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Signatures Change on Notes
December 05, 2008

With a new administration taking over in 2009, America's paper money will change a bit, also. With Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner succeeding Henry M. Paulson Jr. that means a new series date of 2009 for the $1 Federal Reserve Notes and other denominations. The current date is 2006.

Unlike coins, paper money dates do not change with the year. They usually change with a change in Treasury secretary, or with a major design change.

A facsimile of the Treasury secretary's signature appears on the right side of our current bank notes. The Treasurer of the United States signature appears on the left. This latter job is one of those that only a few collectors even know. The current signature is that of Anna Escobedo Cabral. If a treasurer alone changes, the series date usually is retained except that a suffix letter is put after the date to indicate it.

The big paper money change that collectors are waiting for is for the $100 Federal Reserve Note. It is overdue. The current Big Head design is getting a little long in the tooth. It was first produced in 1996 as the first example of the new counterfeit-resistant notes that have changed the overall look of our paper money.

What the new $100 will look like is keenly awaited information. This and the signature changes should inject some additional interest in the paper money hobby next year. I am looking forward to that outcome.

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About the Author
David C. Harper has been a coin collector since 1963. He joined the Krause Publications editorial staff in 1978 and is currently editor of Numismatic News and World Coin News. He also edits two books annually, North American Coins & Prices and Coin Digest. He is the author of the Class of '63 column that runs each week in Numismatic News. His first bylined numismatic article appeared in the June 1971 issue of Coins Magazine and his various Krause Publications assignments included a stint as editor of the magazine 1980-1983. Harper received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 1977. He had a double major of journalism and economics.

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