Estimated quantities issued

It has no doubt been widely assumed that Rosovsky (1974) was correct in stating that approximately 6.9 million notes were produced, based on the highest serial numbers seen for each denomination. By this logic, more 5, 10 (about 1.9 million each) and 20 pesos (1.6 million) notes were produced than the roughly 1.5 million 1 pesos. This hardly makes sense in terms of what one might expect the requirements to be, and certainly is not reflected by what seems to now be available to collectors. Nor would such an irresponsibly inflationary avalanche of currency, approaching $66 million pesos (counting the 5,000 50 pesos notes), be in keeping with the essentially conservative character of the Oaxacans. There is a 15 September 1915 report by Governor José Inez Davila (quoted, but dismissed by Rosovsky) which says that as of that date the quantities put into circulation were: 618,000 1 pesos, 78,000 5 pesos, 21,000 10 pesos and only 3,000 of the 20 pesos. Serial numbers through the issue dated 3 Septiembre 1915 were around: 790,000 I pesos, 810,000 5 pesos, 700,000 10 pesos and 800,000 20 pesos.

The author believes Davila's report was accurate (perhaps allowing for the possibility that not all of the 3 Septiembre notes had been placed in circulation by the 15th), and that far fewer notes were produced than the huge quantity proposed by Rosovsky. What Rosovsky failed to consider was the possibility that the four denominations produced by the Imprenta Tipografia Julian S. Soto (1-20 pesos) shared the same sequence of serial numbers, so that the same number will not be found on two bills, even if they are different denominations. This possibility is, in fact, confirmed by the recorded ranges of serial numbers for each issue. Thus, 00001-05000 (or so) were the 5 pesos J series, while the next 5,000 or so serial numbers were applied to the 1 peso U series, and so on. This explains many things, such as why there are no recorded 1 peso notes with serial .numbers below 05000, no 5 pesos notes between 025000 and 140000, and why the recorded 10 and 20 pesos' serial numbers all fall within narrow, widely separated ranges. A total quantity less than 1.9 million notes was produced - my guess is approximately 1.65 million. There are some significant gaps in recorded serial numbers prior to Governor Davila's September 15th report which may, in fact be blocks of numbers that were never utilized which may, at least in part, explain the discrepancy between Davila's saying that 720,000 notes of all denominations combined is 90,000 shy of the highest serial number at the end of the 3 Septiembre series (about 810,000) some larger jumps in serial numbers during and after the 15 Noviembre printings totalling about 240,000-250,000. Perhaps the intention was to reserve blocks of serial numbers for 1 peso notes which, as it turned out, were never produced. Here follows a rough estimate of the quantities produced, by denomination:

Denom. Quantities Issued (Estimated) Average Issue Size (Approximate)
$1 1,300,000 40,000
$5 240,000 5,500
$10 50,000 2,000
$20 15,000 1,600


Hopefully, a more precise idea will be achieved as more serial numbers are recorded which extend the ranges of numbers associated with each issue.

The following present the order of numbering of the various issues as well as the currently recorded ranges of serial numbers for each.

Date Denom. Series Recorded Range of Serial numbers  Comments
24 February 1915             $5 J 00342 04662 Probably 5,000
$1 U 05023 08878 4,000-5,000
$5 A 10009 13235 Probably 4,000
$1 R 14238 18918 Probably 5,000
$5 E 19130 22454 4,000-5,000
$1 Z(1) 24206 47762 Probably 25,000
$10 X(1) 49140 49650 1,000
$1  Z(2) 50253 68789 19,000
$10 X(2) 70264 70679 1,000
$1 Z(3) 73746 88434 19,000
$10  X(3) 90029 90461 1,000
$1 Z(4) 91675 116818 26,000
$10  X(4)     1,000
20 April 1915         $1 J 118665 146061  
$5 U(1) 147111 151282 5,000-6,000?
$1 A 153898 181865 30,000+/-
$5 U(2) 182072 183132  
$5 R 185080 185600  
$1 E(1) I86522 215329 Probably 30,000
$5 Z 216121 220207 5,000
$10 K 221382 223848 3,000
$1 E(2) 224367 233798 10,000
26 May I9I5        $10 W 234505 236599 3,000
$5 J  237223 240110 4,000 or 5,000?
$1 R 242935 280099 39,000?
$5 U 281484 284802 5,000-10,000
$1 E 287917 325429 35,000-40,000
$5 A 326165 330481 5,000
$1 Z 331141 350425 20,000
$5 A 351146 355982 5,000
26 June 1915        $10 Y 356158 358215 3,000
$1 J 359151 393738 35,000
$5 R 394170    
        5,000 numbers not used?
$1 U 400061 430572  
$5 Z 433355 437821  
$1 E 438988 467588 30,000
$5 J 468084 472150 4,000
19 July 1915      $1 U 473730 507464 35,000
$10  X 508065 510965 3,000-4,000
 $1  R 512535 540644  
 $5  A 541254 545981  
 $1  E 546159 579765  
 $5  Z 581662 584100  
 10 August 1915      $20  A 585096 586364 1,500?
 $5  I 587233 592343  
 $1  P 595503 644330  
 $10  D 644579 646931 2,500
 $1  Z 647848 696462 50,000
 3 September 1915     $10 I 697645 699342 3,000-4,000
$1  D 700613 749977 50,000
 $20  P 750680 751788 1,500?
 $1 A 752241 801342 50,000
 $5  Z 802451 809922 8,000-9,000
 24 September 1915                    $1  Z(1) 811018 869878  
 $5  I(1) 872305 877442  
 $10  A(1) 878065 880741 3,000
 $1  P(1) 881830 918200 30,000
 $20  D(1) 921040 923714 3,000
 $1 Z(1) 924242 963478 40,000
 $10 A(2) 964269 965922  
 $5  I(2) 968727 971828  
 $1  P(2) 975154 1-033943  
 $20  D(2) 1-035149 1-036119  
 $1 Z(3) 1-037482 1-085430 50,000?
 $5 I(3) 1-087721 1-093648  
 $1  P(3)  1-094678  1-144172 50,000?
 $10  A(3)  1-144685  1-145495  
 $20  D(3)  1-147525 1-148968  
 $1  Z(4)  1-151576 1-198231 50,000?
$10 A(4) 1-199055 1-201789  
$5 I(4) 1-202917 1-208215  
$1 P(4) 1-211139 1-258205  
l5 November 1915                    $1 A 1-261011 1-309183  
$20 Z(1) 1-310127 1-311289 2,000?
$5 P 1-312422 1-318337  
$10 I(1) 1-321212 1-322419  
$1 D 1-324973 1-329818  
        40,000 numbers not used?
$10 A(1) 1-373335 1-374338  
$20 Z(2)  1-375098 1-376751 2,000?
$1 I 1-377996 1-426400  
$5 D 1-427810 1-433766  
        50,000 numbers not used?
$20 P 1-485376 1-486284  
$10 A(2) 1-537433 1-539285  
        50,000 numbers not used?
$5 Y 1-590245 1-595767  
$20 Z(3) 1-598032 1-598864  
$10 I(2) 1-599176 1-601433 1(2) is blue paper. It apparently was issued concurrently with A(3)
$10  A(3) 1-599193 1-601872  
$5 P 1-602330 1-609724  
        100,000 numbers not used?
14 January 1916  $10 X     Probably only 5OO
$5 R 1-710862 1-719279 Probably 9,5OO
I 7 January 1916 $5 U 1-720043 1-729841 10,000
19 January 1916 $5 Z 1-730096 1-739660 10,000
21 January 1916 $5 J 1-740506 1-747824 10,000
24 January 1916 $5 E 1-753014 1-759220 10,000
26 January 1916 $5 A 1-761620 1-768683 10,000
28 January 1916 $5 Z 1-770104 1-779092 10,000
29 January 1916  $5 J     Probably a tiny issue - an error?
$10 W     Probably a tiny issue
31 January 1916 $5 J 1-780277 1-788638 10,000
2 February 1916 $5 R 1-791097 1-799799 10,000
8 February 1916 $5 A 1-801134 1-808134 10,000
10 February 1916 $5 U 1-811189 1-817030 10,000
14 February 1916 $5 E 1-821002 1-828848 10,000
15 February 1916 $5 E 1-832431 1-839795 10,000
20 February 1916 $5 U 1-841009 1-849262 10,000
22 February 1916 $5 J 1-850629 l-859537 10,000
2S February 1916 $5 A 1-860012 1-869719 10,000
28 February 1916 $5 Z 1-872000   10,000?
17 February 1916 $10 X 1-890092 1-894937 5,000?
29 February 1916 $10 W 1-895014 1-896487 5,000?