Jeff Smith writes about updates & news related to collectable coins & currency.
Colonists became increasingly dissatisfied with the barter system….
Happy Holidays from all of us to all of you.. May your time with friends and family, priceless.
If notes could talk, what would our first-in-history American currency say?
On this Thanksgiving Holiday, our thoughts return to the origins of this great nation and the currency that helped our nation grow and prosper.
For some exciting information about Colonial Notes, read on...
Shortly after landing in the New World, colonists became increasingly dissatisfied with the barter system of trade between them, this new nation, and England. The colonists wanted and needed economic independence from Britain and sought to establish their own economic stability by printing paper money.
Though in 1690 the Massachusetts Colony was the first to print paper money, each Colony eventually printed its own colonial notes to enhance a convenient exchange and pay off debt.
While Spanish Dollars were popular as colonial coins (the origin of our “dollar” denotation for US money) currency was noted in British pounds, shillings and pence. Importantly, Britain disallowed Colonial Currency as legal tender in 1764 which contributed to great discontent with Britain among colonists.
In addition to individual colony issued Colonial Notes, as the Revolutionary War began in 1775, the Continental Congress circulated paper currency to help finance the war. This process was backed by a hoped for future tax income rather than real gold or silver. Unfortunately, these Continental notes depreciated rapidly partly due to expert British counterfeit operations designed to sabotage US war efforts.
Following the war, states and private banks continued to issue their own currency. But, because of the problems with depreciation, inflation, value variances, and counterfeit, the US Constitution later denied individual states the right to make their own money.
Colonial notes are rare and extremely valuable. They were a significant part of our heritage as an independent and free nation. To hold one of these is to hold a vital part of our social, economic and political independence from Britain.
To see the note on our site click on this link:
Yours for a truly amazing year,
Jeff Smith, President
Email us at
© Treasuredstocks.com, Inc., 2013
Those who have traveled this exciting journey, know that Disney Dollar Collecting is truly a fascinating adventure.
The Disney Dollar idea sparked during a visit to a 1987 Disney Collectors Merchandise Convention by Mr. Harry Brice. Brice was a Senior Artist at the Silhouette Shop on Main Street in Disneyland. He told his associates that he couldn’t believe the amount of money people were paying for Disney merchandise and suggested that Disney could make and print souvenir “money” for currency collectors as well as Disney patrons.
First released in May of 1987, Disney Dollars were recognized for very high quality printing (EPI of Battle Creek, MI) along with intaglio steel engraving and expensive 100% cotton paper, giving Disney Dollars the feel and appearance of beautifully crafted currency. They have anti-counterfeiting features such as reflective ink and imprinting, unique serial numbers and letters, tiny specks of glitter (we call pixie dust), and expensive micro-printing. Disney Dollars were produced and printed from 1987 to 2009 and now again in 2013, with the exception of 1992, 2004 (the 2005 series was also used in 2006), 2006, 2010, and 2012.
Disney Dollars were first released in one and five dollar denominations. The ten dollar (denomination) bill became available in 1990 and in 2005, the fifty dollar bill was added as well as the T series ("T"denotes The Disney Stores, the beginning letter of the serial number). This year (2013), saw the new Disney Dollar release of The Villains and Heroes Series as well as an extremely rare and much sought after "Cruella" error note.
Important characters on each bill include Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Pluto, and many others. Each side of the bill incorporates its denomination and each currency item has a serial number series year. These numbers/letters denote when they were printed and where they originated. Some bills were printed in small amounts such as the limited edition $50 and some were printed in large quantities. Bills are (mostly) signed by Scrooge McDuck as treasurer – he is considered the CFO, bank administrator. Disney Currency designs changed yearly, often reflecting the general theme for that year. Bills also include letter designations, located at the beginning of the serial number. For example, an A series relates to a note initially sold at Disneyland in Anaheim, CA (A is for Anaheim), D denotes Walt Disney World in Florida, and T (available starting in 2005) designates Disney stores. There are also a few very rare B (for Designer Charles Boyer) and F series.
Disney Dollars can be used for face value at Disney theme parks, cruise ships, and Disney Stores. They do not expire. One important way to purchase Disney Dollars is through collectors like Treasuredstocks.com. Rationale: The Walt Disney Corporation is moving more and more toward Disney refillable gift cards as they are convenient, efficient, and provide better control, tracking, and profit.
Because of their appearance, features, and unique characteristics, currency plus Disney collectors place great value on Disney Dollars; thus, Disney Dollar collectors, as well as Disney memorabilia fans, are found world-wide!
Very importantly, both PCGS and PMG now grade the Disney Dollars.
Hence, competition for these unique and often quite rare Disney Dollar notes is rising, dramatically increasing values on these prized historical items. As of this year (2013), you will need 166 Disney notes to complete a Disney Dollar Registry Set.
So please, enjoy the Disney Dollar Adventure. Let us help you and your family build your own collection of Disney currency.
If you have any questions call Jeff @ 870-670-4255
If you have any questions call Jeff @ 870-670-4255
If you have any questions call Jeff @ 870-670-4255
Fancy Seeing You Here...
We have been seeing a lot of different kinds of fancy serial numbers lately. So I decided to take some time to describe the different kinds of fancy serial numbers. I will also give a quick definition of each one to help you understand what they are. These fancy serial numbers receive special pedigrees on the certification label.
Serial Number 1 through 9
Simply a serial number that is one of the first nine notes printed.
Solid Serial Numbers
Where that entire S/N is all the same number. In Asia 8’s are lucky and can command a premium..
Ascending and Descending Ladder Serial Numbers
This is where the serial number will increase from low to high (ascending) or high to low (descending). The zero can be used as low and high.
Radar Serial Number
A serial number that reads the same forwards as it does backwards.
Birthday Serial Numbers
These are fun to give to someone on their Birthday. Like a serial number that ends in 1947 the year I was born or a serial number the ends in 2004 that I gave my grandson.
Binary Serial Number
As the name suggests these serial numbers can only contain 1s and 0s.
Repeater Serial Number
This serial number will repeat. It doesn’t matter how many digits are used as long as the whole series of numbers repeats.
Million Serial Number
A serial number with a digit 1 through 10 followed by six zeros.
There are even more special fancy serial numbers where you can use any combination of the above in one s/n. For example you can have a Radar-Repeater-Rotator Serial Number (I.E.: 808808) this would read the same left to right and the same right side up and upside down. This isn’t the only type of combination, there are many more.
These types of pedigrees really change how you can collect a certain country or denomination and adds enjoyment to the hobby. So the next time you get change or take money out of the ATM look down and check those serial numbers - you just might have found something fancy.
If Notes Could Talk, what would this extremely rare, extremely valuable (only 32 are known to exist) 1918 Federal Reserve Note have to say about war, peace, and political intrigue?
Read on …. Also see Link to this note: http://www.treasuredstocks.com/currency/large-size-notes/federal-reserve-bank-notes/item/7266-1918-500-federal-reserve-bank-note-chicago-burke-glass-pmg-30-very-fine-fr-1132.html.
In December of 1913, during his first year in office, Democratic President Woodrow Wilson aggressively influenced and subsequently signed into law the Federal Reserve Act. This Act of Congress established the Federal Reserve System and the US Central Banking system (a major reform for US banking and currency). Importantly, this Act provided the US central banking system official authority to issue Federal Reserve Notes and Federal Reserve Bank Notes as legally authorized US currency. Strong critics to this day (most especially conservative Republicans) question whether the Federal Government has the constitutional authority to create such sweeping reform. Does this Act (and the Federal Reserve System) protect powerful financial interests and thereby increase recession risks such as what this nation has just experienced? Notably, the bill’s co-sponsor was the Chairmen of the House Banking and Currency Committee, Virginia Congressional Democratic Representative Carter Glass.
Though WWI (the Great War, The War to End all Wars) began in Europe in 1914, America did not officially enter this war until 6 April 1917. Democratic President Woodrow Wilson (our 28th president who served from 1913 to 1921) promised to “keep us out of war” as his running campaign and this promise helped him win the 1913 election. WW1 ended on 11 November 1918 – Armistice Day -- a day we continue recognize and honor the more than 50,000 soldiers who perished during this Great War.
Wilson won presidential election in 1913 due in part to his vow for neutrality, Wilson and Glass helped establish the banking and currency reform that made this series 1918 Federal Reserve Note possible. Both men were from Virginia, both were Democrats, and both advocated for the federal authority behind sweeping banking reform. Carter Glass served as the US Secretary of the Treasury, appointed by President Wilson, from 1918 to 1920 – a very short period of time. His signature as Secretary of the Treasury is seen on series 1914 and 1918 Federal Reserve Notes, printed while he held that position.
So that explains the Carter Glass signature, but who was John Burke and why is the Burke-Glass signature combination so rare?
John Burke, a North Dakota Democrat, staunchly supported Woodrow Wilson’s bid for president during the 1912 Democratic National Convention. Because of Burke, all of North Dakota’s votes favored Wilson. Wilson of course won the election and in gratitude, named Burke US Treasurer a position he held from 1913 to 1921.
Therefore, this rare signature combination only appears on notes produced for fewer than two short years.
The 7-G notation for District: Chicago, Illinois creates additional interest and rarity.
The note’s central portrait figure is that of US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall who lived from 1755 to 1835 and served as the fourth US Chief Justice from 1801-1835. Marshall remains the court’s longest serving Chief Justice. Of huge importance were Marshall’s efforts to establish the US Supreme Court as an equal and independent third government branch, along with the executive and legislative branches. Like Wilson and Glass, Marshall was also a Virginian and like Wilson and Glass, worked to build a strong federal government For example, the 1819 US Supreme Court decision in the McCulloch v. Maryland case upheld the power of the federal government to authorize the Second Bank of the United States.
So if notes could talk, what would this extremely rare series 1918 Federal Reserve Note have to say? Would it speak of war, and peace, and political power as well as favoritism? Would the note tell all of us that the year it was printed, the “War to End all Wars” ended? Perhaps that is why the engraved picture on the back shows a group of Native Americans (1541) with their Chief who is clearly holding a peace pipe? ……Peace…… How amazing would that be?
© October 2, 2013 Treasuredstocks.com
The Fractional Shield is a thing of beauty that few numismatic items can match...
All fractional shields were 20" x 25" where 39 First, Second, and Third issue notes were mounted onto cardboard. The shield consisted of 24 fronts and 19 backs. All notes were printed from original plates between June 1867 and May 1868. The other side was either blank or had the word “specimen” on it. The Treasury Department made these shields as a method of counterfeit detection. They were intended to be sold to banks and post offices for the price of $6 each. The main problem with the Fractional Shield was that neither banks nor post offices actually wanted to buy them so the majority of the shields were stored away for years.
There are three distinct types of shields available (from most to least common): Gray (Fr. 1382), Pink (Fr. 1383) and Green (Fr. 1383a). These colors are the actual paper color of the shield itself. It is estimated that 200-400 gray shields are known, 20-25 pink, and 10-14 greens. Only the pink and green shields have the Grant/Sherman specimens with Colby and Spinner hand signed signatures. While the gray shield has a Jeffries and Spinner hand signed signature.
An interesting feature is the watermark that appears on these notes. The watermark reads “CSA” and was from paper that was made in England from seaweed pulp. It was transported to America by the British made ship Bermuda but was stopped by the Union ship, Mercedita. The Union ship Mercedita finally stopped the Bermuda from adding to the Confederate supplies as the Bermuda had successfully navigated the Union’s blockade once before. Many of the notes on the shield have either partial or complete imprints of the “CSA” watermark.
Unfortunately many of the stored shields were damaged due to flooding during a natural disaster. The shields were stored on the floor of a basement standing upright. The basement received up to 6 inches of water. For this reason many of the shields you will see at auction or for sale will have water damage or discoloration. There are premiums attached to undamaged pieces.
To learn more about pricing, please see these auction results: Gray Shield, Pink Shield and Green Shield. Again, as with anything, condition is key and be willing to pay less for a poorer condition shield or more for a pristine shield with original frame.
I do need to clarify that at this time PMG is not grading shields. However, if you have one and want to show it off, please feel free to stop on by our booth at our next show. We’ll gladly take a look and admire a great piece of numismatic history.
Grand Watermelon note sells for $1,527,500
Paper Money Guaranty (PMG) has graded and encapsulated the extremely rare Fr-379a 1890 $1,000 Treasury Note, considered to be the most famous US note type. Commonly called the “Grand Watermelon,” the note received its nickname because the three zeros on the back resemble watermelons. PMG has graded this note Extremely Fine 45 Net.
This specimen recently sold for $1,527,500, joining an exclusive group of million-dollar notes. Only seven examples of the Grand Watermelon are believed to exist and just three are in private hands. The note certified by PMG is attributed to the reference number Friedberg-379a, which is identified by the large brown seal.
The Grand Watermelon notes were made as a result of the Sherman Silver Purchase Act of 1890, which required the US Treasury to purchase up to 4.5 million ounces of silver at market prices. The silver was purchased with Treasury Notes in denominations of $1 to $1,000 that could then be redeemed for either gold or silver coins. This earned the Treasury Notes the nickname “Coin Notes.”
These notes were popular because they could be redeemed for both gold and silver coins, as opposed to Silver Certificates that could only be redeemed for silver coins. This special status resulted in higher redemption rates which, combined with minuscule print runs for large denominations, resulted in an extremely low survival rate.
The Grand Watermelon is not only historically important, but also a unique and highly desirable design. In 100 Greatest American Currency Notes, Q. David Bowers and David M. Sundman ranked this note type number one.
The Bank of England Governor, Sir Mervyn King, announced on 26 April that Sir Winston Churchill will appear on the next Bank of England banknote.
Commenting on the choice, the Governor said: “Our banknotes acknowledge the life and work of great Britons. Sir Winston Churchill was a truly great British leader, orator and writer. Above that, he remains a hero of the entire free world. His energy, courage, eloquence, wit and public service are an inspiration to us all. I am proud to announce that he will appear on our next banknote.”
The plan is for the Churchill note to be issued as a £5 note, and that it shall be issued during 2016; but those choices may be reviewed as plans for issuing the new note are finalised. Features of the design on the reverse of the note will include:
A portrait of Winston Churchill from a photograph taken in Ottawa by Yousuf Karsh on 30 December 1941 - © Yousuf Karsh/Camera Press.
A view of Westminster and the Elizabeth Tower from the South Bank looking across Westminster Bridge - © Abi Daker.
The image of the Elizabeth Tower with the hands of the Great Clock at 3 o’clock – the approximate time on 13 May 1940 when Sir Winston Churchill declared in a speech to the House of Commons: “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.” This declaration is quoted beneath the portrait.
A background image of the Nobel Prize medal which he was awarded in 1953 for literature, together with the wording of the prize citation. The trademark Nobel Prize® is reproduced with permission from the Nobel Foundation.
Posted by Ethan Bickford, PMG Researcher on 5/21/2013
In 1859 a self-proclaimed, penniless, US Emperor continued to live the good life and became a beloved member of the San Francisco community.
On September 17, 1859 Joshua Abraham Norton, resident of San Francisco, California, became the first and only emperor of the United States of America. Emperor Norton I enjoyed a 21 year reign, then on a dark and rainy night on a San Francisco street he collapsed and departed this life. The Emperor’s obituary was printed on the front page of every San Francisco newspaper, and as many as 30,000 people from all walks of life attended his funeral. He died penniless. How could a man with such a high social standing die broke?
Norton immigrated to San Francisco from South Africa in 1849 following the death of his father. With $40,000 from his father’s estate he made an entry into the real estate market, and eventually branched out to other businesses. His businesses quickly amassed Norton a fortune of around $250,000. But, unfortunately, after a poor investment in Peruvian Rice and many failed court cases, his fortune was gone and his property had been foreclosed on.
Norton fled San Francisco and disappeared for a couple of years. When he returned he was described as being “insane, or at least highly eccentric”. More than likely the loss of his fortune had affected him greatly. Shortly after his return he proclaimed himself Imperial Majesty Emperor Norton I, and Protector of Mexico. His proclamation was printed in all San Francisco newspapers and he instantly became a local celebrity.
Utterly penniless, Emperor Norton I enjoyed nightly dining at the city’s finest establishments and balcony seats at every major play and musical. How did a broke self-proclaimed Emperor do this? It is simple, since he was Emperor he just issued his own notes…and the people recognized them. The Emperor’s notes became an accepted piece of local currency in San Francisco, much like other types of scrip notes (merchant scrip etc.).
If one looks carefully enough walking the streets of San Francisco, brass plaques outside of doors declaring “By Appointment to his Imperial Majesty, Emperor Norton I of the United States” can still be seen. These plaques depicted restaurants where the Emperor could spend his self-issued currency.
Emperor Norton I issued his Imperial Treasury Bond Certificates in denominations ranging from 50 cents to $10. These bond certificates were printed on standard banknote paper, were hand dated, hand signed and serial numbered. Although the print quality was low, these quickly became popular souvenirs with tourists. They were sold along side Emperor Norton I postcards and dolls. In fact, these notes are still very popular with collectors and ranked #100 on the list of 100 Greatest American Currency Notes.
Essentially what the Emperor had done is establish his own currency, backed by no guarantee or standard (reportedly, no one ever tried to redeem the bonds for their fictitious 7% interest) and it was widely accepted in a large city. A 1933 issue of The Numismatist even ran a story on these exceedingly popular notes.
Emperor Norton I may not have been a legitimate political ruler, but the people loved him (it is reported that all police officers would salute him on the street) and his legacy continues to live on. In 1980 the City of San Francisco even held ceremonies to honor Emperor Norton I on the 100th anniversary of his death.
These Imperial Treasury Bond Certificates are physical remnants of the story of one of America’s most interesting, eccentric and lesser known figures. Exceedingly rare, these bonds represent a magnanimous American.
Shoguns were military leaders who dominated Japanese society from the 16th century until 1868. During this time, a coin shortage prompted local clans, merchants and banks to issue paper currency, in a varity of colors and sizes. These notes were called Hansatsu or bookmark notes. These long and narrow notes are considered one of the most distinctive Japanese currency. Printed with woodblock’s on high quality paper; Hansatsu was crafted by artisans, who signed an oath of secrecy in blood. Each traditional note reflects a lost art form and shows flora, fauna or mythical figures in true Japanese style. Many also show vermillion validation stamps.
According to a January 18 article in Reuters,The Bank of Canada has barked up the wrong maple tree with its new plastic banknotes, using a foreign Norway maple leaf as the emblem on the notes instead of the sugar maple that the country has on its national flag, an eagle-eyed Canadian botanist says.
The untrained eye might not at first spot the difference between the maple leaf on the new $20, $50 and $100 bills and the North American sugar maple.
But it is clear to Sean Blaney, a botanist who tracks plants for the Atlantic Canada Conservation Data Center in New Brunswick, and who brought it first to the attention of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
"The maple leaf (on the currency) is the wrong species," he told Reuters on Friday.
He said the Norway maple has more lobes or sections and has a more pointed outline than the sugar maple, and the lobe that rises in the center is shorter than the sugar maple's.
The Norway maple was imported from Europe and is now also common in North America. Blaney said it was probably the most popular tree along streets in central and eastern Canada.
"It has naturalized to Canada," he said. But it's not the grand sugar maple.
The central bank said the image on the new bills was purposefully designed not to represent any specific species but rather to be a combination of various kinds.
"It is not a Norway maple leaf. It is a stylized maple leaf and it is what it ought to be," said Bank of Canada currency spokesman Julie Girard.
She said the banknote designers created the image with the help of a dendrologist, a botanist who specializes in trees and shrubs.
"On the advice of this expert, steps were taken to ensure that the design of the leaf in the secondary window is not representative of a Norway maple," she said, adding that it was less rectangular than a Norway maple.
Blaney is not buying the explanation. "I think it's just an after-the-fact excuse," he said.
"That may have been their intention, to not have it be a specific species of maple, but they should have drawn it differently if that were the case, because the maple that they've drawn is quite clearly a Norway maple."
With several high-profile counterfeiting cases in the US this year -- and with crooks having access to increasingly sophisticated printing and copying technology -- governments are pushing hard to make paper currency more secure through technology.
A first peek at what the currency of the future looks like comes from Morocco, which this week is rolling out notes made from a high-tech composite called Durasafe. Made by Vancouver-based Fortress Paper Ltd. (FTP: TSX) -- which also produces paper for the Swiss franc and the euro -- the technology behind Durasafe is designed to foil even the canniest counterfeiters.
Morocco's new 25-dihram note is a sandwich of two thin sheets of cotton banknote paper surrounding a layer of polymer (the blue in the diagram below). Each piece of the three-layer composite is die-cut separately at asymmetrical intervals. The holes create tiny "windows" that offer a glimpse of interior security features, such as a magenta/green color-shift thread and a watermark of King Mohammed VI. The technology will also launch next year in two undisclosed countries, one in Africa and the other in Eastern Europe.
The United States, too, is about to turn its currency's security up a notch. Fortress's president, Chad Wasilenkoff, estimates that there are 1 million counterfeit US bills in circulation, and the quality of fakes gets better all the time. In 2008, Crane & Co., which prints US banknotes, started using a nano thread in $100 bills that only becomes visible when held to the light. The $5 bill also uses color-shifting ink and an embedded watermark to heighten security.
Crane has some other cool tricks in the works. Doug Crane, vice president of business development and government relations, says the company is working on microscopic lenses and "motion technology," in which an image on the paper appears to move depending on how a bill is tilted.
In fact, a new $100 bill to be issued in 2013 will feature a 6-by-2mm ribbon woven into the bill on which an abundance of little lenses will be incorporated. The pixels will reflect light differently as a bill is viewed from different angles, and images of the Liberty Bell will appear to move across the bill and morph into the number 100.
"You can't create advanced optical materials using an inkjet printer," Crane said. "For a counterfeiter to come up with a way to produce a material like that, it's darn near impossible or very difficult."
Making counterfeiting just that type of a prohibitive and expensive hassle is the goal of amped-up security features. "Nothing is counterfeit-proof," Wasilenkoff observed. "It can all be replicated with enough time, energy and effort." If it's too hard to fake the new bills, then crooks "will counterfeit an easier banknote," he said. And at the rate paper technology is advancing, those easier options will be harder and harder to find.
Mario Draghi, President of the European Central Bank (ECB), today unveiled the Europa series €5 banknote. The unveiling was the highlight of the opening of the “New Face of the Euro” exhibition, which is being held at the Archaeological Museum in Frankfurt am Main from 11 January to 10 March 2013.
The new €5 banknote has benefited from advances in banknote technology since the first series was introduced over ten years ago. It includes some new and enhanced security features. The watermark and hologram display a portrait of Europa, a figure from Greek mythology – and hence the name of this series of banknotes. An eye-catching “emerald number” changes colour from emerald green to deep blue and displays an effect of the light that moves up and down. Short raised lines on the left and right edges of the banknote make it easier to identify the banknote, especially for visually impaired people.
These security features are planned to be included in all the new banknotes. They are easy to check using the “feel, look and tilt” method.
The new series has the same “ages and styles” design and dominant colours as the first series. The €5 will be the first banknote to be issued, starting on 2 May 2013. The other denominations, i.e. €10, €20, €50, €100, €200 and €500, will be introduced over the next few years, in ascending order.
The first series will initially circulate alongside the new banknotes, but will gradually be withdrawn and eventually cease to be legal tender. The date when this occurs will be announced well in advance. However, the banknotes of the first series will retain their value indefinitely and can be exchanged at euro area national central banks at any time.