Cool Facts About Money Everyone Should Know, but Hardly Anyone Does

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Money is the driving force behind many of our daily decisions, yet how much do we truly know about those bills and coins we handle every day? Here are 15 fascinating facts about currency, from its ancient origins to modern-day quirks and the intriguing stories that lie behind every dollar in your wallet. How much of this did you already know?

1. The Cost of Making a Cent

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It’s an ironic twist of fate that it costs more to produce a penny than the coin is actually worth. As of recent data, it costs about 1.99 cents to make a single penny, primarily due to the cost of its raw materials and production.

2. Money’s Ancient Origins

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Money has been around for a long time. The first known currency was created by King Alyattes in Lydia, now part of Turkey, in 600 B.C. Coins then were made from electrum, a mixture of silver and gold.

3. The Largest Denomination Bill

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The largest bill ever printed by the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing was the $100,000 bill, which featured President Woodrow Wilson. However, this bill was not in general circulation and was used only for transactions between Federal Reserve Banks.

4. Money Can Be Dirty

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Physical money can be a breeding ground for bacteria. Studies have shown that a vast majority of U.S. bills are contaminated with cocaine. Other research indicates that money can carry more germs than a household toilet.

5. Digital Currency’s Rise

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Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin have gained significant attention in recent years. Bitcoin, the first and most well-known cryptocurrency, was created in 2009 by an anonymous person or group of people using the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto.

6. The Power of Compound Interest

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Albert Einstein once referred to compound interest as the “eighth wonder of the world.” It represents the principle where the interest you earn on your savings or investments begins to earn interest on itself, leading to exponential growth over time.

7. The World’s Richest Individuals

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The list of the world’s billionaires is ever-changing, but as of recent data, Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos are among the top contenders for the title of the world’s richest person, with net worths often fluctuating based on stock market performance.

8. The “Dead Presidents” Misconception

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Many people refer to U.S. banknotes as “dead presidents” because they believe only deceased U.S. presidents are depicted on them. However, this isn’t entirely true. For instance, Benjamin Franklin, featured on the $100 bill, was never a U.S. president. He was a prominent inventor, writer, and statesman.

9. The Gold Standard

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The gold standard is a monetary system where a country’s currency or paper money has a value directly linked to gold. The U.S. was on the gold standard until 1971 when President Richard Nixon announced the U.S. would no longer convert dollars to gold at a fixed value.

10. Money and Happiness

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While money can certainly provide comfort and security, studies have shown that after a certain point, typically around $75,000 per year, additional income doesn’t have a significant impact on day-to-day happiness.

11. The “Penny for Your Thoughts” Origin

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The phrase “a penny for your thoughts” is often used to ask someone what they are thinking. Its origins date back to England in the 1500s. Back then, the penny was a significant amount, suggesting that one’s thoughts were highly valued. Today, while the value of a penny has diminished, the sentiment behind the phrase remains strong.

12. Average American Savings

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According to recent data, experts recommend that the average American should have at least three to six months’ worth of expenses saved in an emergency fund. However, a survey found that only 39% of Americans have enough savings to cover a $1,000 emergency.

13. The Origin of the Dollar Sign

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The dollar sign ($) is recognized worldwide, but its origins are debated. One theory suggests it came from the Spanish peso, while another believes it’s a combination of the letters U and S for United States.

14. Money’s Limited Lifespan

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Physical currency doesn’t last forever. A typical $1 bill has a lifespan of about 5.8 years, while coins can last over 30 years. Once the currency becomes too worn out, it’s taken out of circulation and replaced.

15. The Global Debt Clock

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Global debt is the combined total of what governments, businesses, and individuals owe. It has grown to reach astronomical figures and is more than $305 trillion as of the first quarter of 2023.

9 Signs You’re Smarter Than Average and Three Signs You’re Not

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Do you think you’re smarter than most of the population? Check out these signs to see if you make the cut or if you should go back to school. 

9 Signs You’re Smarter Than Average and Three Signs You’re Not

15 Legit Ways to Make Money in One Hour

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Who wouldn’t like to find more ways to make some quick cash? Well, you’ve just hit the jackpot: here are fifteen tried and tested ways to build up some bank that takes sixty minutes or less.

15 Legit Ways to Make Money in One Hour

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12 Cool Facts About the U.S. Highway System

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The open road has stories to tell. The Interstate Highway System, the iconic blue signs, and the crucial Highway Trust Fund come into focus in this article, showcasing the interconnected web that binds the nation. Join us on this road trip through time, where Ladybird Johnson’s vision for highway beauty meets the milestones and stories etched into the asphalt of the U.S. highway system. 

12 Cool Facts About the U.S. Highway System

15 Fascinating Facts About Famous Landmarks Hardly Anyone Knows

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There are countless iconic landmarks that dot the globe, each with its own unique story and significance. However, even the most famous of these landmarks harbor secrets and fascinating facts that are often overlooked. These 15 fascinating facts remind us that there’s always more to discover about the world’s most famous landmarks, no matter how well-known they may seem.

15 Fascinating Facts About Famous Landmarks Hardly Anyone Knows

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Karee Blunt is a nationally syndicated travel journalist, focused on discovering destinations and experiences that captivate and inspire others through her writing. She is also the founder of Our Woven Journey, a travel site focused on inspiring others to create memory-making adventures with their loved ones. Karee is passionate about encouraging others to step out of their comfort zone and live the life they dream of. She is the mother of six kids, including four through adoption, and lives with her family in the Pacific Northwest. You can learn more about Karee on her about me page.