Today I learned a lot about money after visiting a small museum inside the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
One of the most interesting things I learned was how to tell the difference between fake and real money. Sometimes counterfeit money looks faded and wasted. Fake dollars do not include things such as some number codes and a watermark that the real dollars have.
Using a magnifying glass at the museum, I saw what was missing on the fake dollar that was on the real dollar. The real $10, $15, and $20 bills also included a hard-to-see face on them that the fake dollar bills did not have. This is a watermark identical to the face of the person on the bill. This was the most interesting thing at the museum to me. I didn’t know there was that much effort and detail put into protecting U.S. money. That’s amazing!
Another thing I learned was what one million dollars looks like when its piled all together. There was a see-through cube which had one million, real individual dollar bills in it! Once I saw that, I knew why there was such extreme security just for a museum. To enter the museum, a man wearing a bullet-proof vest had to scan our backpacks and phones.
The last thing I learned was that the federal government shreds millions of dollars of unfit currency every day. When the dollars are shredded, sometimes they give it away for free in a bag like they did at the museum I visited today. This was another interesting thing to me.
You can learn more and visit the virtual version of the money museum here.