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1934-1934C $20 FRNs

Late-Finished BP #204

Twenty-dollar back plate 204 originally was utilized as a master plate and is the source of most $20 back plates with plate serials between 206 and 489. After it was finished in 1944 as a production plate, 204 spent the next two years producing a plethora of late-finished mules on various types of 1934-series $20 Federal Reserve Notes

$20 LFBP #204 Proof

Image courtesy of Jamie Yakes

The life of 204 began when the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) started making new-gauge plates in 1934. New-gauge plates had wider vertical margins between subjects and would replace the old-gauge plates then in use that had narrower gutters and were causing excessive sheet spoilage. The first new-gauge $20 backs were plates 203, 204, and 205, all made in late 1934.

Plate 203 was the new-gauge steel master that produced plates 204 and 205. Plates 203 and 205 were finished as production plates in January 1935, and 204 became the sole $20 back master plate used from March 1935 until October 1942. BEP personnel ceased using 204 as a master basso in February 1944, and certified it as a production plate on March 18, 1944. The 204s were etched into each subject in the macro numerals common in 1944. Back 204 was used for nine press rotations from April 4, 1944, until October 2, 1946, and was canceled on October 3.

Micro BP #151

Macro LFBP #204

Micro BP #211

Back 204 notes are possible for most kinds of Series of 1934, 1934A, 1934B, and 1934C $20 Federal Reserve notes, except three: 1934 New York and Chicago, and 1934A Minneapolis, because use of those faces had ceased before 204 went to press. Series of 1934 and 1934A San Francisco 204 sheets received green-seal and Hawaiian brown-seal overprints. Series of 1934C 204s will be rare because low supplies of 204 sheets were available as 1934C faces went to press (only two examples are currently known). Star notes are possible for all kinds that also had regular serial numbers printed.

Written by Jamie Yakes

1934 $20 FRN Boston LFBP #204

(All Series of 1934 w/ #204 are Mules)

1934A $20 FRN San Francisco LFBP #204

***Currently the only 1934A L-B Block LFBP #204 on the Census***

1934B $20 FRN Dallas LFBP #204

***Recently reported and currently the only 1934B Dallas LFBP #204 on the Census***

Images courtesy of Michael Moore

1934C $20 FRN Chicago LFBP #204

Images courtesy of Heritage Auctions

1934 $20 Hawaii LFBP #204

Images courtesy of Heritage Auctions

1934A $20 Hawaii LFBP #204

Related SPMC "Paper Money"Journal Articles

"Series of 1934C $20 Back Plate 204 Discovered" (requires SPMC membership)

July/Aug 2017 - Whole #310; pgs 321-322; Jamie Yakes

"The Fantastic Life of $20 Back Plate 204" (requires SPMC membership)

May/June 2017 - Whole #309; pgs 247-248; Jamie Yakes

"$20 FRN Back Plate 204 and Other Late-Finished Plates"

July/Aug 1982 - Whole #100; pgs 174-175; Peter Huntoon

Other articles covering Late-Finished Plates

The Census Report

Updated 03/11/2024

10 New Notes

Small-Size Guide Unverified Low & High Serials Added to Census PDF Only

Notes Included:

1934 FRN LFBP #204

1934A FRN LFBP #204

1934B FRN LFBP #204

1934C FRN LFBP #204


1934 Hawaii LFBP #204

1934A Hawaii LFBP #204

Current Census Population

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