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5 Fun Facts About The Dollar Bill

Updated on September 15, 2014

Have you ever looked at a dollar bill and thought of questions such as; what's it made out of or how long does it last? Well if you're wondering about any of these questions, you're in the right place. Here are Five Fun Facts About the Dollar Bill that you may find interesting.

1. How long does a dollar bill last?

The average dollar bill's lifespan is approximately 18 months. Most of its time is spent in pockets and cash registers. So when does it become useless? Well the answer is, a bill becomes worthless when less than one half of the bill is present (as in it was cut in fourths) or when the image has faded away to the point that you cannot tell that it is still US currency. If one were to compare the various bills in the US currency lineup to the one dollar bill, you would find that the average five dollar bill lasts a few months less, or about 15 months. The average twenty dollar bill last half a year longer or approximately 2 years simply because they are used less often. Finally, fifty and one hundred dollar bills can last up to eight years because, once again, they are used much less often.


2. Hidden Items on the dollar Bill

Probably the most famous picture on the one dollar bill is the spider, or others say an owl. It is located on the face or front side of the dollar bill next to the number 1 in the upper left hand corner. It is said to be there for no specific purpose, and is simply a printing flaw. Another well known picture on the dollar bill is the eye, referred to as the "All Seeing Eye" at the top of the unfinished pyramid. It is a symbol of the Freemasons and dates back to the ancient Egyptians. Nobody really knows why the eye has been put on the dollar bill.

3. What's A Dollar Made Out Of?

You may have noticed that a one dollar bill feels stronger, but also softer then paper. This is due to the fact that it is not made of the same materials as paper. The predominate materials used in the making of a dollar bill are cotton, linen and wood fibers. Also, as an interesting fact, 97% of dollar bills contain small traces of cocaine. This is due to the fact that the cocaine gets beaten into the threads of the finished bills very easily during drug transactions (please don't start sniffing all your money now).


4. The Number "13" In The Dollar Bill

You may not know this but the number 13 isn't quite so unlucky after all. The dollar bill has multiple groups of 13. For example there are 13 stars above the eagle, 13 steps on the Pyramid, 13 berries on the olive tree and many more. The government has done this because the number corresponds with the 13 original colonies. So, the next time you take a close look at a dollar, see how many groups of 13 you can find.

5. Why is a Dollar Bill Green?

It has yet to be revealed why green was chosen as the color for the dollar bill. It is presumed that the green color comes from the 19th century Demand Note created by Abe Lincoln. The color of the Demand Note was black on the front and green on the back which gave the note its nickname of the "greenback." Another possible reason that the dollar is green may be because the green pigment was readily accessible and large amounts were easily manufactured.

19th Century Demand Note
19th Century Demand Note | Source


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