Papermoney Dictionary


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F Fine, a pricelist abbreviation.

face Basically, the image one sees when facing a mirror. A misguided term sometimes used to refer to the front, qv, of a note merely because the fronts of some notes feature portraits. Inciden-tally, some notes also contain portraits on their backs.

face value The value written, printed or struck on a note, bond, stock certificate, cheque, postage stamp, coin, etc. Not to be confused with nominal value, qv, nor actual, intrinsic, and market values.

facsimile An exact copy, usually from the original dies. See also: The table after counterfeit for a list of often confused words.

failed bank Just that -- a bank which has failed. A more correct term than broken bank, qv.

fake An imitation. Also, something altered or created to look like something else. In stamps, for example, the item may be repaired, reperfed or regummed to resemble a more valuable variety. See also: counterfeit.

fantasy A creation of something heretofore nonexistent, eg, a note or any collectible, or a piece of art, etc, intended to defraud collectors by implying genuine historical significance. The Shroud of Turin comes to mind.

Federal Reserve System A centralized banking system in the USA under a Board of Governors (formerly, Federal Reserve Board) with supervisory powers over twelve Federal Reserve Banks, each a central bank for its district, and about 6000 member banks. It was established in 1913 to develop a currency which would fluctuate with business demands, and to regulate the member banks of each district. To many people, the FRS seems to be shrouded in mystery. The lunatic fringe, for example, claims that it is owned and operated variously by The International Bankers, The International Jewry, The Rockefeller, The Rothchilds, The Illuminati, The Freemasons, etc, according to whim. Personally, I have not been able to pin it down that the FRS is owned by the Government of USA, like The Constitution demands of an issuer of money. The only thing I know is that FRNs are not backed by specie, qv. Therefore, what mystifies me is that so much of the world's doings is dependent on a non-materialistic medium of exchange. Now, non-materialism is a good synonym for spiritualism. And, spiritualism operates in the blind faith mode. Therefore, spending money, that is, what is known as "hard currency" is, in actuality, a religious experience. A tough pill for any atheist to swallow!

ferrocaril(es) Railroad(s), in Spanish.

fiat money Currency whose value is dictated by law, without being backed by precious metal(s) or specie of equivalent face value. Examples include current US FRNs. See also: fiduciary notes.

fiduciary issues (notes) Bank notes (and other paper documents) valuable only because of public confidence and support, ie, not backed by precious metal(s) or other securities. See also: fiat money.

fig Figure, a pricelist abbreviation.

flat plate printing Refers to notes or stamps printed on presses having flat plates, as distinguished from cylindrical plates used on rotary presses. In the event that both flat and rotary plates are made from the same flat master plate, the resulting notes or stamps printed on a rotary press tend to be slightly, albeit noticably, longer in the direction of curvature than their flat printed counterparts.

flaw A minor error, qv, subject to opinion and controversy as to whether or not it merits classification as an error. It may be a speck blemish, blotch, blur, scratch, or crease which occurred during the manufacture of the paper or during printing. It may also occur with unclean or cracked plates, from ink clogs, etc.

flying money Chinese papermonies of the 9th Century backed by deposits in the government treasury. No! They weren't for aviators! The term alludes to easy transportability re coins or bullion.

fold The result of bending or folding any pliable material, notably paper, but not severely enough to create a crease, that is, without causing the permanent severance of the fibers in the material. It is expected, therefore, that a fold will spring back into its original straightness, ie, that it will disappear with time and pressure. See also: bend, crease.

font In printing, a complete assortment of printing types of one size and style. This is 10 point Century Schoolbook. This is 8 point Century Schoolbook. This is 9 point Century Schoolbook bold. This is 7 point Century Schoolbook italic. This is 10 point Arial; 6 point Arial bold; 10 point Arial italic; 10 point Arial bold italic. (Arial is a sans-serif font, much like Helvetica. Century Schoolbook is a serif font, something like Times Roman.) The computer system that was used to produce this dictionary contains over 300 fonts, not counting variations such as bold and italic for each; it could contain more, but each font takes up valuable disk space. These fonts can be scaled from 4 points to 127 points. See also: serif, sans-serif.

food stamps (or coupons) — Any of the Federal (USDA) "stamps" of various denominations given or sold at less than face value only to qualifying unemployed or low-income persons for use in place of cash in buying food. The Food Stamp Plan, initiated in 1939, came to an end in 1943. These stamps were perforated, but not gummed like postage stamps. All subsequent issues, beginning with the Series of 1967, are titled Food Coupon, are more money-like, and are issued in booklets with tear-off perforations only along one edge. Although it is against the law for the recipient to sell them for any amount of cash (eg, to buy booze or drugs), they are a form of papermoney, and therefore of interest to syngraphists. I have no doubt that an underground collector market exists for them; for one thing, I recently noticed an ad for a food stamp catalogue.

forced issues — Emergency notes forced into circulation, for example, by a military authority.

foreign — Situated outside one's own country, place, or locality. In the 1950's and 1960's, collectors in USA who collected other countries notes collected "foreign paper money". As more and more collectors from other countries began to subscribe to collector publications, the term became utterly meaningless, and the Foreign Paper Money classifications evolved into Worldwide Paper Money soon after I convinced the Maryland Foreign Paper Money Club to change its name to World Paper Currency Collectors.

foreign exchange — The exchange of currencies or the transfer of credits between different monetary systems.

forgery — And invention or a fiction. Not a copy or a counterfeit, but a new creation intended to defraud or deceive, eg, a forged cheque. See also: The table after counterfeit for a list of often confused words.

format — See: landscape format, portrait format.

fractional currency, fractional note — Any note whose denomi-nation is less than the basic monetary unit, eg, One Dollar, One Mark, One Yuan, etc. Fractional notes are generally issued during coin shortages, and may thus exist in denominations identical to contemporary coins.

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

FRB, FRS — Federal Reserve Bank, Federal Reserve System.

freak — A minor error, or flaw, qv. Re stamps, an abnormal variety occurring because of paper fold, over-inking, perforation shift, etc, as opposed to a continually appearing variety or a major error.

fringe area collector — A subjective, and almost a negative term for describing someone who collects things which precious few others collect. To a dealer, a collector who never buys anything from him, or whose purchases cause him to lose money. One of the two public relations mistakes I ever made involved a preacher who claimed he collected "movie notes". Recall that it used to be illegal to film real money, and studios had crude facsimiles printed up. Apparently he was terribly offended when I tried to explain to him that even if I were to locate one of each of all the varieties extant, the two cents he was willing to pay for each would cause me to lose money on the project. He never wrote again. Truth is bitter to the tongue, but sweet to the tummy. I lost no more money mailing my lists to him.

FRN — Federal Reserve Note.

front — The side of a note or indeed any paper document which is of primary importance. The side of secondary importance is the back. Yes, Virginia, coins have obverses and reverses, but notes have fronts and backs. See also: back.

fugitive inks — Inks which dissolve when moistened, or change in hue when exposed to chemical action.

Copyright MMII, by Tiitus Syngraphics. All rights reserved.     .....     Last Revision:  2009-05-08