Books on US currency

Discussion in 'Paper Money' started by Thomas R Reynolds, May 20, 2019.

  1. I am new to currency collecting but have been a coin collector over 30 years now. Recently I purchased a collection that contains a large number of US currency dollars, about 110 along with the coins. There are large and small size bills. Mainly silver certificates and 2 gold certificates. What I need to get is a book or books like they have for coins. I mean like the red and blue coin books. Do they make anything like that for currency? If not where can I find the prices they are worth and how to grade them. I'm going crazy trying to follow values on ebay. The $10 and $20 gold certificates I got down pretty well. And please tell me what a "Mule" is! Any help will be highly appreciated. Thank you.
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  3. NOS

    NOS Former Coin Hoarder

    A mule is when the plates used for a previous series are used for a new one. They almost always apply to the backside of currency as there is usually no design differential between one series to the next for them whereas the signatures and series date noticeably change on the front. Mules are distinguishable by their typically higher plate numbers early in a new series when compared to non-mule notes.

    So for example, Series 1988A $1 notes started off with back plate numbers in the 500's as older plates from Series 1988 were first used but after a number of months they reset starting from "1" because these older plates from the previous series had worn out. Mules tend to not be too common these days due to the way the BEP does things now but up until the mid-90's they were the norm.
  4. tommyc03

    tommyc03 Senior Member

    Here is one, available from Amazon or Wizard Coin Supply. Usually the Freidberg book is the go to guide, but as with all guide books, they only point you in a direction and you have to do other research such as ebay final listings and be able to grade correctly. 1 currency.jpg
    Wingnut6999 likes this.
  5. I can identify the various bills and read the dates but I would like to know the values of different grades. I have a book called "A Guide Book of Modern United States Currency by Neil Shafer" but its from 1986. I will look at the one tommyc03 mentioned also. I also need to find out about what the stars and red seals means. A few bills I was told are from "North Africa" because they have a brownish color seal. Why is US currency from a foreign country?. The more help you members can give me the more I learn so thank you and keep the information coming. And thanks NOS for telling me what a "Mule" is.
  6. BunkerTrapMan

    BunkerTrapMan Overcoming adversity is the key to happiness

    A Mule Banknote is identified by one plate number being micro size and the other plate number being larger in font size.
    I can't recall the actual mm height of the numbers.
    Oh and for books, well I have the Red Book that was posted and subscribe to Banknote Reporter. And as NOS said different plates were used.
    72 and 129 as an example
  7. Michael K

    Michael K Well-Known Member

  8. Numbers

    Numbers Senior Member

    These were used to pay our troops in WWII, first in North Africa but later in other locations in the Mediterranean theater too. The idea is that the distinctive seal color made them easy to identify, so that if the enemy ever managed to capture a whole shipment of them, they wouldn't be able to put them into circulation. As it turned out, that never happened, and after the war a lot of them ended up in circulation domestically when the troops came home.

    There were also notes overprinted with the word HAWAII that served the same function in the Pacific theater, being issued first in Hawaii but later used in various other places where U.S. troops were stationed in the Pacific.
    NOS likes this.
  9. "Numbers" thank you for the explanation about "North Africa" but mainly about Hawaii because one of the bills I got has Hawaii imprinted on the side. What I bought also has some Military Payment certificates both British army and American. Now I think the person who I bought this collection from was a military person. He is deceased so I cant ask him. I also have some MPC I brought home from Korea in the 50's. This whole collection is getting weird. Thanks everybody, keep the information coming. I'm still trying to get this "Mule" thing right. Did order a Whitman currency book from "Wizard coin supplies". Deal with them a lot. I highly recommend them.
  10. Searcher64

    Searcher64 Member

    A good reference book "United States Currency" ISBN #0794843824 is an older number It covers All of our currency and give some retail prices. Next, Find a paper magazine by the name of "Bank Note Reporter" This comes out monthly and has a section on some of the current retail prices. The May 2019 Vol 68 No5 has the section of the Paper Money Market section. I think you may be able to see own line, but you will have to get a subscription for continued updates. You also need a good book on how to grade currency, besides going to shows, clubs in your area. Good luck with your interest in the hobby.
  11. Timewarp

    Timewarp Intrepid Traveler

    SteveInTampa and NOS like this.
  12. Wow Timewarp, thanks for sharing that link. Will keep me busy for awhile.
  13. Timewarp

    Timewarp Intrepid Traveler

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