Olevian Numismatic Rarities
1970's $20 Military Payment Certificate // Vietnam War Series 692 // PMG Certified About Uncirculated 55
Offered here is a high-grade example of one of the more uncommon military payment certificates issued between 1965 and 1970 for use specifically by U.S. troops in Vietnam. You will receive the unique certificates shown in the photos with a certificate of authenticity.
Military payment certificates (MPCs) were a form of currency used to pay U.S. military personnel in foreign nations from 1946 to 1973. They evolved from allied military currency as a response to large amounts of U.S. dollars circulating in post-World War II Europe.
Dollars were more favorable to hold by European citizens than volatile local currencies, who often accepted U.S. currency from GI’s for less than the accepted conversion rates. A black-market developed where servicemen could profit from the more favorable exchange rate, further inflating local currencies and damaging attempts to stabilize economies. To reduce profiteering from currency arbitrage, the U.S. military devised the MPC program. These colorful paper notes were printed in 5, 10, 25, and 50-cent denominations, as well as in 1, 5, 10, and 20-dollar denominations—each of which were smaller in physical size than ordinary U.S. banknotes. To prevent MPCs from being used as primary currency in the host country and destroying the local economy, styles were frequently changed to deter black marketers and reduce hoarding. A "conversion day" or "C-day" was the only opportunity for soldiers to trade old MPCs for new issues, after which the old notes became worthless.
Fifteen series of MPCs were produced, but only 13 were issued. A total of 94 different notes were used in 22 countries across the 27-year program, resulting in the widespread distribution of these interesting notes all over the world. Unlike other forms of U.S. currency, MPCs were issued by the Department of War (later, Defense), rather than the Department of the Treasury, and lack the characteristic Treasury seal present on virtually every other form of U.S. paper money. After the official end of U.S. participation in the Vietnam War in early 1973, MPCs only remained in use in South Korea. A surprise C-day was held in the fall of 1973, retiring MPCs and substituting ordinary federal reserve notes. Military payment certificates were never again issued and the choice few that remain today serve as curious financial relics of an important period in U.S. military history.
8"L x 4.25"W x .1"H
- OriginUnited States
Shipping AvailabilityUnited States
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