We are pleased to offer our customers the ability to collect historical Federal Reserve Bank Notes. These notes represent a time in U.S. history when citizens could still redeem their paper currency for silver or gold bullion. As a discontinued form of currency, they have become increasingly valuable to collectors and traders of rare paper currency. Large size Federal Reserve Bank Notes were first issued in 1914 as part of the United States’ regular circulation of paper money. They were produced in denominations of $5, $10, and $20. Then in 1918, denominations of $1, $2, and $50 were added. Federal Reserve Bank Notes differed from Federal Reserve Notes in that they could only be redeemed at the specific bank that issued the note. The following banks produced Federal Reserve Bank Notes: Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Richmond, Atlanta, Chicago, St. Louis, Kansas City, Minneapolis, Dallas, and San Francisco. Originally, Federal Reserve Bank Notes were redeemable for their corresponding face value in silver coins and later bullion. However, this practice ended during the Great Depression after the infamous run on the banks. Additionally, many people hoarded their bank notes, causing further problems for the Federal Reserve. In 1933, the twelve Federal Reserve Banks began producing small size Federal Reserve Bank Notes in order to save money on paper costs. Interestingly, this series is labeled “1929,” and they are the only smaller size Federal Reserve Bank Notes. All other dates will be larger than our modern currency. Today, the only type of banknote still produced is the Federal Reserve Note, redeemable at any Federal Reserve Bank.
Large size Federal Reserve Bank Notes do not have charter numbers on the left and right side of the front of the note, but instead, have the name of the bank at which they were produced in the the center with the presidential portrait to the left of the bank’s name. Most have brown seals and brown serial numbers and are signed by the bank’s president where they were produced. The portraits on each note are the same as current currency including George Washington on the $1 note and Abraham Lincoln on the $5 banknote. The small sized notes featured the presidential portrait in the center of the note with the bank’s name to the left of the portrait. The back of the notes feature a bald eagle in a design that is quite striking. Federal Reserve Bank Notes are interesting and fun to collect. Those in good to excellent condition can fetch very high prices. They can serve as legal tender today, but as discontinued currency, their value to collectors is much greater than their printed denomination. Because of their significance in American history, Federal Reserve Bank Notes will likely become increasingly valuable to collectors in the future.