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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Are postage stamps legal tender?

: "are stamps legal tender"

Why: My stamp-to-dollar ratio is like 40:1.

Answer: No. During the Civil War, when coins were scarce, people used postage stamps enclosed in brass frames instead - but it was never made a law. People probably traded other things, too, like shoelaces and kittens.

Source: The Straight Dope

The More You Know: At one time there were limits to how much small change you could legally unload on the people you owed money to - 25 cents woth of "minor coins" (the penny and the nickel) and $10 for "silver coins" (the dime, quarter, and half-dollar).

In 1933, however, while getting the U.S. off the gold standard, Congress offhandedly declared that all U.S. coins and currency were legal tender for all debts, period.

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