Money has been around in America since the 1790’s. It was in existence in other countries well before that date. Money was first made in a form of small coins that are made out of semi-rare metals such as gold and silver. Each coin is given an actual value. Coins remained in use in the United States since the 1860’s. In 1862, the Department of Treasury decided to produce money made from paper. It is in that same year that the Civil War took place which caused a shortage of metals to create the coins.
We use money in our life every day, but ever wonder how it has evolved? Here is a quick rundown on the four amazing facts about money.
1. Ever wonder why coins were created with ridges on the circular edge of them? It is a technique to protect against counterfeit money. A sizeable amount of criminals are looking for ways to counterfeit United States dollars. Coins are made of silver and gold and the amount of gold used is equal to the amount it is worth. For example, a five dollar gold coin was made from five dollars worth of gold. Some unscrupulous coin dealers or would-be counterfeiters will scuff the edge off the coin, and if done well, wouldn’t be noticed by merchants that they aren’t getting the exact amount of gold in their coin. The ridges are also placed on the edge of the coin so that seeing impaired individuals can distinguish it from other circular metal materials.
2. The $20 bill is the most counterfeited bill in the United States. To fight counterfeiting, the United States mint and the United States Secret Service were formed. Reports say there is an estimated $5.8 million worth of counterfeit bills circulating since 2005. Coins are said to still be counterfeited, but most of the time they are fakes of older and rare coins.
3. A regular one-dollar bill wears out after 18 months of circulation. It is the most circulated bill and it accounts for almost half of the bills created by the United States Bureau of Engraving and Printing. Since the United States dollar is said to be the most widely used currency in transactions all over the world, an estimated 95% of the newly printed money is used for the replacement of United States dollars that go overseas.
4. No Living person’s likeness shall be placed on dollar bills and coins to ensure the United States doesn’t appear to have a monarch government. Here’s two quick facts about the past; a Spanish Queen was the first woman to be placed on a United States coin and Benjamin Franklin is the only non-president who appears on a bill.
High speed machines are employed by the Federal Reserve bank to count each bill. These machines are able to count 40 bills a second, and during the counting of the bills, they can simultaneously examine their fitness level using hi-tech sensors. The special sensors can detect graffiti, dirt content, or any possible counterfeits. Any suspected counterfeit bills get sent to the Secret Service for further examination. The other currency that is deemed unfit is shredded. The twelfth district Federal Reserve shreds about 75 million dollars a day! They replace the shredded currency with newly printed bills ordered from the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP).
The BEP is updating the currency on a constant basis to make it more difficult to counterfeit. The $20 was redesigned in the fall of 2003. They added a change in color, color-shifting ink, four distinct security features, a security strip, micro-printing and a watermark. replica pounds
Does counterfeiting remain the large problem it was in the Civil War? No, that problem is largely resolved. Since 2012 the Federal Reserve estimates there was about $1.09 trillion in circulation. $1.05 trillion of this amount was in Federal Reserve notes. Worldwide, about two thirds of United States currency in circulation remains located outside of the United States, in foreign countries, so about $303 billion circulates in the United States. In 2011, $261 million of counterfeit currency was seized by the Secret Service. If we assume the whole amount was then removed from currency circulating within the United States, it equates to less than 0.086% of the total currency in 2011 in the United States was actually fake money ($261 million/$303 billion). Out of every stack of 1 million banknotes in circulation authorities reported about 6.5 counterfeit banknotes are passed as real currency.
Remember these figures only show currency verified as counterfeit bills and then removed from circulation. Because detection of counterfeits has become more difficult, it is now harder to measure the true extent of counterfeiting. Advanced computer technology has now created the ability to produce decent counterfeit bills so that individuals who can buy a good computer, a high-quality color laser printer and a high definition scanner can produce counterfeit bills. With some attention to detail, a little bit of creativity and access to special paper that is available, almost anyone can now produce fake money that is passable to the average person untrained in the detection of fakes.
The Treasury has introduced a series of Federal Reserve notes in 1996 that contain enhanced security features designed to make them more difficult to counterfeit. These built-in features now include a larger, off-center portrait that includes more finite detail and other visual markers that are much harder to copy or otherwise produce effectively.