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Old $1 notes hang around longer

I have 15 $1 Federal Reserve Notes in my wallet.

I know that because I pulled them out and counted them.

Perhaps it might seem like a Monday morning thing to do when not much else seems to be going on.

However, I do this from time to time to begin the process of getting rid of them.

If I have too many, it becomes uncomfortable to sit on my wallet.

I have resolved to spend as many of them as I can for lunch today.

That will lighten my load as well as satisfy my hunger.

But before I do spend them, I wanted to check to see what the series dates are.

As you might guess, most notes (nine) are from the most recent series date, which is 2013, with the facsimile signatures of Treasury Secretary Jacob J. “Jack” Lew and Rosa Gumataotao Rios, Treasurer of the United States.

Both have left office.

Rios did so last July and Lew in January.

With the new Trump Administration we have a new Treasury Secretary, Steven Terner Mnuchen, but we do not yet have a new Treasurer of the United States.

Once the latter position is filled, I expect a new Series 2017 $1 Federal Reserve Note will make its way into production and begin to fill up my wallet.

The prior $1 series, that of 2009, is represented by three notes.

On these the facsimile signatures are Timothy F. Geithner as Treasury secretary and Rios.

I also have two Series 2006 $1s. They were signed by Henry M. Paulson and Anna Escobedo Cabral, as Treasury secretary and treasurer, respectively.

The oldest note of which I have but one example is a Series 2003A where Cabral’s facsimile signature is paired up with that of Treasury Secretary John W. Snow.

This seemed rather old to me and sparked my curiosity.

It has been a hobby rule of thumb to say that $1 bills last only 18 months in circulation.

That is a fact that was drilled into collectors’ heads during the debates about dollar coins versus paper dollars.

However, rather than repeat that time-worn fact, I checked the Federal Reserve’s website to see what the current lifespan is for the $1 bill.

Care to take a guess? I was suprised by the answer.

The current lifespan of the $1 bill is 5.8 years, which will greatly complicate any future debates about dollar coins versus paper dollar costs.

The $1 bill now lasts longer than a $5 bill, which has a lifespan of 5.5 years in circulation.

The $10 bill has the shortest lifespan. It is 4.5 years.

A $20 will last 7.9 years.

A $50 is 8.5 years and a $100 is 15 years.

These, of course, are averages. Some notes last longer like my John Snow note and others endure for less time.

Memorize these figures.

Next time I encounter a slow Monday morning, I will give you a quiz.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper has twice won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper “Numismatic News.”

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One Response to Old $1 notes hang around longer

  1. Vachon says:

    It makes me wonder about the progression in the past. When the old-style $5-$100 notes were being replaced, it was the $5 ones which were the most difficult to find (and mostly series-1995 when I did) and the $10’s remained plentiful for some time both in frequency of showing up and the variety of series dates I could find.

    I’m not sure why the pre-1999 $10 bills were the easiest to find overall.

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