ROCKFORD, Mich. (WOOD) — Brent Ashcroft had seen it before. When an old dollar bill came into Grand Rapids Coins earlier this month from an appraisal, the bill had writing all over it.
This wasn’t an uncommon trait for older currency. Back in the 1940s, people would write their grocery lists on bills they had lying around. Years later, they would end up in stores like GR Coins.
“When I saw this initially come through in the appraisal, I’m like, ‘Oh, here’s another one. It’s going to say eggs, bacon, milk,'” Ashcroft said.
This time, however, it was much more than a common grocery list. On the dollar bill were several signatures, leading Ashcroft to discover he was in the presence of what is known as a “short snorter.”
The alliterative name has been used to describe currency that has been written on by members of a military crew. Judging by the condition, names and dates on the bill, Ashcroft said this bill was likely from a group of men who served together during World War II.
“It was a remembrance token,” Ashcroft said.
The hope for the signees was to eventually meet up after the war and whoever was put in charge of the short snorter would bring it with them. If they failed to do so, they would be responsible for a round of drinks.
Notes like these are extremely rare and can fetch a high bidding price. But after reaching out to News 8, GR Coins took the listing down from eBay in hopes that the signatures might soon be recognized.
“A note like this, it’s either worthless or priceless. It either doesn’t mean anything to somebody or it could mean everything to somebody, if they know who signed it,” Ashcroft said.
Ashcroft is asking the public to take a look at the dollar bill to see if any of the names look familiar. He said that the store has also sent samples to a local genealogist to see if their records match.
“This is kind of a beginning of a story. And in some way, it’s also an end of a story. It’s kind of a beginning and an end,” he said.
If you recognize any of the signatures or would like to take a closer look, you can contact GR Coins by calling 616.884.5048 or by stopping at the Rockford location. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org.