Before I begin with today’s post, to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy, I urge my readers to donate what they can to the American Red Cross. You can donate online or you can Text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 to the Red Cross Disaster Relief fund. Charges will appear on your wireless bill, or be deducted from your prepaid balance.

Those of us in the D.C. metropolitan area dodged the wrath of Sandy for the most part. There are power outages, trees down, and flooding, but not to the extent north and east of here. It may take a day or two for what passes as normalcy to return to the area but we are in better shape than the coastal areas from the Delmarva Peninsula north to Connecticut and Rhode Island. I wish all of those in the effected areas well and hope their recovery goes as smoothly as possible.

Today’s post is lighter than planned. I rather than do a 2012 version of the numismatic trick or treat as I did last year, I will show off a pocket change find was not found in pocket change and not even change, per se. At our last coin club meeting someone paid for their auction lots with this Series 1953 $2 Federal Reserve Note. Although it is not in good shape and there is a tear in the bottom corner, I decided to take it as part of payment for the lots I sold.

Sec. George M. Humphrey
Thomas Edgar Stephens (1957)–Oil on canvas

Priest Pictured with a hat of money when she announced her candidacy for treasurer of California (circa 1966)

This note from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston has a “full-house” serial number, for those into playing Liar’s Poker. It is signed by Treasurer Ivy Baker Priest and Secretary of the Treasury George M. Humphrey. Both were appointees of President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Humphrey was the 55th Secretary of the Treasury serving during Eisenhower’s first term. It was reported that Humphrey gave up a $300,000 annual salary as president of the steel manufacturer M.A. Hanna Company to accept a Cabinet position that paid only $22,500. After retiring from government service, Humphrey returned to Hanna Company and later became chairman of National Steel Corporation.

Long time readers will remember that Priest was the mystery guest on the television game show “What’s my Line” that aired on August 29, 1954. If you forgot, you can go back and watch the video.

Aside from being a political leader in Utah and the 30th Treasurer of the United States, Priest is also the mother of Pat Priest who is better known for playing Marilyn Munster on the 1960’s sitcom “The Munsters.”

Pocket Change Find: Obverse of a Series 1953 $2 Federal Reserve Note signed by Treasurer Ivy Baker Priest and Secretary of the Treasury George M. Humphrey

Pocket Change Find: Reverse of a Series 1953 $2 Federal Reserve Note featuring image of Jefferson’s Monticello.

Portrait of Secretary George M. Humphrey courtesy of the Department of the Treasury.
Image of Ivy Baker Priest courtesy of

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