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So Back When Different Types Of Currency Were Circulating Simultaneously...

 
 
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Pillar of the Community
United States
1305 Posts
 Posted 07/19/2019  10:54 am Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add coinsearcher83 to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
...did people care about which kind they received in change? Say in 1928, when there were FRNs, gold certificates, silver certs, USNs, FRBNs, and Nationals circulating, and I paid a $4.24 bill with a $20, did I have a right to demand certain types of notes in change? Or could I have received a $5 USN, $5 National, and $5 silver cert and having nothing to say about it? Just something I've always wondered...
Edited by coinsearcher83
07/19/2019 10:54 am
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United States
5723 Posts
 Posted 07/19/2019  11:09 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Finn235 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
If you pay a $30 bill with a $100, do you care if you get small portraits, large portrait uncolored, or large portrait colored bills back in change? Ok, well we as collectors probably would gravitate toward the older ones, but the average person wouldn't. As long as it all spends the same, I doubt many would have cared, especially before collecting got big in the 40s/50s. You have to remember that even $1 was a significant amount of money to tie up back then. I've gotten old and even fancy(ish) serial number $100s before, and didn't save them because it wasn't an expense I could justify.
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 Posted 07/19/2019  11:57 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Coinfrog to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
It's an interesting question. In the '50s and '60s it was not uncommon to get all different kinds of seal colors back in change, including brown seal NBNs and FRBNs, and I don't think anyone thought much about it. But of course, all notes had an otherwise uniform appearance, so that may not be a good comparison. In 1928, as now, all notes were backed by our government, with only a few (primarily gold and silver certificates) backed by hard assets. I think most merchants would probably not have had a supply of all kinds of notes to give customers their preference - certainly there was no law requiring them to, and I'm guessing most people back then (as when I was young) cared very much about it.
Edited by Coinfrog
07/19/2019 11:58 am
Pillar of the Community
United Kingdom
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 Posted 07/19/2019  2:12 pm  Show Profile   Check NumisRob's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add NumisRob to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Interesting question. It doesn't apply in the UK as banknote designs are revised so frequently and old notes normally get withdrawn from circulation about a year after the new ones are introduced.

I visited Spain several times in the 1990s when the older, larger 1, 5, 25 and 50 peseta coins issued before 1989 circulated freely alongside the newer, smaller coins for several years. It was common to ask a shopkeeper for an old or new coin in change if you needed one for a slot machine, for instance.
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424 Posts
 Posted 07/19/2019  4:33 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add TJLang to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I always ask the cashier for the odd new or old stuff.
Most are helpful.
One found a silver quarter and kept it for herself.
So close .....
Valued Member
United States
397 Posts
 Posted 07/19/2019  7:12 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add GregAlex to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
From the merchant's perspective, do you think any of the various seal colors would have raised suspicion? As small head notes sometimes do with younger cashiers these days.
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United States
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 Posted 07/20/2019  06:07 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add SteveInTampa to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The general public has unquestionable faith in United States coinage and paper money dating back to the 19th century. Speaking for myself, I love receiving unusual paper money in change. On the other hand, I've also been known to ask the cashier for newer, crispy notes.



Edited to add, I would think it would be more common for a merchant to question unusual notes than the public receiving them in change.
Edited by SteveInTampa
07/20/2019 06:50 am
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 Posted 07/20/2019  3:33 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Coinfrog to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I would guess that the public's questioning of federally-backed currency, including national bank notes, would have been on the downswing by the mid-1870s. By 1890, most everyone would have been awash in different-style notes for many years.
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United States
618 Posts
 Posted 07/20/2019  8:28 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add joecoin to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I would say probably wouldn't have given much thought to them,
that is as long as you knew they were legal and sound money.

Now in the days of wildcat banks...
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