What is the Lowest Value of U.S. Paper Money Without a Portrait of a U.S. President?
What is the minimum denomination of U.S. currency that does not feature a portrait of a U.S. president? This question is a popular subject for debates and bar bets throughout America. Today, we aim to provide a comprehensive answer to this question.
The U.S. dollar is among the most prominent and influential currencies worldwide, with an ever-increasing value. Its demand continues to rise, particularly due to its impact on the global market, particularly in developing countries. In this regard, we have conducted extensive research into the history of the dollar and the individuals featured on its bills. Our findings are detailed below, as there is a lot of information to cover.
The Faces of People on the U.S. Dollar Paper Money
The United States dollar paper bills consist of seven denominations, each of which features a prominent figure from American history on its portrait. The bills are arranged below in sequential order alongside the faces displayed on them:
1 Dollar – George Washington
2 Dollars – Thomas Jefferson
5 Dollars – Abraham Lincoln
10 Dollars – Alexander Hamilton
20 Dollars – Andrew Jackson
50 Dollars – Ulysses S. Grant
100 Dollars – Benjamin Franklin
It is noteworthy to acknowledge that the portraits adorning the larger denominations which are no longer in circulation, namely the $500, $1,000, $5,000, $10,000, and $100,000 bills, feature individuals who have served as Presidents and Treasury Secretaries, all of whom happen to be men.
In 1945, the printing of larger bills was ceased, yet they remained in circulation until 1969, when the Federal Reserve commenced destroying the notes that banks received. Although a few of these bills still persist today, they are considered exceedingly rare and hold value exceeding their face value to collectors. Despite their rarity, it remains lawful to use them as currency.
What Is the Lowest Value of a U.S. Paper Bill Without a Portrait of a President?
The majority of paper bills circulated in the United States showcase the likeness of past U.S. presidents. However, it is important to note that the government currently issues two paper bills that deviate from this norm.
10 USD Bill Featuring a Portrait of Alexander Hamilton
It is noteworthy that the smallest denomination of a U.S. paper currency without a presidential portrait is the 10-dollar bill. It is interesting to note that Alexander Hamilton, despite not being a U.S. president, played a significant role as the Secretary of the Treasury during George Washington’s presidency. He is widely recognized as one of the most influential personalities responsible for establishing the U.S. banking system.
100 USD Bill Featuring a Portrait of Benjamin Franklin
The $100 bill holds the distinction of being the highest valued bill that does not depict a U.S. president, and is also the second lowest denomination to do so. Beyond its monetary value, the bill features the likeness of Benjamin Franklin, a figure of great significance in American history. Franklin was more than just a state president; he was a prominent statesman, inventor, and one of the nation’s founding fathers. Additionally, he left an indelible mark on politics and innovation in the state, making him one of its most influential figures.
One Discontinued Bill Also Had a Portrait of a Non-president
The aforementioned paper bills represent the sole currency presently distributed by the U.S. government. Nevertheless, there existed in previous times a note of greater denomination that highlighted a non-presidential figure. This particular bill was worth 10,000 dollars, no longer in circulation since 1969, and depicted the portrait of Salmon P. Chase.
During the administration of Abraham Lincoln, the position of Secretary of the Treasury was held by Chase, who, it is important to note, never ascended to the presidency of the United States. It is worth noting that during this time period, the highest denomination of paper currency ever to be circulated among the public was this particular bill.
Who Decides the Faces on Every U.S. Dollar Bill?
In the United States, the individual tasked with making the ultimate decision on whose visage will grace the nation’s currency is the Secretary of the Department of the Treasury. Nevertheless, the precise standards utilized in determining this selection remain largely undisclosed.
Alive People Are Not Allowed to Be Put on the U.S. Dollar
According to federal law in the United States, it is prohibited to feature the face of any living person on the dollar currency. However, in recent years, rumors have circulated on social media and the internet suggesting that certain living presidents, including Barack Obama, were under consideration for such inclusion on U.S. dollar bills. It is important to note, however, that these rumors are unfounded and have not been confirmed by any official sources.
Redesign of U.S. Bills
In recent times, a proposal was made to overhaul the design of the $5, $10, and $20 banknotes. The proposed redesign included featuring the portrait of Harriet Tubman, thus marking the first time a woman would be represented on the front of paper currency since the late 1800s when the portrait of First Lady Martha Washington was featured on the $1 silver certificate.
As part of a planned currency redesign, it has been proposed to retain the portraits of Abraham Lincoln and Alexander Hamilton on the $5 and $10 bills, respectively. However, the reverse side of these bills will feature prominent figures from the suffrage and civil rights movements. Marian Anderson and Martin Luther King Jr. will be depicted on the $5 bill, while Lucretia Mott, Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Alice Paul will be featured on the $10 bill. This move is intended to pay tribute to the important contributions made by these individuals in advancing social justice and equality.
The plans to replace Andrew Jackson’s portrait on the $20 bill with that of Harriet Tubman, a prominent African-American abolitionist, appeared to have been put on hold following the election of Donald Trump in 2016. The Republican president’s administration did not seem to support the idea of the proposed currency redesign. Additionally, Trump himself made it clear that he preferred to retain Jackson’s image on the banknote, citing him as his preferred president.
The topic of the lowest denomination U.S. bill without a portrait of a president has been sufficiently covered. It should be noted, however, that while the individuals featured on the ten and 100-dollar bills were not presidents, they played pivotal roles in American history and are deserving of the honor of being depicted on one of the world’s most widely circulated currencies.