Have you found a series 2017 $1 Federal Reserve Note in circulation yet?
I ask if you have found such a note for two reasons.
The first is I have been included in a number of emails from collectors and dealers of paper money.
They are making the observation that these notes have been very slow to find their way into circulation.
Obviously, the question is why.
They have ruled out lack of production.
Inventories have grown.
So far, they are pinning the blame on a decline in the number of notes being destroyed after wearing out.
Are we taking care of our notes better, or are we using them less?
That is the long-term question being asked by those looking for signs of a further move toward a cashless society.
If you haven’t found one of these 2017 FRN notes yet, keep looking.
They are not scarce in terms of the number printed, but this then brings me to the second reason I am writing about this topic.
If you paid attention to the political reports on television in the last few days, you probably heard that the current Treasury Secretary might be on his way out.
If he goes, there will be a new Treasury Secretary appointed.
His or her facsimile signature will then replace that of Mnuchin’s.
Will the penmanship of this successor be better than what we have been seeing?
The Treasury Secretary before Mnuchin was Jack Lew.
It was reported that he was even made to redo it before it was approved for use on paper money.
It is hard to imagine that what we ended up with on the paper money is an improvement.
Perhaps the next Treasury Secretary will simply put a big “X” on the notes.
Perhaps there will soon be no need to issue paper money at all.
In the meantime, collectors should go about collecting and report their finds of Series 2017 notes.
One last thing: Paper money is not dated like coins are. The date used reflects the last time a new Treasury Secretary signature was added or a major design change was made.
Mnuchin was sworn in in 2017.
The 2017 series will be issued until Mnuchin is replaced.
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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