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Money has been existing as a means of exchange since people started trading goods and services. At first seashells, stones or some other goods were exchanged to trade items. This is what we called a barter system. Later the exchanging of goods and services was done with different types of metals such as gold which over time became coins and paper money.

Now people use it every day, they earn it, spend it and save it, but how much do we even know about money’s history? Well, money’s extremely interesting history is not the sole topic of our today’s list. We are here to put an eye on various surprising facts about money that you wish you never knew.

1. Paper currency is not actually paper.

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Who would have ever thought that U.S paper money is not actually paper? It is a blend of 75% cotton and 25% linen. It has tiny red and blue synthetic fibers of various lengths evenly distributed throughout the note. Back in the 18th-century people used to mend torn bills with the use of a needle and thread.

2. Manufacturing of a penny costs 2.4 cents.

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Has anyone of us ever realized that it costs more than a penny to make a penny? Then we wonder why is our world getting broke. These little pennies can bankrupt us because the production of these pennies is costing our government 2.4 times their value.

3. 94% of the bills are polluted with bacteria.

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A study in 2002 stated that the circulation of paper money from hand to hand contaminates bacteria on 94% of them. This bacteria might not be harmful, but 7% of them are hazardous to your health. Those micro-organisms can cause pneumonia, staph infections and flu virus which can actually survive on a dollar bill for over 10 days.

4. US bills have traces of cocaine on them.

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In 2009 a scientific study was held which stated that 90-94% of bills and currencies are said to have traces of cocaine on them. This is due to movement of money from drug trafficker hands who have traces of drugs on their body. These bills are also often used as straws to snort the drugs.

5. Manufacture of new paper money requires 9.7 tons of ink, every day.

Bureau of Engraving and Printing

The Bureau of Engraving and Printing produces about 26 million notes per day. That uses up to 9.7 tons of ink and have a face value of approximately $907 million.

6. Eagle on the coins was once treated as a celebrity. 

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The bird was engraved in Philadelphia’s U.S Mint building in 1830. It was named “Peter the Mint Eagle” by the employees working there who took care of him and adored him. Later he was used as a model for coin engravings for years.

7. 8% of the currency is actually physical money.

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In this advanced world of technology, money has also become digital. No wonder it is still used as a means of exchange, but mostly through online transactions. The money transfers from one place to another, yet we do not see it or touch it.

8. The largest bill of the US currency was of $100,000.

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The $100,000 gold certificate bill was the largest bill ever printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in 1934 and 1935. It was not really used by the public but was primarily used during transactions conducted between banks. The U.S Mint has also printed bills in other large dominations such as the $500, $1000, $5000 and $10,000.

9. North Korea is the largest counterfeiter of the US currency.

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It is quite surprising that North Korea has mastered the art of manufacturing dupes of $50 and $100 bills. They can only be detected using specialized equipment available at Federal Reserve. They are often referred as “superdollars”  due to their resemblance with real notes.

10. It takes about 8000 folds before a bill can be torn.

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A $1 bill can survive up to 5.9 years whereas a $100 bill’s life expectancy is said to be of 15 years.However, when the note is too worn or blurs out the signs, it is automatically replaced with a new, crisp note by the Federal Reserve.

11. There is more Monopoly money printed every year than actual paper currency.

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I wonder who took out time to figure this one out! Our very popular board game prints up to $50 billion of its currency every year. They have more budget than the Bureau of Engraving and Printing does.

12. Gambling generates the most revenue each year.

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It is quite difficult to accept the fact that a countless number of population is engaged in gambling. This helps gambling to generate more revenue than theme parks, movie theatres spectator sports, cruise ships and music albums. It was also successful in beating the records of Mickey Mouse, Tom Cruise, the Dallas Cowboys, a week in the Caribbean and the Rolling Stones.

13. About 2 million Americans live on less than $2 a day.

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Many people nowadays suffer financial problems and are hardly able to fulfill their needs. We have to accept the sad truth that they run on such a low budget whereas, some people spend thousands of dollars per month. This teaches us to make compromises and save more.

14. Pennies make the TSA wealthier.

Travel + Leisure

A lot of loose change is paid at the TSA at airport security checkpoints across the country. All those pennies are kept by the TSA. It is recorded that TSA collected $765,759.15 loose change in 2015 all over the country.

15. Arguing about money is the top predictor of divorce.

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Most of the couples nowadays fight due to a shortage of money or overspending on shopping. Such disputes can result in serious fights and further cause long-term distances or divorce.

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