Fun facts and trivia about US coins and paper money.
While the two-dollar bill and dollar coins are tradable currency, the government is banking that Americans will collect them instead of spending them. The same is true of the new state issue quarters.
The government re-issued the two-dollar bill to mark the bicentennial celebration in 1976. The bill features the signing of the Declaration of Independence on the back and Thomas Jefferson on the front. Two-dollar bills gained such popularity from this release that they released another batch in 1996. Visit Monticello, Virginia, Thomas Jefferson's home today and expect to receive two-dollars bills as part of your change. Perhaps in the future these recent issue bills will increase in value, but today they are worth exactly… you guessed it… two-dollars.
You might think that Susan B. Anthony and Sacajawea are the first women to appear on US issue money, but that isn't true. Martha Washington appeared on the one dollar silver certificates in 1886, 1891, and again in 1896.
Maybe you already knew that silver coins changed from silver to the sandwich we have now in 1965, but did you know they no longer contained any silver and are made of a composition of three layers of metal fused together known as "Clad"? The outer layers of clad are the same alloy used to make nickels and the core is copper.
If you collect pennies, you probably know that in 1982, the penny changed from copper to copper-plated zinc?
Would you guess that the average life expectancy of your one-dollar bill is just 18 months or that you can fold a dollar bill 8,000 times before it will tear?
Speaking of paper money, it isn't actually paper. US bills are 75% cotton and 25% linen. 38 million bills are printed each day by the Bureaus of Engraving and Printing at a value of $541 million dollars. 95% of them are used to replace notes already in circulation. 48% of all bills printed are $1 bills.
The Federal Reserve prints notes in denominations of $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100. What denominations have not been printed since 1946? The $500, $1000, $5000, and the $10,000. Today an un-circulated 1934 $10,000 bill is worth $80,000. A circulated bill in excellent condition it is worth $40,000.
Now there's a bill I wish I had collected!