Contributed by: Jon Freeman

A year ago, in April 2016, the United States Treasury Department announced that the face of former President Andrew Jackson will be replaced on the front of the $20 dollar bill by Harriet Tubman. This change is scheduled to take place in the year 2020. With that in mind here are some more interesting facts about United States money:


1. It costs more than a penny to make a penny. That is right. According to the United States Mint, it costs more than one cent to make the physical coin that is worth only one cent..

2. U.S. paper money is not made out of paper! It is 75 percent cotton and 25 percent linen. That is why a really old dollar bill will feel different in your hands than a really old piece of paper.

3. The first $20 dollar Federal Reserve note was issued in the year 1914. It featured a picture for Grover Cleveland on the front of it.

4. In 1909, President Lincoln appeared on a one-cent coin and became the first real person, as well as the first American president, to have his face appear on a regular-issue American coin.

5. The first $10 dollar Federal Reserve note was issued in 1914. It had a portrait of Andrew Jackson on the front of it.

6. Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey be the our national bird. Franklin had many good ideas, but this is one I think many people are glad did not become true. Imagine how different a coin like the quarter would look if it had a turkey on the back of it instead of an eagle.

7. The United States Bureau of Engraving and Printing prints approximately 32 million currency notes every day.

8. The largest U.S. note ever made was the $100,000 Gold Certificate. The bills were used only in transactions between Federal Reserve Banks and the United States Treasury. These notes were printed during the 1930’s.

9. According to the U.S. Mint, most coins can circulate for about 25 years before they become too worn to be used anymore.

10. Fort Knox in Kentucky has been the site of the United States Depository since 1938. Gold is stored in vaults inside Fort Knox and it is heavily guarded. Fort Knox has been used to protect more than just United States’ gold reserves in our nations’s history. During World War II, to protect them from any possible danger, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights were secretly stored in protective vaults at the U.S. Bullion Depository at Fort Knox. Only when Allied victory was assured were the historic documents returned to Washington, D.C.


To find information about how to manage your money, in addition to other personal finance topics, feel free to visit the GCPL Personal Finance Guide.