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Currency

Mint State Gold frequently has U.S. currency for sale in our online store. Distinct from coins — which the U.S. Mint issues — paper currency is produced by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP). Though less widely collected than gold and silver coins, there is a perennial market for currency with historical interest. Our inventory regularly changes, but has included investment currency from all eras of the BEP's history, and earlier. Contact our office if there is something specific you are looking for that we don't currently have in stock.

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History of the BEP

The Bureau of Engraving and Printing traces its roots back to 1862. Initially, its mandate was to sign, separate, and trim U.S. banknotes produced by the Treasury. Over time, the scope of its role grew to encompass engraving, printing, and other tasks. By 1877, it was the sole agency responsible for producing U.S. currency, and today it is one of the largest banknote printing operations in the world.

Over the years, the BEP has issued a wide range of investment currency, as well as postage and revenue stamps, demand notes, and other products, for both the U.S. Treasury and for other countries. In 1865, it issued the first Gold Certificates. Silver Certificates followed in 1878. With the founding of the Federal Reserve, in 1913, the BEP became responsible for producing Federal Reserve Bank Notes, a short-lived emergency currency.

Collecting U.S. Investment Currency

Collectors distinguish between two major types of U.S. investment currency: large size and small size. The older large size notes were, as the name implies, larger than today's currency. They included:

  • Legal tender notes
  • Silver Certificates
  • Treasury notes
  • National Bank Notes
  • Federal Reserve Bank Notes
  • Federal Reserve Notes
  • Gold Certificates

 

In 1928, the BEP began producing investment currency in its present size. Popular small size collectors' items include:

  • Legal Tender Notes
  • Silver certificates
  • National Bank Notes
  • Federal Reserve Notes
  • Gold Certificates

 

Other collectible investment currencies of note include:

  • Fractional currency, released 1862 to address the coin shortage that occurred with the onset of the U.S. Civil War
  • World War II emergency notes, including the Hawaii overprints used exclusively on the Hawaiian Islands during the war
  • Confederate currency, issued by the Confederate States during the Civil War
  • Colonial/continental currency, predating the BEP, which was first issued in 1690 by the Massachusetts Bay Colony

In the past, Mint State Gold has listed $500 and $1000 small size reserve notes in our online store. However, we can often source hard-to-find items from our network of suppliers. Contact our office directly for assistance.

Why Collect U.S. Currency?

Many rare U.S. bank notes have investment potential, and can be useful for diversifying one's portfolio. Perhaps more interestingly, studying and collecting historical U.S. currency provides a window into to how our country has changed over the years — both in terms of its fiscal policies and its broader values and preoccupations.

Mint State Gold is a longstanding leader in collectible coins, currency, and precious metals. Let us match you with products that speak to your interests and investment goals. Explore our inventory online, or contact our office to speak with one of our knowledgeable representatives.

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