Hello Mark, Happy Birthday to Abraham Lincoln! Quite an interesting design on that old note--I don't think I have ever seen a circular portrait and surround like that one! Recent banknote designs, while focusing on anti-counterfeiting technology, seem to have lost sight of the beauty, quality and interest that help to invest paper money with its value and trustworthiness.--Jim
Hi, Jim,You've hit upon something that I've felt for a long time. It's bothered me that our monetary portraits are now off-center! I think that unbalance has a subconscious effect on the bearers, who have been used to the symmetry of our currency. And I think that symmetry does convey feelings of value and trustworthiness.Beyond that, early American currency employed beautiful images, including cornucopia and great moments in history.
Dear Mark,I agree with you and Jim. We have lost the sense of beauty that something as functional and as necessary as a bank note can, and should, have. I like the attention to detail on this bank note: the way the '5' is embellished.I have a question though: Why are the words Silver Certificate on either side of the roundel? Does it mean $5 worth of silver?KirkPSHappy Birthday dear Abraham,Happy Birthday to you!
Dear Kirk,The Silver Certificates were issued from 1878 to 1964 and could be redeemed for silver dollar coins. I well remember being able to go into banks as a boy and hand over a dollar bill for a silver dollar. Boy, oh boy, I wish I'd done that more often! It was also customary for my parents to gift me with a silver dollar on special occasions, like a birthday.
The things we would do if we could just pop back in time for a day or two...
That's a handsome one! I like the fanciful border. Interesting to have the five "silver" dollars. Thanks for sharing, Mark.
Hi, Loi,It's items like these that would make time traveling a lot of fun!
Dear Mark - a problem is the very short life of paper money today, so whatever the image on the note it soon deteriorates. Soon the UK will have plastic notes which will have a long life, but they will lose their aesthetic appeal. I for one will not welcome them.
Dear Rosemary,I think that paper money (speaking here of U.S. currency) holds up very well because it's made from a special formula that includes a "rag," cloth content. So much of what I collect has endured because of that same basic makeup, which was uniformly scrapped by the paper industry during World War I. I have a newspaper from the 1870s that folds and unfolds endlessly, while newspapers in my garage from a couple years back have turned brittle! I do hope you are spared from plastic money!
Very elegant, indeed! I was in the offices of Moody;s Investors Service the other day for a meeting, and spent a good part of the meeting admired two large engraved certificates, blow up to maybe two feet by three feet. One was for a preferred stock cerificate from 1929, and the other a common stock certificate from 2005. The earlier certificate was tour-de-force of marvelous engraving, done to perfection. The later one? Boring and pedestrian, and grindingly dull.
Dear Reggie,I have long been enamored of stock certificate engraving, and recently bought a beautiful book on that subject entitled, "The Art of the Market: Two Centuries of American Business As Seen Through Its Stock Certificates." The quality of the engraving, as you might imagine, follows a bell curve, with the early certificates charming but a little crude, and the later certificates uninspired. What is between — the latter part of the 19th century — is a delight. My favorite certificate features two battling cherubs, using silver coins as shields.