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The 1928 $2 Legal Tender notes were printed in eight different series, 1928 to 1928G, and encompassed five different blocks, A-A to E-A, plus Stars.  This series offered several tough and rare varieties to collect.  Some of these varieties include notes without backplate serial numbers engraved, Mules with macro backplates, a tough regular Non-Mule block (1928D B-A Block) printed when micro backplates were heavily used, a newly discovered and currently unique Mule block with micro backplates (1928D D-A Block), and some of the toughest small-size Star notes.  

The table below shows the blocks in which each series was printed, and the total number of notes it would take to complete a full series block set (without rare/scarce varieties). 

During the Great Depression, there was a change made to the obligation (and inner border) printed on the 1928C series plates from the original obligation seen on the 1928, 1928A, and 1928B series plates.  Since this change was done on the new 1928C series plates, it didn't create any varieties.  Otherwise, the main design didn't change throughout the eight 1928x series.  More information on the Legal Tender obligation change and other changes made during the Great Depression.

1928-1928B Series

1928C-1928G Series

This series also had Mule varieties printed over two different series, 1928C and 1928D.  A "Mule" is created when a note is printed with an older micro-sized plate serial number on one side and a macro-sized plate serial number on the other.  A Mule is not specific to Legal Tender or the $2 denomination... any note with a macro-sized plate number (newer) on one side and a micro-sized plate number (older) on the other creates a Mule.

Micro-size face plate serial numbers were used for the 1928, 1928A,1928B, and 1928C series (up to FP #181) $2 Legal Tender along with their corresponding backs with micro-size plate serial numbers (BP #288 and lower).  With the 1928D series, there was a change to a macro-size plate serial number for the face (FPs #182-401), and a change had already been made producing macro-size plate number back plates (BP #289 and higher) as well.  1928C series Mules are created when a 1928C face plate (micro-size) was mated to a sheet printed with a newer macro-size BP.  And the opposite is true for 1928D series Mules, in which a 1928D face plate (macro-size) was mated to a sheet printed with an older micro-sized BP.

Micro-size

Face Plate

Macro-size

Face Plate

Micro-size

Back Plate

Macro-size Back Plate

$2 Legal Tender Census Projects

This project is currently only focused on the notes listed below, but may expand to cover others in the future.

Explanation of Terms

Dates
First Printing - The first date that a series face plate was sent to press.  
Last Printing - The last date that a series face plate was used at press.  
Delivered to BEP Vault - The dates when notes were recorded as being delivered to the BEP vault after having received serial numbers.  
Serial Numbers
Official Low or High - The official low and high serial numbers printed for a given type based on data recorded by Bureau of Engraving and Printing employees. 
Observed Low or High - The lowest or highest serial number reported by the numismatic community for a given series.  The sources for observed serial numbers include auction archives, eBay listings, Track & Price (only verified serials), community forums, Facebook groups, numismatic publications (including catalogs and older reference guides), etc., or have been reported to or independently verified by the Paper Money Project.  Due diligence has been taken to verify the accuracy of the observed serials provided.  
 - New observed low serial number.  
⬆ - New observed high serial number.  
Notes Printed & Ranges
Estimated Printed - The estimated printed represents the total of incomplete notes printed for a type. Those data are not official quantities of notes finished with serial numbers. Chuck O’Donnell first provided estimated amounts of notes printed in his Standard Handbook of United States Modern Paper Money (Krause Publications). Dean Oakes and John Schwartz later carried those data into the Standard Guide to Small-Size U.S. Paper Money (Krause Publications).
O’Donnell compiled and calculated the totals from the number of sheets listed on plate summary cards kept by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP). The BEP maintained plate summary cards for intaglio plates to record data such as dates when a plate was started, certified, and canceled, and the number of sheets printed from it. Absent official BEP serial number records for a given type, estimated printed provide the best proxy for how many of that type could have been serial numbered.
Known Range - The number of serials between the low observed and high observed serial numbers and can extend across multiple blocks.  This range will exclude serial numbers reported from "Late-Used Sheets", which fall well outside of the expected range, usually by more than a year, and will be listed separately.  This range does not represent the number of notes printed or released and only occasionally includes official low or high serials.   
Overlapping Range - It was common practice for the B.E.P. to use whatever face plates were current to fulfill an order. This meant they continued to use faces until they wore out and often mixed production from two different series. When this happened, spans of serial numbers got applied to sheets of both series. It is normal, then, to find overlaps in the observed and official serial number ranges for consecutive series (such as 1928 and 1928A $2 United States Notes).  Changeover Pairs (COP), where two notes from different series or types are serial numbered consecutively, thus a change from one series or type to another, can also be found.

Sources

SSG = Standard Guide to Small-Size U.S. Paper Money (10th Ed., 2011; Schwartz/Lindquist)
PMP = Paper Money Project  census data
HA = Heritage Auctions
SB = Stack's Bowers Auctions
LK = Lyn Knight Auctions
eB = eBay
FB = Facebook

Series 1928 - Red Seal

Layout:

Signatures:

Varieties:

12-subject

Tate / Mellon

First Printing:

Last Printing:

February 4, 1929

June 3, 1930

Fr# 1501 - Regular Notes

Face Plates:

Back Plates:

#2 through #103 (micro); #1 (master) not used

#1 and higher (micro)

Serial Numbers

Delivered to BEP Vault: 1929 - 1930
Late-Used Sheet Note: 1933

Blocks

Official Low

Official High 

Estimated Printed

A00 000 001A

*00 000 001A

Not Available

Not Available

A-A

*-A

55,889,424

Blocks

Observed Low

Observed High

Known Range

A-A

A-A

*-A

A00 000 006A

Late-Used Sheet

*00 000 579A

A57 390 980A

A96 520 744A 

*00 688 584A

57,930,974Unique

688,005

= New observed high serial number reported by Larry Thomas - 03/09/2024

Fr# 1501nbp - No Back Plate #

Back Plate:

Missing

Serial Numbers

Delivered to BEP Vault: 1929 - 1930

Blocks

Observed Low

Observed High

Known Range

A-A

*-A

A19 654 169A

*00 383 684A

A46 594 739A   

*00 441 810A

26,940,570

58,126

See the 1928x $2 No Back Plate # Census page for reported serials and additional information.

Series 1928A - Red Seal

Layout:

Signatures:

Varieties:

12-subject

Woods / Mellon

First Printing:

Last Printing:

May 15, 1930

July 14, 1933

Fr# 1502 - Regular Notes

Face Plates:

Back Plates:

#4 through #193 (micro); #1 (master), #2 & #3 not used

#1 and higher (micro)

Serial Numbers

Delivered to BEP Vault: 1930 - 1934

Blocks

Official Low

Official High 

Estimated Printed

Not Available

Not Available

Not Available

Not Available

A-A - B-A

*-A

46,859,336

Blocks

Observed Low

Observed High

Known Range

A-A - B-A

*-A

A50 969 839A

*00 718 621A

B08 965 670A

*01 055 383A

57,995,831

336,762

image000001.jpeg

⬇ = New observed low serial number reported by Larry Thomas - 02/10/2024

Fr# 1502nbp - No Back Plate #

Back Plate:

Missing

Serial Numbers

Delivered to BEP Vault: 1931

Blocks

Observed Low

Observed High

Known Range

A-A

*-A

A61 979 969A

NONE KNOWN

   - 

   -

Unique

-  

See the 1928x $2 No Back Plate # Census page for reported serials and additional information.

Series 1928B - Red Seal

Layout:

Signatures:

Varieties:

12-subject

Woods / Mills

None

First Printing:

Last Printing:

January 23, 1933

July 17, 1933

Fr# 1503 - Regular Notes

Face Plates:

Back Plates:

#4 through #42 (micro); #1 through #6 not used

#1 and higher (micro)

Serial Numbers

Delivered to BEP Vault: 1933 - 1934

Blocks

Official Low

Official High 

Estimated Printed

Not Available

Not Available

Not Available

Not Available

A-A - B-A

*-A

9,001,632

According to verified research, the break between 1928B Stars and 1928C Stars is *01 056 000A / *01 056 001A

Blocks

Observed Low

Observed High

Known Range

A-A - B-A

*-A

A86 398 443A

*00 942 054A

B09 004 381A

*01 053 286A

22,605,938

111,232

Series 1928C - Red Seal

Layout:

Signatures:

Varieties:

12-subject

Julian / Morganthau

Mules (micro/macro)

First Printing:

Last Printing:

April 17, 1934

February 12, 1940

Fr# 1504 - Regular Notes

Face Plates:

Back Plates:

#1 through #181 (micro); #56 through #75 not used

#288 and lower (micro)

Serial Numbers

Delivered to BEP Vault: 1934 - 1941

Blocks

Official Low

Official High 

Estimated Printed

B09 008 001A

Not Available

Not Available

Not Available

B-A - C-A

*-A

86,584,008

According to verified research, the break between 1928B Stars and 1928C Stars is *01 056 000A / *01 056 001A

Blocks

Observed Low

Observed High

Known Range

B-A - C-A

*-A

B09 660 323A

*01 062 930A

C25 426 677A

*02 049 788A

115,766,354

986,858

Fr# 1504m - Mules (micro/macro)

Face Plates:

Back Plates:

#1 through #181 (micro); #56 through #75 not used

#288 and higher (macro); #289-#294 observed

Serial Numbers

Delivered to BEP Vault: 1939 - 1940

Blocks

Observed Low

Observed High

Known Range

B-A - C-A

*-A

B97 675 354A

NONE KNOWN

C04 103 686A

     -

6,428,332

-    

See the 1928C $2 LT Mules Census page for reported serials and additional information.

Series 1928D - Red Seal

Layout:

Signatures:

Varieties:

Scarce Blocks:

12-subject

Julian / Morganthau

Mules (micro/macro)

B-A Block Non-Mules

First Printing:

Last Printing:

March 13, 1939

May 27, 1946

Fr# 1505 - Regular Notes

Face Plates:

Back Plates:

#182 through #401 (macro)

#289 and higher (macro)

Serial Numbers

Delivered to BEP Vault: 1939 - 1946

Blocks

Official Low

Official High 

Estimated Printed

Not Available

Not Available

Not Available

Not Available

B-A - D-A

*-A

146,381,364

Blocks

Observed Low

Observed High

Known Range

B-A - D-A

*-A

B97 269 954A

*01 869 865A

D35 923 578A

*03 215 854A

138,653,624

1,345,989

See the 1928D $2 LT B-A Block Non-Mules Census page for reported serials

Fr# 1505 - Mules (macro/micro)

Face Plates:

Back Plates:

#182 through #401 (macro)

#288 and lower (micro)

Serial Numbers

Delivered to BEP Vault: 1939 - 1940
Late-Used Sheet D-A Block Mule: 1944

Blocks

Observed Low

Observed High

Known Range

B-A - C-A

D-A

*-A

B86 933 784A

Late-Used Sheet

*01 815 317A

C62 022 356A
D08 430 054A

*02 619 482A

75,088,572

Unique

804,165

See the 1928D $2 LT Mules Census page for reported serials and additional information

Series 1928E - Red Seal

Layout:

Signatures:

Varieties:

12-subject

Julian / Vinson

None

First Printing:

Last Printing:

December 26, 1945

September 17, 1946

Fr# 1506 - Regular Notes

Face Plates:

Back Plates:

#403 through #414 (macro)

#289 and higher (macro)

Serial Numbers

Delivered to BEP Vault: 1946 - 1947

Blocks

Official Low

Official High 

Estimated Printed

D29 712 001A

Not Available

Not Available

Not Available

D-A

*-A

6,480,000

Blocks

Observed Low

Observed High

Known Range

D-A

*-A

D29 739 375A

*03 212 775A

D40 156 288A

*03 227 489A

10,416,913

14,714

Series 1928F - Red Seal

Layout:

Signatures:

Varieties:

12-subject

Julian / Synder

None

First Printing:

Last Printing:

September 12, 1946

December 9, 1949

Fr# 1507 - Regular Notes

Face Plates:

Back Plates:

#440 through #462 (macro)

#289 and higher (macro)

Serial Numbers

Delivered to BEP Vault: 1946 - 1950

Blocks

Official Low

Official High 

Estimated Printed

D36 192 001A

Not Available

Not Available

Not Available

D-A

*-A

42,360,000

Blocks

Observed Low

Observed High

Known Range

D-A

*-A

D36 193 255A

*03 236 520A

D82 673 798A

*03 647 339A

46,480,543

410,819

Series 1928G - Red Seal

Layout:

Signatures:

Varieties:

12-subject

Clark / Synder

None

First Printing:

Last Printing:

December 1949

February 1953

Fr# 1508 - Regular Notes

Face Plates:

Back Plates:

#483 through #516 (macro)

#390 and lower (macro)

Serial Numbers

Delivered to BEP Vault: 1950 - 1953

Blocks

Official Low

Official High 

Estimated Printed

D78 552 001A

*03 648 001A

E30 760 000A

*04 152 000A

D-A

*-A

< 52,208,000

504,000

Blocks

Observed Low

Observed High

Known Range

D-A

*-A

D78 616 836A 

*03 651 150A

E30 740 955A

*04 139 566A

52,188,954

488,416

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