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Yellow seal silver certificates are commonly called North Africa notes by currency collectors. North Africa notes consist of the series of 1935A $1 note, series of 1934A $5 note, series of 1934 $10 note, and the series of 1934A $10 note – all of which have a yellow seal.
In 1942 the United States troops were heavily involved in the North Africa campaign of World War II. All of the soldiers were paid in cash for their services. Just like with the Hawaii notes, the American government was worried that the American money supply in North Africa could be taken over by a German attack. In response to this worry, all military personnel were paid with one, five, and ten dollar silver certificates with a yellow seal. This action was taken so that any silver certificate with a yellow seal could be devalued if the Germans did in fact capture the money.
North Africa notes tend to be a little confusing for new collectors or people outside the hobby. Unlike the Hawaii notes, there is no overprint to hint at what these yellow seal silver certificates are. To make matters worse, seal colors can be altered to appear yellow by using chemical substances. Fortunately, there is no real financial motivation to mess with these types of notes. With exception of the 1934 ten dollar North Africa note, the other denominations can be bought as a nice circulated denomination set for less than $200 for all three.
Don’t let the years on these confuse you. Paper money isn’t like coins. The series date on currency rarely coincides with when the note actually left the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. So while North Africa notes say 1935 or 1934, they were most certainly not printed then.
If you like North Africa notes, don’t forget about North Africa star notes. We have a page here about North Africa stars.
Below you will find an example of each of the four types of North Africa yellow seal silver certificates. Click on each denomination for more information.