Tony V. writes: Doc. My question is, I have an old five dollar bill, the series is 1929. The bill has four big black (B) on the front, and on the left the inside of the bill it says, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The five dollar bill seems to be made differently than all the others. It’s seems to have been made on a cloth material instead of paper. The printing is very dark, it does not look or feel like any of the other bills. I just cannot get over how the bill feels like it was made out of a cloth material. Is it? Do I have anything important? Thank you for your time. Sincerely, Tony.
U.S. paper money is printed on a blend of cotton and Linen not paper. There are certainly differences between National Bank notes of 1929 (Brown seal) and the currency we use today but the stock is pretty much the same.
Notes for circulation are not printed individually but on sheets of 36 subjects (though 18 subject sheets were tried once). There are three printings (back, front and Treasury seal and numbers). The dry, completed sheets are stacked on other sheets. The scheme allows cutting vertically so the numbering is consecutive in vertical stacks of 1000 notes.
There are instances of notes printed on improperly made stock. These notes can be very thin or double thickness. These notes are considered errors and bring premiums of varying amount depending on the grade (condition stated as term of the universal paper money grading standards) of the note.
Interestingly, standard stock U.S. paper money after 1928 weighs exactly 1 gram. If the note was made out of some other material, or was double thick, it would weigh more or less than the above. So there is your test.