Series of 1928 (United States Currency)

Series of 1928 (United States Currency)

Series 1928 was the first issue of small-size currency printed and released by the U.S. government. These notes were the first standardized notes in terms of design and characteristics, featuring similar portraits and other facets. These notes were also the first to measure 2.51" by 6.14", quite a bit smaller than the large-sized predecessors of Series 1923 and earlier.

Federal Reserve Notes

First issued in 1913, in accordance with the Congressional act of the same name, Federal Reserve Notes featured a green Treasury seal starting in 1928. This was the only type of currency that, at first, featured the seal over the large engraved word to the right of the portrait.

These notes also carried a seal bearing the identity of the Federal Reserve Bank of issuance. The bank was noted in the black, circular seal to the left of the portrait. This can be seen in the picture at the upper right, with a "2" in the seal. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York, therefore, issued this note. This design facet is unique to Federal Reserve Notes, because almost all other types of notes were issued directly by the U.S. Treasury.

All denominations of Feds, $5 to $100, were redeemable as per the legend in the upper left corner of the note. It read:

"Redeemable in gold on demand at the United States Treasury, or in gold or lawful money at any Federal Reserve Bank."

While these notes were issued by the Federal Reserve Banks, they were still obligations of the U.S. Government, as stated:

"The United States of America will pay to the bearer on demand [so many] dollars."

How They Began

Series 1928 Feds, or FRNs ("ferns"), were first released to the public on July 10, 1929. However, by this time only $5, $10, and $20 Federal Reserve Notes had been produced in large quantities, so there were no fifties and hundreds, at first. The Series of 1928 $50 and $100 FRNs were released in 1930.

Artistic Changes

Small changes were made for the issues of the Series of 1928A and 1928B, C, and D.

Series 1928A for the $5, $10, and $20 denominations resulted from a simple signature change. The design remained intact.

This same series, however, brought some minor changes to the faces of $50 and $100 Federal Reserve Notes. These were produced later than 1928A $5, $10, and $20 bills. The obligation and legend remained the same, because the gold backing did not change. However, the Federal Reserve Seal now contained a "letter" instead of a number. The four corner numbers were aligned vertically, as well, causing a shift in plate position letters on certain denominations. Treasury Seal color was also changed; it was made slightly darker, but a number of light and dark varieties exist.

Series 1928B only included $5, $10, and $20 FRNs. This series included the same changes made to the fifties and hundreds, previously.

Series 1928C also included only fives, tens, and twenties. This series of notes saw very low printing figures, as only certain districts issued notes. This series is also known for its specific light green Treasury Seal variety.

Series 1928D included only fives, and all notes were issued by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Georgia. These notes are among the rarest small-size notes in existence today. No design changes were made, however, to those done in earlier series.


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