Editor's note: The following is the first of a three-part Coin
World series about collecting paper money featuring coin designs
found on paper money, prepared by Michele Orzano for the January
2015 monthly edition of Coin World.
Trying to decide whether to collect coins or paper money? Why not
enjoy a little of both, with a single numismatic collectible theme —
paper money depicting coins.
Three types of U.S. federally produced paper money feature coins in
their designs. However, they are not the only choices available, as
literally dozens of designs on U.S. obsolete notes feature gold and
silver coins in their designs.
But first, let’s examine the federal notes depicting coinage.
Series 1886 and 1891 $5 silver certificates have some beautiful
examples of engraved portraits and flourishes common for that era.
The face side of the notes of both series bears a portrait of
Ulysses S. Grant engraved by Lorenzo Hatch, along with many engraving flourishes.
The back design displays a horizontal row of five 1886 Morgan silver
dollars. Four of the coin images display the reverse design of the
coins, while the fifth image displays the “face” of Liberty. The use
of five silver dollar conveys the denomination in a way that just
using numerals could not do.
While someone might consider this to be the first “use” of the “In
God We Trust” motto on paper money, because it can be read on the
reverse of the Morgan dollar, it really isn’t.
In actuality, the printing of the motto on paper money (not as part
of a coin design) didn’t happen until 1957.
Check out the rest of the series:
can find U.S. federal and privately produced paper money with coin designs
obsolete notes and world paper money sometimes feature world coin designs
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