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Dollar facts

It weighs only 0.035 oz (1 gram), is only 16 square inches (0.01m²) in size and consists of cotton and linen but those who do not have it would like to have it and those who have it would like to have more of it. It is the world’s most popular currency: the United States dollar.

Dollar facts

$1

The United States one-dollar bill is the most common denomination of US currency, totaling 45% of all bills ($1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100) produced. There are about 2 billion $1 bills in circulation. 

Like all United States money, the $1 note is produced by the U.S. Treasury’s Bureau of Engraving and Printing (with the aptly named web address, moneyfactory) in Washington, D.C. and Fort Worth, Texas; they are delivered wrapped in blue straps and has a life span of approximately 5.9 years.

The $1 bill features the portrait of President George Washington.

$2

The $2 bill was discontinued in 1966, but was reintroduced in 1976. Between 1% and 2% of all notes currently produced are $2 bills. They are less used thus it is no surprise that a $2 note lasts up to 15 years.

$2 bills are delivered in green straps.

President Thomas Jefferson is featured on the $2 bill.

$5

Approximately 9% of all United States paper notes are $5 bills. Delivered in red straps, they have an average circulation life of 4.9 years before they are replaced due to wear.

The $5 bill features President Abraham Lincoln, who served as the 16th President of the United States, from March 1861 until his assassination by the well-known actor John Wilkes Booth in April 1865.

$10

Up to 11% of all newly printed U.S. banknotes are $10 bills, delivered in yellow straps. A $10 note is in circulation for about 4.2 years before it is replaced due to wear.

The first U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, is featured on the $10 bill. He is the only person featured on U.S. currency who was not born in the continental United States – he was born in the West Indies. His portrait also is the only one that faces to the left on U.S. paper currency in circulation.

In 1804, Hamilton was killed in a duel by Vice President Aaron Burr.

$20

Approximately 22% of all notes printed are $20 bills. They are delivered in violet straps and have a life span of 7.7 years.

The $20 bill is known as “the jackson” because it features the portrait of President Andrew Jackson, the 7th President of the United States (1829–1837).

$50

Approximately 5% of all notes are $50 bills, which are delivered in brown straps. A $50 note is in circulation for about 3.7 years before it is replaced due to wear.

The 18th President of the United States (1869–1877), Ulysses S. Grant, is featured on the $50 bill.

$100

Approximately 7% of all U.S. notes produced are $100 bills. There are an estimated 9 billion $100 notes in circulation. They make up more than 80% of the value of all U.S. currency in circulation. They also are the notes that overseas people mostly want. Roughly two-thirds of all $100 bills are held outside the United States.

The average life span of a $100 bill is 15 years before it is replaced due to wear and tear.

While printed by the U.S. Treasury’s Bureau of Engraving and Printing, most of $100 bills are distributed by the Federal Reserve Cash Office in New York City. According to a NY Fed report (PDF), a typical foreign shipment is a pallet containing 640,000 such notes ($64 million), in bundles bound in mustard-colored straps.

The $100 bill is referred to as a “benjamin” because it features the portrait of Benjamin Fanklin, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. It is one of the two notes that does not feature a President of the United States; the other is the $10 bill, featuring Alexander Hamilton.

The $100 bill is also called a “C-Note”, based on the Roman numeral for 100.

US $100 bill

Series 1996-2003A $100 note, first issued in March 1996

In December 2010, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing announced a printing error on a new design of the $100 bill, affecting as much as $110 billion worth of paper and costing the taxpayers 12 cents apiece, or $120 million. According to Wikipedia

The Series 2009 $100 bill redesign was unveiled on April 21, 2010, and was to be issued to the public on February 11, 2011, but production was shut down in December 2010 because as many as 30% were unusable due to a manufacturing flaw. A vertical crease in the paper reveals a blank space on the bill when pulled out. In their replacement, and continuing the high demand of this denomination, the Series 2006A was launched retaining the previous design (1996-generation).

A new $100 note design will enter circulation in October 2013.

Women on American money

All the current money notes feature the potraits of males but women have been featured on currency: Martha Washington, wife of George Washington, appeared on the 1886 and 1891 $1 Silver Certificate. She also appeared together with her husband on the reverse of the $1 Silver Certificate of 1896.

Pochahantas (later known as Rebecca Rolfe when she married John Rolfe in 1614) appears on several pieces of currency.

Factoids

In 1929, U.S. bills shrunk from 7.48 x 3.14 inches (190 x 80mm) to the current size of 6.14 x 2.61 inches (155.956 x 66.294mm).

A money note consists of 25% linen and 75% cotton.

The inclusion of “In God We Trust” on all United States currency was required by law in 1955. The national motto first appeared on paper money in 1957.

Big bucks

The $100 bill is the largest denomination that has been printed since July 14, 1969, when the denominations of $500, $1,000, $5,000, and $10,000 were retired.

“As of May 30, 2009, there were only 336 of the $10,000 bills in circulation; 342 remaining $5,000 bills; and 165,372 $1,000 bills.”

The $100,000 Gold Certificate, printed from December 18, 1934 to January 9, 1935, is the largest note is but was not for public use – they were used only for transactions between the Federal Reserve Banks.

Funny money

1 in 10,000 $100 bills – the most frequently counterfeited note – is a superdollar, a high quality counterfeit. But there is little chance that you’ll find a superdollar within the borders of the United States. In fact, less than 1/100th of one percent of the approximately $1.1 trillion in circulation are counterfeit because it actually is difficult to copy a dollar note.

Sources: WSJ History of $100 bill and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing

Also see: Where word “dollar” comes from

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