After the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, U.S. forces in the Pacific were spread thin and the government was concerned that the Japanese would invade Hawaii. To prevent large amounts of U.S. money from falling into enemy hands should an invasion be successful, the Treasury Department decided to replace U.S. bills in Hawaii with ones specially identified so they could be devalued if captured.
These notes had brown serial numbers and treasury seals and were overprinted with the word “Hawaii” on the front and back. When the bills reached the islands in mid-1942, residents and businesses were required to turn in their normal $1, $5, $10, and $20 notes for the replacements. Rather than package and send the normal bills back to the mainland, they were destroyed.
Series 1935A Designation
The $1 “Hawaii” silver certificates carry a Series 1935A designation. Slightly over 35 million were printed as well as 204,000 “star” replacement notes. Fortunately, the tides of war shifted in favor of the U.S. so the cautionary measure was not needed and production of the bills stopped in June, 1944. Many were saved by servicemen and women as souvenirs of their time in Hawaii.
Valuable ZB, AC Blocks and Highly-Graded Star Notes
While not particularly rare as a group, choice uncirculated notes sell for over $150 and certain “blocks” (the letters at the beginning and end of the serial number) command even more. The ones to look for are ZB and AC blocks. Highly-graded star notes bring amounts well into four figures.
Increasing Collector Interest
While prices aren’t through the roof yet, there seems to be considerable interest in Hawaii notes on the part of currency dealers lately, especially in the rarer ones. Regardless, $1 Hawaii silver certificates are a great way to add some history to your currency collection.
The Great American Coin Company® is pleased to offer 1935 $1 Hawaii Issue Silver Certificates for sale by the grade. They’re just one item in our wide selection of U.S. and foreign coins and banknotes available for both seasoned and beginning collectors. Our inventory is constantly changing, so be sure to check back often.