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By Joshua McMorrow-Hernandez for Coinweek …….
 

The Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG) issued a brief statement about the United States Treasury’s recent announcement that it will incorporate new images of women on circulating paper currency.

“Money is history you can hold in your hands, and the Professional Numismatists Guild welcomes the planned changes to our circulating money to help educate the public about important people, places, and events in U.S. history,” remarked James Simek, PNG secretary.

The acclaimed non-profit organization, founded in 1955 by the “Dean of American Numismatics” Abe Kosoff, is composed of the nation’s leading experts on coins and paper currency. “This will not be the first time United States money has depicted a female, but one of the rare times it is a historical woman, not an allegorical representation,” Simek continued.

“Our very first coins struck for circulation in 1793 had allegorical female representations of ‘Miss Liberty,’ but it was not until 1863 that we had an actual, historical woman on our money when Native American ‘princess’ Pocahontas appeared on the back of $20 National Bank Notes,” he explained. “Martha Washington has appeared twice on circulating paper money; on the front of $1 silver certificates in 1886, and then with her husband, George, on the back of $1 Educational Series Notes in 1896.”

Treasury Secretary Jacob “Jack” Lew announced on April 20 that abolitionist Harriet Tubman will be featured on the obverse of a redesigned $20 banknote in the 2020s, the decade during which other paper currency redesigns will incorporate other culturally-diverse images. These include a vignette on the reverse of the $10 bill that features five suffrage leaders including Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony, and Alice Paul.

The reverse of a redesigned $5 bill, of which the obverse will still fittingly depict Abraham Lincoln, will showcase a retooled image of the Lincoln Memorial superimposed with three figures representing the fight for Civil Rights; these three individuals include Marian Anderson, a black woman who in 1939 performed at the Lincoln Memorial; Eleanor Roosevelt, who helped arrange Anderson’s performance at the Lincoln Memorial; and Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, who delivered his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial in 1963.

All of the aforementioned redesigns are slated to be publically unveiled in 2020, the year that marks the centennial of the passage of the 19th Amendment that provided women with the right to vote. However, it could take years afterward for the Treasury to officially release the new designs and establish the redesigned currency in general circulation.


[Below is the entirety of the PNG’s statement. —CoinWeek]

“Money is history you can hold in your hands, and the Professional Numismatists Guild welcomes the planned changes to our circulating money to help educate the public about important people, places and events in U.S. history,” said James Simek, secretary of the Professional Numismatists Guild, a nonprofit organization composed of many of the country’s top coin and paper money experts.

“This will not be the first time United States money has depicted a female, but one of the rare times it is a historical woman [and] not an allegorical representation. Our very first coins struck for circulation in 1793 had allegorical female depictions of ‘Miss Liberty,’ but it was not until 1863 that we had an actual, historical woman on our money when Native American ‘princess’ Pocahontas appeared on the back of $20 National Bank Notes. Martha Washington has appeared twice on circulating paper money: on the front of $1 silver certificates in 1886, and then with her husband, George, on the back of $1 Educational Series Notes in 1896,” explained Simek.

 


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