10 obsolete banknotes and coins of the United States of America
The story of the US dollar began earlier than the United States. This happened during the War of Independence, when thirteen future states issued a single currency to finance the war against Britain. In its current form, the dollar was first released during the Civil War. Both before and during and after the war several more currencies were introduced, and some of them even coexisted along with the modern dollar for a while.
Interestingly, among modern American bills there are those that are very rarely seen and about which many have not even heard. Do you know about the existence of a banknote of 100 thousand dollars? Perhaps not. Well! Here are ten vintage US banknotes and coins. Keep in mind that some of them are still legal means of payment, although they have long ceased to issue them.
10. Silver certificates
Silver certificates were issued in the United States from 1878 to 1964.They were used as ordinary money and were originally subject to redemption at par with silver coins. However, from June 1967 to June 1968, they could be exchanged for silver bars, and then for ordinary banknotes. They remain legal means of payment and now can still be deposited to replenish the current bank account. In fact, silver certificates are very reminiscent of banknotes, but they have an inscription in small print, which reads: “The presenter is paid one dollar in silver on demand”.
An interesting fact that little is known - two silver certificates in denominations of $ 1, which were issued in 1886 and 1891, are the first American paper money with a portrait of a woman. This woman was Martha Washington, the wife of George Washington and the first “First Lady” of the United States. Silver certificates with Martha Washington are highly regarded among collectors. The banknote of 1891 in excellent condition is sold for about $ 1,500.
9. Continental Dollar (English Continental currency)
Continental dollars were launched into circulation on June 22, 1775, at the beginning of the War of Independence.Then the thirteen colonies, which later formed the United States of America, agreed that in order to wage war with Great Britain they needed a single currency. The money was called "continental" because it was released by the Continental Congress, which during the war was the highest governing body. The congress consisted of delegates from all thirteen colonies.
The currency was supported only by promises that it would be redeemed from funds received from future taxes. The public did not trust this money, as a result, inflation was so high that even George Washington complained that you could not buy a single car of supplies for a train of continental dollars. On top of that, in order to spur inflation, Britain released fake US banknotes.
The rate of continental dollars in different colonies was different. People even came up with the idiom "not worth the" continental "to describe the futility of the subject. The money was so unstable that in May 1781 it collapsed. The failure of the national currency led to the fact that by the end of the war the newly formed United States had large debts.This was even one of the reasons why the United States abandoned the idea of a confederation in favor of a stronger central government. From now on, the United States avoided issuing paper money until the very beginning of the Civil War.
8. Banknote of 100,000 dollars
In 1933, President Franklin Roosevelt ordered US citizens to hand over all gold coins, gold bars and gold certificates. It was at the height of the Great Depression, when people kept their savings in gold and refused to accept paper money. In fact, paper money became so useless that most people switched to barter.
When many citizens lost the opportunity to pay in gold, they were forced to switch to paper money. The federal government printed a lot of money, including a $ 100,000 note with a portrait of Woodrow Wilson, the 28th President of the United States.
However, there was one subtlety. This banknote was not a legal means of payment, as it was not intended for general use. The note served only for settlements between branches of the Federal Reserve for large transactions.It still remains the highest denomination note ever printed in the United States.
7. Banknotes on demand (Demand Notes)
When the Civil War broke out in the United States in 1861, the US Federal Government issued its first paper money. Prior to that, it used only gold and silver for settlements, at the same time more than 8,000 banks independently issued and supported their own paper money. The war seriously depleted the American treasury and caused widespread inflation. In response, Treasury Secretary Salmon P. Chase suggested that the government should introduce a single paper currency that would replace all paper money issued by private banks.
This led to the emergence of “bank notes on demand,” which became the first real paper money issued by the United States government. The aforementioned continental dollars are not considered the first paper money since they were issued before the formation of the United States. The government issued notes in the amount of $ 10 million, backed by gold or silver.However, they never gained popularity, because people still preferred to save gold and silver coins.
In 1862, the US Congress passed a law regulating the production of a new currency, which did not provide for an exchange for gold or silver. This led to the creation of those US dollars that are used today. “Banknotes on Demand” were withdrawn from circulation as new paper money was introduced. At first, they constantly suffered from inflation, now from deflation, since their value depended on victories or defeats in the Civil War.
6. Fractional money
As we have said, during the Civil War, Americans accumulated expensive coins. To solve the problem of small payments, the Treasury issued banknotes with fractional denominations, from one to fifty cents. Most Americans hated this money, which they called shinplasters (“shin patches”) - because of the ultrathin paper used in their production.
In 1865, the Treasury announced further plans to issue fractional notes. However, Congress ordered trilogy, which were once silver coins and were in demand when paying postalexpenses (which cost exactly three cents) were not issued in the form of paper money, but in the form of coins from a mixture of nickel and copper.
The three-cent nickel was proposed by Congressman John Casson, who previously did not approve the use of nickel in coins. Casson hated the idea of nickel coins, but he hated shinplasters even more, so he settled on the lesser of two evils.
Three-nickel, three-cent silver and three-cent notes remained in circulation until 1873, when silver was discontinued. Three-cent notes ceased to go along with all other fractional notes in February 1876. In 1889, the release of three-cent nickel was also stopped, when the cost of mailings was reduced to two cents. All three-nickel nickel were melted and converted into five-cent coins.
5. Banknote of 1000 dollars
The thousand dollar bill is one of the rarest in the United States. Their release was discontinued in 1946, but banks are still accepting them in exchange for crediting a similar amount to the account. It is assumed that banks will hand over all $ 1,000 banknotes to branches of the Federal Reserve, and they will not return to circulation anymore.However, owners of 1000-dollar bills prefer to keep them, because of their rarity, they are valued more than their nominal value.
The US federal government printed its first $ 1,000 bill during the Civil War. In fact, it was released earlier, but then it was still continental dollars, issued by thirteen states. The feds used this money to buy items such as ammunition that were needed to wage war.
After the war, banknotes in a thousand dollars, like other similar high-value notes, began to be used in the conclusion of large transactions, such as interbank transfers or real estate transactions. The last issue was printed in 1946, but the notes remained in circulation until 1969, when President Richard Nixon ordered the Federal Reserve to withdraw all high-value banknotes due to fears that they would be used for money laundering. In addition, printing thousand-dollar bills was too expensive, because the circulation was very limited each time.
4. Banknote of $ 10,000
A banknote of $ 10,000 is the most expensive legal tender in the USA, which, unlike banknotes with a face value of $ 100,000, was intended for everyday use.These bills, as well as bills in the amount of $ 1,000, remain legal money, although both were withdrawn from circulation in 1969. The $ 10,000 bill features a portrait of Salmon P. Chase, who served as Secretary of the Treasury under President Abraham Lincoln. Chase was also the senator and governor of the state of Ohio, as well as the United States Chief Justice.
However, his image on the banknote Chase owes precisely to the position of Secretary of the Treasury. As we mentioned earlier, it was he who proposed to create a single, paper-controlled currency controlled by federal agencies. The $ 10,000 banknote was used for large settlements, such as interbank transfers, and was not used by the general public.
Today, less than 350 such banknotes are in circulation. They are a subject of great interest among collectors, and the price of well-preserved bills can go up to 140,000 dollars. Shabby can cost about 30 thousand.
3. "Double Eagle"
The “Double Eagle” is a $ 20 gold coin that was minted from 1907 to 1932. It was withdrawn from circulation in 1933, when President Franklin Roosevelt forbade American citizens to own gold.445300 gold coins, minted in 1933, when President Roosevelt issued his order, never fell into circulation. They were melted and turned into bars in 1937.
However, some of the gold coins of 1933 avoided melting. No one knows how they were taken from the Mint, but it is assumed that a cashier named George McCann replaced about twenty coins of 1933 with earlier coins. So no one noticed.
It is known that a jeweler named Israel Swift owned nineteen such coins, and he sold nine of them to private collectors. One coin was sold to King Farouk of Egypt. The coin appeared again in 1952, when King Farouk was overthrown, but she disappeared again when the new coin holder found out that she was being sought by the Secret Service. The secret service managed to take possession of the coin only forty years later, when the operation began to fight Stephen Fenton, a British coin dealer, at the disposal of which she was.
While there was a trial between Fenton and the US Mint, the coin was in the Treasury vault of the World Trade Center.The trial ended with Fenton and the United States Mint agreeing to sell the coin and divide the proceeds. Then, two months before the September 11 terrorist attacks, the coin was transported from the World Trade Center to Fort Knox.
The coin was sold for a record $ 75,900,000, including a 15 percent commission fee, plus an additional $ 20 for its face value. Joan Langbord, one of Swift's heirs, discovered ten more coins in September 2004. She sent them to the United States Mint for examination, but the Secret Service immediately arrested them.
2. Treasury notes
Treasury notes are a series of $ 1, 2, 5, 10, and $ 20 bills, $ 50, $ 100, and $ 1,000 issued in the United States from 1890 to 1891. They were issued after the adoption of the Act of July 14, 1890, which allowed the Secretary of the Treasury to print banknotes as payment for silver bars bought by the Treasury.
Treasury notes could be redeemed with gold or silver coins, depending on the preferences set by the Secretary of the Treasury.A release of $ 500 bills was also scheduled, but it never took place. Only samples were printed.
Banknotes issued in 1890 and 1891 are similar, but there are still several ways to distinguish them. One of the differences is in the type and size of the print, the other is in the design of their back sides. The banknotes of 1890 have a rich dark green reverse, and in the banknotes of 1891, the reverse side is light green. Both versions are collectible rarity, although the 1890 edition is less common and more expensive.
1. Aluminum cent 1974
In 1973, copper began to cost so much that the US Mint began to look for an alternative metal to release its coins. After extensive discussions focused on aluminum. In 1974, the United States Mint moved raw aluminum sheets from the Mint branch in Philadelphia to the Denver Mint branch, where they were cut into blanks, which were then sent back to Philadelphia for embossing.
The Denver Mint did not have to stamp any coins, but the assistant warden decided to make a single 1974 aluminum cent printed on the Denver Mint.This one cent was marked with the "D" stamp to show that it was made in Denver.
In 1974, the Philadelphia Mint stamped about 1.5 million aluminum coins and shared some samples with members of Congress. However, Congress refused to authorize aluminum coins for a number of reasons, including due to the fact that representatives of the vending trade said that their machines would not be able to work with aluminum coins.
The US Mint has melted aluminum coins, but at least fifteen of them have not yet been seized. These coins are part of those that congressmen did not return. As for the illegally manufactured coin with the "D" stamp, Harry Edmond Lawrence, the son of the assistant chief, returned it to the US Mint after the death of his father.