Who Is the Only Woman Ever Featured on a One-Dollar Bill?

The one-dollar note that we know today has gone through many incarnations—two of which included the only portrait of a woman ever found on U.S. paper currency. The history of U.S. currency is incomplete without Martha Washington. Legend has it that her own silverware was melted down to create the first U.S. coins. So it’s only fitting that some of the first U.S. bills ever printed featured the original first lady.

The first-ever, legal tender one-dollar banknote was printed in 1862. It featured Salmon Chase, Lincoln’s secretary of the treasury. He was replaced on the one-dollar note 18 years later with a portrait of George Washington. Though revised many times over many years the Washington dollar bill endured.

Six years after the George Washington dollar debuted, the Martha Washington one-dollar silver certificate was issued. This was the first time a female political figure had ever been used on U.S. currency. Ten years later, both George and Martha were featured on a one-dollar silver certificate as part of the Educational Currency Series. This marked the last time a woman ever appeared on U.S. paper currency.

When most people think of the one-dollar bill, they think of George Washington. But Martha’s portrait helped pave the way for more women on currency, like the Susan B. Anthony and Sacajawea dollar coins. Recently, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew announced plans to redesign the $10 bill, replacing Alexander Hamilton with a woman. The redesign is supposed to be done by 2020 to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment. It would also be the first time in more than 100 years that a woman appeared on a U.S. bill.

Did you like this post? Check out “What You Could Buy with an Ounce of Gold in 1950” and our other great articles.

Main Street Coin specializes in rare coins and currency. We are also gold, silver, diamonds, and jewelry buyers. Visit us first for a free evaluation. We are located in Fairfield, Hyde Park, Milford, and Florence.

How Much Would a Bengals Super Bowl Ring Be Worth?

Super Bowl 50 will be played on Sunday, February 7, 2016, at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California. The Cincinnati Bengals are off to a fast start this year and that gets our mind wandering. Can you imagine Andy Dalton hoisting the Lombardi trophy over his head as confetti swirls all around him? A dream come true. We all know they’ve come close a couple of times, but this year feels like it could be the first Bengals championship. And if we’re talking championships, let’s talk about NFL championship rings.

Jostens has made the majority of the rings, but Tiffany & Co. also produces NFL championship rings. To give you an idea of the how grand these ring can get, here is a description of the ring for last year’s champions, the New England Patriots.

The 2015 championship ring is the largest and highest appraised value of any Super Bowl ring ever made, featuring 205 diamonds. The white gold rings were handcrafted by Jostens. The words “World Champions” flank each side. One side features the recipient’s name along with the years of the franchise’s previous Super Bowl Championships in ’01, ’03, ’04, and 2014. The other side features the Super Bowl XLIX logo with the final score, 28–24.

The player’s number is encrusted in diamonds. “Do Your Job” is visible atop one side of the ring along with the Patriots’ logo, outlined with 44 diamonds. Four large Lombardi Trophies, cast with marquee-cut diamonds and a field of 143 diamonds make this ring unforgettable.

Click here to see the history of Super Bowl rings.

Jewelers rarely disclosed the value of the rings but the NFL gives the teams $5,000 per ring for up to 150 rings. Teams can spend more on the rings, and teams can order more rings if they pay the extra cost. Players and others who receive Super Bowl rings have been known to sell them. There are a lot of factors to consider in estimating the value of a Super Bowl ring, like the condition, if it was a player’s ring, and which player owned it.

Since this would be the first NFL title for Cincinnati, Main Street Coin would consider the value of a Bengal Super Bowl ring to start at $50,000. But of course, any true Bengals fan would consider this ring priceless.

Did you like this post? Check out “Should We Say Goodbye to the Penny?” and our other great articles.

Main Street Coin specializes in rare coins and currency. We are also gold, silver, diamonds, and jewelry buyers. Visit us first for a free evaluation. We are located in Fairfield, Hyde Park, Milford, and Florence.

What You Could Buy with an Ounce of Gold in 1950

It’s 1950, and Frank Sinatra is on the radio as you cruise down the road in your Oldsmobile. You stop to fill up and exclaim, “A quarter a gallon! That’s highway robbery!” Back then everything cost a lot less than it does now. Gold included.

Today, a gallon of gas will cost you a little over two bucks in the Greater Cincinnati area. That’s about nine times what an average gallon of gas in the U.S. cost in 1950. So how does gold hold up? Well, the average price of gold was $40.25 per ounce in 1950. Today an ounce of gold is worth almost $1,200. This means that an ounce of gold is worth nearly thirty times what it did in 1950. The average price of gold was about $600 an ounce in 2006—half of what it is now, and almost $900 an ounce in 2008. So if you’ve held gold for a long time, you’re making out like a bandit.

Over the short term, gold prices fluctuate just like other commodities. But unlike most commodities, gold is essential for some of the world’s most lucrative industries. Gold is a necessary component of most electronics. Your cellphone, computer, and TV all contain small amounts of gold. That’s part of the demand for gold, but many people hold it as a hedge against the U.S. dollar.

But with all that said, it’s still nearly $1,200, and that’s a lot of money. For alotta folks that’s enough to pay a month’s mortgage or rent. In contrast, $1,200 in 1950 could buy you an entire house. 

Did you like this post? Check out “How U.S. Silver Reserves Saved British Currency” and our other great articles.

Main Street Coin specializes in rare coins and currency. We are also gold, silver, diamonds, and jewelry buyers. Visit us first for a free evaluation. We are located in Fairfield, Hyde Park, Milford, and Florence.

How U.S. Silver Reserves Saved British Currency

It was WWI and British colonies were panicked. The Germans were spreading rumors that Britain couldn’t back their currency. Whether it was true or not was not important. It triggered turmoil. And it took deep silver reserves from the United States to calm fears around the world.

Wartime spending quickly drained Europe of gold reserves. Hoarders claimed the rest. Uncle Sam’s gold reserves were low, but the U.S. had plenty of silver—in particular, silver dollars. The Pittman Act of 1918 allowed for millions of Morgan silver dollars to be melted down and recast as bullion. Anyone holding silver made out like bandits, because they were purposely overpaid to accelerate the process. The federal government was able to raise the necessary amount of silver fast and then sold it to England below market value. The panic dissipated.

As the war ended there was a call for a new coin to celebrate the occasion. Still flush with silver, it made sense to make it a silver coin. The idea eventually took off and a design competition was held for the Peace Dollar. The requirements called for a lady liberty redesign for the obverse, and an open-ended design that incorporated an eagle on the reverse. The youngest contestant at 34, Italian immigrant Anthony de Francisci won the competition. De Francisci’s lady liberty design was based on his wife, Teresa de Francisci.

On January 3, 1922, the Peace Dollar went into circulation. It was made of 90% silver and remained in circulation for seven years. The coin was reissued from 1934 to 1935. Today its value, like all coins, depends on its condition and the year it was issued. But it’s safe to say that a Peace Dollar will cost you far more than one dollar.

Did you like this post? Check out “What You Could Buy with an Ounce of Gold in 1950” and our other great articles.

Main Street Coin specializes in rare coins and currency. We are also gold, silver, diamonds, and jewelry buyers. Visit us first for a free evaluation. We are located in Fairfield, Hyde Park, Milford, and Florence.

Page 2 of 212