How Old is Your Dollar Bill?

By: TXRB Staff | 25 Feb 2019

How Old is Your Dollar Bill?

Spotlight on Dollar Bill - How Old is Your Dollar Bill?Have you ever thought about the life span of the dollar bill sitting in your wallet? While the life span of a dollar bill does not affect its value, the dollars’ value may affect its life span.
According to the U.S. Federal Reserve, the wear and tear of paper money is gauged by sophisticated processing equipment that determines its remaining lifespan. The bills that are not approved are removed from circulation and destroyed.
The currency’s lifespan is determined by its denomination and public use. For instance, the $100 bill is not exchanged as often as $5 bill. Often, a $100 bill will retain its value because it is not passed across the counter as regularly as smaller denominations, like the $5 and $20 bill. As a result, the average lifespan of a $100 bill lasts up to 15 years while the life of $5 bill lasts just 4.9 years.

Did You Know?

• The Federal Reserve states that the average lifespan of a $1 bill is 5.8 years before it is replaced due to wear and tear.
• The average lifespan of a $5 bill is 5.5 years before it is replaced due to wear and tear, while the average lifespan of a $10 bill is 4.5 years.
• Most $5 and $10 bills are dispersed in yellow straps by the Federal Reserve.

• The $10 bill is very peculiar; it is the only denomination in circulation in which the portrait faces to the left and contains the portrait of a non-president of the United States.
• The average lifespan of a $20 bill in circulation is 7.9 years, and is mostly dispersed in violet straps by the Federal Reserve.
• The $50 bill has an average lifespan of  8.5 years or 102 months before it is replaced due to wear and tear.
• The average lifespan of a $100 bill in circulation is 7.5 years or 90 months before it is replaced due to wear and tear. It is the largest denomination of the dollar bills printed and circulated by the Federal Reserve.

Though the knowledge of the age and lifespan of a dollar bill makes your purchase more interesting, the age of a bill is not likely to affect your purchase. It should be noted, that is, no matter the age of a dollar bill or its denomination, all U.S. currency that has legally entered circulation remains legal tender until it is removed.

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