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Question about US silver certificates


Steve D'Ippolito
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I started trying to research when "In God We Trust" appeared on US paper money. I've discovered what most people "know," that it started in 1957, isn't the whole story. Apparently the only thing that actually happened that year was that a "Series 1957" silver certificate came out with the motto on it. The notes had Priest-Anderson signature pairing. There was a 1957A and 1957B as well, the last one being Granahan-Dillon signatures, which means they were issued after January of 1963, since Kathryn Granahan became treasurer then.

 

Other denominations followed only in the 1960s with Series 1963 notes (and that is also when the first $1 FRN came out; before that it was basically all silver certificates). And those would have Granahan-Dillion signatures.

 

So here is my question: there are also 1935F (Priest-Anderson), 1935G (Smith-Dillon) and 1935H (Granahan Dillon) series of silver certificates! The 35G and H undeniably came out _after_ the Series 1957 notes did, and we know this due to the signature pairing. (In God We Trust was added partway through 1935G to these notes--sometime during the Kennedy Administration)

 

So why were Series 1935G and 1935H silver certificates being produced well after series 1957 was introduced?

 

Also, is there a site that will give you the true issue date range of US paper money (FRNs, US notes, Silver certificates) based on the signature pair? My Google-fu keeps failing and I get pointed to the same crap sites that either trying to sell me a bank note or just list all the signature pairs but don't give dates.

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Try the following links, very brief, but should be a good starting point.

 

http://www.uspapermoney.info/general/chron_s.html

 

http://www.uspapermoney.info/general/deliv_s.html

 

I am not much knowledgeable about US currency, there should be people here who can certainly add to this.

 

Hope this helps!!

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Steve D'Ippolito says:

"So why were Series 1935G and 1935H silver certificates being produced well after series 1957 was introduced?"

 

Good question, I looked in my Blackbook #35 and under the ONE dollar listings there was a comment that the 1957 notes were being printed on the "new high speed presses" Could it be that the 1935 series were still being printed on the old presses until the new high speed presses were fully integrated? I am not a "note" guy so I am just guessing.

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Wow! I've been collecting these note for years and I never noticed the signature vs. series overlap! Even after reading the great links, it still doesn't make 100% sense to me.

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Roger is correct that the 1935 series was being printed on the old presses while the 1957 series was being printed on the new presses. In late 1961 during the run of 1935G the BEP had to acquire more old style presses. During this time they added the motto to the 1935 series. 9 million 1935G have the motto and 31 million do not. This is from a reference in the NYT June 7th, 1964 by Herbert C. Bardes.

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The 1935Gs without motto apparently were printed in 1963 judging by the signature pairs.

 

According to the links given (and thank you Balaji Murphy!), 1950E series $10 notes (Granahan/Fowler) were released as late as 16 September 1968, and as far as I know those had no motto on them. (Meanwhile Series 1963 $10 notes (with motto) were coming out starting 24 April of 1964.) This is another case of overlap like with the silver certificates, and as I pore over the information I am sure there will be more.

 

So the process took over ten years.

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If you want to find out what notes first featured the motto "In God We Trust" you have to go back to when this motto was first announced. The Star Spangled Banner, written during the war of 1812, includes at the end of the 4th stanza,

 

"Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,

And this be our motto -- "In God is our trust."

 

This motto, slightly different from the phrase we know and love today, actually first appeared on U.S. currency in 1863, on the $20 and $100 bills. The $100, an utterly rare note, of which only three are known, shows this motto in the shield of "The Guardian" in the lower left (see the closeup).

 

F-199_front.jpg

 

F-199_closeup.jpg

 

Interestingly, this same image appeared on the 1864 issue (a compound-interest note) with the "In God is our Trust" removed. (see next closeup)

 

F-193b_closeup.jpg

 

The 1863 $20 note shows the same motto on a very tiny shield in the lower right corner of the note.

 

F-197_front.jpgF-197_closeup.jpg

 

The 1864 issue of THIS note as a compound interest note does still feature these words.

 

F-191_front.jpg

 

Evidently it was initially used to show that God was on the side of the Union soldiers during the Civil War. The Mint received the designs in 1863 and legislation passed to put it on cents and two-cent pieces (not sure how they were authorized for currency at that time). The designs here were done by Salmon Chase, of other banknote fame (see treasury notes).

 

The phrase was officially changed to "In God We Trust" in 1956 and in 1956 the law that is more commonly known authorized "In God We Trust" to appear on all paper money too.

 

Why the 1935G (some) and 1935H notes carry the motto and cross-over signatures is clearly explained above - two different methods of printing the notes.

 

I hope this is informative!

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Welcome to Coinpeople and thank you for a very informative and well illustrated first post! :)

 

Same from me. :bthumbsup:

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Welcome rbethea, what a great history lesson! Thanks for sharing.

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Thanks for the warm welcome. I've read the posts here for many years but never had the urge to post. I've been collecting for about 15 years, mainly world paper money, but this topic is one that's interested me for many years. Eventually I'd like to own one of each of the designs I've mentioned but that'll probably take about $75k-$100k (in modest condition) and at 25 years old I've got a lot of better things to do with that kind of money!

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Thanks for the warm welcome. I've read the posts here for many years but never had the urge to post. I've been collecting for about 15 years, mainly world paper money, but this topic is one that's interested me for many years. Eventually I'd like to own one of each of the designs I've mentioned but that'll probably take about $75k-$100k (in modest condition) and at 25 years old I've got a lot of better things to do with that kind of money!

 

Very similar situation to you! I'm going to a big regional show in Baltimore this weekend to find some of the key star notes for the silver cert. series. At age 26, my money may be more important to hold on to than yours!

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  • 1 month later...

I found another example that I completely missed the first go-around. I don't know if this was intentional, however because the state of Florida's seal has the words "In God We Trust" (the normal motto we think of), it lies in there as an early use of the motto too, technically I suppose. The earliest Florida nationals I am aware of are series 1875 $5 nationals. The seal below is from a $10 1882 brown back. So let's not forget these!

 

Florida_Nat_BB.JPG

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  • 5 weeks later...

Just to provide the full picture, the bronze 2 cent piece (1864-1873) was the first coin to bear the motto "In God We Trust." Despite being authorized by the Act of April 22, 1864, the motto did not appear on cents until the new Lincoln design of 1909. Neither of the first regular commemorative coins (1892-93 Columbian Half Dollar and 1893 Isabella Quarter) had the motto.

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Just to provide the full picture, the bronze 2 cent piece (1864-1873) was the first coin to bear the motto "In God We Trust." Despite being authorized by the Act of April 22, 1864, the motto did not appear on cents until the new Lincoln design of 1909. Neither of the first regular commemorative coins (1892-93 Columbian Half Dollar and 1893 Isabella Quarter) had the motto.

 

Not only that, the shield nickel bore the motto, but the V and buffalo nickels did not. The buffalo nickel was the last coin holdout.

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