|Neither of the notes in this listing are for sale. They are presented here for educational purposes in an effort to correctly identify the light green seal variety for Series 1934 $500 Federal Reserve Notes. PMG has designated both these notes LGS, the top note incorrectly so, as can be seen in the side by side comparison. Unfortunately, even professional currency grading services don't always get it right. In this case the LGS designation or attribution is incorrect on the note pictured at the top. We have no beef with PMG. On the contrary, we consider PMG and PCGS the industry standard, and the top two currency grading services in the world ! We do however feel that potential buyers should be made aware of situations like this when they arise. Buyer beware is the credo and we continue to reiterate "buy the note, not the holder." An informed buyer is a smart buyer.
Typically, the LGS variety for Series 1934 FRNs exhibits snow white paper and "lime" green seal. They are the early printings for Series 1934 and will always be in the lower serial number ranges compared to 1934 DGS or 1934A notes (always DGS) which are a continuation in serial number ranges from 1934. The difficulty comes in determining exactly where LGS ends and DGS starts. These ranges are fluid and changing as new high and low serial numbers are reported for each bank or district. To further complicate the matter, some districts did not move directly from LGS to DGS. A "transitional" paper and ink was utilized and thus the new abbreviation TGS came into being. We feel the top note in our listing for example is a transitional green seal, neither dark nor light.
The significance of all this is important when determining value. GEM examples of Series 1934 LGS $500s on Chicago are infact very rare. This is ironic as Chicago was one of the most prolific issuers of $500 FRNs. So where does LGS start and DGS begin for Chicago $500s or any bank for that matter? The best published source for indentifying these serial number ranges is Small-Size Paper Money 1928 to date by Schwartz and Lindquist. Their 7th edition pegs the high/low serial number range for Chicago LGS $500s at G00001424A thru G00092018A. This data in itself may have been reported in error as 90,000+ notes is well out of the LGS range. A TGS note was probabably observed here. This may in fact be reason for bad attribution on the top note in our listing. The most recent 9th of edition of the same book has the LGS range for Chicago $500s G00000772A thru G00021859A. This is also incorrect as you'll notice the bottom note in our listing is higher than the high number observed in the 9th edition.
So what's one to do, and what can we conclude? These LGS ranges are constantly moving and being narrowed down. Just because a third party grading firm designates a note LGS, doesn't mean it's true. Don't assume that a note is or is not LGS because it is in or out of a published serial number range or low/high observed range. Don't pay a premium for a note that says LGS on the holder if you're not sure it's LGS. When in doubt, use seal color charts to compare these variations and make the correct determination.