Thursday, January 22, 2015

Old money

When he was cashiering, the Complete and Total Loser sometimes came across old coins and bills. He used to collect coins, so he has some idea of what to look for. Bills are different. Even old and uncommon ones aren't worth much unless they're in mint condition, and even then coins are a better bet. 
The Loser has about $5 in wheat pennies, which is worth maybe $6, and about $80 in old bills, which is worth maybe $90. 
This one dollar bill is a year older than the Loser. It's a silver certificate, meaning it was readily exchangeable for silver. Technically, all bills were then as quarters and dimes were made of silver. 
When the Loser was a kid, age nine or so, a friend told him that with such a bill he could go to any bank and "demand that they give you silver." The Loser and his friend liked that they could do that, walk into a bank with a special bill and tell a bank teller—an adult—what to do. It wasn't true as by that time the U.S. had gone off the silver standard (a decision under President Johnson many still bemoan) but boys need their fantasies.
one dollar silver certificate 1957

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