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Check those dollar bills

Numismatics made the front page of the “Wall Street Journal” yesterday.

Examined was the collecting of fancy serial numbers on U.S. paper money.

These numbers are sequences in ascending or descending order, solid numbers of all one digit and things like radars where the serial number readers the same left to right as right to left.

I hope the story inspired a few people to look at the notes in their wallets to see what serial numbers they have.

That is a tough thing to do.

Getting people to look at their money is more than just a challenge. Even people who are paid to do it seem to be bored by the prospect.

Check out the latest issue of Numismatic News Express here!

Check out the latest issue of Numismatic News Express here!

More and more, they seem to eager to avoid using their brains on matters of cash.

When I take my mother to get her groceries, she pays in cash, usually with $20 bills.

The cashiers don’t look at the notes other than to ascertain the denomination and to run an iodine pen over each one.

I expect if you asked them anything at all about the notes they just handled, they would have no clue.

Perhaps the greatest challenge faced by the Women on 20s campaign to get Andrew Jackson off the $20 bill is educating Americans in the first place as to who is on the $20 bill.

That is why a mention in a major American paper of any aspect of numismatics is a good thing.

Thinking about our money is the first step in any budding collector’s path to a numismatic future.

However, the price we pay as collectors is to look ever more eccentric to the population at large for attention of this kind.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper has twice won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper “Numismatic News.”

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2 Responses to Check those dollar bills

  1. Tom Snyder says:

    Use of paper money is declining fast in larger cities in favor of plastic. Also I’m experiencing
    a number of merchants rounding down in favor of the customer with regard to cents. They accept
    cents no problem when tendered.

  2. Vachon says:

    I got a well-circulated 2009 series $1 bill the other day with serial number 00000307. I’ve never seen one that low before and really wished it had been uncirculated.

    Lately I’ve been busying myself looking for notes whose serial numbers are dates in the MM/DD/YYYY format in the vain hope of finding one with my birthday. In the meantime I’m happy to find any such note with dates that have happened in my lifetime (as well as some future ones in my expected lifetime).

    I wonder if dealers offer such notes. I’m thinking not as I’ve never seen advertisements for such.

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