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1934A $10 Silver Certs

Late-Finished Plate #87

Ten-dollar Series of 1934A Silver Certificate (SC) face plates 86 and 87 were the first two macro $10 SC faces finished by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP). They started both as $10 1934A master plates early in 1938 at the onset of their push to produce macro plates for all classes and denominations. They eventually would finish 87 as a working plate that September, and do the same for 86 in May 1940.

$10 Frontplate 87 Proof

Image Courtesy of Jamie Yakes

Regular production of $10 1934A SC faces was delayed between the start and finish of faces 86 and 87, caused by the Treasury’s decision in 1938 to increase the outstanding supply of $10 SCs over the next three years. In February, they initially doubled the supply to $200 million from $100 million. Anticipating this, in January the BEP had started printing $10 sheets using 1934 faces, but the order quickly stressed
their resources. Previous printings of $10 SCs had consisted of small batches—through June 1937, $10s comprised just over 1 percent of all SCs delivered, which amounted to just 22 million notes. To meet demand, the BEP continued printing $10 sheets throughout 1938 and into early 1939 using 1934 faces, and also finished 40 new 1934 faces in March 1938, serials 88–127. Using 1934 faces was more expedient than waiting for completed 1934A faces. As a result, they shelved master plates 86 and 87, and made no 1934A faces for over a year.


In February 1939, the Treasury again increased the amount of outstanding $10 SCs, this time to $250 million. Two more increases followed: to $300 million in May, and another in March 1940 to $350 million. To accommodate these additional increases, and supplement their dwindling supply of 1934 faces, the BEP finally began regular production of 1934A faces on February 21. They finished 52 plates between then and June 3, 1940, inclusive of serials 129–180, and 182. The first 1934A faces went to press in December 1939.

The BEP had finished face 87 as a working plate on September 16, 1938, but never used it. This predated other 1934A faces by five months, so 87 may never serve as a master plate. Face 86 likely served as the sole template for making 1934A working plates from February 1939 to June 1940. The BEP began the last $10 SC faces on May 17, following the March 1940 increase. About two weeks later, on May 29, they finished face 86 as a working plate—over two years after it was started. The BEP printed sheets from faces 86 and 87, but not during overlapping press runs. Several varieties abound from both plates.

Face 87 had two short press runs: the first on December 5–6, 1939, and another from December 28, 1939, to January 16, 1940. Sheets were overprinted with blue seals and serial numbers, and mated with macro and micro backs to produce mules. All face 87 notes were serial numbered early in 1940, and predate production of North African notes. Owing to the plate’s brief time in use, reported serials for face 87 varieties fall within a narrow range of roughly 1,500,000 notes within the late A-A block, as shown in the chart below. No star notes are reported.

Face 86 lasted much longer in service than face 87: 13 press runs intermittently from July 18, 1940, to June 29, 1944. The last 10 occurred after the start of North African printings. As such, face 86 notes have regular blue seals and serial numbers, as well as yellow seals. The sheets also were mated with macro and micro backs, but mules have only blue seals. All reported face 86 varieties have serials ranging from the late A-A block and well into the B-A block, as mentioned in the chart below.  

Written by Jamie Yakes

1934A $10 Silver Certificate LFP #87

The Census Report

Updated 03/11/2024

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1934A Silver Certs LFP #87

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