Orange $1 Bill

For over twenty years, I have carried in my wallet a dollar bill, indistinguishable from any other, except for the fact that the reverse side is printed in orange.I once had someone suggest that this was a ‘special printing’ of currency that would usually be distributed in either Puerto Rico or Panama, so that the mint could track money flow. Anyone have another take on it?

Strangely-colored bills are sometimes issued in areas occupied by the U.S. military, so that if there’s a reversal and the enemy acquires a large stash, the government can say, “Money? Money? Did we ever say this funny-looking stuff was money? Looks like counterfeit to us,” officially, while quietly exchanging it for regular money with people who can show they have a right to it. My father had some he picked up in Europe in 1946.

But I do not specifically know if what you have is an instance of that.

John W. Kennedy
“Compact is becoming contract; man only earns and pays.”
– Charles Williams

Banks mark bills or have some bill printed with markings for use in counting the days till. They are not supposed to go into circulation but sometimes they get out.

DW3 - Uhm, no, they don’t. Banks do have some tricks for counting large sums of money, but colored or otherwise marked bills are not amongst them. Fer instance, in an ATM cash cassette, every 100th bill will be turned to face the 101st. That way the bulk of the money can be “counted” by fanning the bills. Another trick is a thing called a currency counter. To minmize losses in case of robbery, tills are constantly counted (by hand or machine) throughout the day and excess stored in the vault.

I’m only a doctor on this board, but I’ve been a banker a long time.

The overwhelming majority of people have more than the average (mean) number of legs. – E. Grebenik

I stand corrected Dr. I was told by a friend that is what they were for. I had reason to believe him because he worked for Bank of Anchorage in Juneau, AK during the early and mid 80’s.

I washed a $1 bill with my clothes once, and it came out kinda orange on one side… It was a long time ago, but I remember the color and that it was a slightly faded green on the other side. Bleach ? Don’t know. Hope this wasn’t the boring origin of yours. :slight_smile:

Work like you don’t need the money…
Love like you’ve never been hurt…
Dance like nobody’s watching! …(Paraphrased)

My brother has an unusually colored bill. (I don’t remember the color, but orange does sound familiar.) It is an old silver certificate. You might want to check it to see if it says anything about representing its value in silver.

Carpe hoc!

Whoops! Checked with my brother (probably should have before I posted before). The back is green, the front is black and blue. Maybe I should have my eyes checked.

Not sure about orange-backed money (sounds peculiarly counterfeit to me, but maybe not) but Mr. Know-it-all has noted something instersting in our currency past: Our current “style” of currency (with the modern Bill-size and portraits) has been in place since the 1920’s. Currently, there is only 1 “kind” of government backed currency (Federal Reserve Notes), but at one point there were as many as four. All were identical except for 2 things: The inscription on the top (where it says “federal reserve note” on the bill) and the color of the colored ink used on the front of the bill on the seal and serial number. The four types, were:

Federal Reserve Note, color: Green. Backed by the Federal Reserve System.
United States Note, color: Red. Backed by the U.S. treasury.
Gold Certificate, color: Gold. Denominations of $10 or higher only, backed by gold bullion.
Silver Certificate, color: Blue. backed by silver dollars.

The government ceased printing gold certificates in the 1930’s, US Notes in the 1940’s, and Silver Certificates in the 1960s, meaning that since the Kennedy administration, the government has only printed Federal Reserve Notes.

HOWEVER, the U.S. government has never recalled any currency, meaning that all currency ever printed is still legal tender, and can be used, even silver certificates. When the last silver certificates ran off of the presses, collectors hoarded TONS of them (bad money drives out the good) making silver certificates in any series since the 1930s worth no more than face value (as good as a 1995 series dollar). To complicate things, until the 1930’s the U.S. government contracted private banks to back paper currency as well, meaning that you could have as many as 5 or more different “kinds” of $10.00 bills in your pocket, all worth $10.00 , barring any financial crisis that might make one or the other obsolete.

Plus, during WWII the U.S. printed all three active notes in a special “HAWAII” series to keep track of civilian currency spent there in case of a Japanese capture of the islands.

During most Wars, the military use “MPCs” or “Military Purchasing Certificates” for trade, to avoid letting U.S. currency slip into the wrong hands. These in no way resemble, in size, shape, or printing, U.S. currency.

just as an interesting aside to jayron’s… Hong Kong still does the different-banks things: all bills come from one of 3 banks, and they all look completely different. (sizes are uniform). Makes buying stuff your first couple of days there a bit wacky.

“It all started with marbles in school…”