Facts about Money

1884 Trade Dollar Reverse
Image via Wikipedia

It’s all about the Benjamins, right? It could be. It could also be about the Lincolns, Washingtons and Jeffersons. Chances are you have paper money and change rolling around in your wallet, purse or the cushions of your couch but have you ever given any thought to the origins of the cash you carry?

Because we help our small business clients with money issues every day, we think about it a lot so we’ve gathered these fun money facts for you to ponder the next time you pull out a bill or a coin to make a purchase.

Did you know:

  • The US dollar has been standard legal tender in the United States since it was first printed in 1861. It’s been printed in Washington, DC since 1862. In 1991 a second printing facility was constructed in Texas to meet the increasing demands. The Forth Worth site now prints more than half the nation’s currency.
  • The copper penny changed to copper-plated zinc in 1982.
  • There are 12 federal reserves for currency.
  • There are only nine engravers that do all of the engraving for the currency.
  • Coins have been in use since 1792.
  • All of the money in the US is made from 75% cotton and 25% linen.
  • A rare 1943 copper penny was auctioned and sold for $112,500 in December, 1999.
  • The government will replace damaged money as long as you have more than 51% of the bill intact.
  • It costs 4.1 cents to make and print a paper bill.

When it comes to coins and specifically, quarters we dug up a bit more interesting historical information. In its most basic form, a coin is merely a metallic object used to facilitate commerce and exchange. Archeologists disagree on when this practice first started but it is believed that the first history of coin exchange occurred in India. Others argue that coins were first used in Turkey. Both factions agree the use of coins dates back more than two and a half millennia – more than 2,000 years before Lincoln.

  • The penny has remained virtually unchanged for the past one and a half centuries and remains in circulation despite the fact that it costs more to mint than it’s worth.
  • On the other end of the scale, the largest coin – the quarter – is basically worthless compared to its denomination. They do however, cost less to produce than their face value.
  • Our quarters are being updated on a regular basis beginning in the late 1990s when the Mint rolled out the State quarter program in which every state received its own specially-designed quarter.
  • In 2010 the Mint introduced the “American the Beautiful” quarters program. There will be 56 unique coins minted – representing the 50 states and six American territories. Five new quarters will be introduced and will go through 2021.

The next time you pull a bill out of your pocket stop for a moment and consider the history behind it. And if you have to keep track of the dollars and cents for your Arizona-based business, come and see us!

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