Do you ever think about cash at all? How did it start? Who invented it? You’ll be surprised to know that there’s more to your cash than merely paying for your rent and your morning cup of java at Starbucks. There are so many interesting facts about the coins and bills you keep in your wallets.
What are bills made of? How long do they circulate? When you know the answers to these questions it will blow your mind! Let’s check out some of the strangest and most fascinating facts about money.
#1: Two dollar bills were deemed unlucky.
Did you know when the first $2 bill was printed? It was in 1862. It’s quite interesting that these bills were hailed as unpopular and unlucky for various reasons. If you look at the back of the bill you will find John Trumbull painting the Declaration of Independence. But if you look closely you’ll find that instead of the forty-seven that appear on the original bill, it lacks five. There were so many theories surrounding the $2 bill but the real question that boggled the minds of people was who was left out?
#2: American bills were laced with drugs.
Another fascinating fact about money is that most of the American bills have traces of cocaine on them. Yes, that’s right – drugs. In a study done by Yuegang Zuo, a chemist from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, it was discovered that eighty-five to ninety-five percent of paper bills were laced with cocaine. Other cities that showed traces of cocaine were Boston, Miami, Los Angele, and Detroit.
#3: The average life expectancy of dollar bills is not more than fifteen years.
Even though we now live in a cashless world, there are still those who use bills on a daily basis. Everyday use of bills will cause them to wear out. The most used bill is $1 and based on studies, it has been found that $1 only has a life expectancy of almost six years.
But there’s more. If you think $1 has the shortest life expectancy, you are mistaken. According to research, the shortest life expectancy belongs to a $10 bill and it lasts for only four and a half years. This is followed by the $5 bill, which only lasts for approximately five and a half years. A $20 bill lasts for nearly 8 years while the $50 lasts for eight and a half years. Meanwhile, the longest lifespan goes to the $100 bill as it lasts for fifteen years.
#4: You can still make use of damaged bills.
What are you going to do if you have badly damaged money? Don’t throw them out just yet. You can redeem destroyed money for its full value at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. However, in order to qualify, you have to have more than half of the original bill and the security feature must be intact. If you have less than half you can still qualify as long as you are able to justify why the note was damaged and why there were missing pieces.
#5: You’ll need to apprentice for ten years to qualify as a banknote engraver.
The U.S. Secretary of the Treasury is responsible for approving the designs of all U.S. currencies. But, to become a banknote engraver you have to be an apprentice for ten years. Engraving money is a complex and meticulous job.
#6: Commemorative coins can help raise money for different causes.
Every now and then the Congress allows the U.S. Mint to create special commemorative coins. These coins are not designed to be circulated but they can still be used legally. When these coins are sold the U.S. Mint can raise up to five hundred million dollars to fund programs, monuments, and museums.
#7: The new $10 bill celebrates the women’s suffrage movement.
A lot of people thought that the new $10 bill design would feature Tubman but the back of the bill was, in fact, designed to honor Lucretia Mott, Elizbeth Cady, Sojourner Truth, Alice Paul, and Susan B. Anthony. All of them were leaders and heroes of the women’s suffrage movement.
#8: Hold your bills to the light and you’ll see the reflection of faces.
When you hold your bill to the light you will see an image of the face printed on the bill. For instance, if you hold a $100 bill to the light you will see Benjamin Franklin on the two sides of the bill found on the blank space on the right side.
There’s more to money than using it to pay for your Netflix subscription or your bottle of Gatorade on your way to the gym. If you look deeper and do your research, you’ll be shocked to learn quite a number of interesting facts about your dollar bills and coins.