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Fun and Interesting Facts About the US Dollar

Published by Scott Hershman

Though plastic cards and digital transfers are slowly replacing the physical dollar, it is still exciting to find a dollar on the street or in your pocket after the wash. Nearly everyone can picture George Washington’s serious face staring back at them when they imagine a dollar bill. You may not have considered what the bill is made out of, where it has been, or what it has been through. 

Below are some exciting and surprising fun facts about the dollar bill that you can share with friends and family!

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Fun US Dollar Facts

  • Want to know more about where your bill has been? Then you can use a website called “Where’s George?” to track the serial number of your bill. This is a great activity for kids, as it teaches them how quickly money can traverse the country. 
  • Paper money in the form of Federal Reserve Notes started being produced in 1862. Before that, gold and silver coins were the only currency in circulation. This changed because there was a shortage of precious metal coinage during the Civil War.
  • The $1 bill costs approximately ¢6 to produce and is composed of a blended material with 75% cotton and 25% linen. This blend provides the legal tender with stability so that you can fold the bill more than 4,000 times and it will not tear!
  • Regardless of the denomination on the note it will weigh exactly one gram. That being said, the movie depictions of characters running with duffel bags full of $100 bills are a complete fabrication. The weight of $1 million in $100 bills is approximately 22 lbs, which would slow down even the most athletic of criminals.
  • Most bills last anywhere from 3.5 to 4.8 years in circulation before they deteriorate. $100 bills can last up to 18 years, but coins will last at least 30 years unless purposefully damaged. 

If you have a foreign currency that you would wish to exchange for the United States currency so that you can check where your dollar has been, then stop by one of the many WSCE locations today!

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