How much paper currency does the Treasury Department print every day? Where is it printed?
During fiscal year 2007, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) produced approximately 38 million notes a day with a face value of approximately $750 million.
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The BEP headquarters is located in Washington, DC. There is also a Western Currency located in Fort Worth, Texas, which began operations in 1991.
What can you tell me about the paper that is used to make our currency notes? I'm also interested in the size and weight of the notes.
The paper that the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) uses to produce our currency is "distinctive." A paper manufacturer produces it according to BEP specifications. It is composed of 75 percent cotton and 25 percent linen. The paper also contains red and blue fibers of various lengths that are evenly distributed throughout the paper.
All denominations of paper currency notes printed since 1929 are the same size, measuring approximately 2.61 inches (6.63 centimeters) by 6.14 inches (15.60 centimeters). Each note weighs about one gram.
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Why are United States paper currency notes printed using green ink?
When the small currency notes in use today were first introduced in 1929, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) continued using green ink. There were three reasons for this decision. First, pigment of that color was readily available in large quantity. Second, the color was high in its resistance to chemical and physical changes. Finally, the public psychologically identified the color green with the strong and stable credit of the Government. There is no definite reason green was chosen originally for our currency notes.
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The United States government continues to redesign our paper money. A new $5 bill was issued on March 13, 2008. It will be followed by a new $100 bill. Redesigned $10, $20 and $50 bills are already in circulation. This redesigned currency includes some subtle background colors along with other important new security features.
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What is being done to help blind and visually impaired people with currency identification?
Can the Treasury Department produce a special series of currency to honor a distinguished person or special event? This is done frequently with our coins.
Officials in the Treasury Department and our Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) appreciate the spirit of helpfulness of persons who suggest that we commemorate noteworthy persons or events on United States currency notes. Adopting such a suggestion at this time is unlikely because carrying out a proposal for a special currency issue requires spending several hundred thousand dollars for the necessary additional printing and processing equipment. It would also require increased costs for examining and handling operations and would require changing both the obverse and reverse sides of the currency, along with preparing new printing plates.