Archive for the ‘Made’ Category

What Is A Dollar Bill Made Of ?

Monday, December 1st, 2008

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dollar made ofEver wondered what your dollar bill is made of? Do you know why money doesn’t disintegrate when left in the washing machine? That’s because paper money is more cloth than it is paper! In fact there is no paper at all, or even wood, used in any of our dollar bills. Paper money is made out of rags of paper, also known as heavy paper. These rags are cotton and linen fabrics beaten together to create cotton and linen fibers, making it really sturdy and durable.  

These rag fibers bond together more strongly than that of the fibers found on normal paper. Note that normal paper is made out of selected cellulose fiber which comes from trees, and these cellulose based paper absorbs water immediately and falls apart when so, as opposed to rags made out of cotton and linen fibers which molecule structures don’t break down easy. These rag fibers are fundamentally unaffected by water, its composition is so strong that it remains unaltered upon immersion in water or most liquids. The concoction of materials used is also much more resilient than normal paper, it resists wear and tear, and also does not contain the usual agents that makes ordinary paper glow slightly under an ultraviolet light. Paper money or banknote paper is also sometimes impregnated with polyvinyl alcohol or gelatin to give it that extra strength and durability.

Paper money is basically composed of 25 percent linen fibers and 75 percent cotton fibers, and red and blue synthetic fibers of various lengths are distributed evenly and consistently throughout the paper like material. It is said that prior to World War I, these fibers were made out of silk, but the practice was quickly discontinued because it wasn’t cost effective and practical.

Most banknotes these days are made using the mould method in which a watermark and thread is incorporated during the material forming process, mainly to thwart currency counterfeiters. To keep up and stay ahead of currency forgers, paper money today has also become so high-tech, and the newer designs include state-of-the-art technology like Cornerstone, Platinum and Optiks, all of which increases the strength and security of paper money.

Manufacturers of banknote paper were also swift to recognize the problems associated with dirt and they developed a special paper with a thin layer of varnish on the surface to repel them. Recently, the composition of materials used in producing paper money has also changed dramatically with the introduction of synthetic technology, which comprises an impenetrable network inside the cotton fiber structure, supporting the banknote and intensifying its mechanical stability, Newer products like Synthec and Diamone Composite has also responded to this call and the growing demand for higher mechanical stability of the paper, making paper money more resistant to wear and tear. Consisting of 80 percent cotton fiber and 20 percent synthetic fiber, Synthec based paper money lasts longer and is more flexible. Some countries around the world have also adopted polymer, which is basically soft plastic, to replace the traditional cotton and linen composites. 

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.

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 New and Enhanced Five Dollar Bill

Saturday, October 25th, 2008

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On March 2008, the newer, safer, smarter, and more secure five dollar bills were produced and put into new 5 dollar billcirculation. These notes is said to be so advanced that its much harder to forge and almost impossible to reproduce. So smart is the new five dollar bill that counterfeiters find it grueling to keep up with its technology. Two of the most important security features, that were first introduced in the 1990’s, are retained on the newly designed five dollar bill, which makes it so much easier to inspect. These features are the tried and tested watermark and the security thread.

The watermarks on the redesigned five dollar bill comprise of a large number five located to the right of the portrait and a column of three smaller fives which is positioned to its left. The large number five watermark actually replaces the previous watermark portrait of President Lincoln found on the older five dollar bills. These two new enhanced watermarks can easily be seen by holding the notes up to the light.

As for the security thread of the new five dollar bills, these have been moved to the right of the portrait, compared to the older version which is located to the left. The number five, as well as the words “USA”, alternates the visible pattern along the threads from either sides of these notes. When held under an ultraviolet light, this embedded security thread will turn a shade of blue glow. Like the watermarks, the security thread can also clearly be seen when held up to a light source.

Newer enhanced portraits and historical images also grace the new five dollar bills. Apart from making counterfeiting more difficult to achieve, these new notes also include other features that aids in telling the different denominations apart, particularly for people who are visually impaired.

New colors have also been added to these notes to make life just that much harder for currency forgers. The most noticeable difference is the addition of a shade of purple around the center of these bills, which slowly blends into a greyer shade when it nears the edges. The numbers “05” is also added to the left of the portrait on the front of the bill, as well as the right of the Lincoln Memorial vignette on its reverse side.

new 5 dollar billsOther prominent changes were also made to the new five dollar bills and these include the Symbol of Freedom on the background of the bills, an altered portrait of President Abraham Lincoln, a redesigned vignette of the Lincoln Memorial, micro-printing of the words “FIVE DOLLARS,” “E PLURIBUS UNUM,” “USA,” and “USA FIVE,” enhanced Federal Reserve indicators, and the relocation of the serial numbers.

Because United States currency is widely circulated and used around the world, public awareness efforts have been initiated by the government to properly introduce these new notes, its sole aim being to educate the public on the various changes, how to properly utilize the security features, and steps that can be taken to further authenticate the bills. Hopefully this exercise will prove effective in ensuring the smooth transition of the new five dollar bills into the financial market. Interestingly, given all these added features and complex designs, the new five dollar bills will continue to be easily recognized globally as essentially American.

Designs On US Dollar Coinage

Friday, September 26th, 2008

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coinsDollar coins have had as colorful of a history as any paper currency here in the United States. It has, throughout time and again, been minted in various metal elements, which includes gold, silver, copper-nickel, and manganese-brass.

The first dollar coin minted back in 1974 was made out of silver. The minting of this silver dollar continued steadily until 1935, although it is said that its production was temporarily ceased between 1803 and 1836. Seven different designs were listed to have graced the dollar coin throughout this period and these are the Flowing Hair from 1794 to 1795, the Draped Bust from 1795 to 1803, the Gobrecht Dollar from 1836 to 1839, the Seated Liberty from 1840 to 1873, the Trade Dollar from 1873 to 1878, the Morgan Dollar from 1878 to 1921, and the Peace Dollar from 1921 to 1935.

Gold dollar coins, that was made out of 90 percent pure gold, were produced from 1849 to 1889. The decision to mint gold dollar is said to be credited to the gold rush period of the 1840’s. Because of its worth, the gold dollar is the smallest coin ever produced in the United States to date. The gold dollar coin spanned three periods of design stages, the first being the Liberty Head from 1849 to 1854, the Small Indian Head from 1854 to 1856, and the Large Indian Head from 1856 to 1889. It is also said that although gold dollar coins were no longer minted after 1889, several issues were struck in 1915 and 1922 to commemorate the Panama Canal and U.S. Grant respectively, and continued to circulate until the abandonment of the gold standard in the 1930’s.

The next phase in the United States coinage was the copper-nickel clad dollar coins, a period which spanned from 1971 to 1999. Designs on this variety of mint includes the Eisenhower Dollar from 1971 to 1978, the Eisenhower Bicentennial from 1975 to 1976, and the Anthony Dollar from 1979 to 1999. The Anthony Dollar or also cynically known as the “Carter quarters”, due to the poor performance of the dollar during President Jimmy Carter’s term, was minted in tribute to Susan B. Anthony, an important American civil rights leader of the 19th century.

In the year 2000, the Sacagawea Dollar series took birth and it still remains one third of all coins produced to date. The only other design of coinage that is of legal tender is the Presidential Dollar Coin Program, which was introduced in 2007.

The program was initiated to commemorate the former Presidents of the United States and it was decided that four new engraved relief portraits of them be minted each year, in sequential order by term served in office. The Statue of Liberty is engraved on its reverse, along with the inscription “$1 and the words “United States of America”. Presidents that have adorned the coins so far are George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson, and Martin Van Buren, the latter being released this coming November.

If this program should continue to depict all of our Presidents, George W. Bush would adorn the dollar coin in 2016. Cant wait!

How Dollar Bills Are Made

Saturday, September 6th, 2008

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dollar bill madeEver wondered how dollar bills are made? Here’s a brief run through on the intricate process it goes through, but an interesting one nonetheless.

The first step in the making of a dollar bill is the preparation of the master die, an imprinted piece of soft steel, used in the engraving part of the process. The brilliant adroitness and artistry of the engravers is what brings the dollar bills to life, and they do this by skilfully and carefully cutting different portions of the design, such as the portrait, the vignette, the ornamentation, and the lettering, on each master die. This is why, if you put the dollar bill under a magnifying glass, you will observe that it contains copious amounts of fine lines and dots which varies in size and shape. This unique printing technique is known as the intaglio printing. The designs which are featured on the dollar bills are determined by the Secretary of the Treasury and each of this design has its own historical and idealistic significance.

Siderography, a process used to transfer the hand-graved images on the original dies to a printing plate, is next. Upon completion, the dies will then be stored for use in subsequent production processes, as and when it is needed. As soon as that is sorted out, an impression is taken from the master die and the raised image is then cast in plastic. Various plastic images of the different segments of the dollar bill are then prepared, fitted and fused into the required plate formation. This will consists of thirty-two separate sheets. A series of plates are then produced by placing the plastic altos into an electrolytic tank. The plates are then cleaned, polished, and meticulously inspected by an engraver, after which the recessed image plate is made and another piece of the intaglio plate is placed on a printing press.

The dollar bills are then printed on these high-speed rotary presses which spits out over 8,000 sheets per hour. The surface of the notes are slightly raised, with the reverse side indented, to give it a three dimensional effect. The background of the dollar bills are printed in green ink and the faces printed in black, before it is allowed to dry, and this will take for up to 48 hours.

The dollar bills are then scrutinized under a microscope by an examiner, to meet very high standards in quality. Upon satisfactory inspection, it is then ready to be numbered. The Federal Reserve District seal and its corresponding number designations are then overprinted with black ink using a letterpress. Green ink is used to print the Treasury seal and the serial numbers. Guillotine cutters are used to slice the dollar bills into into single stacks of one-hundred notes, which will be packed up into 40 separate units of bricks, each containing 4,000 notes. These are then distributed to Federal Reserve Districts, to be issued to local banks.

There you have it, that’s how your dollar bills are made.