On Sunday, April 17, 2021, Greatcollections.com sold a one-of-a-kind 1928A $1 Silver Certificate, notable for its solid 5s serial number for $7,593.75 (with Buyer’s Premium)- a fantastic sum for an otherwise common issue Silver Certificate.
Signed by Woods and Mellon, this Choice Uncirculated 63 bill graded by the Paper Money Group (PMG), has also received the Exceptional Paper Quality (EPQ) designation.
This high-grade example Funny Back note is a prime example of the 1928A series. While PMG has graded 678 notes with the same grade as this example, upwards of 68% of all the 6,356 graded examples have received a higher grade than this note. This is due to the fact that the Bureau of Printing and Engraving printed over 640 million examples of the 1928A Silver Certificates. However, that being said, this note is highly desirable due to its solid five serial number.
With great eye appeal, the only issue holding this note back from receiving a truly Gem grade is the uneven margins. Yet, since examples of the 1928A with solid serial numbers are scarce and rarely come to public auction, this piece still commands interest.
In fact, public auction records show only four other examples of this type with solid serial numbers: an AU 50 with solid 6s, a 63 EPQ with solid 3s, a 64 EPQ with solid 1s, and a 65 PPQ with solid 4s. While none of these examples are from the UA block, their sale prices which range from $2,160 for the AU 50 sold in a January 2021 sale to $6,462 for the 63 EPQ sold in a March sale, are highly indicative of the desirability and value of these high-grade, small-size Silver Certificates boasting solid serial numbers.
In fact, these prices represent a significant premium over examples with standard serial numbers of comparable grade. For example, top population notes with a grade of 67 EPQ can be acquired for as little as $500 to $700.
The 1928 Silver Certificate series, at 6.14″ by 2.61″, was the first “small-size” note. The note was shrunk to bring it in line with the size and shape of the contemporary treasury notes. Earlier Silver Certificates were actually much larger, with the 1923 “large-size” even being dubbed a Horse Blanket.
On the obverse side, the bill displays the same three-quarter profile portrait of George Washington that can be found both on the earlier 1923 series of Silver Certificates, and the modern 1$ treasury notes. Washington is bracketed by the bill’s serial numbers, the first in the lower left field and the second in the upper right. The written denomination is displayed below the right-hand serial number in tall, elongated letters. Above the left-hand serial number can be seen the blue treasury seal. Printed on this side of the note above the seal, and below the right-hand denomination, is “Series of 1928 A”. In the lower fields are the signatures of the Treasurer of the USA Walter O. Woods on the left, and Secretary of the Treasury Andrew W. Mellon on the right.
There is a highly intricate scrollwork design that prominently encircles the denomination at the center of the Note’s reverse. The long-form written denomination “ONE DOLLAR” is superimposed over the larger ONE. Above the central tableau and in the scrollwork, is THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, and below is the denomination ONE DOLLAR. This series was given the Funny Back moniker due both to the reverse coloration and font. The lighter green color used for the reverse design stands in contrast to the standard black used on the obverse. Additionally, the font used for the large ONE at the center of the reverse design is unusual. In fact, it would only be employed from 1928 until the 1935, when the 1$ Silver Certificates were redesigned to display the standard treasury note reverse design.
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