So any time I come across a few interesting facts about our money, it takes complete willpower to keep it all to myself and NOT share it with you guys every second. (You’re welcome)
Today, however, I unleash it all! Like a big frustrated volcano finally able to erupt in ecstasy! Or….
I Present to You, 21 Money Facts That Will Blow Your Mind
- The Mint of Philadelphia was originally guarded by a watchdog (that cost $3.00).
- The most counterfeited bill in the country is $20. World-wide it’s the $100.
- Coins last 30 years on average, while paper money usually only lasts for 18 months.
- The U.S. dollar is the most widely used currency in international transactions.
- Coins have ridges to protect against counterfeiting. Back story:
“To make a little extra money, people would shave the edges of the coins and collect the metal. If done well enough, the smaller coins would not be noticed by merchants and they in effect would get less than ten dollars in gold for a purchase. This gave the counterfeiter extra gold or silver to make into more coins. Today, the ridges remain as a form of “braille” for the seeing impaired.”
- It costs approximately 6.4 cents per note to produce U.S. currency.
- Dollar bills often carry traces of Salmonella and E.coli.
- Paul Revere was a silversmith and a contributor to our nation’s coinage.
- About 4,000 double folds (forward and backward) are required before a note will tear.
- Legend has it that Martha Washington donated the silverware from her table to make the nation’s first currency.
- The whole country makes money when the Mint makes money. Back story:
Why? The answer is “seigniorage”—the difference between the cost of making a coin and its face value. (For example, it costs only a few cents to make a quarter, yet its face value is 25 cents.) This profit runs the Mint and puts extra funds into the country’s Treasury—funds then spent on education, health care, defense, and other services for the nation.
- “In God We Trust” was first used on coins during the Civil War.
- Horses, oxen, and men powered the Mint’s coin presses before 1816.
- Before the days of paper money, Americans traded animal skins, including deer and elk bucks, for goods and services (hence where the word “buck” came from to describe money)
- The Bureau of Engraving and Printing produces 26 million notes a day, with a face value of approximately $907 million.
- An employee of the Mint once tried to steal a 10-pound brick of gold. Back story:
In 1864, James Clarke, an employee of the Denver Mint, stole cash, certificates, and a 10-pound brick of gold. He tried to escape on horseback, but the horse ran away. After getting only a few miles out of Denver, Clarke found his loot too heavy to carry and threw the 10-pound gold brick away. Clarke was caught and ordered to leave the territory.
- The Philadelphia Mint is the world’s largest mint, covering over 5 acres of ground.
- The first woman to appear on U.S. coins wasn’t American – it was Queen Isabella of Spain in 1893. First Lady Martha Washington was the first woman to appear on paper money in 1886.
- The largest bill ever created was the $100,000 gold certificate in 1934. (It’s worth a hell of a lot more than that, if you should be so lucky to own one (which would be illegal))
- The Smithsonian Institution was created by the donation of $508,316 in gold from scientist James Smithson – from England! Today it is the largest museum complex in the entire world (all free of charge to visit too! Egads!).
- George Washington refused to appear on a coin because kings often put themselves on coins. Interesting background on Mr. Washington:
“Unlike many in positions of leadership, he was not motivated primarily by power… he left public service more than once to settle back into a quiet, unassuming life on his plantation”
“Facts” that sound awesome, but not sure I believe:
- More Monopoly money is printed than REAL money.
- More people have fantasies about money than sex. (What about both at the same time? ;))
Use this knowledge wisely, ladies and gentleman…
[Photo cred: Images_of_Money]
Jay loves talking about money, collecting coins, blasting hip-hop, and hanging out with his three beautiful boys. You can check out all of his online projects at jmoney.biz. Thanks for reading the blog!