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Wednesday, November 04, 2009

P is for Presidents

When I (mostly) finished collecting the state quarters (I STILL need a Kentucky D and some of the 2009 quarters), I decided to start collecting the new United States Mint Presidential One Dollar Coins. Actually, they are not that new. The series actually began in 2007 with the first four Presidents, then in 2008 with Presidents 5 through 8. The most recent one I have is for James K. Polk, #11, with Zachary Taylor still to come in 2009.

It occurred to me that, for some of these Presidents, these coins may be be their first appearance on American money. Apparently, the government and/or the people were resistant to putting real, specific people on its currency and coinage. Prior to 1909, when Abraham Lincoln first appeared on the penny (one cent), in commemoration of the centennial of the 16th President's birth, there was an "Indian head" penny. Likewise it was the buffalo head nickel (five cents) prior to 1938, when it changed to 3rd President Thomas Jefferson; Lady Liberty dime (10 cents) before 1946, when Franklin Roosevelt, the 32nd President, appeared the year after he died; and Standing Liberty quarter (25 cents) before 1932, when the bicentennial of George Washington's birth was celebrated.

The portraits that appear on paper currency were adopted in 1929. Initially, it was determined to use portraits of Presidents, but the Secretary of the Treasury altered the plan to include Alexander Hamilton ($10 bill), who was the first Secretary of the Treasury; Salmon P. Chase ($10,000), who was Secretary of the Treasury during the Civil War and "is credited with promoting our National Banking System"; and Benjamin Franklin ($100 bill), who was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. U.S. bills are sometimes known as dead Presidents; while one must be dead to appear on U.S. money or stamps, not all of them have to be Presidents. Not incidentally, denominations of $500 and higher were discontinued in 1969, in large part because of fears about counterfeiting.

NOT a President
The Presidents

1. George Washington - quarter, $1 bill
2. John Adams - as far as I can determine, the Presidential $1 coin is his first appearance. This was one of the founders. Why didn't HE show up on the $2 bill instead of his sometimes rival?
3. Thomas Jefferson - nickel, $2 bill, which was discontinued for a time, and not widely found
4. James Madison - $5000 bill
5. James Monroe, 6. John Quincy Adams - just the 2008 Presidential coin
7. Andrew Jackson - $20 bill, though there are some who would like to see him off the bill
8. Martin Van Buren - just the 2008 Presidential coin
9. William Henry Harrison, 10. John Tyler, 11. James K. Polk, 12. Zachary Taylor - just the 2009 Presidential coin
13. Millard Fillmore, 14. Franklin Pierce, 15. James Buchanan - just the 2010 Presidential coin
16. Abraham Lincoln - penny, $5 bill, Illinois state quarter. There is also a 2009 Lincoln commemorative silver dollar in honor of the bicentennial of HIS birth, separate from the Presidential coin coming out next year.
17. Andrew Johnson - just the 2011 Presidential coin
18. Ulysses S. Grant - $50 bill
19. Rutherford B. Hayes, 20. James Garfield - just the 2011 Presidential coin
21. Chester A. Arthur, 23. Benjamin Harrison - just the 2012 Presidential coin

22 & 24. Grover Cleveland (won in non-consecutive terms) - $1000 bill
25. William McKinley - $500 bill
26. Theodore Roosevelt - just the 2013 Presidential coin. Although, now that I think of it, since TR, along with Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln, appear on Mount Rushmore, and Rushmore is on the South Dakota state quarter, I suppose that should count in each of their tallies.
27. William Howard Taft - just the 2013 Presidential coin
28. Woodrow Wilson - $100,000 bill; this note never appeared in general circulation, and was only used in transactions between Federal Reserve Banks

29. Warren G. Harding, 30. Calvin Coolidge, 31. Herbert Hoover - just the 2014 Presidential coin
32. Franklin D. Roosevelt - dime (10 cents)
33. Harry S. Truman - just the 2015 Presidential coin
34. Dwight D. Eisenhower - $1 coin, 1971-1978
35. John F. Kennedy - half dollar (50 cents)
36. Lyndon B. Johnson - just the 2015 Presidential coin
37. Richard M. Nixon, 38. Gerald R. Ford, 39. James Carter, 40. Ronald Reagan - just the 2016 Presidential coin. BUT the Carter coin will be postponed unless he had died two years before its issuance. This is also true of the Class of 2017:
41. George H. W. Bush, 42. William J. Clinton, 43. George W. Bush, 44. Barack Obama
Here's an interesting link to Presidents on postage stamps.



anthonynorth said...

That was interesting. There's never been any worries about heads on coinage in the UK. Always the monarch. Although there have been debates about the backs of our paper money, which nowadays depict major Brits. They've ranged from Darwin to Dickens, to Elgar.

Spiderdama said...

Very interesting! Monarchs on the coins here in Norway also;-)
Have a nice week!

RuneE said...

Thank you for the info - I must get some the next time I'm in the US.

Mara said...

I wouldn't mind getting my hands on that $100,000 bill! If only for a great photo opportunity!

Great P, great information

Rinkly Rimes said...

You're obviously a very keen collector and I wish you well in your hunt.

Q said...

Thank you for a very interesting P post.
My Father was a coin and stamp collector. I have some of his collection and my own.
If I was in charge I would have insects on coins and paper money.
I would love to carry a couple of bees in my pocketbook for bread and milk.

Reader Wil said...

I see that one of the presidents has a thoroughly Dutch name: Martin Van Buren.
On our coins we have always the heads of the king or ruling queen since 1814, when we had our first king.Interesting post, Roger.

Sylvia K said...

Very interesting post, Roger! Love your photos! This is definitely the closest I'll ever get to a $100,000 bill!! Thanks for stopping by my blog and for your comment, always appreciated!

Enjoy your day!


Carol said...

That was interesting....I had forgot alot of this info, and didn't know some of it also. Great P post,Roger.

Nik said...

It's been interesting to me comparing NZ and US mone -- NZ paper money is much more colourful and impressive in its design I think. One thing that was interesting was we have Ed Hillary on the $5 note, while he was living it was the first time we'd had a non-royal living person on currency.

jay said...

Wow, you really have done your research, haven't you?

They've been messing with our money recently. Some kind of award winning designs that look like a mess to most people. We still have to look twice to make sure they're genuine!

Janie said...

Interesting compilation of Presidents on coins and currency, and non-presidents, too.

Joy said...

Just the old monarch on ours I'm afraid. They are always changing what is on the back which nobody really comments on apart from when Britannia disappeared off the 50p piece and then there was a sort of mild displeasure.
Interesting post, even the short lived presidency of Mr Garfield gets a coin.(I only know of him because of the song).

Life with Kaishon said...

What a great post. I am going to print it and show it to my son tonight! Thank you Roger : )

Grace and Bradley said...

Interesting post, I wonder what Jimmy Carter think that they slot him to the 2016 class, expecting him to b gone by that time !?

Irene said...

Interesting research on Presidents on currency. You go, with your collection Roger!

Tumblewords: said...

Very interesting post. I had a coin collection before a burglar found it...took the joy right out of that.

Dimple said...

I have never before seen a list of the presidents with the money on which they appear; kudos for originality! I did know that living people are not depicted on our money, though!
Thanks for the visit!

Anonymous said...

very interesting post!!!

i love all the effort you have taken to put all this together..

Anonymous said...

and you have the longest blogroll i have ever seen!

Gel said...

Hi Roger,
I'm back for ABC Wed and am in heaven because I used to be an avid coin collector and still am in my heart.
Very interesting post and it awakened my collecting spirit as well as shed more knowledge on an area I enjoy.

Jama said...

Interesting history behind the currencies!

Rose said...

Very interesting, Roger. I didn't realize they were issuing $1 commemorative coins of the Presidents. I tried to save some of the quarters, but always wound up spending them instead:)

By the way, thanks for your comment last week about the Illini basketball team in 05(?). That was a special year for all Illini fans!

Amy said...

Wow, Roger, you did much research and thank you - I, too, am going to print this post.

Thanks too for commenting on my blog!

swapna said...

A very informative post, we have Gandhiji on our high value notes.

Dragonstar said...

My father loved coins and stamps. He even saved an old British £5 note - the kind that was big enough to wrap sandwiches - and that note would have bought all the food we needed for almost two weeks! Those were the days!
Thanks for the visit.

Anonymous said...