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V12 2009 INDEX       E-SYLUM ARCHIVE

The E-Sylum: Volume 12, Number 52, December 27, 2009, Article 9

GOLD CERTIFICATES VS FEDERAL RESERVE NOTES WITH GOLD REDEMPTION CLAUSE

You want fact-checking? Buy a subscription to one of the numismatic print publications; your subscription pays the salaries of good people who take the time to get it right. Me? I print it and ship it right or wrong, but can usually rely on our readers to set us straight. Once in a while though, we tend to go in circles a bit. Here's a topic that's taken on a life of its own - the "gold" notes from the Las Vegas casino million-dollar exhibit. -Editor

An E-Sylum reader writes:

I'm continually amazed at how some fellow numismatists react to paper money articles in the E-sylum. I'm reacting to Joe Boling's comments in the latest issue of the E-sylum (see below). I should tell you up front that I've always admired Joe for his in-depth knowledge of areas in which he specializes. I would assume that small sized US paper money is not one of those areas. I don't want to beat a dead horse, but here are a few clarifications prompted by Joe's contribution last week:

1) When paper money collectors use the term 'Gold Notes', they are usually referring to Gold Certificates, not Federal Reserve Notes which happen to have the gold redemption clause. When I wrote that $10,000.00 Gold notes were unknown in private hands, I was referring to $10,000.00 Gold Certificates, not Federal Reserve Notes(FRN's). As I'm sure you know, small sized Gold Certificates have yellow seals, whereas small sized FRN's have green seals. The 1928 series small size FRN's have the gold clause. Later series of small size FRN's, such as the series of 1934, don't have the gold clause.

2) It is highly unlikely that either of the Binions displays would have contained $10,000.00 FRN's with the gold redemption clause. I believe the notes Parrino bought (from the second Million Dollar display) are all numismatically known (the series and serial numbers have been recorded in note census files). As I recall, all the notes Parrino bought were series 1934 from the New York Federal Reserve district. The 1928 series $10,000.00 FRN's are presently very scarce. If the earlier Binions display had been comprised of 100 pieces of the 1928 series $10,000.00 notes, the gold clause notes would probably be much more obtainable currently.

Joe Boling did note the gold clause on the Federal Reserve Notes, but this gives even more background on the notes. Just to be sure, I did check with one of our resident U.S. paper money mavens to confirm. -Editor

Martin Gengerke writes:

Your author is correct on all counts. Binion had no 1928 $10,000 Gold Certificates (only 1934 New York Federal Reserve Notes) in the famous display. At present there are only eight 1928 $10,000 Gold Certificates known, including two (or possibly 3) in government hands, and none are traceable to Binion's.

I'm not aware of a second Binion hoard, but don't believe there were any 1928 notes for the reason cited - they would be more common than they are, and their existence would have made big news.

The two people most "up" on the Binion notes are Stephen Sullivan and Carlson Chambliss - you might check with them - I strongly suspect they'll confirm what I've said.

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: MORE ON $10,000 GOLD NOTES AND JAY PARRINO (www.coinbooks.org/esylum_v12n51a14.html)

Wayne Homren, Editor

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