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The E-Sylum: Volume 12, Number 39, September 27, 2009, Article 17

COINS PICTURED ON BANKNOTES

Brent Zimmerman writes:

I hadn't written earlier on this subject, as I thought for sure someone would have written back with this U.S. note. The 1886 $5 silver certificate has five Morgan silver dollars pictured on the reverse - four of them showing the coins' reverse and one in the center showing the obverse along with the 1886 date under Lady Liberty.

1886 $5 Silver Certificate

I also believe the National Gold Bank notes have gold coinage depicted on the back of the notes. I haven't added the value of the coins up, but Clifford Mishler has written in his book Coins: Questions & Answers that they add up to $211! I imagine there are more notes and coins with coinage on them as well.

National Gold Note

Ralf W. Böpple suggests "Spanish Coins on American Notes", a web site maintained by Bob Schreiner. It was our Featured Web Site on April 1, 2001. Ralf notes the site has since moved to scoan.oldnote.org -Editor

1837 Illinois Dixon Hotel Three Dollars

Spanish coins served as legal tender in the United States, and were only demonetized in 1857.

Vignettes of coins of the Spanish American colonies, and less commonly those of homeland Spain, were used on many US obsolete notes. As such they may have served as indications of value to a public justifiably reluctant to accept paper money. Spanish coins were familiar to United States residents, and they were esteemed widely for uniform and high quality and stable value.

Spanish coin vignettes were used on our colonial currency as well as obsolete notes.

This exhibit examines a selection of post-colonial US obsolete notes that have depictions of Spanish coins.

To read the complete article, see: Spanish Coins on American Notes (http://scoan.oldnote.org/)

Two of these notes exhibit the characteristic I was looking for: the $5 Silver Certificate and The Dixon $3 scrip note picture the coins that the note represents - five silver dollars on the $5 silver certificate, and three (Spanish) dollars on the $3 note. The U.S. Postal Currency notes also meet this criteria - the 25 cent note below pictures five five-cent stamps.

So what name can we give notes picturing coins equaling the note's denomination? How about "denomographic" or "autodenominated" ? -Editor

1862 Postal Currency 25 cents

KOlbe 2009 Sept 27a


Wayne Homren, Editor

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