In honor of the presidents of our great nation, Banner Capital Bank would like to highlight some of those who have had the honor of being the faces of America’s currency.
Did you know that there is a rule regarding when a president is given the honor of appearing on United States Currency? Federal law dictates that an individual must be deceased for at least two years before their face can be used on currency.
Every deceased president has been featured on some form of currency. The majority have been the face of commemorative coins, while others have been on regularly traded coins or bills. Only one president graced currency while not only alive, but in office. This individual was President Calvin Coolidge, who, with George Washington, commemorated the 150th Anniversary of America’s Independence in 1926.
George Washington and Abraham Lincoln are perhaps the most well-known for appearing on US money, in both rare and regularly circulated currency. President Washington first appeared in 1783, on the Washington cent, in commemoration of the end of the Revolutionary War. It wasn’t until 1869 that he was featured on the dollar bill. In 1932 he became the face of the quarter. In 2007, dollar coins featuring our first 4 presidents went into circulation. President Lincoln has been the face of the penny since 1909, and appeared on the $5 bill as early as 1914.
John Adams, our second president, is never shown by himself, but rather as part John Trumbull’s painting, The Declaration of Independence with Thomas Jefferson. The most circulated bill with this image is the $2 bill. (although not commonly circulated, it can be found at your local Banner Capital Bank Branch!). Thomas Jefferson, who also graces the front of the bill has been on multiple forms of currency throughout history, including the first United States nickel in 1862.
Did you know Andrew Jackson wanted to abolish paper money? Ironically, he graces the 3rd most circulated bill in the US, the $20 dollar bill, behind the $1 and $100 bills. He was also on the first $5 bill in 1869, among several other discontinued and rare bank notes. Ulysses S. Grant, who went into office the year the $5 bill was created, has been the face of the $50 bill since 1914. In 1922, commemorative gold dollars and half dollars were issued in honor of what would’ve been his 100th birthday.
Out of circulation bills
Did you know we once had a $100,000 bill? Originally intended to trade money within the Federal Reserve Banks, the gold certificate featuring Woodrow Wilson was created during World War II. According to Investopedia.com, Only 42,000 exist, and it’s illegal to for private parties to possess them.
Unlike the $100,000 bill, the $5,000, $1,000 and $500 bills are all considered legal tender. Those in possession of one of them could sell them to a collector, as the bills were all discontinued in 1969. In fact, one such $1,000 bill recently sold on eBay for $12,125.25. James Madison was used as the face of the $5,000 bill which was originally used for funding the Revolutionary War. President Grover Cleveland replaced the infamous Alexander Hamilton on the $1,000 bill in 1928. The $500 bill was last printed featured President William McKinley in 1945.
Our presidents have a long history of serving our country in both life and death. The honor bestowed upon them of being a part of our everyday life is not something to be dismissed. We are grateful for their hard work and dedication to our country. Happy President’s Day!