History of US Currency #Infographic

Money history #infographic

Money is something we all use every day, but we often don’t think about its history or where its been. Of course, we might not necessarily want to know where our money has been either. šŸ™‚ With the 4th of July just around the corner (how is that even possible?), I decided to keep things low-key this week with a look back at how our currency has evolved throughout the years.

Quicken Loans put together this lovely infographic highlighting some key moments and interesting tidbits in our currencies history. I did not know there once was a 2 cent coin, and I would absolutely love to have one of the never-circulated $100,000 gold certificates. I bet I’m not the only one either.

The RIch History of U.S. Currency

What surprised you the most?


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June 30, 2014  •  34 Comments  •  infographic

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  1. Monday, June 30th, 2014
    That's interesting we had a 1/2 cent coin as well as a $.02 coin. I never knew that. It's also pretty cool that Martha Washington appeared on the $1 silver certificate. I wonder what something like that would be worth today?
    • Shannon Ryan
      Monday, June 30th, 2014
      I bet it would be worth quite a bit. It's funny how valuable some of those old coins must be given that so many people today don't pay much attention to their coins.
  2. Monday, June 30th, 2014
    I never noticed that they all faced a certain way and that one coin was the only different one. I always wonder that the money of the future will look like. Probably all plastic!
    • Shannon Ryan
      Monday, June 30th, 2014
      I actually never noticed that as well. :) I bet it will be all plastic or we'll have a chip implanted in our hand and not even deal with physical money or plastic cards.
  3. Monday, June 30th, 2014
    Interesting! I never knew that there was a $100,000 certificate. Sounds insane!
    • Shannon Ryan
      Monday, June 30th, 2014
      I know! Can you imagine having one those today? I certainly wouldn't complain. :)
  4. Monday, June 30th, 2014
    I love infographics! I always think the history of coins in fascinating. It's sad that the paper denominations do not last long, but you always have the potential of finding older coins floating around out there. And I think it's funny that Christopher Columbus appeared on our currency for a period of time.
    • Shannon Ryan
      Monday, June 30th, 2014
      I imagine a lot of older, valuable coins get tossed because we don't pay attention or even realize how much they are worth. It is fascinating see all the different people who have graced our currency at some time or another.
  5. Monday, June 30th, 2014
    I also didn't notice that the Lincoln cent is the only one facing right. It also surprised me that it's been around for so long.
    • Shannon Ryan
      Monday, June 30th, 2014
      Me neither, Aldo. I need to pay more attention because so many of those coins are quite valuable. :)
  6. Monday, June 30th, 2014
    This is very cool, Shannon! I've never seen an infographic (or timeline for that matter) with these specifics on it. I'll be sharing this one for sure :)
    • Shannon Ryan
      Monday, June 30th, 2014
      I thought it was really interesting too and appropriate for the 4th of July. :)
  7. Monday, June 30th, 2014
    Go Martha! I've never seen the Helen Keller coin!
    • Shannon Ryan
      Monday, June 30th, 2014
      Me neither, Femme. I would certainly love to see both of them.
  8. Monday, June 30th, 2014
    The first time I got of the new, multi-colored $100 bills, I thought it was a fake. I don't like the new coloring, it looks like Monopoly money.
    • Shannon Ryan
      Monday, June 30th, 2014
      It does look different! I remember when I first saw Canadian money. I thought it was so beautiful, but it also reminded me of game money too. :)
  9. Monday, June 30th, 2014
    I need to get me one of those $100,000 certificates. Thanks for the fascinating look at our currency.
    • Shannon Ryan
      Monday, June 30th, 2014
      You and me both, Brad! :)
  10. Monday, June 30th, 2014
    Aww, I wish they would have kept Martha Washington on a bill (or maybe Eleanor Roosevelt)! Argentinian bills have Eva Peron (Evita) and it is so beautiful I kept one as a souvenir. Thanks for the infograph, Shannon!
    • Shannon Ryan
      Monday, June 30th, 2014
      Me too, Anna. It would nice to have some current money with women on it. Oh, I bet the Eva Peron bills are beautiful. She was such an icon to Argentinians and to the world.
  11. Monday, June 30th, 2014
    I'm waiting for the day when cash is no more. I almost never carry cash and am always surprised when currency has a different look.
    • Shannon Ryan
      Monday, June 30th, 2014
      I don't carry a ton of cash either, and every once in awhile I have to double check a bill to make sure it's real. The changes always seem to make money look more counterfeit than legit! :)
  12. Monday, June 30th, 2014
    Love the story about the guy who won a grand for his design of the nickel - I had no idea!
    • Shannon Ryan
      Monday, June 30th, 2014
      Me neither. How cool would it be to claim that you designed portrait on the nickel? :)
  13. Monday, June 30th, 2014
    It never occurred to me that there have only ever been three women honored by a coin printing. Very interesting fact. Hope we can get a few more women on coins in my lifetime!
    • Shannon Ryan
      Monday, June 30th, 2014
      It was a bit of surprise to me. In some ways, it probably shouldn't have been. I hope we see a few more women get their portraits on our currency too.
  14. Tuesday, July 1st, 2014
    Great post! I can say money is changing. My grandma from US has some old coins and cash. They were so many! I think she's collecting them. I wish it can still be use now, I probably ask some from her. lol
  15. Tuesday, July 1st, 2014
    Shannon, I'd prefer a more detailed look into our currency i.e. how did fractional reserve banking impact our currency and economy? Stuff like that. Just kidding, probably just a LITTLE too detailed for an infographic ;)
  16. Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014
    Years ago, my wife inherited some gold coins from the early 1900s. They were quite stunning to look at with beautiful details engraved on them.
  17. Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014
    Maybe they should think of featuring a woman on a US paper note sometime soonish? I think that's what struck me the most; the lack of women being featured on coins/bills. I guess I am used to seeing the Queen of England and a couple of other prominent women on Canadian currency lol.
  18. Friday, July 4th, 2014
    It's funny that I didn't even notice what Kassandra said until she mentioned it. What surprised me the most on the infographic is the 20 cent coin. What surprises me the most in reality is why there is no $1 coin yet in the U.S. We've got $1 (Loonie) and $2 (Toonie) coins in Canada. When I'm traveling in the U.S. and I have a lot of bills in my wallet, sometimes I get the false sense of security that I have a lot of cash, until I find out they are all $1's - not enough to pay the taxi at the end of a trip! Now I always double check! ;-)
    • Friday, July 4th, 2014
      Happy 4th of July, Shannon!
  • Meet Shannon

    "As a Certified Financial Planner, it is my passion to help individuals and families build a healthy relationship with money. I look forward to helping you raise financially confident kids.ā€ - Shannon Ryan