Are you a dealer or collector?
Courtesy autographs are bills that carry a Secretary's and/or Treasurer's actual autograph along with their printed signature. See below for an example. In the 1950s and '60s, the courtesy autograph niche took off among notaphilists (paper money collectors), although there are examples from the '40s and even a handful from the '30s. In fact, all Treasurers and Secretaries of the Treasury since the 1950s have autographed bills (some more than others). Courtesy autographs are now a small but respectable subsection of the currency collecting hobby.
What Are They Worth?
A $1 bill with a courtesy autograph can be worth anywhere from $20 to $200 or more. The value depends on several factors:
Who Signed It. Some Secretaries and Treasurers were known to autograph more bills than others. Generally, Treasurers' autographs are more common (and thus less valuable) than Secretaries' autographs. Maybe it's because the women are more outgoing, and therefore more likely to sign autographs than the men? Scour the web to find how common your courtesy autograph is compared to others. (Treasurers Francine I. Neff and Mary Ellen Withrow are among the most frequent signers.)
February 20, 2010
Francine I. Neff, 84; Signed Money in '70s as U.S. Treasurer
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Francine I. Neff, who served as United States treasurer in the 1970s and was deeply involved in Republican politics for decades, died Feb. 9 at her home in Peña Blanca, N.M. She was 84.
Her death was confirmed by her family.
Ms. Neff was appointed treasurer by President Richard M. Nixon in 1974, and then reappointed by President Gerald R. Ford. She served until 1977.
Francine Irving grew up in Mountainair, N.M., and attended Cottey College in Nevada, Mo., before graduating from the University of New Mexico in 1948.
She founded an accounting firm in Albuquerque with her husband, Edward J. Neff, and got involved in politics when she campaigned for Barry Goldwater in the 1964 presidential election. She served as a Republican national committeewoman from 1970 to 1974.