The Professional Numismatists Guild issued the brief statement below following the April 20, 2016 U.S. Treasury Department announcement, April 20, 216, about upcoming design changes to U.S. paper money (www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/jl0436.aspx). The accompanying close up image of Martha Washington on an 1896 $1 note is courtesy of Heritage Auctions.
“Money is history you can hold in your hands, and the Professional Numismatists Guild welcomes the planned changes to our circulating money to help educate the public about important people, places and events in U.S. history,” said James Simek, Secretary of the Professional Numismatists Guild (PNGdealers.org) a nonprofit organization composed of many of the country’s top coin and paper money experts.
“This will not be the first time United States money has depicted a female, but one of the rare times it is a historical woman, not an allegorical representation. Our very first coins struck for circulation in 1793 had allegorical female depictions of ‘Miss Liberty,’ but it was not until 1863 that we had an actual, historical woman on our money when Native American ‘princess’ Pocahontas appeared on the back of $20 National Bank Notes. Martha Washington has appeared twice on circulating paper money: on the front of $1 silver certificates in 1886, and then with her husband, George, on the back of $1 Educational Series Notes in 1896,” explained Simek.