You use cash every day, but how much do you really know about Federal Reserve notes? Brush up on your currency knowledge with our top 10 facts about money. Store them away in your memory to wow dinner guests or win a trivia game!
- On average, the Federal Reserve Banks process 33 billion banknotes a year. The Fed removes around 5,000 tons of dirty, torn and worn-out U.S. currency from circulation every year. Cash services recycled 85 percent of the shred in 2017 to support its environmental initiatives. That’s a lot of shredded money!
- The majority of notes in circulation are $20 and $1 notes.
- Each year, the Federal Reserve places a print order with the Bureau of Engraving and Printing to produce new banknotes. Nearly 90 percent of those replace notes considered to be unfit, as well as old designs, and are removed from circulation.
- Crane and Co., a Massachusetts-based company, has been providing the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing with paper for U.S. currency since 1879.
- It’s estimated that between one-half to two-thirds of the value of all U.S. currency in circulation is outside the United States.
- The average lifespan of a $1 note is a brief 5.8 years compared to the 15-year lifespan of a $100 note.
- A 10-year apprenticeship is required to become a banknote engraver.
- Each note has a letter and number designation that corresponds to one of the 12 Federal Reserve Banks (such as A1=Boston, B2=New York).
- In celebration of the United States' bicentennial, the back of the $2 note changed from Monticello to a vignette of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. This design has remained the same since the note was issued in 1976, and there are no plans to change it.
- A living person may not appear on U.S. currency.
- Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco (Off-site)
- U.S. Currency Education Program (Off-site)
- Bureau of Engraving and Printing (Off-site)
- SF Fed Blog (Off-site)