Wednesday, July 26, 2017

George Was Ripped

Yes, it's sad but true, the father of our country, George Washington was ripped recently.

No, he wasn't under the influence of any alcoholic beverage. (Although, historically, he's said to have slept in quite a few inns and taverns as they also offered lodgings. So one never knows what happened then.)

No, he wasn't in a gym getting a ripped body.

Maybe he wore ripped clothing at one time. Who knows?

Perhaps, by now, you may have figured out that George was ripped when a U.S. dollar bill was torn up. I found pieces of George tossed on the floor here. Since he was littering the hallway, I picked up the pieces.  

At the time, I didn't think that, like Humpty Dumpty, George could be made whole again. To my surprise, not only had I found all the pieces, but was able to fit them together with patience and clear tape. This bill was in at least 25 pieces.
I remembered reading someplace that a torn bill could be replaced. While wishing it had been a higher denomination, I started an online search for information. Here's some of what I learned.

Can a damaged bill be replaced?
Depending on the damage and how much of the bill remains, a local bank or the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) will replace it free. If you have the pieces, tape the bill together. Try to fit the edges as precisely as possible.

What percentage of bills are $1 notes?
Just under half of the bank notes printed by the U.S. BEP are $1 bank notes. 

How long does a dollar bill circulate?
Estimates are that a dollar bill circulates on average less than 2 years. It's just paper and often sees rough handling passed from person to person. 

How long does paper currency last? 
It depends on the note's denomination. $100 bills are exchanged as often as $5 bills. As a result, the lifespan of a $100 bill is 15 years, while it's less than 5 years for a $5 bill. Dollar bills last just under 6 years on average, the $20 bill has a relatively long lifespan of just over 7-1/2 years.
online source

What type of paper is U.S. money printed on? 
U.S. paper currency is actually not paper, but is made of a cotton/linen material. It consists of a 75% cotton/25% linen blend with silk fibers running through it. There's three-fourths of a pound of cotton in a pound of dollar bills. Currency paper made specifically for the BEP has the security thread and watermark built in.

What happens to worn currency?
When currency is deposited in a  U.S. Federal Reserve Bank, the quality of each note is evaluated by sophisticated processing equipment to determine its remaining lifespan. Notes that meet strict quality criteria and are still in good condition, continue to circulate. Bills worn out from everyday use are taken out of circulation and destroyed. 

How durable is paper currency?
Paper currency is built to a beating. The BEP estimates it would take 4,000 double folds (forward, then backwards) before a note will tear. If it were made of paper, it would fall apart when left it in a pants pocket and sent for a spin in the washing machine.

How much U.S. currency is in circulation?
There was approximately $1.54 trillion in circulation as of April 5, 2017, of which $1.49 trillion was in Federal Reserve notes.

Finally, here's a question I wondered about when showing ripped George . . .
Is photographing currency legal?
Federal laws don’t ban reproducing images of U.S. currency. However, they do restrict how to legally display reproductions. Here's the restrictions from the U.S. Department of the Treasury for color illustrations: 
  • Illustration must be one-sided.
  • Less than three-fourths size of the original or 150 % larger than the original.
  • Destroy or erase a file that contains an image or part of the illustration.
YES, I exchanged ripped George for an intact replacement at our local bank. Yet, I was thinking, how nice it would have been if Benjamin Franklin had been ripped and discarded. Maybe another time?

So, folks, this is the only time that George W. will be shown "ripped" or otherwise. He's going into the trash and will be deleted from my computer file after this post. After all, I wouldn't want to invoke the U.S. Treasury for such a small denomination.


Sandra said...

now my giant curiosity bump wants to know why someone would rip poor George in pieces, glad they traded for you

Blogoratti said...

Those are quite interesting facts indeed. Wouldn't know why someone would rip up money though. Greetings!

Anonymous said...

My husband found $2.00 in a parking lot and was overjoyed.

Lynn said...

Why in the world would someone do that - rip a bill apart like that. Hmmm. I like your research - good to know.

William Kendall said...

One can still use a buck to buy something, after all.

We switched to the loonie coin in the later 80s, so seeing the old dollar bill here is quite rare.

I have had the odd occasion to pick up a fallen twenty dollar bill, but never any higher denomination.

Emma Springfield said...

Interesting facts. I would like to find some money. I keep waiting to win the lottery. Then someone told me I had to buy a ticket. Who knew?

mamasmercantile said...

Interesting, I do wonder who would rip money up in the first place?

Cheryl @ TFD said...

I'm not sure why, but your post is very small on my screen. I tried to make it larger, but it won't enlarge. I hope it gets back to normal soon so I can read your posts. The comment box is normal sized. Probably a button I accidentally hit. :)

Connie said...

I'm glad you were able to put George back together again and get a replacement for him. I wonder too how he came to be torn.

Valerie said...

I didn't realise paper money was susceptible to damage. That must be why our paper notes are being discarded and replaced by something akin to plastic, which I don't like.

Anvilcloud said...

Somebody must have been ripping mad to do that.