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The Famous Faces on United States Money

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Money!I know it’s been a while since I did something trivia related so I thought that we might do something a little fun today. I had a lot of fun putting together 50 fun facts about money and thought why not put together a post on all the faces you see on our money? It’s not 50 facts, these probably aren’t as much fun as they are “Hmm… I didn’t know that,” but hopefully you have a little fun, learn a little something, and enjoy!

Famous Faces On Our Money

The faces that have adorned our currency have changed over the years, most notably in the collection of Presidential Dollar Coins where many presidents have graced the new dollar coins. There have been, however, many bills and coins that haven’t seen as much change in recent years.

Since 1909, the penny, or one cent coin, has always had the profile of President Abraham Lincoln. While the reverse of the coin has been redesigned since, the obverse still bears the image of President Lincoln. Prior to 1959, which was the 150th anniversary of President Lincoln’s birth, the coin’s reverse side had an image of two wheatheads and that coin was known as a wheat penny.

Here is who appears on the other coins and bills of our currency:

  • Penny (1¢): President Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States
  • Nickel (5¢): President Thomas Jefferson, Third President of the United States
  • Dime (10¢): President Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd President of the United States
  • Quarter (25¢): President George Washington, First President of the United States
  • Half Dollar (50¢): President John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United States
  • One Dollar Bill ($1): President George Washington, First President of the United States
  • Two Dollar Bill ($2): President Thomas Jefferson, Third President of the United States
  • Five Dollar Bill ($5): President Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States
  • Ten Dollar Bill ($10): Alexander Hamilton, First US Secretary of the Treasury
  • Twenty Dollar Bill ($20): President Andrew Jackson, Seventh President of the United States
  • Fifty Dollar Bill ($50): Ulysses S. Grant, 18th President of the United States
  • Hundred Dollar Bill ($100): Benjamin Franklin, Founding Father
  • Five Hundred Dollar Bill ($500): President William McKinley, 25th President of the United States
  • One Thousand Dollar Bill ($1,000): President Grover Cleveland, 22nd and 24th President of the United States
  • Five Thousand Dollar Bill ($5,000): President James Madison, Fourth President of the United States
  • Ten Thousand Dollar Bill ($10,000): Salmon P. Chase, US Secretary of the Treasury
  • One Hundred Thousand Dollar Bill ($100,000): President Woodrow Wilson, 28th President of the United States

Readers of Bargaineering will know that the $500 bill and higher were discontinued in 1969 (the $100,000 bill was used by the government only) and the dollar coin was excluded from the list because it has so many designs that almost everyone has their face on a $1 coin (back in the day, you had to be a five star General and 34th President of the United States to get on the coin!).

Enjoy the knowledge!

(Photo: jollyuk)

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20 Responses to “The Famous Faces on United States Money”

  1. cmob says:

    wonder why Salmon P. Chase got on a bill. seems he is kind of obscure compared to the others.

  2. Aaron says:

    Your third paragraph is a bit confusing. Lincoln has been on the penny since 1909, the centennial of his birth. Originally the reverse had the wheat stalks (or whatever those things are that give it the name Wheat Penny). In 1959 the reverse was changed to the Lincoln memorial. In 2009 they put a few commemorative scenes on the reverse, and in 2010 they changed it to a “Union Shield” design, which I believe is the new “permanent” back.

  3. Bey says:

    Putting the visage of historic figures on our coinage was really a 20th Century phenomenon. Prior to that all of our circulating coinage bore various representations of ‘Lady Liberty’ and I for one would like to see her return. There’s no need to deify our leaders on money, even George Washington, who I’m sure would have been embarrassed by that honor. The representations of Liberty brought out much artistic talent, and were some of the most beautiful coins (though admittedly a few of the ugliest) in history.

  4. cubiclegeoff says:

    Do they even still make the $2 bill?

    • skylog says:

      as i understand it, yes, but they are printed in much lower numbers than the other denominations.

    • Shirley says:

      As a youngster I was told that a $2 bill would bring you good luck for a full year if it was freely given to you. At the end of that time it must be freely given to someone else, not spent, in order to renew the luck.

      As a bookkeeper, I was able to buy the ones that came through the registers (10-15 per month) and we always used them in tips, along with the little story. It was a great conversation starter and more people than I would have guessed have never seen one.

    • zapeta says:

      They do, but I think a lot of people hold on to them since most people don’t see them often. I wish they got more use since I think it’d be more handy to carry around. Of course, I’d like to see the government switch to coins only for $1 and $2 but that doesn’t seem likely.

      • Shirley says:

        I agree that $1 coins instead of bills is much more economically sound, but consider how many $1 bills are usually in your wallet. I keep several and I can’t imagine wanting the weight or bulkiness of those in my pocket or purse.

        • daenyll says:

          I’m all for coinage despite added bulk… longer lifespan, easier to determine differences in value for the sight impaired (an issue that’s often overlooked in US currency). And don’t forget the potential economic impact for fashion and clothing if coin purses came back into common use!

      • Strebkr says:

        Same – I have a few and they are locked up in the safe. I’m not really sure why. I just like having them.

  5. Strebkr says:

    I wish $1 coins caught on more. I spent some time in Europe and I really like the 1 & 2 euro coins. They are very useful. I wouldn’t keep more then 5 or 6 euro in my pocket in change but it was easy to use.

  6. Anonymous says:

    N the million doller usa bill? oh we were the only country whthout that? Well lve seen one as a mil gold cert it sure looks real real 2 me anyway 1934 i think

  7. Dress says:

    I am so glad to have looked into thie today. Just a random, curious moment I had and drcided to “Google it” as so many say! I don’t usuall…I just drop it or guess & make up my own answer!! This is GREAT! I like to ‘know’ things. -Dress


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