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Where's your paper money from?

Yesterday as I began to prepare myself for the week of work ahead, I decided I needed to sort through my wallet.

It has been on the fat side the last few days and I figured it was time to clean it out.

I tend to accumulate receipts for purchases and a note or two to myself about tasks I need to perform.

While I found those items and removed what didn’t need to be there, I discovered that a major contributing factor to the wallet’s enlargement was 23 $1 Federal Reserve Notes that I had received in change and placed inside over the last week or two.

Naturally, my numismatic impulse got the better of me, so I decided to spend the time to take a look at them.

I was a bit surprised by the variety of notes. I expected most of them to be from the Chicago Federal Reserve. That turned out not to be the case.

The oldest note was a Series 1995 with the signatures of Mary Ellen Withrow and Robert E. Rubin. I had to check it to make sure it wasn’t also one of the experimental web press notes of that year. It wasn’t. It was a regular Atlanta issue.

Then there were four Series 2003A notes signed by Anna Escobedo Cabral and John W. Snow. Each came from a different Federal Reserve Bank, Cleveland, Chicago, Dallas and San Francisco.

The largest group was 11 Series 2006 notes signed by Cabral and Henry M. Paulson Jr. One of these was from New York, one from Cleveland, one from Richmond, two from Atlanta, three from Chicago, one from Minneapolis and two were from Kansas City.

That was quite a geographical distribution and there were notes from seven of the 12 Federal Reserve districts in that group alone.

The fourth group of notes was Series 2009 signed by Rosa Gumataotao Rios and Timothy F. Geithner.

Of the seven of these, two were from New York, one was Atlanta, two were Chicago, one was Dallas and one was San Francisco.

With notes like these still floating around this area, kids in Wisconsin could do worse than starting a circulation finds paper money collection. The exercise would teach them a little bit about how America’s central bank is organized.

I will help them along buy spending my little hoard.

I know how I will pay for lunch for the next couple of days.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."