Mike writes: I have a $10 Gold Certificate that was issued in 1922. It is in fair condition. Could you tell me approximately what this is worth and some info on gold certificates?
I’m not sure what grade you are referring to when you say “fair condition”. Generally that means a note in the lowest possible grade, worst than a rag. I’m going to assume that the note is average circulated between Fine and Very Fine.
Every kind of paper money has an “obligation” that shows how that paper could be redeemed. Paper money was either a receipt for specie, gold or silver, or a loan to the issuer (Treasury notes, Legal Tender issues).
There were nine issues of large size gold certificates and one short issue of the small size (1928). Your note comes from the ninth issue beginning in 1913 with a $50 note and continuing in 1922, $10 to $1000 note. Its convertibility into gold ended with the Gold Reserve Act of 1933 and its legal standing as a collectible wasn’t clearly resolved until 1964.
Gold Certificates are always scarce in high grade and especially in the higher denominations. After the recall date in 1933 the notes were illegal to own. Though a good number survived, preserved by collectors or by accident, few were saved by the usual souvenir hoarder that puts away old issues of money for nostalgic reasons.
The 1922 Gold Certificate comes with both small and large serial numbers, both with the Speelman-White signature combination and the portrait of Michael Hillegas (First Treasurer of the United States along with co-Treasurer George Clymer). Though this is column is not a price guide, I can say that average circulated specimens of this note go for $100-$150. The serial number size only matters, as far as value, in higher grades.