Mint.com recently had a posting showing pictures of over twenty different kinds of historical US currency. Some of the pictures are really fascinating with the colors used, and the large denominations which used to be in circulation.
The Secret Service, which enforces counterfeiting laws in the United States, has very clear rules governing the reproduction of US currency:
- The illustration is of a size less than three-fourths or more than one and one-half, in linear dimension, of each part of the item illustrated
- The illustration is one-sided
- All negatives, plates, positives, digitized storage medium, graphic files, magnetic medium, optical storage devices, and any other thing used in the making of the illustration that contain an image of the illustration or any part thereof are destroyed and/or deleted or erased after their final use
For further exploration of historical US currency, you can check out the US Bureau of Engraving and Printing to see some (very tiny) pictures of fractional currency. You can also play with an interactive timeline of the five dollar bill throughout history (click on “History in Your Wallet”)
For the best collection of images though, look no further than Wikipedia. You can find information and pictures galore under the articles for the United States dollar, the History of the United States dollar, and large denominations of United States currency. For an even grander overview, you can look at a list of all their articles concerning historical currencies of the United States.
See you next year!