Jack Mattes, president of the Flushing Coin Club, gave a presentation on early American paper money to the Massapequa Coin Club at the group’s July 12 meeting in Farmingdale, N.Y.
Members walked away with a historical perspective on the origin of paper money and how it came to replace specie as payment. Mattes’ talk included an anecdote of how currency was first used as a medium of exchange in 1690 in the Massachusetts colony to pay for a military expedition during King William’s war.
Mattes shared a display of early American notes that comprised a variety of denominations, from dollars to pence to pounds.
He also discussed the origin of some of the early U.S. banks such as the Bank of America and the Bank of New York, as well as the interplay of famous personalities such as Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr and George Washington.
Mattes told club members that early American currency is rapidly becoming more expensive with the increased submission of bills to grading services and the tracking of their populations.
“Jack is a natural as a speaker and he held the attention of a room full of coin collectors,” said Ken Rubin, Massapequa Coin Club secretary. “He may have created some new bill collectors with his visit.”