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Another question about US silver certificates


Balaji Murthy
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I didn't want to distract from the wonderful discussion on the other thread, so a separate post.

 

My question is related to the experimentals, I know the R and S series for the $1 silver certificates, but occasionally I hear about the 1928 series $1 silver certificate experimentals as well. What was that in aid of? Is the premise in both the series same? Any other cases/denominations of experimental issues (I know about the web press, though I don't know if that was intended to be experimental).

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There are several "modern" small size experimental issues, mostly on $1 notes.

 

You're already aware of the 1935 R/S $1 silver certificate issues. R for "regular", S for "special denoting the paper type. The paper for the "S" notes tested different combinations of materials due to the paper shortage resulting from WWII (or so I've heard). Cotton, linen, etc. were used in some prescribed combination of which I am unaware. There a LOT of counterfeits out there but authentic notes are easiest identified by the serial number range:

 

For the "R" notes, they must fall in: S70884001C - S72068000C (1,184,000 notes)

There are also some stars out there that are EXTREMELY rare that are between *91176001A - *91188000A (12,000 notes)

 

1935AR.jpg

 

For the "S" notes, they must fall in: S73884001C - S75068000C (1,184,000 notes)

Same deal - very rare stars that are between *91188001A - *91200000A (12,000 notes)

 

1935AS.jpg

 

In, I believe, 1932 they ran experimental notes on 1928A and 1928B issues of $1 silver certificates. These notes are identified by the blocks: X-B, Y-B, and Z-B. The 1928B issues were a repeat of the 1928A issues. They are different by the following:

 

X-B: 50/50 mixture of linen and cotton

 

1928BXB.jpg

 

Y-B: 75/25 mixture of linen and cotton

 

1928BYB.jpg

 

Z-B: 25/75 mixture of linen and cotton

 

1928BZB.jpg

 

A little over 10 million were printed for each, however the X-B is slightly more common than the other two by printed quantity (about 500k more)

 

The last silver certificate experimental issue the BEP did was in 1935. The identifying traits of these are the blocks again: A-B, B-B, and C-B. The least seems to be known about this run. What I've gathered from a few different sources, some reliable, some anecdotal, is:

 

A-B: 105% of the "heft" of the normal Crane paper (whatever "heft" means, I presume some measure of durability - maybe simply thickness)

 

1935AB.jpg

 

B-B: 110% of the "heft" of the normal Crane paper

 

1935BB.jpg

 

C-B: The plates used to print this run was completed with a special titanium finish

 

1935CB.jpg

 

The A-B's are the most common, and supposedly the C-B's the next with the B-B's the least common, however in my searching for these notes I had the toughest time finding a C-B.

 

The next experimental run occurred in 1963 when the BEP was attempting to find a second source of paper. They identified a company, the Gilbert Paper Co. of Menasha, WI who provided a number of sheets that the BEP used to print this run. Several sheets were run and sent back to Gilbert who used them and sold them as promotional items (some of them came with a special folder which told the story of how the notes came to be) while a number of other notes were printed and issued, I suppose. Not very much information is out there on the total number of notes that were printed on this paper however what most experts agree upon is that the "for-sure" range of notes used to identify a Gilbert note is that it was a 1963 $1 FRN that falls between the blocks C60800001A - C61440000A (evidently this corresponds to 640,000 notes). These are excessively rare. As far as I can tell, only four notes are known, of which only one has the original pamphlet.

 

1963gilbert.jpg

 

The next experimental note came in the early '80s when the BEP did a similar trial to the Gilbert notes but with paper from a different company in Natick, MA. The paper was called Natick Security Paper. These are issued as series 1977A $1 FRN within the range of E76800001H - E80640001H and E07052001* - E07680001* (to my knowledge, no star Natick experimentals are known). They also did one run of $10 experimentals that can be identified in the range E05772001* - E06400000*.

 

The most recent experimentals are the well known web notes. They were issued in the

1988A, 1993, and 1995 issues. I don't need to explain those here - this is discussed ad-nauseam on other threads here and elsewhere.

 

I've included scans of my notes for reference. I do NOT own a Natick, sadly - it is the last piece to my $1 type set I'm waiting to find!!

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WOW! What a great post, wonderful information. Thanks rbethea for the interesting info!

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What are the legal issues, if any, in posting scans of notes? I know the Secret Service might express its artistic appreciation of actual printed images and photographs by sending someone over to visit and offer you an all expenses paid extended vacation at a federal institution (an offer you cannot refuse), but are online images different?

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PART 411 -- COLOR ILLUSTRATIONS OF UNITED STATES CURRENCY

Authority: 18 U.S.C. 504; Treasury Directive Number 15-56, 58 FR 48539

(September 16, 1993)

  • 411.1 Color illustrations authorized.
  • (a) Notwithstanding any provision of chapter 25 of Title 18 of the U.S. Code, authority is hereby given for the printing, publishing or importation, or the making or importation of the necessary plates or items for such printing or publishing, of color illustrations of U.S. currency provided that:
  • (1) The illustration be of a size less than three-fourths or more than one and one-half, in linear dimension, of each part of any matter so illustrated;
  • (2) The illustration be one-sided; and
  • (3) All negatives, plates, positives, digitized storage medium, graphic files, magnetic medium, optical storage devices, and any other thing used in the making of the illustration that contain an image of the illustration or any part thereof shall be destroyed and/or deleted or erased after their final use in accordance with this section.
  • (B) [Reserved].

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wow-wee rbethea! I've been collecting the $1 SC series for years and I never learned that about the different blocks. I've seen dealers selling them at shows but never asked why. How many Natwick notes are thought to survive?

 

And as a materials engineer and lover of varieties, I'll definitely have to add these to my list. (The R/S stars are some of the last notes I need)

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Thanks, jlueke. Appreciate the research! I guess via that statute I'm ok! But honestly, if I performed an illegal action then I expect all eBay sellers to be in the same hot water!

 

Joking aside, @thedeadpoint, I'm also an engineer (right now I do polymers but I'm trained as a classical chemical engineer) and maybe that's why I find this so interesting. The number of Natick notes is very difficult to know if only for the fact that I see more error varieties for sale than non-error varieties. They pop up one or two at a time from time to time. I've probably seen half a dozen for sale in the last 12 months. But I don't collect errors - I like the non-error variety and the last one I saw (I kick myself for this every time I think about it) I missed in a Spink Auction last November that sold for a little less than $500 pre-juice. I would have gone to double that if I had seen it - gosh that really burns me. Good luck with those R/S stars.

 

Also, fwiw, the "linen" that was used in the 1928 series experimentals was clothing - old military clothing. And the blue threads in the currency - jeans from the Levi Strauss Co.

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Also, fwiw, the "linen" that was used in the 1928 series experimentals was clothing - old military clothing. And the blue threads in the currency - jeans from the Levi Strauss Co.

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PART 411 -- COLOR ILLUSTRATIONS OF UNITED STATES CURRENCY

Authority: 18 U.S.C. 504; Treasury Directive Number 15-56, 58 FR 48539

(September 16, 1993)

  • 411.1 Color illustrations authorized.
  • (a) Notwithstanding any provision of chapter 25 of Title 18 of the U.S. Code, authority is hereby given for the printing, publishing or importation, or the making or importation of the necessary plates or items for such printing or publishing, of color illustrations of U.S. currency provided that:
  • (1) The illustration be of a size less than three-fourths or more than one and one-half, in linear dimension, of each part of any matter so illustrated;
  • (2) The illustration be one-sided; and
  • (3) All negatives, plates, positives, digitized storage medium, graphic files, magnetic medium, optical storage devices, and any other thing used in the making of the illustration that contain an image of the illustration or any part thereof shall be destroyed and/or deleted or erased after their final use in accordance with this section.
  • ( B) [Reserved].

 

That doesn't help. It talks about what you are permitted to do with print, not with online images. (And I had actually found this law.) I'd conclude on the basis of this that it is forbidden, since this is a list of things you are allowed to do and online images are not included or discussed.

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