An Opinion on the New Ten-Dollar Bills, Part I

I have been hearing quite a bit about the new ten-dollar bill and the proposed design change for it. I recently wrote a letter to a friend regarding this subject, and am using some of my opinions and comments from that letter in this column.

It seems to me that when a change is proposed for our coinage or paper money there are often rumors and conflicting reactions within the numismatic community and the general public. Some think that the older coins or bills should be spent as they might become worthless. Others think they should be saved on the chance that they may be rare someday. These ideas can be manipulated by promoters or others looking to make a profit off the change.

I remember some similar situations during my youth. When the United States changed the seal from blue to gold during World War II to keep Germany from counterfeiting our currency, people were concerned about the change. Likewise, when the HAWAII surcharge was added to the notes used in the Pacific area during the same war, people started to sell the earlier issues, worried that they would be worthless or seized. Of course, there were actually no such problems and both of these note types can pass today.

Other examples included Silver Certificate and Gold Certificate redemption, in which the government set a time limit for redeeming these notes in precious metals. This caused concern about the future worth of these notes. However, the face value of was not affected and they could still be used to purchase goods and services. As we approach another design change, it is important to avoid the rumor mill and provide clear information about our currency.

The upcoming change for the $10 bill has received quite a bit of press, especially around the idea of honoring a woman on the new notes. It is always exciting and beneficial for the hobby when coin or paper money collecting is in the news in a positive light, in this case the debate over which woman in American history should appear on the new notes. That so many important names have been suggested, reinforces the idea that it is about time the United States made such a change.

I have received multiple inquiries as to which woman I think should be featured. In next week’s article I will give some of my suggestions.

Join our mailing list

Don't miss an auction!

Subscribe to our newsletter.


Contact Us

West Coast Office • (800) 458-4646

Midwest Office • (800) 817-2646

East Coast Office • (800) 566-2580

[email protected]

Hong Kong Office • +852 2117 1191

[email protected]

Global locations

Additional representatives
available worldwide.

* Walk-ins welcome

Follow Us

Subscribe to
Our Newsletter

There was an error signing you up to our newsletter.
Please enter a valid email address

I'm Interested In...

You must agree to the Privacy Policy

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Stack's Bowers Galleries e-newsletter.