The currency of the United States of America is probably the best known in the world, as it is used as a universal currency, not the least in countries with an unstable national currency. The banknotes are not known for their beauty or splashing colour. The design is uniform with all denominations dangerously like one another, all with a black front and a green back, with a portrait in the center of the front. This design has been nick-named "Dead presidents", not without some reason. Recently, the notes have undergone some redesign, but the basic design has otherwise been unchanged since 1929.
For those interested in detail, however, US banknotes offer large opportunities. For one, the uniformity of design is a trait of modern notes, while the pre-1929 notes are both larger and display large variations in design. (The colours, on the other hand, are very much black and green). There is also a large number of different types of note, distinguished by the colour of the seal and of minor differences in wording. And there are minor design changes, changes in signatures, star notes (replacement notes) etc. that can keep the collector working for years.
One major division is to distinguish between large-size and small-size notes. The latter are the notes we know from present-day circulating notes, introduced in 1929 and currently being redesigned.
Major types of US banknotes are:
2005 Blackbook Price Guide to United States Paper Money (37th edition) is a necessary investment for anyone seriously collecting US notes, with updated market prices for most US notes.
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