Collection Inspiration: Dogs

Posted on 8/16/2022

Man’s best friend finds a home on banknotes from around the world.

August is National Dog Month, with August 26 dedicated to man’s best friend. For centuries, the lives of humans and dogs have been intertwined: working side-by-side in various occupations and providing love, support and protection in the home. Respected in many nations, images of dogs are featured on various banknotes. This month, we celebrate our loyal canine companions and all they do with 10 banknotes to start a dog-themed collection.

Year of the Dog

Dogs appear in different myths and legends since the beginning of storytelling. One such tale is about the Jade Emperor, who decreed that the results of a great race would determine the calendar years. Being a lively personality, the dog spent his time playing in the water, and by the time he crossed the finish line, he found himself in 11th place. The Macau, China 2018 Year of the Dog Commemorative note is a tribute to dogkind everywhere.

Macau, China 2018 10 Patacas "Year of the Dog Commemorative" graded PMG 69 Superb Gem Uncirculated EPQ
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Today’s domesticated dogs are descendants of extinct wolves. The earliest remains of a domesticated dog were discovered in Bonn-Oberkassel, Germany, buried with a man and a woman. Over time, various dog breeds were developed to fulfill different work-related roles. Currently, there are about 450 breeds that are recognized by Kennel Clubs all over the world.

Argentina, Banco Oxandaburu y Garbino 1869 4 Reales Bolivianos graded PMG 63 Choice Uncirculated EPQ
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One of the first jobs dogs were recruited for was to assist with hunting. Many are trained to flush out or attack the targeted animal and alert the hunter to the game’s presence. Typical breeds suited for this line of work are hounds, terriers and pointers, the latter shown on the 1880 $5 Legal Tender note. From rabbits to bears, different breeds have various physical advantages gained over certain prey.

1880 $5 Legal Tender graded PMG 58 Choice About Uncirculated
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Herding and protecting animals from predators are the primary duties of a dedicated farm dog. As humans began to settle on acres of land, cultivating the earth and keeping animals, dogs found themselves taking on a new role in this new lifestyle. Many breeds such as the Border Collies, Australian Shepherds and English Sheepdogs were made for country life.

Maryland, Sailsbury 1862 $2 Somerset & Worcester Savings Bank graded PMG 63 Choice Uncirculated EPQ
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Dogs were quickly promoted to guard duty as watch dogs because of their attacking and protecting talents. Mastiffs, Doberman Pinschers, German Shepherds and even smaller dogs such as the Scottish Terriers are perfect for guarding. From property to people, these trained dogs sound the alarm when there is an intruder or even attack when necessary. A vignette of what appears to be a dog on guard is shown on the Dominican Republic 1869 5 Pesos note.

Dominican Republic 1869 5 Pesos graded PMG 30 Very Fine EPQ
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Since ancient times, dogs were enlisted to serve primarily in positions as patrols, although occasionally, they were sent into battle. Egypt and Roman murals show battle scenes with canines fighting alongside the soldiers. Today’s military dogs are still used for sentry duties, but their role has expanded to couriers, scouting, detection and tracking. German Shepherds and other robust breeds are trained to assist in the success of a mission.

Mexico, Banco de Londres y Sud America 1887 20 Pesos graded PMG 64 Choice Uncirculated
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Up north, in the land of ice and snow, sleds led by dogs are a common way to get around. Breeds like the Husky, Samoyed and the Greenland Dog have a thick double coat, which protects them from the harshest climates. Sled dogs are organized by lead dogs, to lead the sled; the swing dogs, to help the leads steer; the team dogs, the sled’s muscle; and the wheel dogs, who are the largest dogs that carry the bulk of the weight.

Greenland, Credit Note 1953 100 Kroner graded PMG 53 About Uncirculated
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Search and rescue

Trained from puppyhood, rescue dogs have the aptitude to save lives during a disaster. A few international organizations use dogs to perform searches and rescues. The International Rescue Dog Organization is a worldwide training facility that trains and tests dogs for this line of work.

Colombia, Banco Nacional 1895 25 Pesos graded PMG 30 Very Fine
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Service and companionship

Overall, the bond between humans and dogs has stood the test of time. These wonderful companions have not only worked alongside humans but have accepted people as family. Being in their presence has proven to reduce psychological and physical issues. From the tiniest dogs like Chihuahuas and Shih Tzus to the massive Great Danes and Saint Bernards, these canines are worth celebrating as the good, hard-working dogs they are.

Ireland - Republic, Central Bank 1982 £50 graded PMG 67 Superb Gem Uncirculated EPQ
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Dogs’ versatile roles make them beloved characters in popular stories and movies. Lassie and Rin Tin Tin were two of the famous dogs to appear in the early years of television. One of the best-loved stories is 101 Dalmatians, a novel from 1956 about a family of dogs running for their lives from the evil Cruella de Vil. In 1961, the story became a popular Disney animated film. Pongo, Perdita and one of their puppies — the main protagonists — are featured on this Disneyland 2013 Disney Dollar. (This note is also interesting because of its special error: Dalmations.)

Disneyland 2013 $1 Disney Dollar "Dalmations Error" graded PMG 64 Choice Uncirculated EPQ
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If these paper money collectibles were a treat for you, check out other Collection Inspiration columns for more collecting ideas. Be sure to follow PMG on Facebook, PMG on Instagram and PMG on Twitter for articles and interesting notes posted daily.

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