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The 1928 $5 Legal Tender notes were printed in seven different series, 1928 to 1928F, and encompassed nine different blocks, A-A to I-A, plus Stars.  This series offered a number of tough and very rare notes to collect.  Some of these tough varieties include Mules with LFBP (Late-Finished Back Plate) #637 & Late-Use BP #629,  Mules with micro or macro backplates, a tough regular block (1928 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 varieties). 

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

1928-1928A Series

1928B-1928F Series

The 1928F series saw a slight change from the  Wide I back plate design, which was used on all $5 small-size notes to that point, to a Narrow design, and then to a Wide II design (a change back to the original reverse design following the Narrow plates).  The I-A block was the only block that contained all three varieties.  More information on Wide I, Narrow, and Wide II back changes.

Wide I

BP #2006 and lower

Narrow

BP #2007 to 2066

Wide II

BP #2067 to #2096

This series also had Mule varieties printed over four different series, 1928B to 1928E.  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 $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.

Micro-size face plate serial numbers were used for the 1928, 1928A, & 1928B series (FP #287 and lower) $5 Legal Tender along with their corresponding backs with micro-size plate serial numbers (BP #938 and lower).  With the 1928C series, there was a change to a macro-size plate serial number for the face (FP #288-522), and a change had already been made producing macro-size plate number back plates (BP #939 and higher) as well.  1928B series Mules are created when a 1928B face plate (micro-size) was mated to a sheet printed with a newer macro-size BP.  And the opposite is true for 1928C series Mules, in which a 1928C 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

Long after the micro-size plate numbering era ended, two additional micro-size plate numbers were discovered, #637 and #629, and sent to press.  The LFBP #637 was used on G-A block and H-A block notes, whereas Late-Use BP #629 was only used on H-A block notes.  For more information on these cool Mule BPs, CLICK HERE.

$5 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 $5 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:

Scarce Blocks:

12-subject

Woods / Mellon

None

D-A Block

First Printing:

Last Printing:

May 27, 1929

?

Fr# 1525 - Regular Notes

Face Plates:

Back Plates:

#4 through #408 (micro); #1 through #4 not used

#1 and higher (micro)

Serial Numbers

Delivered to BEP Vault: 1929 - ?

Blocks

Official Low

Official High 

Estimated Printed

A00 000 001A

*00 000 001A

Not Available

Not Available

A-A - D-A

*-A

267,209,616

Blocks

Observed Low

Observed High

Known Range

A-A - D-A

A*-A

A00 000 049A (HA)

*00 007 777A (SSG)

D14 579 201A (HA)

*03 282 332A (SSG)

414,579,152

3,274,555

See the 1928 $5 LT D-A Block Census page for reported serials and additional information.

Series 1928A - Red Seal

Layout:

Signatures:

Varieties:

12-subject

Woods / Mills

None

First Printing:

Last Printing:

?

?

Fr# 1526 - Regular Notes

Face Plates:

Back Plates:

#3 through #122, #174, & #175 (micro); #1, #2 & #123-#173 not used

#1 and higher (micro)

Serial Numbers

Delivered to BEP Vault: ?-?

Blocks

Official Low

Official High 

Estimated Printed

Not Available

Not Available

Not Available

Not Available

C-A - D-A

*-A

58,194,600

Blocks

Observed Low

Observed High

Known Range

C-A - D-A

*-A

C29 334 212A (SSG)

*02 821 949A (SSG)

D15 142 278A (SSG)

*03 341 033A (SSG)

85,808,066

519,084

Series 1928B - Red Seal

Layout:

Signatures:

Varieties:

12-subject

Julian / Morgenthau

First Printing:

Last Printing:

1934

1939

Fr# 1527 - Regular Notes

Face Plates:

Back Plates:

#1 through #287 (micro)

#938 and lower (micro)

Serial Numbers

Delivered to BEP Vault: 1934 - 1939

Blocks

Official Low

Official High 

Estimated Printed

D15 278 001A

Not Available

Not Available

Not Available

D-A - E-A

*-A

147,827,340

Blocks

Observed Low

Observed High

Known Range

D-A - E-A

*-A

D15 332 024A (HA)

*03 409 443A (HA)

E70 835 476A (HA)

*05 187 780A (SSG)

155,503,452

1,633,299

Fr# 1527m - Mules (micro/macro)

Face Plates:

Back Plates:

#1 through #287 (micro)

#939 and higher (macro)

Serial Numbers

Delivered to BEP Vault: 1937 - 1939

Blocks

Observed Low

Observed High

Known Range

E-A

*-A

E36 564 639A (HA)

*04 684 621A (PMP)

E79 977 997A (LK)

*05 187 780A (HA)

41,609,850

503,159

See the 1928B/C $5 LT Micro/Macro Mules Census page for reported serials and additional information.

Series 1928C - Red Seal

Layout:

Signatures:

Varieties:

12-subject

Julian / Morganthau

Mules (macro/micro)

Mules w/ LFBP #637

First Printing:

Last Printing:

1938

1946

Fr# 1528 - Regular Notes

Face Plates:

Back Plates:

#288 through #522 (macro)

#939 and higher (macro)

Serial Numbers

Delivered to BEP Vault: 1938 - 1946

Blocks

Official Low

Official High 

Estimated Printed

Not Available

Not Available

Not Available

Not Available

E-A - G-A

*-A

214,735,756

Blocks

Observed Low

Observed High

Known Range

E-A - G-A

*-A

E41 395 429A (SSG)

*04 997 858A (SSG)

G62 707 615A (SSG)

*07 086 174A (HA)

121,312,186

2,088,306

Fr# 1528m - Mules (macro/micro)

Face Plates:

Back Plates:

#288 through #522 (macro)

#938 and lower (micro)

Serial Numbers

Delivered to BEP Vault: 1938 - 1940

Blocks

Observed Low

Observed High

Known Range

E-A - F-A

*-A

E41 395 929A (SSG)

*04 849 611A (PMP)

F06 426 762A (PMP)

*05 602 636A (SSG)

65,030,833

753,025

See the 1928B/C $5 LT Micro/Macro Mules Census page for reported serials and additional information.

Fr# 1528m - Mules w/ LFBP #637

Face Plates:

Back Plates:

#288 through #522 (macro)

Late-Finished #637 (micro)

Serial Numbers

Delivered to BEP Vault: 1945 - 1946

Blocks

Observed Low

Observed High

Known Range

G-A

*-A

G40 753 365A (PMP)

*06 928 533A (HA)

G57 843 456A (SSG)

      -

17,090,091

UNIQUE

See the 1928x $5 LT LFBP #637 Mules Census page for reported serials and additional information.

Series 1928D - Red Seal

Layout:

Signatures:

Varieties

12-subject

Julian / Vinson

First Printing:

Last Printing:

1946

1946

Fr# 1529 - Regular Notes

Face Plates:

Back Plates:

#524 through #550 (macro)

#939 and higher (macro)

Serial Numbers

Delivered to BEP Vault: 1946

Blocks

Official Low

Official High 

Estimated Printed

G50 628 001A

Not Available

Not Available

Not Available

G-A

*-A

9,297,120

Blocks

Observed Low

Observed High

Known Range

G-A

*-A

G52 715 073A (HA)

*07 092 398A (HA)

G66 781 666A (HA)

*07 174 715A (HA)

14,066,593

82,317

Fr# 1529m - Mules w/ LFBP #637

Face Plates:

Back Plates:

#524 through #550 (macro)

Late-Finished #637 (micro)

Serial Numbers

Delivered to BEP Vault: 1946

Blocks

Observed Low

Observed High

Known Range

G-A

*-A

G54 832 909A (PMP)

NONE KNOWN

G65 998 344A (HA)

NONE KNOWN

11,165,435

-    

See the 1928x $5 LT LFBP #637 Mules Census page for reported serials and additional information.

Series 1928E - Red Seal

Layout:

Signatures:

Varieties:

12-subject

Julian / Synder

Mules w/ LFBP #637

Mules w/ BP #629

First Printing:

Last Printing:

1946

1950

Fr# 1530 - Regular Notes

Face Plates:

Back Plates:

#566 through #627 (macro)

#939 and higher (macro)

Serial Numbers

Delivered to BEP Vault: 1946 - 1950

Blocks

Official Low

Official High 

Estimated Printed

G62 496 001A

*07 176 001A

Not Available

Not Available

G-A - H-A

*-A

109,952,760

Blocks

Observed Low

Observed High

Known Range

G-A - H-A

*-A

G64 000 000A (HA)

*07 177 415A (HA)

H78 183 018A (HA)

*08 697 470A (SSG)

114,183,018

1,520,055

Fr# 1530m - Mules w/ LFBP #637

Face Plates:

Back Plates:

#566 through #627 (macro)

Late-Finished #637 (micro)

Serial Numbers

Delivered to BEP Vault: 1946 - 1949

Blocks

Observed Low

Observed High

Known Range

G-A - H-A

*-A

G64 587 897A (PMP)

*07 281 117A (HA)

H50 445 154A (HA)

*07 850 075A (HA)

85,857,257

568,958

See the 1928x $5 LT LFBP #637 Mules Census page for reported serials and additional information.

Fr# 1530m - Mules w/ Late-Used BP #629

Face Plates:

Back Plates:

#566 through #627 (macro)

Late-Used #629 (micro)

Serial Numbers

Delivered to BEP Vault: 1948

Blocks

Observed Low

Observed High

Known Range

H-A

*-A

H09 204 499A (PMP)

NONE KNOWN

H12 294 905A (PMP)

NONE KNOWN

3,090,406

-    

See the 1928x $5 LT BP #629 Mules Census page for reported serials and additional information.

Series 1928F - Red Seal

Layout:

Signatures:

Varieties:

12-subject

Clark / Synder

Narrow & Wide II

First Printing:

Last Printing:

1950

1953

Fr# 1531 - Regular (Wide I) Notes

Face Plates:

Back Plates:

#628 through #683 (macro)

#2006 and lower (macro)

Serial Numbers

Delivered to BEP Vault: 1950 - 1953

Blocks

Official Low

Official High 

Estimated Printed

H71 592 001A

Not Available

I79 468 000A

*09 744 000A

H-A - I-A

*-A

104,194,704

Blocks

Observed Low

Observed High

Known Range

H-A - I-A

*-A

H72 708 698A (eB)

*08 396 104A (SSG)

I79 320 200A (HA)

*09 677 247A (SSG)

106,611,502

1,281,143

Fr# 1531 - Narrow Notes

Face Plates:

Back Plates:

#628 through #683 (macro)

#2007 through #2066 (macro)

Serial Numbers

Delivered to BEP Vault: 1952 - 1953

Blocks

Observed Low

Observed High

Known Range

I-A

*-A

I51 752 715A (SSG)

*09 419 479A (SSG)

I75 479 000A (SSG)

*09 658 306A (SSG)

23,726,285

238,827

See the 1928F $5 LT Narrow & Wide II Star Census page for reported serials and additional information

Fr# 1531 - Wide II Notes

Face Plates:

Back Plates:

#628 through #683 (macro)

#2067 through #2096 (macro)

Serial Numbers

Delivered to BEP Vault: 1952 - 1953

Blocks

Observed Low

Observed High

Known Range

I-A

*-A

I69 897 697A (HA)

*09 541 928A (HA)

I79 394 789A (HA)

*09 674 499A (HA)

9,497,092

132,571

See the 1928F $5 LT Narrow & Wide II Star Census page for reported serials and additional information

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