The author received this Series 2004A $20 Federal Reserve note in change. Both the face and back have several stamped initials and symbols. Who stamped them and why remains a mystery.
Editor's note: The following is the fourth of a four-part Coin World series about propaganda notes prepared by Michele Orzano for the July 2014 monthly edition of Coin World.
Other posts in the series include:
- Wartime propaganda notes send messages to enemies
- Advertising propaganda promotes 'wonder cures'
- Short snorters' promote simply act being alive
Something as simple as scribbling a political or social slogan on a piece of cash places the note into the broad category of propaganda notes. That broad category includes everything from deliberate messages to undermine a nation during wartime to using a note look-alike design to catch the eye of a potential customer when advertising a business or service.
Genuine and facsimile U.S. and world notes have been widely used to spread propaganda for decades.
Collecting these items makes for a fun jaunt off the traditional collecting path.
Fed-employee initials stamps: Fact or fiction?
So are those high-denomination Federal Reserve notes that sometimes can be found bearing stamped, written or hand-drawn messages part of the propaganda category?
The answer is yes.
An example is the Series 2004A $20 FRN illustrating this article that the author received in change from a purchase at the local Walmart store.
Stamped initials or symbols like those appearing on this note can be found on $20, $50 and $100 FRNs.