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U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing

The U.S Bureau of Engraving and Printing produces all of the U.S. notes in circulation today. While the history of paper currency extends back further, the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing was founded in 1862. It’s no coincidence that this agency was established during the Civil War. It was created out of necessity due to the economic situation of the era. There simply were not enough coins circulating at the time.

The fact that the Bureau of Engraving and Printing is responsible for Federal Reserve Note production is a great thing for collectors. They have to maintain impeccable quality for their own purposes and everyone gets to enjoy that. Regardless of age or era, U.S. notes make an excellent addition to any collection.

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Federal Reserve Notes

Today, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing primarily prints Federal Reserve Notes. This is our modern U.S. paper currency. They have two facilities, one is located in Washington, D.C. and the other is located in Fort Worth, Texas. Federal Reserve Notes were introduced in 1914. They were ordered by legislation in 1913, but it wasn’t until 1914 that the first U.S. Federal Reserve Notes were actually printed.

The vast majority of modern Federal Reserve Notes simply serve their function as currency. However, some collectors like to add fresh crisp notes and uncut sheets of notes to their collection at every opportunity. Uncut sheets of Federal Reserve Notes are a unique item and they add a nice touch to any collection.

Older U.S. Notes

The majority of U.S. paper money that collectors are most fascinated with is from an older time. The Bureau of Engraving and Printing has printed several types of notes in the decades before the introduction of the Federal Reserve Note.

Fractional Currency is quite unique compared to other U.S. notes. For one thing, these Civil War era notes are the only U.S. notes that have been printed with a face value of less than $1. Many of them are quite small compared to the standard Federal Reserve Notes that are in circulation today. The fact that they are from the Civil War era only makes them even more desirable to most collectors. Like the Bureau of Engraving and Printing itself, these fractional notes were also created to help with the money shortage of the Civil War years.

Gold Certificates and Silver Certificates have not been printed for many years at this point. These pieces are also popular among collectors. These notes share a number of similarities with our modern Federal Reserve Notes, but they could be exchanged for an equivalent dollar amount of gold or silver. When these notes were in use, the value of the U.S. dollar was still tied to precious metals. However, many of the most sought after U.S. notes are desirable simply because of their scarcity, the story surrounding them, or the design.

Bureau of Engraving and Printing Quality

Since the Bureau of Engraving and Printing handles our nation’s Federal Reserve Note production, their quality has to be extremely consistent. This is not only because the notes are for use in daily life by U.S. citizens, but also because of the sheer number of current and would-be counterfeiters. There are a number of measures in place to prevent counterfeiting and quality control is only one of them. Quality is a very serious concern for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and it shows in their finished notes.

When you add a note from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing to your collection, you can expect it to be a very high quality piece. Of course the exact level of quality may vary depending on how long ago the note was printed, but the Bureau of Engraving and Printing has always printed excellent notes.