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Old paper money shows up

In these times of economic stress, older coins have been showing up in change in larger numbers than usual as people cash in their BU state quarter rolls, or stashes of change.

Readers write letters to point out their latest circulation discoveries, which are always welcome and interesting. There has been quite an uptick in these in recent months.

 At the bank the other day I asked for five $20 bills. Yes, I was actually talking to a teller. Small towns are wonderful that way.

I received four of the Big Head type with color, but one note was one of the old-fashioned kind. It was kind of jarring to see it, as jarring as when I received the first of the Big Head notes when they were first introduced with the Series 1996.

I looked at the date. It was a Series 1977. It was not uncirculated. It had definitely seen its share of wear, but neither was the wear so much that it would be retired from circulation for that reason.

It easily could have been part of a private stash that many people keep for a surprise bill or emergency.

Because paper wears out quicker than coins, even in stressful times the number of older notes in circulation is not high. Usually the older notes that I do get are the $1 Federal Reserve Note, because that design has not changed.

The Small Head $20 note was the first one I had been given in years.
I probably won’t get another one, but then again, maybe I will.
Have you received an old-style note lately?

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    3 Responses to Old paper money shows up

    1. While you are seeing old money, in the DC area we are seeing new money! While we are not seeing a lot of 2001 and 2010 nickels and dimes and fewer 2010 National Park Quarters, there has been a lot of Series 2009 FRNs signed by Geithner/Rios. Considering the status of the economy, I am surprised I keep finding these notes.

    2. Vachon says:

      I have an advantage being a cashier but despite that, the frequency of old-style notes appearing in circulation has gone from uncommon to infrequent to anomalous these days. I’d say I get less than $2000 a year in small portrait currency passing through my till with $10 bills making the most frequent appearances and $5 and $50 bills being the least. The oldest I’ve ever received from each denomination was a 1928-F $5 US note, 1950 $5 FRN, 1934-A $10 FRN, 1934-C $10 SC, 1934-A $20 FRN, 1963-A $50 FRN, and a 1950 $100 FRN. Usually they’re no older than Series 1990.

    3. Larry says:

      I’ll be on the lookout for old coins.

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