“Make your mark here” is what illiterates were told when they had to sign an agreement in the olden days.
How many old TV shows or movies about the Old West had such a scene where a plucky prospector had to sign for his claim?
Our Treasury secretary, Steven T. Mnuchin, has made his mark on the new Series 2017 Federal Reserve Notes that have gone on the presses at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.
While it is not an “X” like the old prospector might have made, it is not a signature, either.
Mnuchin printed his name rather than use cursive.
This is the first time in history a nonsignature like this has appeared on the paper money of the United States.
It probably won’t be the last.
Will that make these notes the first of a new collectible set?
More and more school districts have abandoned the teaching of handwriting.
Certainly Mnuchin has had an enormously successful career.
If that is the way he signs his name, he clearly has not suffered for it.
I suppose when ballpoint pens came into use after World War II, some lamented the loss of the fountain pen.
However, what will future generations think of Mnuchin’s printed name alongside the powerful signature of John Hancock on the Declaration of Independence?
Will future generations even be able to read a signature? They might not be able to.
However, there will be collectors in future generations to answer the questions I pose this morning.
Treasurer of the United States Jovita Carranza signed her name on the $1 bills with a traditional signature.
Both the treasurer and the Treasury secretary were at the BEP in Washington, D.C., yesterday for the ceremonial inspection of the new notes.
One online British story in the Daily Mail I saw focused more on Mnuchin’s wife, but then she is a Scottish actress.
But it also pointed out the state of Mnuchin’s “signature” as well, saying it was more readable than Jack Lew’s, which nobody can deny.
Be sure to look at all the photos.
Carranza made it into just one. Such is the less glamorous job of U.S. Treasurer.
Buzz blogger Dave Harper won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog for the third time in 2017 . He is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."
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