Notes and bills must be paid in money; that is, in "legal tender." The efficient bank representative must know the rule concerning legal tender as applied to money in the United States. Let us consider, first, the reasons for such rules regarding legal tender; and, second, the rules as they now stand. Debtors who wish to liquidate their debts must know with what a debt may be paid and the debtor released. Since debts are usually drawn in terms of "dollars," it is of importance to know just what a dollar is when it comes to securing release from debt. For if it could be proved that the debtor had not offered "dollars," he would not be released from the obligation. To cover this situation, laws have been enacted stating what the courts shall recognize as legal "dollars" for debt payments. These laws enumerate the terms and kinds of money that may be tendered to pay a debt. These forms of money and this quality of certain kinds of money is known as legal tender. Legal tender, then, may be defined as a power bestowed on certain kinds of money by Act of Congress, which states that this money may by law be offered in just satisfaction of debts. All other forms of money or of payment are not legal tender, though, indeed, they may be acceptable tender and the creditor may accept non-legal tender if he wishes. It is of importance to know what forms of money are legal tender when the creditor for some reason does not wish to be paid the amount of the debt. An illustration of such a creditor might be one who had given a long term option on land that has unexpectedly and suddenly realized a great rise in value. The following are the various kinds of United States money and currency and their legal tender qualities:
1. Gold coin, legal tender to an unlimited amount and everywhere.
2. Silver dollars, legal tender to an unlimited amount and everywhere.
3. Treasury notes of 1890, legal tender to an unlimited amount and everywhere.
4. Subsidiary silver (halves, quarters and dimes), legal tender to the amount of $10 and everywhere.
5. Minor coins (nickels and cents), legal tender to the amount of twenty-five cents and everywhere.
7. Gold certificates, legal tender to an unlimited amount and everywhere. (Act of Congress, December, 1919.)
8. Silver certificates, not legal tender but receivable for all public dues.
9. National bank notes, not legal tender but receivable for all public dues except duties on imports. All National banks are required by law to receive the notes of other National banks at par.
10. Federal Reserve notes, not legal tender but receivable by all National and member banks and Federal Reserve banks and for taxes, customs and other public dues.
11. Federal Reserve bank notes, not legal tender but receivable for all public dues except duties on imports.