Cash – 10 Fun Facts

With debit and credit cards for spending and direct deposit putting funds in our accounts, cash may no longer be king. But, the paper bill has an interesting history in America. A few fun facts about cash:

  1. Has it ever seemed strange to you that the Secret Service is in charge of both presidential security and counterfeit prevention? The second task is actually what the organization was originally formed to handle, way back in the Civil War Era.
  2. “In God We Trust” was not added to America’s currency until 1957. The slogan first appeared on a US coin in 1864 and has been used intermittently since then. The addition in 1964 was a statement that God was on the side of the Union cause; in the 1950s, because of high tensions over the threat of communism.
  3. The Bureau of Engraving and Printing prints 26 million bills worth around $907 million in currency every day and goes through 9.7 tons of ink. There are two locations where US money is printed. One is in Fort Worth, Texas, the other in Washington, DC.
  4. A dollar bill weighs about one gram. Five quarters weigh about one ounce; if you don’t have a postage scale, you can balance $1.25 in quarters on one end of a ruler and your letter on the other to estimate postage weight.
  5. The first $2 bill was printed in 1776. They were taken out of production in 1966, but reintroduced a decade later as a cost-savings concept. They remain the least popular bill. Only about 1 in 100 bills printed today are of the two-dollar denomination.
  6. The largest bill currently being printed is the $100 bill. Five-hundred and thousand dollar bills were printed until 1934; however, these were only intended for transferring money from bank to bank in the days before electronic transfers.
  7. How long an average bill stays in circulation depends largely on its denomination. Frequently used dollar bills usually only last around 21 months. A hundred, on the other hand, lasts seven and a half years on average.
  8. “Paper” money is actually made of a combination of around 25% linen and 75% cotton. If you look close, you will see that there are also tiny red and blue fibers throughout the bills. These are a device to make it harder to counterfeit bills.
  9. The highest denomination bill ever printed was a gold certificate in the amount of $100,000.
  10. Each paper bill printed costs 6.4 cents. While it costs about three times as much to create a dollar coin (18 cents) it’s considered a good investment because coins last so much longer than bills and thus have to be replaced far less often.

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