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Design Features Which Vary On Genuine Currency
Design features sometimes vary from one series year to another. The most common variance comes with changes in the identity and, therefore, the signature of the Secretary of the Treasury or the Treasurer of the United States.
Another common variation occurs in the portrait of Andrew Jackson on the $20 note. In the 1934 and 1950 series years, he is depicted with one more finger showing than on notes of other series years.
The 1966 series marked a change in note design. One hundred dollar United States Notes of that series year featured a re-designed Treasury seal with an English inscription replacing the Latin one. The new seal, phased in over succeeding years, appears on all Federal Reserve Notes of the 1969 series year or later.
"In God We Trust" was first printed in 1955 on $1 Silver Certificates, 1935G series year. It was gradually phased in on other denominations and classes and is now printed on the back of all U.S. paper currency of the series year 1963B or later.
Federal Reserve Seal
Prior to Series 1996, each Federal Reserve Note bears a regional seal at the left of the portrait. This seal, printed in black, bears the name of the issuing Federal Reserve Bank and the letter designating the Federal Reserve district in which that bank is located. On notes of the 1950 series and later, the black Federal Reserve regional seal is smaller than earlier designs and is surrounded by sharp points. Starting with the 1996 series Federal Reserve notes, a new universal seal represents the entire Federal Reserve system. A letter and number below the upper left serial number identifies the issuing Federal Reserve Bank.
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Serial Numbers and "Star Notes"
Each note of the same denomination and series has its own individual serial number. When a note which bears a serial number is mutilated in the course of manufacture, it must be replaced in the series to ensure a proper count of the notes produced. To print another note with an identical serial number would be costly and time-consuming. Consequently, a "star note" is substituted. This note has a serial number which is out of sequence with the others in the series. A star is printed after the number to show that it was placed in the series as a substitute.
Check Letter, Face Plate Number, Quadrant Number, Back Plate Number
These designations are printed in specific locations on the note. In the manufacturing process, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing uses these designations to identify the specific placement of the note on the specific printing plate.
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