Question: What in the world is an MPC? I’ve seen them advertised and some seem to be worth big bucks. Can you fill me in?

Answer: MPCs, or Military Payment Certificates, were money printed to pay our troops in foreign lands. The first were made in 1946 just after the close of World War II, and were circulated wherever American GIs were found – Japan and Germany in particular. MPCs were also used in Korea, Viet Nam, and other places around the globe where U.S. GIs were stationed. These notes were initially redeemable in foreign currency, and for a time in 1946-1947, there were schemes afoot to turn MPCs into other currencies and make the black market dealers – oftentimes GIs themselves – wealthy along the way. The government soon caught on and made MPCs exchangeable only for U.S. dollars. To further thwart the plans of the would-be marketers, the government recalled current issues frequently replacing them with new series notes, rendering the older notes useless each time the series changed. Series numbers include: 461, 471, 472, 481, 521, 541, 591, 611, 641, 651, 661, 681, and 692, which was legal tender in the Armed Forces until March 15, 1973. MPCs were never legal tender in the U.S.A. and ceased to serve a monetary purpose in 1973. The Military Payment Certificate series ended in 1973.

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