I watched a rerun of the new MacGyver second season. The episode dealt with counterfeiting $100 bills out of $1.00 bills. In it, MacGyver states the cold bug lasts on bills for up to 17 days instead of the normal 48 hours. This made me wonder about other facts I didn't know about money.
1. The Bureau of Engraving and Printing uses 9.7 tons of ink each and every day. The bureau has two active places that print the money daily.
2. In regard to MacGyver's claim, it turns out about 94% of the bills carry bacteria and 7% of those bacteria are hazardous to your health. If you don't like germs, use your credit card.
3. Between 1934 and 1935, the government printed some $100,000 gold certificate bills used primarily by the federal reserve banks. The bills carried Woodrow Wilson's picture on them and they could not be held by the public or by collectors.
4. The government printed other large denominations in $500, $1000, $5000, $10,000 bills until 1945 when the last ones were printed and the government totally discontinued them in 1969 when they outlawed anything bigger than $100 bill. The remaining ones are found in private collections.
5. United States bills are not made out of paper. They are made out of 75% cotton and 25% linen. In Benjamin Franklin's day, people would often repair torn money with a needle and thread.
6. There is a farm in Delaware that turns more than 4 tons of bills pulled from circulation into compost every day.
7. The $10 bill has the shortest life span of 4.5 years before it is withdrawn while the $100 bill lasts 15 years.
8. At the end of the Civil War, it is said that between one third and one half of all money in circulation was counterfeit so the government created the Secret Service on July 5, 1865 to find and prosecute counterfeiters and prevent the spread of fake money. It was only later, they began protecting the president.
9. North Korea is the largest counterfeiter of American money. Their counterfeits are so good, only certain machines at the Federal Reserve are able to detect them. Since 2009, the government has collected around $45 million counterfeit money.
10. The design of the one dollar bill includes several references to the original 13 colonies such as 13 stars above the eagle, 13 steps on the pyramid, and lots more.
11. Over two-thirds of the $100 bills printed by the Federal Reserve are missing. It is suspected they are overseas somewhere.
12. The $20 bill is the most frequently counterfeited denomination followed by the $100 bill.
13. Prior to the founding of the Federal Reserve, banks printed their own money.
14. The ink used to print money is extremely high tech so it can be tracked, is magnetic, and has color changing properties.
15. If you look carefully at the Lincoln Memorial on the back of the $5 bill with a magnifying glass, you will find all 50 states listed there.
I hope you enjoyed reading weird facts about money. Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear. Have a great day.