US Banknotes... why is the 10 spot next in line?

Not so weird really 'cos you wrap the little 'uns in the big 'uns and that way it’s easy to just be flash and peel 'em off without looking y’see :wink:

Wow- the news on yahoo’s front page today answered my question. Talk about timely!

It seems they are waiting on the 100 to incorporate even more high tech security features. Mystery solved.

Well you know how conservative we are when it comes to changing our money. I’m surprised the addition of color is even happening, but I imagine it won’t help visitors distinguish the notes any better; I expect they’ll all be the same colors, even though there will now be additional colors.

I’d say the situation must have been worse, say, about 60 years ago, when there were several kinds of paper money in circulation, depending on whether they were silver certificates, United States Notes, Federal Reserve Notes, or National Currency Notes–and had blue, red, green, or brown(?) seals respectively.

I’m sure the pizza delivery guy’s employer, the pizza place’s bank, and the U.S. Secret Service were less than pleased with this however.

I just remembered another odd thing. When the first redesign of the currency came out, I remember that the old “classic” designs disappeared almost overnight, leading me to think that the banks must have made a very definite effort to withdraw all the old notes from circulation.

But I’m still seeing the new, more colorful 20’s only rarely. I’d say when I go to the ATM I only get those maybe 10% of the time. If the point of the whole excercise is to foil counterfeiters, then why are the older notes still around?

I think the changes between the $20 ver 3.0 and the #20 ver 2.0 happened very quickly so there weren’t a lot of 2.0’s that were worn out enough to take out of circulation.

With the 1.0 $20 bills, there were numerous old bills and a drastic design change so they were easy to spot.

This is all a WAG.

I guess you’ve never seen a 1934 Woody!

Later that year an R.A. at the dorm saw him taking some empty beer cans out to the garbage. They called the cops to go and deal with it, when the cops entered the room, amongst the MANY MANY illegal items they found in the room, they found a couple of sheets of money STILL ON THE PRINTER. He was in ALOT of trouble after that.

I think your arithmetic is off. If the face value of counterfeit $100s in circulation is about thirty times the face value of counterfeit $10s, then the number of counterfeit $100s is about three times the number of counterfeit $10s. Right?

Now that I think about it, there really isn’t much need for the fifty. We do use hundreds occasionally, but when you break one on a small purchase, it’s generally more convenient to get the change back in twenties. Similarly, if you break a twenty it doesn’t seem to matter much if you get two fives or one ten included in the change. Probably, our entire paper currency needs could be met by hundreds, twenties, fives, and ones. And, of course, we have many here who think the last should be dropped in favor of a coin (but also many who vehemently disagree).

It’s been a long time since I did any reading on this, but the US has actually printed $10,000 bills and $100,000 bills. I recall reading that there were only 6 of the $100K bills still known to exist - presumably there were more of the $10K bills. They were never printed for use by the public. As RandomLetters said, these ultra-high denominations were used for inter-bank transactions. The banks traded $100,000 worth of real gold in exchange for a $100,000 note from the Federal Reserve.

I believe the $100,000 had Woodrow Wilson on it.

I must admit, your notes are quite attractive … aside from that ugly word “SPECIMEN” slashing across them. Don’t know how you guys put up with that.

By the way, who the Dickens are Elizabeth Fry, Sir Edward Elgar, and Sir John Houblon?

The $100,000 was not a Federal Reserve Note, but a Gold Certificate issued by the Treasury. To this day the Fed holds a Gold Certificate account* worth approximately $11B based on the old official gold price of ~$40/oz. The Treasury holds the actual gold which that account represents; theoretically I imagine the Federal Reserve could ‘present’ its Certificate account at the Treasury and claim actual possession of the gold.

Since the Certificate account is one of the Fed’s assets and the circulating FR Notes are their major liability, one could say that the Gold Certificate account forms part of the backing of our currency–albeit a very small part.

*AFAIK the Gold Certificate Account consists of book entries; the actual Gold Certificates have been destroyed or are in collections.

The staff at Bank One in Columbus, Ohio did a very thorough check of their vaults just before the end of the year in 1999, wanting to know how much cash they had on hand just in case any Y2K problems developed. They found a number of fine old high-denomination bills forgotten on a shelf, and eventually put them up for auction, collecting considerably more than face value from well-financed and eager numismatists.

I don’t know the other two, but Sir Edward Elgar was a classical composer. He wrote the Pomp and Circumstance marches, the first of which is usually associated (in the U.S., anyway) with graduation ceremonies.

Elizabeth Fry - an early 19th Centruy prison reformer. The portrait of her on the fiver is the reverse of a portrait of her that stands on the gateway of Wormwood Scrubs prison in West London.

Sir John Houblon - the first Governor of the Bank of England. Chances are that nobody apart from smartarses and perhaps BoE historians have the slightest idea who he is.

My big question is why are they being redesigned when every bill except the $1 (and maybe the $2) was redesigned only a few years ago with similar security features (color shifting inks, etc.) Is there some particular major problem with counterfeiting that this is intending to solve?

The idea is to keep incorporating new measures as they come along. The redesign was long needed after a lifetime of a static design so it was done multiphase, starting with adding the embedded strip on old-graphic-layout notes, then they switched to the new-graphic-layout, now they’re adding the color shadings and tweaks to that basic layout; and the intention is that henceforth these updates be periodic rather than every 60 years.

Coming from a place with high-security polymer banknotes, I find the US currency a bit odd. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a classic, and from a design standpoint is arguably the most beautiful currency in the world. However, when I’ve had to use it myself overseas, it looks somehow fake and very easy to counterfeit. Maybe it’s all the horror stories of the sheer amount of fake US currency in circulation worldwide, but everytime I hand over some greenbacks, I’m half-waiting for the cashier to say, “Hang on a minute!!”