Emergency Currency of the Great Depression $1 Pay Warrant Single Banknote Folder | American Heritage Bullion

Emergency Currency of the Great Depression $1 Pay Warrant Single Banknote Folder


  • $23.86

From October 29, 1929 until the beginning of the Second World War, the industrialized world suffered through one of the longest and deepest economic downturns in its history. The Great Depression was a perfect storm of speculative busts, bank failures, widespread deflation, mass unemployment, and overall financial hardship that lasted for almost exactly a decade. Only the economic stimulus caused by war, which found jobs for the unemployed in factories or on battlefields, turned the tide.

The Great Depression began in the United States, on Wall Street in New York City. After a decade in which the stock market swelled to unforeseen heights, propelled by a variety of factors including real estate speculation in Florida, the bubble suddenly and emphatically burst. On October 24, 1929, and again five days later, the stock market experienced an epic collapse. Some $30 billion was wiped away virtually overnight.

“Black Tuesday” had widespread ripple effects. There were runs on banks, as terrified investors sought to withdraw their money. Loans were called in. The panic worsened as banks began to fail. With fewer banks, businesses had fewer options to take out loans. Companies went out of business, workers were laid off. Within six months, the unemployment rate in the United States had doubled. President Herbert Hoover, a proponent of the theory that government intervention in finance is uniformly malefic, gave speeches extolling the health of the economy, but little else. The protectionist Smoot-Hawley Act, which imposed tariffs on foreign imports, backfired spectacularly, and exacerbated the economic downturn in Europe and elsewhere. The Great Depression thus spread from the United States to the rest of the world.

The underlying causes of the crisis remain a subject of debate. Some hold with the famed economist John Maynard Keynes, who at the time decreed that only deficit spending by the federal government to artificially simulate growth would fix the economy; indeed, when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt implemented those policies, the economy did show signs of recovery. Others argue that the economy would have recovered on its own, were it not for mismanagement by the Federal Reserve Bank. Probably a combination of factors, including the world’s reliance on the increasingly-obsolete gold standard, caused the Depression to endure. Whatever the reason, the pain was widespread and deep.

During the Great Depression, the global gross domestic product fell by a staggering 15 percent. Half the banks in the United States failed. Unemployment soared to record levels. Municipalities were so strapped for cash that they issued pay warrants—quasi-currency that could be used in local markets, and traded in at various times of the year for cash. In Europe, an economy that had been sluggish since the Great War continued to underperform.

The woeful financial condition in Germany specifically led to the rise of Adolf Hitler and his Nazi regime. Ironically, Hitler would have some hand in the world’s recovery from global economic collapse. As the Allied countries, and Great Britain especially, mobilized for war after the Nazi invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939, there was a surge in both the manufacturing and military sectors, which created employment, which helped end the Great Depression.

The Note: South Carolina Depression Era, pay warrant, $1 | Dimensions: 209 x 75 mm

Issued by the city of Charleston, South Carolina to pay municipal employees at the height of the Depression, these pay warrants could be exchanged for goods at local shops; merchants would turn them in at set times during the year for cash. The pay warrants ranged from one dollar to ten dollars and accrued interest at an annual rate of four or five percent.

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To be eligible for a return, your item must be unused, in the same condition that you received it and within 7 days of purchase. It must also be in the original packaging.

Please send an email to Support@AHMemail.com to receive an RA (Return Authorization) and address to return your item to. Returning your item without a RA will result in the item being refused and returned to you or possibly lost in our warehouse. We charge a 5% restocking fee on all credit card orders returned. If an exchange is requested, we will work with you to find an acceptable exchange.

Sale items (if applicable)

Only regular priced items may be refunded, unfortunately sale items cannot be refunded/exchanged unless item has defects.

Exchanges (if applicable)

If your purchase has defects and need to exchange, send an email to Support@AHMemail.com and after confirmation, please send your item to the address given as well as including the return authorization number.  If an exchange is requested, we will work with you to find an acceptable exchange.


If the item was marked as a gift when purchased and shipped directly to you, you’ll receive a gift credit for the value of your return. Once the returned item is received, a gift certificate will be mailed to you.


To return your purchase, you must mail the address given to you upon contacting American Heritage Mint and Bullion.

You will be responsible for paying for your own shipping costs for returning your item. Shipping costs are non-refundable. If you receive a refund, the cost of return shipping will be deducted from your refund.

Depending on where you live, the time it may take for your exchanged product to reach you, may vary.

We highly recommend using a trackable shipping service or purchasing shipping insurance. We don’t guarantee that we will receive your returned item.

We ship items using USPS, UPS, DHL, FedEx and will ship as soon as payments are processed and completed. Items typical ship within 3 - 5 business days from the day the order is placed unless otherwise stated on product page. (Please refer to notes with each item for additional information or adjustments). 

Please note that all Money Orders, Cashier’s, Personal and Business Checks will be held up to 10 business days or until said payment has cleared. Orders will be shipped promptly upon clearance of funds.

Items over $2000 may be sent using secured delivery to prevent fraud. A signature, photo, and other information (required by delivery company) may be required to prevent issues.

To prevent fraud, items with incorrect billing information might be cancelled if we can not verify. Shipments must be sent to billing address on file with your credit card unless approved by our risk department.


Shipping charges for returns are the responsibility of the party returning the item.

Orders may be returned shipped via USPS, FedEx or UPS. We highly recommend that you insure the package for its full value. American Heritage Mint and Bullion does not assume any responsibility for items lost or damaged while in return transit. We only assume responsibility of products while they are in our care, custody and control.

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