Archive for the ‘Dollar Bill History’ Category

The History of the Paper Dollar

Saturday, February 28th, 2009

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The Massachusetts Bay Colony was the first of the thirteen colonies to issue permanently circulating banknotes in 1690. The reason behind this was because the paper could be more readily printed and circulated than gold coin. Many of these early bills were marked “Tis Death to Counterfeit.” In the early 1700s, each of the thirteen colonies had issued their own banknotes called “colonial script.” 1789 brought about the First Band of the United States which issued fixed denominations and printed banknotes until 1811 when it closed. From 1816 to 1841, the (you guessed it) Second Bank of the United States took on the responsibilities of printing banknotes.

The civil war, in 1861, needed to be funded with money that there just wasn’t enough of. In 1862, under Abraham Lincoln, the demand notes were issued, taking the place of interest bearing currency. Some necessities were added and changed in the next few years in order to stop counterfeiters. The new “Greenbacks” had an engraved Treasury seal and red and blue fibers in the paper which made them (at the time) very difficult to counterfeit which would cost the banks more money. Gold certificates were also issued against gold coin and bullion and were still in circulation until 1933 as well as silver certificates being issued for silver dollars until 1957. 1865 brought on the need for a Secret Service to police and control counterfeiters. How much was that really needed and how much of the US’s money was counterfeit? Oh only about one-third!

The one dollar United States Note was redesigned with a portrait of George Washington in the center and a vignette of Christopher Columbus. The back of the note also featured green and blue tinting. In 1880 the red floral design was added around the words “One Dollar” and “Washington D.C.” From 1890 to 1899 the gold and silver certificates were redesigned repeatedly in order to continue to make them harder and harder to be counterfeited. In 1910 the Department of the Treasury’s Bureau of Engraving and Printing took on all currency production functions including engraving, printing and processing. The Federal Reserve Act of 1913 created the Federal Reserve System. This means that the Federal Reserve became the central bank, regulating the flow of money. The Federal Reserve also became, to this day, the only authorized entity to issue Federal Reserve Notes (also known as, The Dollar(s)) which are the only U.S. currency produced and 99% of all currency in circulation!

“In God We Trust” No matter your religion, you know this phrase. This phrase was required by Congress in 1955 to be on every piece of currency and to this day, it still is. The last major change that was made was the microprinted security thread which was first introduced in 1990. It started with the $100 bills and the $50 bills, then eventually was introduced into the $20s, $10s, $5s, and $1s. Take a look at the money in your wallet. Now you know part of the long road traveled it took to get there.

The Color of Money: Why is a Greenback Green?

Monday, February 9th, 2009

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greenbackIn 1929, when the United States Bureau of Engraving and Printing introduced the small-size note, that we currently use today, green pigment was readily available in large quantities.  The color was relatively resistant to physical and chemical changes, and the color was viewed to be psychologically identified with the security and strength of the United States Government.

More importantly, this newly developed ink had protective qualities that could not be easily “lifted” from the note itself, which had been a favorite technique of counterfeiters in the past.  Since the mid-1800’s, it had been customary to print bills in black, with different slight variants of color.  When photographed, the color variants would show only in black, since early cameras could only photograph in black.  Not to be outdone, the counterfeiter soon discovered that they could remove the colored elements from the Bill, photograph the remaining black ink elements, make copies, and then overprint an imitation of the colored parts on the newly made copies.

A new solution was needed, and was quickly developed. The development, as well as the patent purchase for this ink, was by Tracy R. Edson, who later Founded the American Banknote Company, one of the same firms that produced the first currency used by the United States.

The faces of these early notes that were produced under contract were printed with the newly patented green tinted protective ink.

When printing with oil-base type inks, like the new “patent green,” it is not unusual for the color to show through to the opposite side of the sheet.  Therefore, the backs of early notes were printed in a darker shade of green to make the “strike through” of the tint less obvious.

The transition to the Treasury Department’s Bureau of Engraving and Printing was gradual, so the backs of the notes produced there during the intervening period were continued to be printed in green for the sake of uniformity.

Once the Bureau was in full-scale production, there was no reason to change the traditional color, and it was only logical that the practice continue.

Thus, the “greenback” was born!

The Bureau currently uses a technique called “Intaglio Printing,” which involves a revolving plate, filled with the grooves containing the design and wording.  These grooves are filled with ink and then wiped clean on the surface.  The paper is forced with approximately 20 tons of pressure onto the plate, picking up the ink contained within the finely recessed lines and grooves, leaving the surface of the newly printed currency with a slightly “raised” feel, while the reverse has a slightly indented feel.

Thanks to new technology introduced in the last few years, the newly redesigned, recently introduced United States Currency features some new splashes of color on the various denominations, using an “Optically Variable Ink” (or OVI).  This ink allows a shift in color variation when held at different angles.

A copy machine, for example, scans a document at ONE FIXED ANGLE, relative to the bill’s angle when placed on the glass, thus not picking up the color shift.

This ink, produced by a Swiss company called SIPCA, is not readily available and thus aids in deferring counterfeiting.

So, the next time you reach in your wallet and pull out a Greenback, you’ll know why it’s green!

The United States Twenty Dollar Bill

Friday, December 5th, 2008

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twenty dollar billDid you know that the highest denomination of bank note most frequently used by Americans on an everyday basis is the the United States twenty dollar bill? It is indeed, and this is largely because the twenty dollar bill is arguably the only banknote dispensed by the Banking Auto Teller Machines, or ATM, in the United States. This is probably because it would cost the banks more money to modify these machines to become compatible in dispensing other type of bills. The United States twenty dollar bill is also the most used denomination for withdrawals and cashing in checks.

According to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, the average life span of a twenty dollar bill in circulation is twenty-five months or two years, before it succumbs to wear and tear and needs to be disposed and replaced. It is also said that twenty dollar bills are just a little over one-fifth of all United States paper currency produced today. These bills are delivered in violet straps by the Federal Reserve Banks for dissemination into public circulation.

The portrait of the seventh United States President, Andrew Jackson, is depicted on the obverse side of the bill, although his actions towards the Native Americans during his tenure leaves a lot to be questioned on the suitability of his representation of the twenty dollar bill. This also fuelled one of the bill’s many alternate monikers,  the ‘Jackson’. The twenty dollar bill is also known as a ‘double sawbuck’, a ‘twenty banger’, and a ‘twomp’. Apart from President Jackson, other famous historical figures, from Presidents to Statesmen, and even American businessmen, that have graced the twenty dollar bills are Alexander Hamilton, Stephen Decatur, James Garfield, Daniel Manning, John Marshall, Hugh McCulloch, George Washington, and Grover Cleveland. President Andrew Jackson became the permanent fixture on the twenty dollar bill from the year 1928 onwards. The visual rendering of the White House is also featured on the reverse side of the bill.

First appearing as a demand note, the twenty made its debut in 1861, and it subsequently evolved with the many classifications and categorizations of the United States currency system, from United States note, national bank note , gold certificate, silver certificate, treasury coin note, and to the current Federal Reserve bank note it is today.

The current series of twenty dollar bills we see today was released on October 9, 2003, and it comes with a light background shading of green and yellow. The oval border previously surrounding Andrew Jackson’s portrait was not included in the new design, with background images of eagles and such added in. The oval border was also omitted out on the riverside side of the bill where the White House is now featured. Scattered all around the reverse side of the bill are also a lot of small and faded numerals of twenties, and this design is formed in the EURion constellation, a pattern of symbols found on new banknote designs since 1996. The pattern is said to be instrumental in preventing counterfeiters using color photocopiers to forge dollar bills. 

More On The United States $1 Bill

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

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Like the rest of the United States currencies, the one dollar bill is composed of 25 percent linen and 75 dollar billspercent cotton, with red and blue synthetic fibers distributed throughout the paper. The notes weigh one gram each and are 2.61 inches in width and 6.14 inches in length, with a thickness of .0043 inches. The United States one dollar bill is worth one hundred United States cents.

The United States government spends 4.2 cents to produce a single dollar bill and dollar bills are printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, also known as the BEP. The Bureau of Engraving and Printing produces well over than sixteen and a half million one dollar bills every day, and most of these notes are used to replace older and worn out dollar bills which are no longer deemed fit for circulation. The average dollar bill has a life span of about eighteen to twenty-two months, depending on frequency of usage, and wear and tear. The United States Treasury estimates that there are billions and billions of one dollar bills which are circulating the globe to date.

The first one dollar bill was issued as a Legal Tender Note back in the year 1862. These early one dollar bills featured the portrait of Salmon P. Chase, who was the Secretary of the Treasury under President Abraham Lincoln. Only until the year 1869, was the portrait of George Washington used on the one dollar bill, and this remains the case until today. A vignette of Christopher Columbus sighting land was also featured to the left of the note during this time.

In 1886, the picture of Martha Washington, who was also the original first lady and wife of George Washington, was featured on the one dollar silver certificate, making her the first women ever to appear on any United States currency. Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S Grant are also amongst the few to have been featured on the United States one dollar bill, although this depictions dates to 1899. The designs on the one dollar united states note and silver certificates were more streamlined and standardized beginning 1923, with minor exceptions such as color and ink.

In the year 1929, all United States currency changed to the standard and current size we now see, although various designs and depictions continued to be featured throughout the years after. In the 1957, the one dollar bill became the first piece of United States currency to bear the legendary motto ‘In God We Trust’. The current design of the one dollar bill was finalized in 1969 and has remained the same ever since, and no plans to redesign the one dollar bill has been proposed to date, even though higher denominations from five dollars onward have been redesigned to curb counterfeiting.

The United States one dollar bill is also the most experimented and tested bill in the nation’s history. In 1933, a test was conducted to determine the different ratios of cotton and linen used in the paper of dollar bills. Another well-known test was done in 1942 during World War Two to test alternative types of paper that paper currency can be issued in. This was a precautionary measure in case the current type of paper supply ran out. In 1992, the one dollar bill was again put under the microscope when the Bureau of Engraving and Printing began testing a web-fed press, to facilitate the production and issuance of more dollar bills.

Designs On The $1 Bill

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

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It is said that 45 percent of all United States currency produced today consists of the one dollar bill, whichone dollar bill would make it the most seen and used of all denomination of US currency. The one dollar bill also brags having the second oldest design of all US paper money, largely because of its obverse design which was adapted in 1963, which is also the year that the one dollar bill was inducted into the Federal Reserve Note status.

The visual rendering of George Washington, the first President of the United States is fittingly featured on the obverse side of the one dollar bill, and has been so since 1869. The Federal Reserve District Seal is placed to the left of George Washington as well as the name of the Federal Reserve Banks that issued the note.

To the left of George Washington is the Federal Reserve District Seal. The name of the Federal Reserve Bank that issued the note surrounds a capital letter between A and L, to identify which of the twelve Federal Reserve Banks it was issued from. The sequential numbers of the these banks are also displayed over the open spaces on the four corners of the dollar bill. The Treasury Department Seal is placed to the right of George Washington and the balancing stars represents justice for all. The chevron of stars signifies the original colonies and the key below it stands for authority and trust. The year 1789 printed on the seal represents the year the Department of Treasury was established.

Below the Federal Reserve District seal, and to the left of George Washington, is the signature of the Treasurer of the United States. This will vary from time to time depending on the terms being served by the official, and the Secretary of the treasury’s signature is placed on the right side of the seal. The series and the year that the dollar bill was printed will be shown to the left of this Secretary’s signature and the number one (1) on the edges of the bill is entwined with olive branches.

The reverse side of the one dollar bill has a design infusing the Great Seal of the United States and various other symbols which purposes have been debated by historians and controversy enthusiasts alike. An unfinished pyramid is placed to the left of this seal and the separated top of the pyramid portrays the all-seeing eye. The shadow cast by the pyramid from the rising sun is said to symbolize the undiscovered lands to the west of the nation and the rising sun is said to symbolize the beginning of a new and powerful country. The Latin phrase Annuit Cœptis which means that God has favored the undertakings of the nation is also located above the pyramid.

Novus Ordo Seclorum which translates to ‘a new order of the ages’ is written on a ribbon below the pyramid and this phrase is said to be taken from the fourth Ecologue of Virgil. Also shown on the base of the pyramid is the roman numerals MDCCLXXVI or 1776, which is the year that the signing of the United States Declaration of Independence took place.

To the right of the reverse side of the note is a picture of the obverse side of the Great Seal which depicts a heraldic Bald Eagle and on the front of this eagle is a shield, said to signify the country’s fledgling ability to stand on its own. A glory of stars is also illustrated on the top of the eagle’s head and clutched between its beak is a ribbon that reads “E PLURIBUS UNUM” which translates to, ‘From many, one’. To symbolize the yearning for peace, but the readiness to fight, the eagle is also depicted holding an olive branch in its right claw with arrows in its left.

The Presidents on United States Currency

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

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The decision as to which United States President graces the designs on the dollar bill is determined by thedollar tree United States Congress. United States Presidents have appeared on official banknotes, coins for circulation and commemorative coins in the United States as well as all around the world. Even throughout phases of redesigns, although there were significant changes in fabrication, the presidents which are depicted on the currency remained the same.

Currently, images of presidents that are struck on United States coins are Abraham Lincoln who was the 16th U.S. President for the penny, Thomas Jefferson who was the 3rd U.S. President for the Nickel, Franklin D Roosevelt who was the 32nd U.S. President for the Dime, George Washington who was the 1st U.S. President for the Quarter, John F Kennedy who was the 35th U.S. President for the Half Dollar, and Dwight D Eisenhower for the one dollar coin, although one dollar coins depicting President Eisenhower was ceased in 1978. Susan B Anthony and Sacagawea, both significant historical figures, currently grace United States one dollar coins.

The names of the presidents depicted on the United States paper currency are George Washington who was the 1st U.S. President for the one dollar bill, Thomas Jefferson who was the 3rd U.S. President for the two dollar bill, Abraham Lincoln who was the 16th U.S. President for the five dollar bill, Andrew Jackson who was the 7th U.S. President for the twenty dollar bill, Ulysses S Grant who was the 18th U.S. President for the fifty dollar bill, and Benjamin Franklin on the one hundred dollar bill. Note that Benjamin Franklin was not a President of the United States, although he was a very prominent figure in its history.

Other presidents that were featured are William McKinley who was the 25th U.S. President on the five hundred dollar bill, Grover Cleveland who was the 22nd and 24th U.S. President on the one thousand dollar bill, James Madison who was the 4th U.S. President on the five thousand dollar bill, and Woodrow Wilson who was the 25th U.S. President on the one hundred thousand dollar bill. Salmon P Chase, depicted on the ten thousand dollar bill, was a former Secretary of the Treasury and was the only non-president that was depicted in the larger denominations of the United States currency. All of these notes, however, are now considered obsolete and are no longer in circulation.

Recently, the Presidential Dollar Coin Program was passed by congress and former presidents will be honored if their death is two or more years before the intended issue date of these coins. Presidents that will grace these coins to date, in sequential order, are George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson, Martin Van Buren, William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, James K. Polk, Zachary Taylor, Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan, Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Johnson, Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James A. Garfield, Chester A. Arthur, Grover Cleveland, Benjamin Harrison, Grover Cleveland, William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, Woodrow Wilson, Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford,  and Ronald Reagan. Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush may be depicted as well if they meet the requirement above.

The Canadian Dollar

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

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The Canadian Dollar, like its name suggests, is the major currency of Canada. To tell it apart from other the canadian dollardollar denominated currencies around the world, the Canadian dollar adopted the letter ‘C’ in front of its dollar ($) sign. Currently, the Canadian Dollar is amongst the top-ten most traded currency in the world.

Dating back to 1858, the first Canadian coins which was struck in 1 cent, 5 cent, 10 cent, and 20 cent denominations, were issued by the Province of Canada. Other coin denominations like 50 cents, 1 dollar, 2 dollars, 5 dollars, and 10 dollars were issued much later to meet the public demand. Canadian Coins are minted and produced by the Royal Canadian Mint. The facility is located  in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and currently issues coins in denominations of 1 cent, 5 cent, 10 cent, 20 cent, 50 cent, 1 dollar, and 2 dollars. These coins are also called, in respective order, a penny, a nickel, a dime, a quarter, 50¢ piece, a loony, and a toonie.

The designs on the reverse and obverse side of these coins also usually revolves around Canadian symbols, like wildlife and the effigy of Queen Elizabeth the Second, although some pennies and dimes of the yesteryears, which are still in circulation, carries the image of King George the Sixth.

Issued between 1813 and 1815, largely due to the War of 1812 where it was used during the emergency, the first form of paper money issued in Canada were the British Army Bills. These were denominated between 1 and 400 dollars. The first banknotes, however, were issued in 1817 by the Bank of Montreal. Other chartered banks around the country also followed suit thereafter and began issuing these notes for several decades to come. Prior to the year 1858, many notes were issued in currencies like shillings, pounds and dollars, resulting in varied denominations such as 1 dollar, 2 dollars, 3 dollars, 4 dollars, 5 dollars, 10 dollars, 20 dollars, 25 dollars, 40 dollars, 50 dollars, 100 dollars, 500 dollars, and 1000 dollars. This ceased after 1858 though, and only dollar denominations were used from then on.

the canadian dollar2The Province of Canada began issuing paper money beginning 1841, and these notes were produced for the government by the Bank of Montreal between 1842 and 1862. The notes were issued in denominations of 4 dollars, 5 dollars, 10 dollars, 20 dollars, 50 dollars, and 100 dollars. The Province of Canada began officially issuing its own paper money in 1866, and these came in denominations of 1 dollar, 2 dollars, 5 dollars, 10 dollars, 20 dollars, 50 dollars, 100 dollars, and 500 dollars. After the year 1896, denominations of 500 dollars, 1000 dollars, 5000 dollars, and 50,000 dollars were issued and used for bank transactions only.

In 1935, the Bank of Canada was founded and began issuing notes in denominations of 1 dollar, 2 dollars, 5 dollars, 10 dollars, 20 dollars, 50 dollars, 100 dollars, and 500 dollars, and 1000 dollars, officially ceasing the currency issuing operation of the chartered banks in 1944. As part of the fight against money laundering and organized crime, in the year 2000, the Bank of Canada stopped issuing 1000 dollar notes and began withdrawing them from general circulation.

To date, Canadian dollar banknotes issued by the Bank of Canada remains of legal tender in Canada. Just as American Dollars are accepted by many Canadian merchants and businesses in cities which are near the American/Canadian border, the Canadian Dollars are also accepted by some businesses in the northernmost cities of the United States.

The History Of Paper Money

Sunday, November 16th, 2008

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It is well known that paper currency or paper money was first created by the Chinese,who also incidentallyworld paper currency invented paper around 100 AD. The development of paper money in its earliest form can be traced right back to the 7th century. In the year 812, as a temporary solution to massive copper shortages, a Chinese Emperor started issuing paper money as a form of currency to aid trade, and this caught on so well that by the year 970 it was considered as a dominating type of currency in ancient China.

Stag skins, bark, or parchments marked with the imperial seal as “bills of payment” were used as a form of paper money during this time in history, and the penalty for those caught counterfeiting was death.

Before Marco Polo came back from his many voyages to China, dated between 1275 to 1292, the people of Europe initially doubted that the Chinese effectively used paper for as a form of currency, and paper money only began circulating in Europe 300 years later. However, the use of paper money ceased in China in the year 1455.

Paper currency had a lot of problems in gaining acceptance in Europe, although leather money was temporarily used around the year 1100, as a substitute to silver when the precious metal started becoming scarce. The history of paper currency in Europe started as emergency money substituting regular money such as coins. The first emergency paper bills are dated back to the year 1483 and the first bank notes were printed in the 17th century.

In 1161, a Swedish bank starting issuing paper currency but the money quickly lost its value when the bank started flooding the market with it. These first bank notes carried a guarantee that it could be traded at any time for coinage. Interestingly the name of this bank note was ‘cash’, a term that we still use today to describe paper money. The oldest existing bank note in the world is the 1000 ‘cash’ note of the Ming dynasty.

euro paper moneyThe usage of paper currency only caught on in Europe in the early 1700’s, when the French Government officially began issuing paper currency. The idea came from the paper receipts goldsmiths often gave their customer as a proof of payment and these receipts can be exchanged for gold as and when needed. This act was a milestone and was so significant that money was seen as a representation of valued commodity, as its exchangeable for silver and gold anywhere. A piece of paper currency is as good as a guarantee by the issuing institution, either the government or the bank, that would ensure the holder of the bill receive a predetermined amount of silver or gold from its reserves when it is produced. This is where the system in which money was backed by gold originated from, with the exception of times of war or national emergencies when paper money was supported by actual supplies of precious metal. This practice, however, ended in 1971.

Today, paper currency can be exchanged for almost any form of goods or services, in its value in return. This monetary system has proven so effective for so long that it may take a very long time before the currently emerging electronic money, as we know it today, will be commonly used as an alternative currency to paper money.

The Bureau of Engraving and Printing

Saturday, October 25th, 2008

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The Bureau of Engraving and Printing is currently the largest and only producer of all legal tender United bureau engraving printingStates currency today. It prints billions of Federal Reserve Notes every year and delivers them to the designated Federal Reserve Banks, to be issued and circulated accordingly. These Federal Reserve Notes are produced at two of its current facilities located in Washington D.C., and Fort Worth, Texas. Tours are offered to the public at these buildings and it showcases the various steps of United States currency production. The tour usually begins with the process of sorting out the large sheets of blank currency papers, closely followed by the intricate methods of getting the dyes ready, to the actual printing procedures itself, and ending with the ready to be spent dollar bills.

Apart from currency production, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing also plays an important role in advising other Federal managed agencies on document security matters. It also processes claims for the redemption of all United States currency that have been mutilated. It prides itself in its continuous effort in the research and development area which focuses on the continued use of state-of-the-art automation and counterfeit prevention technologies for use in the production of United States currency, further guaranteeing its integrity.

The Bureau of Engraving and Printing began its operation in the United States Treasury building back in 1862, resulting from a legislation which was enacted to help fund the Civil War. This legislation authorized the Secretary of the Treasury to issue paper currency in lieu of coins, largely because of the slowly diminishing funds that was desperately needed to sponsor the war. Before long, in 1877, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing was entrusted with the sole responsibility of producing all United States paper currency.

Prior to this, a private firm produced Demand Notes in sheets of four, and these sheets were then sent to the Treasury Department where dozens of clerks signed the notes, with another multitude of workers cutting the sheets and trimming it down by hand. This process eventually became mechanized and was moved down to the building’s basement, giving birth to the Bureau, an important umbrella of the Treasury which proved to be efficient as well as practical.

Before it was officially recognized in congress and was given specific allocations of operating funds through various legislations, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, in prior to the year 1875, was more commonly known as First Division of National Currency Bureau. Other of its failed labels include, Printing Bureau, Small Notes Bureau, Currency Department, and Small Notes Room.

Apart from printing currency, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing is also given the task to produce revenue stamps, treasury securities, military commissions, award certificates, invitations and admission cards, different types of identification cards, passports, forms, and other special security documents for a variety of Government agencies. This additional responsibilities which was taken on by the Bureau beginning 1894, established it as the nation’s pioneer security documents printer which responds in like to the United States Government, both in times of peace and war.

The Legendary 100 Dollar Bill

Friday, October 24th, 2008

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Currently, the largest denomination of all Unites States currency, which remains of legal tender, is the one
100 dollar billhundred dollar bill. These bills have been in full circulation since 1969 following the termination of the larger five hundred dollar, one thousand dollar, five thousand dollar, ten thousand dollar, and one hundred thousand dollar denominations. One hundred dollar bills are said to comprise of up to 7 percent of all United States currency produced today.

Delivered by the Federal Reserve Banks in mustard-colored strips, the average life span of the current one hundred dollar bill in circulation, according to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, is approximately five years or sixty months, before it succumbs to general wear and tear.

The obverse side of the one hundred dollar bill features the famous inventor, diplomat, and U.S. statesman Benjamin Franklin. The bill is also one of two of United States legal tender denominations today which does not feature a President of the United States of America. The other note is the ten dollar bill, which depicts the image of Alexander Hamilton, the first United States Secretary of the Treasury.

The reverse side of the one hundred dollar bill is printed with the illustration of the United Sates Independence Hall. Interestingly, the clock on the building appears to show the time of 2:22 or 2:23, although some currency enthusiasts argues that its actually showing 4:10 instead. Another inconsistency is the numeral four on the clock face which is written as “IV”, whereas the real Unites States Independence Hall shows “IIII” instead.

The first one hundred dollar bill was issued in 1862 as a large sized United States Note, and featured the Bald Eagle on the left side of the obverse. Before showcasing Benjamin Franklin on the Federal Reserve Note in 1914, the one hundred dollar bills produced in prior to that year featured other prominent figures such as George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and even James Monroe.

In 1928, the smaller standardized sized one hundred dollar bills began its circulation. These smaller bills were also made out to be consistent in design, making all variations of the one hundred dollar bills from then on to carry the same portrait of Benjamin Franklin, the exact border designs on the obverse and reverse, and the vignette of the United States Independence Hall.

Some of the many nicknames one hundred dollar bills have been given are a “Benjamin,” a “Benjie,” a “Frank” or “Franklin”, a “C-note”, a “Century Note”, a “bill”, a “Big-face”, a “Large”, a “Charlie”, and even a “Big one”.

Late in 2008, newer and more secure one hundred dollar bills with enhanced designs and features are expected to be released. One of the state-of-the-art fixture that will grace these notes is the new Crane & Company security feature called Motion™, which consist of up to 650 thousand micro-lenses, which are embedded in the notes during the printing process. This will allow for selected images on the one hundred dollar bill to shift when the note is seen at a certain angle, making it almost impossible for counterfeiters to replicate.

The Confederate States of America Dollar

Saturday, October 11th, 2008

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confederate states of america dollarTwo months after the formation of the Confederacy, the Confederate States of America Dollar was born, adding color to the already illustrious history of the United States currency . First issued in 1861, on the eve of the Civil War, these dollar bills lasted throughout the infamous conflict and became worthless by the end of it.

The Confederate States of America Dollars came in denominations of $1/10, $½, $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, $100, $500, and $1,000. Its type and designs came in 72 separate varieties and within almost 5 years of its lifespan, was produced in seven different phases of series, ranging from 1861 to 1865. The currency also had numerous issuers and redeemable obligations. Under the multiple acts of the Confederate Congress, it is said that the total amount of the currency produced throughout this period totaled close to $1.7 billion.

The Confederate States of America Dollars, or CSA notes, was initially well received as means of trade with great buying capabilities. This didn’t last long as the war progressed though, resulting in diminished confidence in the currency. The amount of paper currency production began to increase and its redemption dates extended, depreciating the currency even further, and ultimately increasing inflation. It was said that a bar of soap during the time cost as much as $50, while an ordinary suit would be priced at $2700! By the end of the war, and probably caused by the Confederacy failure to remain intact, the currency became obsolete and was no longer considered as fiat money.

Counterfeiting was a huge concern with the CSA notes as well, due to its immense numbers and assortments. This was also largely attributed to the fact that all of the confederate states and banks were given the liberty to print and issue their own notes as and when it pleases. Interestingly enough, many of these existing forgeries remains valuable to collectors today.

The mass counterfeit of the Confederate States of America Dollars is also said to be credited to the lack of skilled engravers and printers, as well as secure printing facilities. This resulted in a lot of extraneous designs, such as mythological gods and goddesses, with southern themes like the depictions of African-American slaves smiling or happily going about their work, naval ships, and historical figures. Later issues pictured prominent Southern politicians, military leaders, and citizens.

This lack in quality was also narrowed down to more ancient printing processes, as most modern printing equipments and skilled engravers were only found up North, forcing the Southern printers to use lithographic processed scenes and offset lifting of the printing plates, to produce these notes instead.

confederate states of americaThe signatures on this currency was also not printed-on but hand-signed by the Register and Treasurer themselves, and although this practice is considered as an anti-counterfeiting method, large numbers of clerks were hired to eventually sign on behalf of the Register and Treasurer, respectively.

Surprisingly, albeit the shortage in precious metal, the Confederate States of America did manage to mint its own coinage. In 1861, one cent coin pieces were struck using nickel, with the Liberty Head design on the obverse. The Confederacy also did strike half dollar coins at the New Orleans Mint, although this fact eluded authorities until 1879, and 504 pieces of these coins were said to be minted during this period in time.

The Gold Certificate

Friday, October 10th, 2008

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gold certificate First issued in mid-1860’s, and actively used between the years 1882 and 1933, the Gold Certificate was issued as a form of paper currency here in the United States. Generally, a gold certificate acts like a certificate of ownership that gold owners hold instead of actual gold.

Because of the fact that the Gold Certificate was a type of paper currency intended to represent actual gold coinage, the practice of its redemption for the precious metal was ceased in 1933 by the United States Government, and until 1964 it was actually deemed illegal for anyone to possess these notes. This prohibition was lifted in 1964 though, as to allow currency collectors to legally own it. This resulted in the issue being converted to the standard legal tender, without its initial correlation to gold.

The issuance of the Gold Certificate was actually officially discontinued in 1928, before the termination of the Gold Standard by the United States Government in 1933, ultimately ceasing its circulation altogether. The permanent suspension was also largely due to the public’s fear that the notes would become obsolete and invaluable over time.

The Gold Certificate was approved under the Act of March 3, 1963, which is also the same act authorizing the issuance of the United States Notes. The actual year of print is said to vary between the years 1963 and 1965. This was probably because it doesn’t carry a printed series date, as this information was hand-dated upon issue. It is also said that the first few series of the Gold Certificate had the identification of each gold depositor, in lieu of payment.

The first issues of the Gold Certificate has a vignette of an eagle, and this was evenly featured on all the denominations it comes in. Later issues, like series 1870, 1871 and 1875, had depictions of various historical figured printed on it, with abstract designs featured on its reverse.

With the exception of Series 1888, 1900, and 1934, which was only issued to specified gold depositors, Gold Certificates from Series of 1882 and onwards was made payable to the bearer, making it transferable and redeemable for its equivalent value in gold.

Just like all other United States currency, the Gold Certificate was produced in two sizes; large and small. The larger sized Gold Certificates were put into circulation between the years 1865 and 1928, and the smaller sized ones between the years 1928 and 1934. The reverse side of all these notes were printed in orange, with the exception of the 1928 series, which were in green and more similar to the Federal Reserve Notes in design.

Along with the $5000 and $10000 notes from the Series of 1888, all of the notes from Series of 1900 have been redeemed and no longer carries the legal tender status. Most of these notes have already been destroyed, and the remaining, which was at kept in a box in a post office near the United States Treasury in Washington D.C., during that time, has a tale with an interesting twist to it. It was said that during a fire in late 1935, employees of this post office threw burning boxes out into the streets, including the box containing the only remaining notes of series 1900. This box was said to have burst open and it contents snatched up by the surrounding people gathered near the building. Unfortunately though, these notes were already deemed worthless at that time. Today, this series of Gold Certificates carries only a few hundred in numismatic value amongst collectors.

National Bank Notes

Thursday, October 9th, 2008

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national bank noteInitiated by the National Banking Act of 1863, and issued through banks that were bonded by the Unites States Government, National Bank Notes were one of the more controversial United States paper currencies in history. It is said that the involvement of the United States Government in securing these banknotes was due to several factors, amongst them being its self interest to help raise money for the Treasury during the Civil War, as well as a possible political debt that the Republican Party owed to its Whig and Federalist Party antecedents. This exploit, although politically impracticable during that time, was said to be made possible by the establishment of the said National Banking Act of 1863.

Before issuing these notes, the selected federal chartered banks were required to first deposit equally valued United States Bonds or Securities with the United States Treasury as a form of collateral. This was probably because before federal banknotes were more commonly used, local banks would issue their own banknotes which was secured by nothing but their own goodwill, making it somewhat unreliable. The value of National Bank Notes, however, would still remain in case the issuing banks fails or even if the banking system becomes solvent, due to the fact that its value was somewhat guaranteed by the United States Treasury.

Also known as the National Currency, National Bank Notes were also introduced in the effort to assist local banks create a much newer and profitable system of distributing banknotes. These Federal Banks, or also known as National Banks, would print up banknotes up to ninety percent of the value of the United States Bonds or Securities they have in holding with the United States Treasury. The masses trusted these federal guaranteed banknotes better because of the lower exposure towards unforeseeable liabilities it proposes. This practice also helped guard the public against fraudulent and badly managed banks, whose banknotes might become valueless.

National Bank Notes had a very identical appearance to the paper currencies which were produced between the years 1929 and 1990’s, although they carried some distinctive characteristics. One of the most obvious difference is the names, towns, and states of the federal banks that these banknotes were issued from, which were printed on the notes itself, as well as the signatures of the respective bank’s presidents and cashiers.

In view of the fact that National Bank Notes were not completely backed by gold, the contract, like that of United States Notes, declared that they were not for the payment of duties on imports or interest on the public debt.

The reign of these National Bank Notes were short-lived though, as the United States Government ceased its circulation during the great depression, in the early 1930’s. This was probably due to the panic withdrawals of deposits by a lot of people who lost confidence in the local banks at that time.

Today, National Bank Notes are religiously collected by currency hobbyist all around the world, especially those in the United States, where these notes are fastidiously studied and kept, often fetching high value amongst enthusiasts.

Federal Reserve Notes vs. United States Notes

Wednesday, October 1st, 2008

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united states notesProduced by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and issued by the 12 Federal Reserve Banks of the Unites States of America in accordance to the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, the Federal Reserve Notes are one of two remaining US paper currency in circulation which are off legal tender today.

Before obtaining the notes, the Federal Reserve Bank must first prove that it owns equal amounts of collateral in value as a guarantee. These are usually in the form of gold certificates, US securities, and other physical assets. This requirement, which was motioned by the United States Congress, is to ascertain that in case of the dissolution of the Federal Reserve System, the liabilities of these notes can be transferred and managed by the United States Government, after first attaining the warranted assets and collateral of the Federal Reserve Banks.

Being first printed in 1914, the Federal Reserve Notes of today are not exchangeable for any form of commodities, even gold and silver, and aren’t secured by anything either. This wasn’t always the case though, as it was redeemable for silver before the year 1964, and gold before the year 1933, both these years being the end of the silver and gold standards respectively. Today, in exception of what the notes will or can buy, it has no obligated value by itself. In simple terms, the Federal Reserve Notes will only buy you all the goods and services backed by the nations economy, a term also known as fiat currency.

Federal Reserve Notes are distributed to commercial banks belonging to the Federal Reserve System, and are issued by the Federal Reserve Banks as and when requested. In order to pay for the Federal Reserve Notes in full, these commercial banks are required to first draw down their accounts with the Federal Reserve Banks in their respective districts.

The other US paper currency which remains as legal tender today are the United States Notes, even though it is no longer placed in circulation since its issuance was discontinued in January 21, 1971, making it obsolete. The United States Notes, interestingly, was also the first paper currency issued in the United States of America, making its debut during the Civil War after it was approved by the Legal Tender Act of 1862.

federal reserve notesThe United States Notes was issued directly by The Treasury Department, under the watchful eyes of the Unites States Government. It was limited to an amount of only $300 million in circulation at any given time, an insignificant figure these days but a magnanimous sum during the Civil War. In prior to the year 1964, the United States Notes, like the Federal Reserve Notes, was also commonly exchanged for silver and gold.

The most significant difference between a United States Note and a Federal Reserve Note is that a United States Note was reassigned into circulation free of interest, or as a bill of credit, whereas the Federal Reserve Note will generate interest to banks and stockholders. These stockholders will then act as a lending agent between the Government and the people.

Another difference between these two types currencies is that the treasury seal and the serial numbers on the United States Notes are printed in red, while these features appears in green on the Federal Reserve Notes. The United States Notes have also been credited with originating the term “Greenback”, as the currency was first printed in a distinctive green reverse, giving birth to the famous moniker that US dollar bill is today known as.

Portraits and Designs On The Dollar Bill

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

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banknote portraitsIt is generally known that the selection of designs and portraits on the dollar bill is decided by the Secretary of the Treasury, with the advice of authorized official from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, after a thorough review by the Commission on Fine Arts.

It is also acknowledged that all of the portraits on the dollar bill are of deceased individuals of significant historical importance. This is because the Unites States Code, Title 31, Section 5114(b), forbids the depiction of any living persons on the dollar bill. The designs and portraits on the dollar bill today were chosen back in 1928, and in 1996, security enhanced variations were introduced in response to growing threats of currency counterfeiters worldwide.

The dollar bills in circulation today features the portraits and designs of George Washington displaying the number “1” between obverse and reverse of the Great Seal on the $1 bill, Thomas Jefferson with the design of “The Signing of the Declaration of Independence” on the $2 bill, Abraham Lincoln with the design of the Lincoln Memorial on the $5 bill, Alexander Hamilton with the design of the US Treasury Building on the $10 bill, Andrew Jackson with the design of the White House on the $20 bill, Ulysses S. Grant with the design of the US Capitol on the $50 bill, and Benjamin Franklin with the design of the Independence Hall on the $100 bill.

There are also several other depicted portraits on other denominations of the dollar bill which ceased in circulation back in 1969. These are the $500 bill displaying the portrait of William McKinley, the $1000 bill bearing a portrait of Grover Cleveland, the $5000 bill bearing a portrait of James Madison, the $10000 bill bearing a portrait of Salmon P. Chase, and the $100000 bill displaying a portrait of Woodrow Wilson.

No records have been found to date, however, to suggest the reasoning behind the selection of certain Presidents and statesmen on these various denominations.

To help safeguard against counterfeiters, the US government is expected to redesign the dollar bill every decade or so. The dollar bill is less exposed to the threats of forgery through the significant improvements in its security features, the tighter laws governing counterfeiters, and the ongoing effort to educate the public on the subject matter. Basically the new designs are targeted to be safer which makes it harder to forge and easier to check, smarter to stay ahead of tech-savvy forgers, and more secure, which help protect the integrity of the currency.

The subtle background colors of this new enhance designs is probably the most noticeable difference on the new dollar bills. This frustrates forgers as it makes the dollar bill more intricate and harder to counterfeit. This significant change also helps distinguish the different denominations because of the obvious contrast in background colors.

Despite all these added features, the redesigned dollar bills continue to preserve its distinct size, look and feel of the original dollar bills of the yesteryears, making it the most recognizable and travelled paper money in the world.

This continuous effort to honor the previous portraits and designs of the dollar bill can be credited to The Department of the Treasury. The older designed dollar bills are also never recalled or exchanged upon the pumping-in of the newer more secure currency. This process is methodically carried out in a controlled and purposeful manner, usually in stages, being careful not to overwhelm the financial markets. As a result, and due to the billions of dollars circulating worldwide, which is deliberately unaffected by this change, the value of the dollar bill has in time continue to strengthen in value.

The Atlantean Conspiracy, the Freemasons, the Occult, and the One-Dollar Bill

Sunday, September 7th, 2008

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dollar eyeThere’s a theory lurking among conspiracy theorists that everything from the Presidential blood lines, 911, the moon landing, the dollar bill, and just about everything else is part of something called the Atlantean Conspiracy.

According to these people, the Freemasons, the occult, our government, and many presidents can be tied to the symbols on a one-dollar bill, among other things. Let’s take a look at what they think.

Atlantean conspiracy supports cite that in 1933, President Franklin Roosevelt, a 33 degree Freemason and Black Nobility president had the Great Seal added to the dollar bill. According to the theory, the Great Seal has been a symbol of secret societies in Europe years before the United States came into existence, and the symbols go back to the ancient world.

The Atlantean conspiracy people believe that the pyramid and the stars on the dollar-bill represent a Stellar Cult. They believe that the eagle is for a Solar Cult, and further that it signifies the constellation Scopio, also called Aquila. They see the sign of Scorpio as being a sign of power, money, and secret knowledge.

To further support this notion, the Atlantean Conspiracy theory also states that the United States elections are held in the middle of Scorpio and that the birthday of the U.S. is in the Scorpionic decanate of Cancer.

The color of the dollar bill, along with other U.S. currency is green. This group of people suggest that this color represents the Solar Cult and that the number 13 which appears in many ways on the dollar bill doesn’t represent the original 13 colonies at all, but really is a number in the Stellar Cult, and is a much used symbol used by the Israelites and other Semitic groups.

The Atlantean Conspiracy also states that the eagle comes from the Phoenix. They also claim that the eagle is a widely used Brotherhood symbol and popular on the coats of arms of countries including Egypt, Libya, and Iraq. They further state that it was also a symbol of the Nazis in Germany and is also used by the Christian Church.

They claim that seals not unlike the Great Seal of the United States can be traced back to ancient civilizations as old as 4,000 B.C. such as Egypt, Babylon, Assyria, and India.

Jordon Maxwell, in his book, “Matrix of Power” states that; “When one understands that the number thirteen is a very important, profound Masonic number, and that many of the founding fathers were Freemasons, as well as Rosicrucians, then you will follow this connecting thread of material to see what was actually being created. They knew what they were doing when they divided this country into thirteen colonies. The number thirteen is not an unlucky number for them. It is an unlucky number for you.”

What do you think of the Atlantean Conspiracy? Do you think it hold some kernels of truth or is it all hogwash? Let us know what you think.

Silver Certificates

Sunday, September 7th, 2008

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silver certificatesThe first silver certificates were printed in the United States in response to people who were upset with the Fourth Coinage Act that put the United States money on the gold standard. The certificate was designed to match the same value in silver coins. For example, one $50.00 Silver Certificate would be worth 50 silver dollars.

The seal and serial numbers on a Silver Certificate were printed in red, brown, and blue until Series 1899. At that time the seal and color numbers were permanently changed to blue for the $1, $2, and $5 dollar denominations.

In World War II, the government issued a 1935a Silver Certificate with a brown seal for Hawaii, and a yellow seal for North Africa distributions. The reasoning behind this move was if the money fell into enemy hands it could be easily identified and cancelled to prevent monetary losses in the United States.

In 1928, the United States Treasury reduced the size of the money to speed up transactions and cut the costs of printing. Thus, for Series 1928 only $1 Silver Certificates were printed.

In 1929 the Great Depression hit the United States and the country fell into economic disaster. The majority of citizens blamed the ever changing price of gold for the depression. President Franklin Roosevelt agreed and persuaded Congress to recall all gold coins, gold bullion, and gold certificates. At this time Congress very quietly placed the United States on the silver standard. May 12th, 1933, the Agricultural Adjustment Act was passed. This Act included a clause that allowed for huge amounts of silver to be pumped into the economy to replace the gold.

In 1934, Congress passed a low that changed the obligation on Silver Certificates to denote the current location of the silver. This law also gave the government the power to exchange silver bullion for these certificates, not just silver dollars. The 1928 one-dollar Silver Certificates were phased out and replaced with the certificates of Series 1934.

In March of 1964, Secretary of the Treasury, C. Douglas Dillion stopped the ability of citizens to redeem their Silver Certificates for Silver Dollars. Then in the 1970’s huge numbers of silver dollars in the vaults of the U.S. Mints were sold to collectors at collector value.

Finally on June 4, 1963 Congress abolished Silver Certificates and a citizen could no longer redeem their Silver Certificates for silver on June 24, 1968. This act pretty much ended the life of Silver Certificates. Kind of sad, really.

Do you have any Silver Certificates? If so, tell us about them or post a picture!

Fascinating Money Facts

Sunday, September 7th, 2008

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money factsWhile cruising around the Internet the other day I found these little tidbits of information about money. Thought I’d share them with all of you.

Did you know that money in the larger denominations such as the $50.00 and $100.00 dollar bills can last up to 8 years while the average life of a $1.00 bill is 18 months? Why is that I wonder? Any ideas?

Now this is interesting. 97% of all paper money has traces of cocaine in it. Hmmm wonder if the government wants us all high so we won’t pay attention to what they’re doing. And if our money has cocaine in it, where is the government getting their drugs from? I thought drugs were illegal? While I’m sure the cocaine is probably a natural ingredient in the materials used to make the money, it still makes you wonder. Am I the only one who thinks about this stuff?

Here’s some more fodder for conspiracy theorists. On the clock tower of Independence Hall that is printed on the $100.00 bill the time is set at 4:10. According to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, there are no records explaining why that particular time was chosen. Does anyone know the significance of 4:10? I don’t, but would very curious to hear your theories.

We American’s must really love our one dollar bills because almost half of all money printed in the United States is a one dollar bill.

Martha Washington is the only woman to ever appear on a U.S. currency note. Her face graced the one dollar Silver Certificate of 1886 and 1891, and was on the back of the one dollar Silver Certificate issued in 1896. Now that would be a very unique piece of history to have if you can find one.

Now I know very few people actually have $10 billion dollars, but if you did and you spent $1.00 every second of every day it would take you 317 years to spend it.

The name “Greenback” often associated with the one dollar bill comes from Demand Note dollars created by Abraham Lincoln in the late 1800’s. He created these special notes to finance the Civil War. This money was printed in black and green on the back side of the bill. Hence the name Greenback.

Talk about sturdy! Did you know that you’d have to fold a bill of any denomination over 8,000 times forward and backwards before it would tear?

And for all the women out there: Statistics have shown that in 75% of American homes it’s the women who manage the money and pay the bills.

Are There Jewish Symbols on the Dollar Bill?

Sunday, September 7th, 2008

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great seal united statesSome people believe that there are Jewish symbols on a dollar bill that are in honor of the Jewish population both in the United States and Europe during the Revolutionary War. The story originated because of the heroic deeds of a Jewish man named Hyam (Hiam) Solomon who was George Washington’s financial advisor and assistant.

During the cold winter at Valley Forge when George Washington and his troops were stranded at Valley Forge, Hyam Solomon rallied both American and Europe to provide money in relief aid to the stranded American soldiers. By doing this, Mr. Solomon changed the course of history. His efforts provided the supplies and food these soldiers needed to sustain them through the cold winter. Thus, George Washington and his soldiers were able to complete their mission and help in the winning of the war and the United State’s freedom.

Some people believe that the starts above the eagle’s head are really a six point Star of David to honor the Jewish people. Also, some people think that if you turn the Eagle upside down you will see a figure that resembles a Menorah.

Nice story, right? The story is true, but the alleged symbols on the dollar bill are not there because of Mr. Solomon.

While this is a wonderful thought, the truth of the matter is that the first bill to have this symbol was the one-dollar Silver Certificate that was Series 1935, many years after George Washington’s death.

During the design process of the Great Seal of the United States, George Washington was fighting a war and had no input as to the design.

But don’t fret. Mr. Solomon was not forgotten in all this. In 1893 a bill was presented before Congress ordering a gold medal struck in recognition of Mr. Solomon’s contribution to history and the United States of America.

While Mr. Solomon’s efforts are heroic to be sure, there were many other ethnic groups that fought and sacrificed for the war. So why not acknowledge all of them? Are there other symbols in the dollar bill left to be discovered?

According to the government, the designers explained all the symbols used and their meanings. None of those meanings are connected to the Illuminati, the Masons, the Jewish people, or other groups.

What do you think? Do you think the government version is correct and any resemblance to a Jewish symbol is purely coincidental or do you believe that the Jewish people were honored in the design of the dollar bill? Let us know.

The Owl, the Great Seal and the Freemasons

Saturday, September 6th, 2008

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pyramid great sealEver since someone tried to link the Great Seal of the United States to the Freemasons, the Great Seal has taken on a life of its own. Since that time, the Great Seal has been examined in excruciating detail and some surprising theories have been sent out into the Universe.

Someone, who obviously had a lot of time on their hands, discovered that if you draw a hexagram over the reverse side of the Great Seal the letters in the 5 points spell out the word “Mason”. These letters also spell out other words, but those words aren’t any fun because no hidden meaning can be found within them, well, at least not yet.

There’s also been much fussing, fighting and controversy surrounding the webbing in the background of the dollar bill. Some people claim to have found a spider or owl in the top left of the number “1” in the border.

This is probably just your eyes playing tricks on you, but some people aren’t so sure. They claim the owl is symbol of the Freemasons. The Freemasons do use an owl, but they didn’t start to use this symbol years after the first dollar bill was printed.

Conspiracy theorists will argue that may be true, but it could have been added during one of the changes in design or a new series had to be printed because of the change of Secretary of the Treasury. This could be true, who’s to say.

If an owl was in the original design chances are it was put there to signify wisdom, not the Freemasons. Yet the debate rages on.

Another popular theory is that the owl is the mascot of the Bohemian Grove, a summer retreat for the elite in powerful in California. This group is really nothing more than a bunch of businesspeople who get together to set aside their concerns and worries about their businesses and bond together in a spirit of togetherness.

The Bohemian Grove was founded in 1872 and was meant to be a spoof of ceremonies, which could explain why their opening ceremonies are so bizarre. The people in the Bohemian Grove have drawn upon many different traditions and ethnic groups rituals and combined them into one.

So what do you think? Is the owl another sign that the Freemasons are more powerful then anyone realizes or do you believe the owl is just how the webbing comes together at that particular point? What about the Bohemian Grove Society? Are they really a group of powerful people who have designs on taking over the country or are another secret society that secretly runs the country? Or are they just a bunch of businesspeople having a two week vacation?

What about the word Mason? Do you think it’s a coincidence or is there something more to this whole theory? What other words and hidden meanings can you find in those letters or have you found something else? We’d love to hear about it.

Rare Bills You May Never Touch

Saturday, July 5th, 2008

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dollar bill thousandHave you ever seen a $5,000 bill up close? If you are like most people, probably not. Back in 1969, the circulation of the 1945 series of bills in denominations over $100 was stopped. These bills were printed as Federal Reserve notes only between 1918 and 1945. Even though you may never get to touch one of these rare bills, it is interesting to hear about them. Take a look at these facts on the larger denomination paper currency that is no longer in circulation.

These are the faces printed on these bills:

$500 William McKinley
$1,000 Grover Cleveland
$5,000 James Madison
$10,000 Salmon P. Chase
$100,000 Woodrow Wilson

There are different images printed on the backs of these old bills as well. On the $500 large sized, blue seal Federal Reserve note, there was an image of DeSoto Discovering the Mississippi in 1541. On the back of the blue seal 1918 series $1,000 bill, there is an image of an eagle. On the green seal $5,000 bill, there is an image of Washington Resigning his Commission. There is an image of The Embarkation of the Pilgrims on the green seal $10,000 bill (series 1918).

The series 1934 $100,000 bill simply said, “The United States of America -100,000- One Hundred Thousand Dollars” on the back. This was a gold certificate that was never released for general circulation. It is not legal for collectors to possess this bill. It was also the only one of these bills that was printed red on the back.

These bill denominations were discontinued simply because they were not used very often. These bills are no longer available from the government. Those few that still remain in existence are in the hands of those individuals who collect rare currency.

You can see images of these bills on the Bureau of Printing and Engraving Website:

Interesting Facts About the Dollar - Paper Currency

Saturday, June 7th, 2008

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legal tenderThere are many interesting facts about the paper currency of the United States. Here are just a few facts about dollars that you may not have known before.

The first $1 notes did not have George Washington’s face printed on them. The Secretary of Treasury in 1861, Salmon P. Chase, was the face on the original $1 note. George Washington’s face was not printed on the $1 note until 1869.

The dollars in circulation today all have the same basic face and back designs since 1928, which the exception backs of the $1 and $2 denominations.

A tiny “FW” printed on the front lower right corner of any bill indicates that it was printed at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing’s Western Currency Facility. This facility is located in Forth Worth, Texas.

All paper currency in circulation today has the words: “THIS NOTE IS A LEGAL TENDER FOR ALL DEBTS PUBLIC AND PRIVATE”. This sentence was changed seven times before it was finally edited to the wording we see today, which was first printed on the 1963 series.

The original phrase was: “This note is legal tender for all debts, public and private, except duties on imports and interest on the public debt, and is exchangeable for U.S. six per cent twenty year bonds, redeemable at the pleasure of the United States after 5 years”. This phrase was printed on the larger notes printed in 1862.

Larger notes circulated until 1929, and were 3.125 inches wide by 7.4218 inches long.

Currently, all paper dollars measure 2.61 inches wide by 6.14 inches long. They are also 0.0043 inches thick.

In order to have one full pound of bills, you need 490 notes.

Interesting isn’t it? Be sure to keep reading our blog for more interesting facts about dollar bills!

The History of United States Dollars

Saturday, June 7th, 2008

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dollar bill historyThe paper currency in the United States, the dollar, has an interesting history. Let us take a look at the history of dollars, which begins all the way back before the States were all created to form this country.

The first sign of paper money was in 1690. The Massachusetts Bay Colony was the first to issue this paper money. Many years later, in 1775, paper currency was issued to finance the Revolutionary War. The problem with this issue of currency was that is was based on the expectation of tax collection. These notes were also easily counterfeited.

After the Constitution was adopted, Congress chartered the first bank. It was called the Bank of the United States. The bank was charted until 1811 and authorized to issue paper currency. This institution was the first to perform the functions of a central bank.

Due to the need to finance the Civil War, Congress decided to permit the U.S. Treasury to issue non-interest bearing notes. These notes were a paper currency called Demand Notes. Large Treasury Notes in circulation were released in five issues between 1862-1923.

Between 1865 and 1933, Gold Certificates were circulated against gold coin deposits. In between this time, it was decided that the Treasury Department’s Bureau of Engraving and Printing would be solely authorized to print U.S. currency.

The Federal Reserve System was set into place in 1913, so that there would be unified regulation over money circulation and credit. Federal Reserve Notes are the paper money that we know and use today. No other U.S. currency is created or circulating.

The denominations of paper currency that are currently issued are $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100. Prior to 1946, there were other, higher denominations in circulation. These were $500, $1,000, $5,000, and $10,000 bills.

There is much more to the history of currency in the United States, but this post offers a nice overview of how we have come to use the dollar bills that we use today. Remember that money is not what it used to be. It has changed over time.