Do you remember the line from Forrest Gump, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.” Well this was certainly the case. I bought a box of old English Stage Play magazines from the early 1900s. In the bottom of the box were some old papers from the estate, and in them was an old post office envelope containing some Postal Savings System Certificates in the original post office envelope. I looked at the date and I saw they were from the 1930s. So my first thought was that with all that accumulated interest they could be worth a few bucks.
After a bit of research, I found out that the Postal Savings System was founded by President Taft in 1911 and existed until 1966 when the program was terminated. Further investigation found that after the program was dissolved, the outstanding deposit money that was unclaimed was sent to the states in 1971 and in 1984 congress voted to give a one year moratorium for claiming unused certificates. After 1985 no certificates have been honored. My thoughts of a new Ferrari or even a used one went down the drain.
Having collected stamps in earlier years, I knew a little bit about collecting paper money and other items like that, so I thought I would check to see if these were collectible. Wow, I am glad I checked. I was so close to putting them in the recycle bin. There is a thriving collectors market out there.
There were quite a few denominations issued over the years. $1, $2, $5, $10,$20, $50 and $100. in 1917 , $200 and $500 denominations were added. Each bears the stamp of its issuing location. Bear in mind, there were an awful lot issued, so certificates from the large metropolitan areas are very common and therefore not particularly sought after, but the larger denominations are quite rare as items from more rural areas and states. The example above is from Cheyenne Wyoming.
In the end, I learned quite a bit about this area and was very pleasantly surprised with my find. Keep a look out!