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Saturday, August 5, 2017

Paper money

There is such history in our paper money that if you are bored one day you can just start looking it up and I guarantee you will be  captured for some time. Especially how the value's changed but I want to focus more on the actual notes for my adventure.
We will start at the beginning of course...

Well actually,the first bill tenderer was in 1862: issued as Legal Tender note with a Portrait of Salmon P.Chase, the Secretary of the Treasury under President Abraham Lincoln and many other designs came along until 1929 when all bills were made into a smaller design and this became our one dollar bill. You can read more about this here.

The portrait of George Washington on the current U.S. one-dollar bill is actually an unfinished work by the artist Gilbert Stuart.

Stuart painted several portraits of the first U.S. president, but the one that is on today’s one-dollar bill was commissioned by Washington’s wife, First Lady Martha Washington. In the course of painting, George Washington passed away.
This so-called paper money is in fact a cotton and linen blend, with red and blue minute silk fibers running through it. That is why if you wash it,you can dry it and use it again as it is actually material. The life span of a one dollar bill is approximately 4.8 years. Worn out money is shredded and recycled.
Have you ever wondered how the Presidents were chosen to be on our money?
It requires a Act of Congress,  Secretary of Treasury on the advise of the Engraving Office. After the design is chosen, it's reviewed by Fine Arts Commission. There was talk a while back about President Obama being put on a bill but only dead top leaders get their portraits on currency so this probably won't happen in our lifetime.

On the front you will see the United States treasury seal....

The green seal stamped over the word “one” to the right of Washington’s portrait is the United States Treasury Seal, which contains balancing scales to represent justice, a key (the symbol of office authority) and a chevron with thirteen stars to represent the 13 original states. This seal is found on all denominations of bills. All the other things like the K and the numbers represent different things and you can read up on it if you are interested but the back on the one dollar is far more interesting.

" In God we trust" was as added in 1957 to the back of all our bills. The pyramid....

The pyramid on the dollar bill represents strength and duration. Some interpret the missing top as a sign that the country wasn’t finished yet. Similarly, the western face of the pyramid is in a shadow while the front is lighted, which some say indicates that the nation hadn’t explored the West or figured out what it would do for Western civilization yet but When Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams gathered to design the seal (they were the first of three committees to make suggestions), they didn’t suggest a pyramid, but they did discuss an eye. They wanted the seal to have a symbol of divine providence, and the all-seeing eye shaped like the top of the pyramid is an ancient symbol of divinity.
In Latin above the pyramid reads “annuit coeptis,” which means “God has favored our undertaking and below the phrase “novus ordo seclorum,” which is interpreted as “a new order of the ages.” 

Across the bottom bricks of the pyramid are the letters “MDCCLXXVI.” These letters are the Roman numerals for 1776, the year America declared its independence.

Eagle's Shield

In front of the eagle—a uniquely American bird—is a shield, which is unsupported to signify Americans should rely on their own virtue. The horizontal top bar of the shield symbolizes the federal government, and it holds together yet is supported by vertical bars that represent individual states (13 at the time it was designed).
It’s no surprise that the stars over the eagle represent the 13 colonies. But what’s surrounding them? The official description says it’s glory “breaking through a cloud” above the eagle, but current versions have a cloud surrounding the rays.
The eagle holds an olive branch (representing peace) in its right talon and arrows (symbolizing war) in its left talon. But on silver coins from 1801 to 1807, the eagle held them in opposite talons. European diplomats and journalists claimed putting the arrows in the eagle’s dominant talon was a symbol of aggression, and called it a reason to start a war, so America decided to switch the peaceful symbol to the dominant side on the dollar.
Note: The number 13 is very unpopular due to the belief that it is bad luck and in fact many hotels have no number thirteen room yet isn't it interesting that here on the dollar bill the number 13—the original number of American states—appears many times. There are 13 arrows, 13 olive branch leaves, 13 olive fruits, 13 stars above the eagle, 13 steps of the pyramid, and 13 bars on the shield.

Our dollar bill is becoming as insignificant as our pennies these days but I hope that now, like me, you will never look at one quite the same.
Stay tuned for paper money 2...............................


Mari said...

This is very interesting! I must say that I am very glad that Obama won't be on there in my lifetime. I'd say there are plenty of other presidents who have passed that deserve it more.

Granny Annie said...

I worked in banking for 32 years and didn't know all this. LOL

Debbie said...

i find this all to be very interesting. i have collected coins and 2 dollar bills with my boys!! i find canadian money to be much prettier than ours!!!