American Currency Part 2: How Money Leaves Circulation

Beginning this October, the new design of the $100 bill (http://usat.ly/11PJPTy) will be put into circulation by the Federal Reserve. The new bill has multiple layers of security to help combat counterfeiters. But with approximately $1.2 trillion in circulation as of July 10, 2013 (http://1.usa.gov/m4CQG0), and more entering October 8th, we started to wonder what happens to the older bills with styles that are ready to retire into history and ones that just can’t physically carry on anymore.

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American Currency Part 1: A Brief History of Money

As credit and debit cards gradually take over the sphere of purchasing, money becomes less and less a physical thing. Whereas a decade ago satirists were drawing images of moguls swimming in a sea of bills, this satire is shifting to illustrate these same moguls now depositing checks with too many zeroes into overseas bank accounts. Even in our personal lives, carrying cash rarely has many applications—cards are accepted everywhere, and even when they aren’t there’s almost always an ATM within reach.

But as we become more disconnected from our understanding of what is actually signified by our bank balance, by our available funds, it becomes important to reminisce on what the dollar physically is.

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