An official website of the United States government
Here’s how you know
Official websites use .gov A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.
Secure .gov websites use HTTPS A lock ( Lock Locked padlock icon ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.
The United States dollar is the official currency of the U.S. Learn about the bills and coins that make up U.S. currency.
American paper currency comes in seven denominations: $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100.
The United States no longer issues bills in larger denominations, such as $500, $1,000, $5,000, and $10,000 bills. But they are still legal tender and may still be in circulation.
The U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing creates U.S. paper currency. Learn about paper money and how to recognize counterfeit currency .
United States coins denominations include 1¢, 5¢, 10¢, 25¢, 50¢, and $1.
Learn about U.S. coins, how they are made, and their history from the U.S. Mint.
LAST UPDATED: July 20, 2023
Have a question?
Ask a real person any government-related question for free. They will get you the answer or let you know where to find it.
Crane and Co., a Massachusetts-based company, has been providing the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing with paper for U.S. currency since 1879.
Federal Reserve notes are a blend of 25 percent linen and 75 percent cotton. Currency paper has tiny red and blue synthetic fibers of various lengths evenly distributed throughout the paper.
It would take 4,000 double folds, forwards and backwards, to tear a banknote.
No matter the denomination, a banknote weighs approximately 1 gram. Because there are 454 grams in one pound, this means there are 454 notes in one pound of currency.
Want to measure your notes in a different way? A stack of currency one mile high would contain more than 14.5 million banknotes.
It is estimated that between one-half to two-thirds of the value of all U.S. currency in circulation is outside of the U.S.
In 1934, the $100,000 Gold Certificate became the highest denomination ever issued. It was never intended for public use. Instead, it was meant solely for official transactions between Federal Reserve Banks.
- Skip to primary navigation
- Skip to main content
- Skip to primary sidebar
- Skip to footer
What is the Dollar Bill Made of?
Currency notes are usually made of paper. However, the US one dollar bill is not made of paper, but of a material that will come as a surprise to you. Find out all about what is the dollar bill made of, by going through the following article.
If you ever have held a dollar bill in your hand, you will find it feels a bit different. And if you happen to forget a bill in your pocket and find it after you get your pants from the dryer, your doubts about it being a bit different will come true. This is because the dollar bills are not made of paper. They are made from a different material that is more long-lasting and sturdy.
What Material is a Dollar Bill Made of?
It’s not paper or plastic, but the US $1 bill is made up of cotton and linen. Yes, ‘cotton’ and ‘linen’, the same material that makes up your clothes. Over the years, the percentage of cotton and linen has changed, but today most dollar bills are made of 25% linen fibers and 75% cotton fibers. Red and blue silk fibers were incorporated to the cotton-linen mix as a security. These red and blue fibers were made of silk early on, but today these are synthetic fibers. Nowadays, in many one dollar bills, linen is fast being replaced by synthetic fibers. Thus, the composition is now about 80% cotton and 20% synthetic fibers.
If you are wondering, why doesn’t your dollar bill disintegrate when wet, then the reason is rag fibers. These ‘rag fibers’ are actually the material that is used to make a dollar bill. And the material is cotton, linen as well as some synthetic fibers. When preparing these rag fibers, a watermark and thread is incorporated. This helps in distinguishing the genuine $1 bill from counterfeit notes. The ink used is also special and contains a secret blend. After the symbols are printed and overprinted on the bill, it is starched in water. As it contains cotton, starch helps make the note appear crisp. Once starched, the notes are pressed hard before distribution. Apart from this interesting information, there are many more intriguing facts about the $1 bill. Let’s read about these in the following points.
Interesting Facts About the Dollar Bill
$ The first 1 dollar notes were issued by the Federal Government in the year 1862. These notes were called the United States Notes or ‘Legal Tenders’.
$ The initial notes featured a picture of Secretary of Treasury Salmon P. Chase (1861-1864).
$ Since the Series 1869 United States Notes, the $1 bills features a portrait of George Washington.
$ The $1 note makes up 45% of all the currency production undertaken by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.
$ The portrait of George Washington on the $1 note was followed by the words ‘ONE SILVER DOLLAR’. These words were changed to ‘ONE DOLLAR’ in the year 1934.
$ The gray numerical 1 was changed to blue color in the year 1935. In the same year, the treasury seal was made smaller and the words ‘ONE DOLLAR’ were superimposed over the seal.
$ The reverse side carries the same design as it was in the year 1935.
$ Above the pyramid on the $1 bill, one can spot the Latin words ‘ANNUIT COEPTIS’. It means “God has favored our undertaking”. The Latin words placed below the pyramid ‘NOVUS ORDO SECLORUM’, mean “a new order for the ages”.
$ One dollar bills are often referred to as ‘Greenbacks’. This is because the Demand Note dollars created in late 1800’s by Abraham Lincoln were printed in black and green on the reverse side.
$ If you were given a total of $10 billion dollars in $1 dollar bill and you spent a note every second of a day, it would take you at least 317 years before you went bankrupt.
$ The front side of $1 bill features the seal, the scales, a carpenter’s square and the key to the US Treasury apart from the portrait of George Washington.
$ The reverse side of the note features the Great Seal of the US, a pyramid with an Eye of Providence and the words “IN GOD WE TRUST”.
These were some facts regarding the US $1 bill. It’s not just a bill, but history in your pocket . It is a living proof of all the great men and women, who helped make the dream of the United States of America a success.
Like it? Share it!
Get Updates Right to Your Inbox