There is something special about paying in cash. The simple act of actually seeing money before you spend it, holding it, counting it and transferring it to another individual is an emotional process. It makes you think twice before buying something. Credit cards and online shopping have virtually eliminated the emotional component to buying something. We swipe and blindly sign. In a day and age where cash is no longer king, many millennials don’t even know how to reconcile their checkbook (or for that matter, even have a checkbook). This may be a bit exaggerated of course, but as mobile deposits, online transfers, electronic payments become more efficient and widespread, this may not be far from a reality.
I began thinking about cash as a dying breed and the nerdy part of me wanted to learn a little more about the good old US greenback. Here’s what I found out:
1.) There is about $1.1 Trillion in cash currently in circulation. About 75% of that value is in $100 bills.
2.) Benjamin Franklin is the only non-president to be featured on a bill.
3.) It costs about 6.2 cents to print each new bill.
4.) Bills were issued in denominations of $500, $1,000 and $10,000, but are no longer produced.
5.) A $100,000 bill was created, but only for use between reserve banks. Woodrow Wilson was pictured on the $100,000 bill and it was discontinued in 1969.
6. Martha Washington was the only female ever to appear on a US bill, she was on the $1 Silver Certificate in 1886 and 1891.
7.) A dollar bill is the most circulated of the US bills; its lifespan is only 18 months.
8.) Living presidents cannot have their faces printed on currency, it prevents our country from appearing as a monarchy (cue Eddie Murphy in ‘Coming to America’)
9.) 90% of US bills have been found to be contaminated by cocaine
10.) The $20 bill is the most counterfeited
The moral of the story here, I’m honestly not sure, but I bet you’ll think twice next time you’re holding a bill in your hand. Hopefully you learned something here as well and will be armed with some new talking points next time you’re standing at the craps table or closing out a bar-tab. Cheers!