Papermoney Dictionary


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B — Pricelist abbreviation for bank, banco, banque.

back — The side of a piece of papermoney which is of secondary importance. The side of primary importance is the front, qv.

banco — Bank, in Spanish and Portuguese.

bank — An establishment for the custody, loan, exchange, or issue of money, for the extension of credit, and for facilitating the transfer of funds.

bank draft — An order by a bank, to another bank, to pay a third party. Widely used before the establishment of clearinghouses, often drafted by small banks on their corresponding banks in larger cities.

bankers note(s) — A note issued by a private banker or his "bank"? A somewhat fuzzy term which could refer to any banknote which lacks governmental authorization and backing of any kind.

banknote, bank note — A promissory note issued by a bank. Often carelessly used to denote many other types of papermonies.

banque — Bank, in French.

barter — The traffic or trade by direct exchange of products and/or services.

Bayern — Bavaria, in German.

behelfazahlungsmittel — Auxiliary medium of payment, in German. Auxiliary Payment Certificates were issued to German troops in WW2 for canteen purchases, etc; valued at 10 times their face value, they were of little use to unauthorized personnel. (For example, 10 reichspfennig purchased 1 reichsmark worth of goodies.)

Belgie, Belgique — Belgium, in Flemish, French.

bend — For example, a corner bend, possibly caused by a rapid manual counting procedure. A mild fold (qv) or curl, easily elimi-nated by anyone with a modicum of dexterity. See also: crease, fold.

BEP — Buereau of Engraving and Printing. Mommy, where do papermonies come from?

BIBLIOGRAPHY — The Bibliography for this PAPERMONEY ENCYCLOPEDIA is in the following table.


Hessler, Gene; The Comprehensive Catalog of US Paper Money, 1981 Edition, Port Clinton, OH 1980.

Lawrence, Jimmie N; Collecting of Foreign Bank Notes, Johannesburg, RSA 1971.

Muscalus, Dr John A; Dictionary of Paper Money with Historical Specimens Illustrated, Bridgeport, PA 1947

Narbeth, Colin; Collecting Paper Money, London, 1968.

Pick, Alblert; Standard Catalog Of World Paper Money, Volume Two, 6th Edition, Iola, WI 1990.

Sten, George J; Banknotes of the World, Volumes 1 & 2, Menlo Park, CA 1967.

Sten, George J; Encyclopedia of World Paper Money, Port Washington, NY 1965.

Tiitus, M; How To Buy & Sell Collectors Items (Stamps, Coins, Paper Monies, Other Collectibles) Profitably By Mail, Menlo Park, CA 1975.

Tiitus, M; Paper Currencies of Estonia, Menlo Park, CA 1971.

Tiitus, M; Paper Tiger (Newsletter), #13-19, Menlo Park, CA 1972-73.

Tiitus, M; PAPERMONEY DICTIONARY, First Edition, Forest City, IA 1994

Webster, Noah; Webster's New Universal Unabridged Dictionary, 2nd Edition, New York, 1979.

bicolor(ed) — Of two colors. Re printed matter, the term refers to two inks, and does not count the color of the paper. See also: multicolor(ed).

bidenominational — Having two denominations. Notes incorporating two different monetary systems to facilitate exchange. See also: multidenominational.

bilet — Note, in Polish; also in Russian, albeit in Cyrillic alphabet.

Bilet Skarbowi — Treasury Note, in Polish.

bilingual — In two languages. See also: multilingual.

bill — An itemized account of indebtedness; also, the beak of a bird.

billet — Note, in French.

billete — Note, in Spanish.

Billets de Confidence — Emergency issues for alleviating the coin shortage, due to hoarding, during the French Revolution.

billion — In USA and France, a billion is a thousand million, 1 followed by 9 zeroes. In Great Britain and Germany, a billion is a million million, 1 followed by 12 zeroes; while a thousand million is called a milliard. Thereafter, both systems proceed with similar terms of trillion, quadrillion, etc, with the British term always having three more zeroes associated with it.

bill(s) of credit — A contemporary American term for Colonial and Continental papermoney issues. This is the origin for the slang term "bill" used today, as in "one dollar bill". See: bill.

bill(s) of exchange — A written order by the drawer to the drawee to pay a sum of money to a payee. Popular method of transferring funds from one place to another, prior to the evolution of the checking system. For example, miners could send money back East with Wells Fargo BofEs; also, immigrants could send money back to the "old country".

binary currency — A monetary system based on the binary system. Notes would have denominations of 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, etc. Coins would have denominations of 1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, etc. This system was invented by M Tiitus in 1959, but has never been discussed anywhere except in this entry.

Bird and Dragon Notes — A specialized term describing an extensive series of Japanese military notes.

blank — Free from writing, printing or marks.

block letter — See table after number.

block number — See table after number.

blueback(s) — A river herring. Also, a syngraphic nickname for Confederate States notes.

BNR — Bank Note Reporter. The only syngraphic monthly newspaper, published by Krause Publications. Created and founded by Col Grover Criswell, a collector, dealer, researcher and author specializing in Southern States syngraphics.

bogus — A completely worthless "collectible", created only for sale to collectors, eg, stamps issued for a nation without a postal systems. Same as spurious, but favored by philatelists. See: collectors trash.

Böhmen und Mähren — Bohemia & Moravia, in German.

bon(s) — Good for(s), in French. Particularly describes the private notes issued in Canada, c1830-1840, by merchants, manufacturers, railways, etc, redeemable in, ie, good for, merchandise or services.

bond — An interest bearing certificate issued by a government or business promising to pay the holder a specific sum on a specified date. It is a common means of raising capital. The collecting of stocks and bonds could be considered a sub-area of syngraphics. See also: stock certificate.

Bons de Caisse — Treasury vouchers, in French.

border — The outermost part of the total note design, if any. Not to be confused with margin, which is the blank or empty area outside the border. Also, not to be confused with frame, which is the border, if any, around any individual illustration within the total note design. See also: frame, margin.

borelage — A subtle pattern of some kind, "under" the main design of a stamp or note, used for aesthetic effect, and sometimes as an anti-counterfeiting device. Largely a philatelic term of French origin, loosely equivalent to underprint, qv.

bourse — Aka show, aka exhibition. A marketplace for collectibles.

Bradbury — A colloquial name for any of the first treasury notes issued in Great Britain in 1914, signed by John Bradbury.

British Armed Forces Voucher — Issued in 1945 by command of the Army Council for use in military canteens, etc, only. Some are overprinted Issued on H.M. Ships Afloat for use in N.A.A.F.I. canteens only.

British Army Note — British Military Authority issues, 1943-45, for North Africa and Greece. All carry lion on crown design.

broken bank — An inappropriate term occasionally applied to a bank whose notes are no loger redeemable. The original reference was to the failed banks of the free banking period of the early 1800s.

Brown Seals — See: Hawaiian Dollars.

bueno solo para... — Good only for..., in Spanish.

business college note (or currency) — A simulated note used by a business college to familiarize largely rural students with the handling of papermonies in banking and business courses.

BW — Bradbury, Wilkinson & Co Ltd, printers.

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