Thursday Trivia: American Currency

The new C-Note, featuring Ben Franklin's Shoulders! (Courtesy of the Venerable Wikipedia.)

The new $100 bill brings with it a bunch of special security features (other images, color changing ink, watermarks, and microlenses that allow for an underlying image to move) – and, of course, a larger version of Ben Franklin (as if he wasn’t large enough, hehe). However, it marks an interesting change to Americna currency – it’s  the first time both Treasury officials – Secretary Tim Geithner and Treasurer Rosa Gumataotao Rios – have their signatures on the same side. Usually, the Treasurer (responsible for the U.S. Mint and Bureau of Engraving and Printing) has his or her signature on the left side, the Secretary of the Treasury on the right.

Four more bits of trivia on American currency (for free, as usual) after the jump!

  • The reverse of the $100 bill is actually inaccurate – the clock face in the print has the Roman numeral “IV”, while the real clock face at Independence Hall reads IIII. Further, the clock tower didn’t even exist until 1828 – so the idea that it was around in 1776 (as it was said in National Treasure) is pretty ridiculous.
  • The $2 bill – which is still in circulation (although not necessarily at Taco Bell) – is the only bill currently in circulation to feature multiple presidents (Thomas Jefferson on the obverse and John Adams and Jefferson signing the Declaration of Independence on the reverse). Two state quarters also have multiple presidents – Illinois, featuring George Washington on the obverse and Abraham Lincoln on the reverse, and South Dakota, with Washington on the obverse and Mount Rushmore on the reverse (in addition, the New Jersey state quarter has Washington on both sides, crossing the Delaware River on the reverse, and the penny until its new “Union Shield” reverse design in 2010 had Lincoln sitting in his Memorial, except really small).
  • The 1943 steel penny is the only US coin to be able to be picked up with a magnet and does not contain any copper…
  • …but the 1943 copper penny (of which there are only 40 estimated and 12 confirmed cases) has been sold for as much as $200,000. That’s one pretty penny.

Five more bits of info about a topic to be decided in next week’s Thursday Trivia!


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