In the past I've been asked about the significance of Where'sGeorge.com stamped notes. Often I reply it's just a fun little game some people play with money, well I'm changing my stance. It is an obsessive habit that defaces money. Sure the bills are generally worth just face value but it is not all about the value.
Other common stamps seen on bills are bank stamps from other countries. These at least have a legitimate purpose, to stop counterfeiting. A few days ago I got my first Where's George bill and when investigating the site I can't help to be disappointed at what I found. What Hank Eskin started as a nice side project for an under worked database consultant has turned into a pandering company.
The object of the game is to use the serial number and series year of the bill to track the bill across the world. The problem is not the game but it has turned into a competition of manic proportions. This bill for instance has spent 1 year, 33 days, 9 hours, and 3 minutes to travel from South Portland, Maine to NYC. Although it looks like it's been around the world twice, while drunk.
The WheresGeorge.com site is free to register but I didn't so I could not contact the original sender "Melody". I would ask her to freely comment if my reaction is justified or not.
|Bills Entered:||23,876||Hit Rate:||7.47%|
|Bills with Hits:||1,784||Total Hits:||1,931|
|Days of Inactivity:||1||George Score:||1,074.13|
Yes you read right and not all bills entered are $1.00. She doesn't even rank among the top that record is for people who submit over 1 million stamped notes. In my life I doubt 100,000 notes passed through my hands let alone 1 million since 1998, the company start date.
Only if used for advertising purpose or to alter the value of the note with the purpose of deception.
The Secret Service ordered WheresGeorge.com to stop selling rubber stamps and they complied but many others still do, legally. Seeing how a profit is still being made at WheresGeorge.com it is possible to prosecute but the Secret Service wisely said they had better stuff to do.
On coins the Secret Service takes it more serious.
The Silver Surfer quarter was a promotion by 20th Century Fox through the Franklin Mint to circulate 40,000 stickered quarters for a chance at prizes. There was a big scandal which lead to no real trouble for either company.
Which made me laugh when I saw the Cici's Pizza commercial last night.
Each Cici's Pizza will be given 2,000 cents and told to drop the stickered cents on the ground and if you pick one up and peel the sticker you may win some free food. http://www.beapennypickerupper.com/ is the site and while the commercial is shown in NY I think the closest Cici's is about 200 miles away.
I don't mind the sticker promotion, illegal or not, because there is no permanent damage unlike the ink stains and extra abuse given stamped bills. I'll end this almost rant by pointing out I did block the serial number and will pass the note on, still I want to contact the original sender if time permits.
Update: The actual commercial.
Do you have a currency bill and want to know its value? Leave a comment/question and I will do my best to find out the price and history for you.