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The 1934 $5 Federal Reserve Notes were printed from 1934 to 1951 and encompassed five different series, 1934 to 1934D, all twelve FRN districts plus Stars, two different seal colors (LGS & DGS), and a WWII Emergency Issue (Hawaii).  This series offers a lot of different ways to collect notes and many different varieties and rare notes to chase.  Some of these tough varieties include regular Blue-Green Seal Non-Mules with an interesting back story,  Mules & Non-Mules with LFBP (Late-Finished Backplate) #637 & Late-Use BP #629, some extremely rare LFPs (Late-Finished Plates), an engraving error, and subtle design modifications.  This project is currently only focused on the varieties listed below, but may expand to cover others in the future.

At the beginning of printing in 1934, and continuing from the 1928B-1928D series, a Vivid Yellow-Green (YGS), also referred to as LGS (Light Green) was used to print the seals and serial numbers.  At some point during the 1934 series production, the color of the seal and serial numbers was changed to Dull Blue-Green (BGS), which is also incorrectly referred to by many as DGS (Dark-Green) as it's nowhere near the dark forest-green color of the early 1928 series seals and serial numbers.  

1934 Vivid Yellow-Green Seals (YGS)

1934 Dull Blue-Green Seals (BGS)

There were no major design changes during the course of the 1934 series, but there were a few different subtle design modifications. The 1934 & 1934A series included a WWII Emergency Issue, in which the Treasury seal and serial number color was changed from green to brown and two small "HAWAII" overprints on the face and a large overprint on the back were added.  These notes were used during WWII on the islands of Hawaii.  Aside from the change to the seal and the overprint, the notes were identical to the San Francisco FRNs.  More information on Hawaii WWII Emergency Issues.

1934A $5 Hawaii WWII Emergency Issue

Beginning with the 1934B series, there was a subtle change to the wording on the district seal. "THE"was removed from the bank name, leaving just "FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF" along with the name of the FRN bank city and state.  All small-size FRNs up through the 1934A series included "THE" in the seal.  


District Seal


District Seal

The 1934C series saw a subtle change to the face plate, with the introduction of Narrow Face plate design. The Narrow Face design was used on just six face plates (#298-303) for only the New York district (covered in a separate section).  This change was made to all new 1934D series face plates created for all 12 districts.

Wide Face

N.Y. Narrow Face (BP #298-303)

This series also had Mule varieties printed over four different series, 1934 to 1934C.  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 Federal Reserve Notes or the $5 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.

The 1934 series was printed with micro-size face plate numbers (FP numbers vary by district)) along with their corresponding backs with micro-size plate numbers (BP #938 and lower).  With the 1934A series, there was a change to a macro-size plate number for the face (FP numbers vary by district) and had already started producing macro-size plate number back plates (BP #939 and higher).  The 1934 series Mules are created when a 1934 face plate (micro-size) was mated to a sheet printed with a newer macro-size BP.  And the opposite is true for 1934A series Mules , in which a 1934A face plate (macro-size) was mated to a sheet printed with an older micro-sized BP.


Face Plate


Face Plate


Back Plate

Macro-size Back Plate

All Mules in the 1934A & 1934B series can only be found with LFBP #637, whereas the Mules from the 1934C series had both LFBP #637 and Late-Use BP #629.  There are some 1934 Non-Mule notes that are known to have been printed with LFBP #637 as well, whereas an overwhelming majority of 1934 Non-Mules had standard micro-size back plates.  These Non-Mule and Mules with BPs #637 and #629 are some of the rarest and most sought after of all the $5 Mules.  For more information on these cool Mules , CLICK HERE.

$5 FRN Census Projects

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

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