FAQ's for  Miscellaneous

I have a "Barr note", isn't it rare?
How can I tell a real cutting error apart from one faked from an uncut sheet?
Can a counterfeit twenty be recognized by the number of fingers shown in Jackson's portrait?
What does the all seeing eye atop a pyramid represent on the back of the one dollar note?
I have an old "Bank of the United States" $1,000 note, what is it worth?
 
 
I have a "Barr note", isn't it rare?
This is a popular "urban legend". According to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing website, Joseph W. Barr served as Secretary of the Treasury from December 21, 1968 until January 20, 1969. Despite this rather short term in office, a total of 458,880,000 Series 1963-B One Dollar Federal Reserve Notes were issued carrying his facsimilie signature, and they are NOT rare or especially valuable.

View the Bureau of Engraving and Printing listing.

 

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How can I tell a real cutting error apart from one faked from an uncut sheet?
Beware of any purported cutting errors on any star note two dollar notes Series 1976 or more recent, also any one dollar note series 1981 or later, and more recently the other denominations, normally with serial numbers that begin with 98 or 99 as these are typically taken from uncut sheets. While there are some exceptions, normally it should be assumed that these supposed errors were created outside the BEP.
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Can a counterfeit twenty be recognized by the number of fingers shown in Jackson's portrait?
Another widespread myth. Over the years, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing has updated Andrew Jackson's portrait and slowly but surely the portrait's border has been pushed into the original design used on Series 1869 Five Dollar Legal Tender Notes. This border has encroached on Jackson's hand holding his cloak so that while large size notes display three fingers, small size wet paper notes printed prior to 1957 show two fingers, dry paper issues prior to Series 1996 have little more than one finger remaining, and the recent "redesigned" issues have no hand visible at all. Therefore, counting Jackson's digits is not useful in determining authenticity, unless looking at a specific era, which the average person will likely find confusing.
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What does the all seeing eye atop a pyramid represent on the back of the one dollar note?
These symbols are taken directly from the Great Seal of the United States, and have been interpreted in various ways over two centuries. In general, the unfinished pyramid represents the U.S. as still growing, but strong and built on a solid foundation, with the all seeing eye symbolizing divine blessing/approval/guidance. The latin motto alludes to this. For conspiracy theorists, who enjoy twisting these symbols to conveniently fit whatever bizarre intrepretation they want, I simply remind them the Great Seal was adopted in 1782, long before many of the ideologies purportedly expressed were even conceived.

For an official intrepretation please visit the U.S. Treasury website.

 

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I have an old "Bank of the United States" $1,000 note, what is it worth?
If your note is supposedly dated 1840, is printed on crinkly brownish paper, and bears the serial number 8894, you are not alone. This common reproduction has become a bane among coin, currency, and antique dealers across the globe. Sold as a souvenir, often in a set that includes a $10 note dated Jan. 23, 1834 serial number 646, and a $1,000,000 bond dated Dec. 25, 1840 serial number 711, also both from the Bank of the United States, these replicas are novelty issues and have no numismatic value.

An excellent listing of some of the better known replicas, including Confederate notes, Republic of Texas issues, Obsolete bank notes, and Colonial notes can be found by visiting  www.ronscurrency.com/rcbogus.htm .

 

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