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WWII Emergency Issues

The US made two special issues of banknotes during WWII, one for Hawaii and one for North Africa. In design they are similar to normal issues of the same years, but have an overprint (Hawaii) and seals of different colour.


There was a risk that Hawaii could be overrun by the Japanese. The US governement did not want a situation where such a loss also meant that large quantities of US currency should fall into Japanese hands. New notes were prepared for Hawaii, with the word "Hawaii" overprinted in very large letters. Silver certificates in denominations of 1 dollar, normally issued with blue seals and numerals, and Federal reserve notes in denominations of 5, 10 and 20 dollars, normally issued with green seals and numerals, were issued with brown seals and numeral.

1 dollar Silver Certificate. Brown seal and serial numbers (normally blue on Silver Certificates), Hawaii in small lettering to the left and right.

Impossible to miss: Hawaii in large capitals across the whole of the back.

North Africa

Silver certificates in denominations of 1, 5 and 10 dollars, normally issued with blue seals and numerals, were issued with yellow seals. These notes were used by US forces in Northern Africa, later also in Italy. The reasoning behind these notes were the same as with th Hawaii notes: loss of large amounts of notes could be prevented from being useful for the Germans by declaring the notes worthless and irredeemable.

5 and 10 dollar Silver Certificates issued for use in North Africa. Large numeral to left and serial numbers in blue, as a normal Silver Certificate. But a yellow treasury seal to the right marks this as North Africa notes.

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