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The E-Sylum:  Volume 2, Number 46, November 14, 1999, Article 3

THE LAW ON CURRENCY REPRODUCTION  

   In response to last week's "CASE OF THE MISSING 
   SERIAL NUMBERS", Martin Gengerke writes:  

   "A bit of clarification is in order re: the photographic 
   reproduction of U.S. Currency.  

   A few years ago Congress ordered the Treasury Department 
   to come up with regulations that would permit the legitimate 
   use of photos of U.S. Currency.  The Treasury then wrote some 
   horribly restrictive rules and asked for input from the Numismatic 
   community.  

   I sent the Secret Service a 14 pound package of catalogs and 
   books, explaining why their proposed rules would not work, 
   and enclosed my own rewritten version of the law.  

   My package was never acknowledged, despite the fact that they 
   received only a half dozen responses.  However, when the new 
   law came out, it was virtually a carbon copy of what I had 
   proposed.  

   In short, reproduction of U.S. Currency, in black and white or in 
   color, is legal for numismatic, educational or advertising purposes 
   provided that the final illustration is either less than 75% of the 
   original size or more than 150% of the original size.  There is no 
   restriction on the size of the negatives, no restriction on electronic 
   images, and no restriction on film or television use.  There is also 
   specifically nothing in the law that requires that the image be 
   altered in any way, such as removing the serial numbers.  

   I hope this clears up the situation.  I may not be a lawyer, but I 
   did write the law, and probably have a firmer grasp on it than most." 

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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