Silver certificate (Cuba)

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BEP progress proof reverse for a 1930s Cuban 100 peso silver certificate depicting the Cuban coat of arms.
BEP progress proof reverse for a 1930s Cuban 100 peso silver certificate depicting the Cuban coat of arms.

Cuban silver certificates (Spanish: Certificado De Plata) were issued between 1934 and 1949 (and circulated from 1935 to the early 1950s). Prior and subsequent issues of Cuban banknotes were engraved and printed by nongovernmental private bank note companies in the United States, but the series from 1934 to 1949 were designed, engraved, and printed by the US government at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP).[1][2][3]

The first Cuban banknotes were issued in 1857 for El Banco Español De La Habana.[4][nb 1] Beginning in the late 1860s, Cuba contracted the National Bank Note Company (NBNC) for two issues of banknotes in 1869[5] and 1872.[6] After absorbing NBNC, the American Bank Note Company (ABNC) engraved and printed Cuban banknotes for issues in 1889,[6] 1896,[7] 1897,[8] 1905 for the National Bank of Cuba,[9] 1944,[10] and a 1949–50 issue for the Banco Nacional De Cuba (printed until 1960).[10] Between 1905 and the introduction of BEP issued Cuban silver certificates in 1934, no banknotes were produced.[11]

Cuban silver certificates made by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing[edit]

República de Cuba, one silver peso (1936)

The legal foundation for the issuance of Cuban silver certificates began with a Cuban law passed on 10 May 1933 authorizing the production of $6,000,000 in silver pesos[12] in order to back an equal number of silver certificates.[13] On 11 December 1933, the Cuban government announced that it planned to issue a total of $17,000,000 in silver certificates.[14] In a letter dated 2 March 1934, Cuban Ambassador Manuel Márquez Sterling wrote to Secretary of State Cordell Hull requesting that the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) prepare silver certificates on behalf of the Republic of Cuba.[15] The coining of Cuban silver pesos began pursuant to Decree-Law No. 93 (22 March 1934)[16] and it was announced that both the coins and banknotes would be produced by the United States.[17] Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau, Jr. gave initial authorization to the Cuban request to engage the BEP on 23 April 1934.[18] Though not exhaustive, there were several additional legal changes to Cuba's financial infrastructure. Silver certificates could be used to pay duties, taxes and other fees, without limit (Decree-Law No. 153, 19 April 1934)[16] and should be accepted in the same manner as silver coins (Decree-Law No. 176, 27 April 1934).[16] On 11 May 1934 the design process began at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.[19]

Development and production[edit]

The physical specifications for the Cuban issue were roughly the same size as US notes – printed on the same Crane & Co. 75% linen 25% cotton blend (but only containing red security fibers versus red and blue).[20] The seal and serial numbers printed in red, 12 notes per sheet, with the facsimile signatures of the Secretario de Hacienda (left) and Presidente de la República (right).[20]

Approval signature of Eduardo I. Montoulieu on a BEP artist proof
Approval signature of Eduardo I. Montoulieu on a BEP artist proof

Approval is required at major stages in the design of any currency. BEP procedure at the time required an approval signature on the artist's renderings and proof mock-ups. Eduardo I. Montoulieu served as an authorized delegate of the Cuban government during the design and engraving phases.[21] In 1915, Montoulieu served as a technical representative for Cuba during the minting of Cuban coins at the Philadelphia Mint.[22] His approval of the Series 1934 BEP designs can be seen on the background matte. Montoulieu would later become Cuban Treasury Secretary three times during two administrations.[23][24][25]

Issuance[edit]

Between 1934 (when the BEP was engaged to produce the silver certificates) and 1949 (the delivery of the last series of notes) Cuba’s government was fairly volatile. In the space of 15 years, Cuba had seven leaders: Carlos Mendieta, José Agripino Barnet, Miguel Mariano Gómez, Federico Laredo Brú, Fulgencio Batista, Ramón Grau, and Carlos Prío Socarrás. In the same period of time, Cuba’s Ministry of the Treasury changed leadership at least 20 times.[nb 2]

Overview/summary by series of Cuban silver certificates[3][42]
Series Secretario de Hacienda Presidente de la República Denominations
(Peso)
Issue
1934 (Gabriel Landa)
Manuel Despaigne
Carlos Mendieta 1,5,10,20,50 7,930,000 notes
(received 1935)
1936
[nb 3]
Ricardo Ponce José Agripino Barnet 1,5,10,20,50,100 2,295,000 notes
(received 1936)[nb 4]
1936A German Wolter del Rio Máximo Gómez 1,5,10,20,50 4,325,000 notes
(received 1936)[nb 5]
1938 Manuel Gimenez Lanier Federico Laredo Brú 1,5,10,20,50,100 19,028,000 notes
(received 1938–42)
1943 Eduardo I. Montoulieu Fulgencio Batista 1,5,10,20,50,100 12,966,800 notes
(received 1945)
1944 500,1000 ABNC issue
1945 Manuel Fernandez Supervielle Ramón Grau 1,5,10,20,100,500[nb 6] 13,230,400 notes
(received 1945)
1947 500,1000 ABNC issue
1948 Isauro Valdes Moreno Ramón Grau 1,5,10,20,50,100 14,623,000 notes
(received 1948)
1949 Antonio Prío Socarrás Carlos Prío Socarrás 1,5 6,940,000 notes
(received 1949)

Series 1934[edit]

On 25 June 1934, Cuban Secretary of Communications Gabriel Landa replaced outgoing Treasury Secretary Saenz.[27] Four months later (29 October 1934), Landa was replaced by Manuel Despaigne and became Secretary of National Defense.[28] He resigned his cabinet position at the end of November, three weeks before an arrest warrant was issued (15 December 1934)[43] charging him with embezzlement.[44][nb 7] The BEP received instructions from the Cuban government to replace the Landa signature with Despaigne which was put into effect in December 1934.[45] A small number of one and five peso notes with Landa's signature had already been printed but were never issued.[45] Original art and mock-ups for both versions (part of the National Numismatic Collection, NMAH) can be seen in the tables below.

Original art and progress proofs for BEP-issued Cuban silver certificates (Series 1934)
Value Art/progress proof (v1) Art/progress proof (v2) Certified proof
1 peso
US-BEP-República de Cuba (progress proof) one silver peso, 1934 (CUB-69a).jpg
US-BEP-República de Cuba (certified proof) one silver peso, 1934 (CUB-69a).jpg
5 pesos
US-BEP-República de Cuba (progress proof) five silver pesos, 1934 (CUB-70a).jpg
US-BEP-República de Cuba (certified proof) five silver pesos, 1934 (CUB-70a).jpg
10 pesos
US-BEP-República de Cuba (progress proof) 10 silver pesos, 1934(1) (CUB-71a).jpg
US-BEP-República de Cuba (progress proof) 10 silver pesos, 1934(2) (CUB-71a).jpg
US-BEP-República de Cuba (certified proof) 10 silver pesos, 1934 (CUB-71a).jpg
20 pesos
US-BEP-República de Cuba (progress proof) 20 silver pesos, 1934(1) (CUB-72a).jpg
US-BEP-República de Cuba (progress proof) 20 silver pesos, 1934(2) (CUB-72a).jpg
US-BEP-República de Cuba (certified proof) 20 silver pesos, 1934 (CUB-72a).jpg
50 pesos
US-BEP-República de Cuba (progress proof) 50 silver pesos, 1934(1) (CUB-73a).jpg
US-BEP-República de Cuba (progress proof) 50 silver pesos, 1934(2) (CUB-73a).jpg
US-BEP-República de Cuba (certified proof) 50 silver pesos, 1934 (CUB-73a).jpg

Series 1936[edit]

Original progress proofs and certified proofs[nb 8] for Series 1936 Cuban silver certificates[nb 9]
Value Art/Progress proofs Certified proofs Portrait[nb 10]
1 peso
US-BEP-República de Cuba (progress proof) one silver peso, 1936 (CUB-69b).jpg
US-BEP-República de Cuba (certified proof) one silver peso, 1936 (CUB-69b).jpg José Martí
Engraved by William Ford[46]
US-BEP-República de Cuba (progress proof) one silver peso, 1930s (CUB-69-reverse).jpg
US-BEP-República de Cuba (color certified proof) one silver peso, 1930s (CUB-69-reverse).jpg
5 pesos
US-BEP-República de Cuba (progress proof) five silver pesos, 1936 (CUB-70b).jpg
US-BEP-República de Cuba (certified proof) five silver pesos, 1936 (CUB-70b).jpg Máximo Gómez
Engraved by William Ford[46]
US-BEP-República de Cuba (progress proof) five silver pesos, 1930s (CUB-70-reverse).jpg
US-BEP-República de Cuba (color certified proof) five silver pesos, 1930s (CUB-70-reverse).jpg
10 pesos
US-BEP-República de Cuba (progress proof) 10 silver pesos, 1936 (CUB-71b).jpg
US-BEP-República de Cuba (certified proof) 10 silver pesos, 1936 (CUB-71b).jpg Carlos Manuel de Céspedes
Engraved by Sydney Smith[47]
US-BEP-República de Cuba (progress proof) 10 silver pesos, 1930s (CUB-71-reverse).jpg
US-BEP-República de Cuba (color certified proof) 10 silver pesos, 1930s (CUB-71-reverse).jpg
20 pesos
US-BEP-República de Cuba (progress proof) 20 silver pesos, 1936 (CUB-72b).jpg
US-BEP-República de Cuba (certified proof) 20 silver pesos, 1936 (CUB-72b).jpg Antonio Maceo Grajales
Engraved by Elie Loizeaux[48]
US-BEP-República de Cuba (progress proof) 20 silver pesos, 1930s (CUB-72-reverse).jpg
US-BEP-República de Cuba (color certified proof) 20 silver pesos, 1930s (CUB-72-reverse).jpg
50 pesos
US-BEP-República de Cuba (progress proof) 50 silver pesos, 1936 (CUB-73b).jpg
US-BEP-República de Cuba (certified proof) 50 silver pesos, 1936 (CUB-73b).jpg Calixto García
Engraved by Leo Kauffmann[49]
US-BEP-República de Cuba (progress proof) 50 silver pesos, 1930s (CUB-73-reverse).jpg
US-BEP-República de Cuba (color certified proof) 50 silver pesos, 1930s (CUB-73-reverse).jpg
100 pesos
US-BEP-República de Cuba (progress proof) 100 silver pesos, 1936 (CUB-74b).jpg
US-BEP-República de Cuba (certified proof) 100 silver pesos, 1936 (CUB-74b).jpg Francisco Vicente Aguilera
Engraved by William Ford[46]
US-BEP-República de Cuba (progress proof) 100 silver pesos, 1930s (CUB-74-reverse).jpg
US-BEP-República de Cuba (color certified proof) 100 silver pesos, 1930s (CUB-74-reverse).jpg

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ In denominations of 50, 100, 300, 500, and 1,000 pesos.[4]
  2. ^ In chronological order from 1934 to 1949: Joaquin Martinez Saenz,[26] Dr. Gabriel Landa,[27] Manuel Despaigne (third non-consecutive appointment),[28] Ricardo Ponce,[29] Dr. German Wolter del Rio,[30] Dr. Manuel Dorta Duque,[31] Eduardo I. Montoulieu (first appointment),[23] Dr. Manuel Gimenez Lanier,[32] Amadeo Lopez Castro,[33] Dr. Oscar Garcia Montes,[34] Dr. Joaquin Ochotorena,[35] Eduardo I. Montoulieu (second non-consecutive appointment),[24] Andres Domingo y Morales del Castillo,[36] Dr. Oscar Garcia Montes (second non-consecutive appointment),[37] Jose Miguel Irisarri,[25] Eduardo I. Montoulieu (third non-consecutive appointment),[25] Dr. Mario Diaz Cruz,[38] Dr. Manuel F. Supervielle,[39] Jorge Ruiz Cerda,[40] Isauro Valdes Moreno,[40] and Antonio Prío Socarrás.[41]
  3. ^ The 100 peso note (1936) was signed by Wolter del Rio and Máximo Gómez.
  4. ^ The 100 peso note received 1937.
  5. ^ The one peso note received 1936–37.
  6. ^ The 500 peso note was engraved and printed by ABNC and is not included in the number of notes received.
  7. ^ According to the New York Times report, "it is problematical whether the charge can be pressed since the money alleged to have been misappropriated was taken from secret funds legally granted to the Secretary of the Treasury by a Presidential decree and for which no accounting was required.
  8. ^ The bottom selvage of BEP certified proofs contain the date of the proof impression and the necessary approval signatures to begin production of the basic plate printing (prior to the addition of any overprints containing color tints or seals and serial numbers).
  9. ^ BEP certified proof dates for the Series 1936 notes (in ascending denominational order): 30 April 1936, 27 April 1936, 13 April 1936, 21 April 1936, 20 April 1936, and 9 April 1937.
  10. ^ There were no changes in portraits during the Silver certificate issue. The two ANBC-issued denominations of 500 and 1,000 pesos depicted Salvador Cisneros Betancourt and Tomás Estrada Palma respectively.[10]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Phillips, J.D. (24 March 1934). "$10,000,000 Silver Ordered by Cuba". The New York Times. p. 6. Archived from the original on 11 October 2014 – via ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times (1851–2010).
  2. ^ Shafer, 2001, p.298.
  3. ^ a b Cuhaj, George S. (2012). Standard Catalog of United States Paper Money. Krause Publications. pp. 403–405. ISBN 978-1-4402-3087-5.
  4. ^ a b Cuhaj, 2012, p.397.
  5. ^ Cuhaj, 2012, p.398.
  6. ^ a b Cuhaj, 2012, p.399.
  7. ^ Cuhaj, 2012, p.401.
  8. ^ Cuhaj, 2012, p.402.
  9. ^ Cuhaj, 2012, p.403.
  10. ^ a b c Cuhaj, 2012, p.405.
  11. ^ Cuhaj, 2012, p.404.
  12. ^ "Chase Gets Award for Cuba's Silver". The New York Times. 20 May 1933. p. 2 – via ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times (1851–2010). (Subscription required (help)).
  13. ^ "Cuba Plans to Coin $6,000,000 in Silver". The New York Times. 9 May 1933. p. 2 – via ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times (1851–2010). (Subscription required (help)).
  14. ^ "Cuba is Planning Currency Increase". The New York Times. 12 December 1933. p. 2 – via ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times (1851–2010). (Subscription required (help)).
  15. ^ Shafer, 2001, p. 300.
  16. ^ a b c "Cuban Currency Legislation". Federal Reserve Bulletin. Federal Reserve Board. 20 (7): 468–71. 1934.
  17. ^ Phillips, J.D. (24 March 1934). "$10,000,000 Silver Ordered by Cuba". The New York Times. p. 6 – via ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times (1851–2010). (Subscription required (help)).
  18. ^ Shafer, 2001, p. 301.
  19. ^ Shafer, 2001, p. 302.
  20. ^ a b Shafer, 2001, p. 303.
  21. ^ "Cuba Will Purchase $10,000,000 in Silver". The New York Times. 13 November 1934. p. 13 – via ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times (1851–2010). (Subscription required (help)).
  22. ^ Alfonso, Manuel F. (1915). Cuba Before the World: A Comprehensive and Descriptive Account of the Republic of Cuba From the Earliest Times to the Present Day. The Souvenir Guide of Cuba Co. p. 152.
  23. ^ a b "Quits Cuban Cabinet Post". The New York Times. 11 March 1937. p. 16 – via ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times (1851–2010). (Subscription required (help)).
  24. ^ a b "Cuban Treasury Head Resigns". The New York Times. 19 May 1940. p. 23 – via ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times (1851–2010). (Subscription required (help)).
  25. ^ a b c "Gets Treasury Post in Cuba". The New York Times. 7 May 1943. p. 5 – via ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times (1851–2010). (Subscription required (help)).
  26. ^ "ABC Leader Takes High Cuban Office". The New York Times. 22 January 1934. p. 8 – via ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times (1851–2010). (Subscription required (help)).
  27. ^ a b "Cabinet Resigns in Cuban Crisis". The New York Times. 26 June 1934. p. 11 – via ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times (1851–2010). (Subscription required (help)).
  28. ^ a b "Cuban Cabinet Changed". The New York Times. 30 October 1934. p. 7 – via ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times (1851–2010). (Subscription required (help)).
  29. ^ Riera Hernandez, 1968, p. 155.
  30. ^ "Cuban Official Resigns". The New York Times. 9 October 1936. p. 9 – via ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times (1851–2010). (Subscription required (help)).
  31. ^ "Duque Named to Cuban Post". The New York Times. 10 October 1936. p. 2 – via ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times (1851–2010). (Subscription required (help)).
  32. ^ "Shifts in Cuban Cabinet". The New York Times. 24 March 1937. p. 15 – via ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times (1851–2010). (Subscription required (help)).
  33. ^ "Cabinet is Appointed by Cuban President". The New York Times. 11 August 1938. p. 5 – via ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times (1851–2010). (Subscription required (help)).
  34. ^ "Two Get Cuban Cabinet Posts". The New York Times. 6 October 1938. p. 11 – via ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times (1851–2010). (Subscription required (help)).
  35. ^ "4 Members Resign From Cuban Cabinet". The New York Times. 27 May 1939. p. 6 – via ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times (1851–2010). (Subscription required (help)).
  36. ^ "Batista's Cabinet Announced in Cuba". The New York Times. 9 October 1940. p. 8 – via ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times (1851–2010). (Subscription required (help)).
  37. ^ "Cuba's New Cabinet Takes Oath of Office". The New York Times. 18 July 1941. p. 3 – via ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times (1851–2010). (Subscription required (help)).
  38. ^ "Cuba Switches 2 Ministers". The New York Times. 12 August 1944. p. 5 – via ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times (1851–2010). (Subscription required (help)).
  39. ^ "Dr. Grau Assumes Cuban Presidency". The New York Times. 11 October 1944. p. 13 – via ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times (1851–2010). (Subscription required (help)).
  40. ^ a b "Cuba Names Treasury Minister". The New York Times. 27 June 1947. p. 10 – via ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times (1851–2010). (Subscription required (help)).
  41. ^ "Cuban Cabinet Aide Quits". The New York Times. 4 January 1950. p. 20 – via ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times (1851–2010). (Subscription required (help)).
  42. ^ Shafer, 2001, pp. 303–307.
  43. ^ "Batista Bids Foes Attempt No Rising". The New York Times. 16 December 1934. p. 35 – via ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times (1851–2010). (Subscription required (help)).
  44. ^ "Cuban Strike is Laid to Political Fights". The New York Times. 14 March 1935. p. 3 – via ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times (1851–2010). (Subscription required (help)).
  45. ^ a b Shafer, 2001, p. 304.
  46. ^ a b c Hessler, 1993, p. 122.
  47. ^ Hessler, 1993, p. 294.
  48. ^ Hessler, 1993, p. 203.
  49. ^ Hessler, 1993, p. 186.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Shafer, Neil (2001). "1934–1949 Silver Certificates of Cuba Made by the U.S. BEP". Paper Money. Society of Paper Money Collectors. 40 (5): 298–307. External link in |publisher= (help)

Further reading[edit]