed. Examples of bill series’ are 2006, 2003A, 2003, 2001, 1999, 1995, 1993, 1988A, 1985, 1981, 1981A, 1977, 1977A, 1969, 1969A, 1969B, 1969C, 1969D, 1963, 1963A, and 1963B. Along with this, the bill’s serial number is also required. The serial number on a dollar bill is notably the most crucial information on the list of questionnaires so users should be very careful about entering this information correctly. Serial numbers are usually alphanumeric and 10 to 11 digits long.

Next, a user will be required to enter his or her current zip or postal code, as well as country. After this information is entered, users will be asked for the location in which they received the bills they wish to track, as well as the current condition of that particular bill. The site recommends that a rating system of brand new, very good condition, decent condition, or poor condition, be used for general standardization.

Last but not least, users can leave any comments that will help with the identification process of the dollar bill, like a tear or a unique marking, or even anecdotes to make the story of the journey of the bill more interesting and colorful. These comments will be visible to other members so users are reminded to bear that in mind when commenting on their dollar bills, and they are encouraged to be as creative as they can with these remarks as well. Note that the site is against its users defacing the dollar bills they wish to track, which means vandalizing the dollar bill to the point where the note is no longer intelligible or even spent, as this is deemed illegal by the US Government. The site also advises its users to refrain from personally marking or writing on their dollar bills.

Silver Certificates

Sunday, September 7th, 2008

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silver certificatesThe first silver certificates were printed in the United States in response to people who were upset with the Fourth Coinage Act that put the United States money on the gold standard. The certificate was designed to match the same value in silver coins. For example, one $50.00 Silver Certificate would be worth 50 silver dollars.

The seal and serial numbers on a Silver Certificate were printed in red, brown, and blue until Series 1899. At that time the seal and color numbers were permanently changed to blue for the $1, $2, and $5 dollar denominations.

In World War II, the government issued a 1935a Silver Certificate with a brown seal for Hawaii, and a yellow seal for North Africa distributions. The reasoning behind this move was if the money fell into enemy hands it could be easily identified and cancelled to prevent monetary losses in the United States.

In 1928, the United States Treasury reduced the size of the money to speed up transactions and cut the costs of printing. Thus, for Series 1928 only $1 Silver Certificates were printed.

In 1929 the Great Depression hit the United States and the country fell into economic disaster. The majority of citizens blamed the ever changing price of gold for the depression. President Franklin Roosevelt agreed and persuaded Congress to recall all gold coins, gold bullion, and gold certificates. At this time Congress very quietly placed the United States on the silver standard. May 12th, 1933, the Agricultural Adjustment Act was passed. This Act included a clause that allowed for huge amounts of silver to be pumped into the economy to replace the gold.

In 1934, Congress passed a low that changed the obligation on Silver Certificates to denote the current location of the silver. This law also gave the government the power to exchange silver bullion for these certificates, not just silver dollars. The 1928 one-dollar Silver Certificates were phased out and replaced with the certificates of Series 1934.

In March of 1964, Secretary of the Treasury, C. Douglas Dillion stopped the ability of citizens to redeem their Silver Certificates for Silver Dollars. Then in the 1970’s huge numbers of silver dollars in the vaults of the U.S. Mints were sold to collectors at collector value.

Finally on June 4, 1963 Congress abolished Silver Certificates and a citizen could no longer redeem their Silver Certificates for silver on June 24, 1968. This act pretty much ended the life of Silver Certificates. Kind of sad, really.

Do you have any Silver Certificates? If so, tell us about them or post a picture!

How To Build a Dollar Bill Collection?

Sunday, September 7th, 2008

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dollar bill serial numberWith 23 different series of dollar bills issued and 12 different Federal Reserve Banks, there are more than 250 different notes that you could collect. Sounds easy right? Not really.

While it’s possible to collect one of each note, it would be a daunting task, so many collectors choose different things to collect. In addition, some of the dollar bills are very old and would be hard to find. But then again, the thrill is in the hunt, isn’t it.

The best way to start your collection is to choose exactly what you want to collect, meaning what type of serial numbers appeal to you, or you could decide to collect only dollar bills printed at very specific Federal Reserve Banks.

For example many collectors collect certain serial numbers. The most popular serial numbers to collect are the very low ones, but in reality, the very high serial numbers are the most rare because not every series reaches a high number. The more rare, the more valuable.

Some collectors look for ladder serial numbers like 12345678 or descending serial numbers like 87654321, while others look for solid or near solid serial numbers such as 11111111 or 222222212. Still other collectors look for serial numbers that repeat like 123123123, binary serial numbers that have only two digits in any combination like 113311133.

You could also collect what are called birthday dollar bills, these are dollar bills whose serial number contains a date, like 1964, etc.

Star notes have an asterisk or star either before or after the serial number. This happens because of production errors. An asterisk is put in place of a number so that the correct count of the dollar bills in a particular serial number run can be produced without having to repeat the serial number.

What type of dollar bills you choose to collect is entirely up to you, but try to be selective with regards to condition and rarity. If you find a dollar bill that appeals to you and it isn’t in the greatest condition, you still may want to add it to your collection until you can find another one in much better condition. How rare a particular dollar bill is may, in some cases, outweigh the overall condition.

What do you look for in your dollar bill collection? Do you look for particular serial numbers or a particular Federal Reserve Bank? Let us know!

So What Do All Those Numbers On a Dollar Bill Mean?

Saturday, September 6th, 2008

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dollar bill oneIf you look at a dollar bill you will see a series of numbers called the serial number. The serial number is jam packed with information about that particular dollar bill. Also on the dollar bill you will see a little seal to the left of George Washington with a letter in it. This letter can tell you where the dollar bill was printed.

The Federal Reserve has 12 locations, or districts scattered around the United States. These districts print the money we use, and each district is assigned a letter of the alphabet and a number. This letter and number also make up the first two or three figures in the serial number of the dollar bill.

For example, Boston is A1, New York- B2, Philadelphia-C3, Cleveland-D4, Richmond-E5, Atlanta-F6, Chicago-G7, St. Louis-H-8, Minneapolis-I9, Kansas City-J10, Dallas-K11, and San Francisco-L12.

The last letter of the serial number represents how many times the Bureau of Engraving and Printing have used that particular sequence of serial numbers. A is the first time B is the second, and so on and so on. There is one run for each letter of the alphabet and 32 bills per run, so there are only 832 bills that have the same serial number. Cool huh?!

In the lower right hand area of a dollar bill between George Washington and the signature of the Secretary of Treasury there is a series date. This date represents the year the bill was printed. Sometimes there will be a letter after this date.

There is not a series for every year and the dollar bill is changed for only a few reasons. Either a new Secretary of Treasury is appointed, the design of the bill itself has been changed, or a new Treasurer of the United States is appointed.

If a design change or new Secretary of Treasury is appointed then the year will change. If a new Treasurer is appointed the letter behind the date will change.

To many collectors the serial number is one of the most important things they consider. Some collectors try to find sequential serial numbers, such as 12345678, others look for certain letters, dates, etc.

Do you ever look at the serial numbers on your money for patterns or interesting number combinations? If so, let us know what you’ve found!