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The US dollar celebrates its 233rd birthday this year! The anniversary is marked with National Dollar Day in the USA. It is celebrated every year on August 8, to mark the establishment of the national monetary system on this day in 1786.
The dollar is the national currency of the USA. Business Optimizer brings you some facts about the currency in honour of National Dollar Day.
- Congress established the US dollar on August 8, 1786.
- At the time, American colonists still used Spanish dollars and British pounds. The British pounds-shilling-and-pence system operated on a base of 12. The Spanish system worked to a base of 8. So, the decision to base the new American currency on a base of 10 was truly revolutionary!
- It took decades for American colonists to widely adopt the dollar.
- The dollar bill was first issued in 1862.
- The first person to be featured on the $1 bill was Salmon P. Chase, who was the treasury secretary to the then President, Abraham Lincoln.
- It wasn’t until 1886 that a woman appeared on US currency, when Martha Washington was featured on the $1 silver certificate.
- At one time, the US issued dollar bills with values of up to $10,000. The $5,000 and $10,000-dollar bills were discontinued by Richard Nixon in 1969 as it was feared such high denominations would be used for illegal activities and money laundering.
- In fact, the $5,000 and $10,000 bills hadn’t been printed since the 1940s, so by the time of their official discontinuance, there were very few in circulation.
- The largest denomination of the dollar bill was $100,000. However, this was only used for official transactions during a couple of years, between 1934 and 1935. It was printed with the face of President Wilson.
- The US Mint makes only coins.
- Printed money is made at the Federal Bureau of Printing and Engraving.
- Unlike traditional paper, which is usually made from wood pulp, the paper used for the US currency is made of 75 percent cotton and 25 percent linen.
- Today, there are 11.7 billion $1 bills in circulation in the USA.
- With 8.9 billion $20 bills and 11.5 billion $100 bills, this totals up to about 39.8 billion US dollar notes in circulation altogether.
- The US dollar is the most widely used currency in the world, with many countries employing it as an accepted alternative to their own currency.
- Furthermore, some currencies use the US dollar as their official currency. The US dollar is the official currency of Ecuador, East Timor, El Salvador, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Palau, Turks and Caicos, British Virgin Islands, and Zimbabwe.