You probably have a $20 bill in your wallet or purse, but do you have a pound of them? If you did that, you’d have a lot of money. How much would a pound of $20 bills be worth? One gramme, or 0.0022 ounces, is how much all US paper money weighs. To make a pound, you would need 454 $20 bills, which adds up to $9,080.
How the $20 bill came to be
In the early days of the United States, colonies printed their own money, and later, states did the same thing. The first colonies’ money looked like British money, but not long after the American Revolution, the United States decided to make its own money.
In 1791, when the First National Bank of the United States was set up by the new country, the first national currency was made. During the times of the First and Second National Banks, all of the money in the United States was the same. But when the charter for the Second National Bank ran out in 1832, money got crazy and complicated. It was the start of the “free banking era.”
From the 1830s until the Civil War, there was no single currency used all over the United States. During the “free banking era,” when banks and railroads made their own money, exchange rates varied from place to place. When you moved from one town or state to another, it was hard to keep track of how much your money was worth. This made financial transactions hard and sometimes frustrating.
It took the Civil War for the country to start putting its money in one place again. This led to the Federal Reserve Bank and the modern paper money we use today.
The $20 bill of today
In 1928, the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank put a picture of President Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill. On the back, you could see the White House. The design stayed mostly the same until 1998, when it was changed by the United States to make it safer. In 2003, the current look of the $20 bill came out.
The $20 bill we use today is made of 75% cotton and 25% linen to make it last longer. On the front, it has a big picture of Andrew Jackson to the left of the centre, and on the back, it has a picture of the White House. Above the White House, the words “In God We Trust” are written. On the front, the ink is green, peach, and black, and on the back, the bill is green.
Features for safety
The new $20 bill has security features that make it harder to fake. There is a security thread in the bill that glows under UV light, and if you hold the bill up to a light, you can also see a watermark of Andrew Jackson. At different angles, the number 20 in the bottom right corner also changes colour.
Plans for Changes
In the 21st century, there were several movements to replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill. In 2016, the U.S. Treasury said that anti-slavery activist Harriet Tubman would soon be on the front of the bill and Jackson’s portrait would move to the back by 2020. By 2019, the Treasury had admitted that changes to the bill would be put off because new security features would need to be made.