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My first post is an introduction of myself. I would consider myself a hardcore collector of small size US currency. My first introduction to currency collecting was in the late 1960s when my grandmother was actively searching for $1 FRN Barr notes. At that point I started looking at all notes. I bought my first currency book shortly thereafter.
In the 1970s I was pulling circulated $1 FRN star notes out of circulation. While none were worth more than face, I still regarded them as rare.
Finally, I started working at a grocery store in Atlanta in 1977. At this point I had access to new consecutive notes! My collecting interests went from saving a few circulated star notes to saving low number notes, groups of star notes, and older notes that were still in circulation at the time. I was able to quickly assemble sets of $1 to $20 FRNs for the Atlanta district from Series 1963 to date.
I have always considered myself to have a good memory regarding numbers. It did not take long for me to recognize that star notes were more uncommon than generally recognized. For Series 1928 and 1934 notes, I figured one star note was issued for every 75 regular notes, but at the time many star notes were available for not much more than the regular note. Since I had a pretty good collection of Atlanta notes from working in a grocery store and by recognizing the rarity of several star notes, my collecting focus were originally directed in that direction.
However, finding FRNs at coin shows in the late 1970s and 1980s was often difficult. Dealers would have silver certificates, legal tender, and World War II issues, but would not stock FRNs. Their reasoning was no one collected them, so they did not want to tie up money stocking them.
By the 1980s I had widen my focus to collect all districts for FRNs, and by the 1990s I decided to collect all blocks for silver certificates and legal tender notes. I already had about two-thirds of the blocks, including several scarce and rare notes. As of today, these collections are essentially complete.
One aspect of currency collecting that has frustrated me is a lack of data available regarding print runs, serial numbers printed, and actual notes released into circulation. I have visited the archives in College Park, MD and have taken 12,000 pictures of BEP records. From these trips and thru my observations, I have been able to identify or calculate information pertinent to collecting small size currency. My purpose here is to share some of this information through this blog.Tweet