United States Currency

Learn about U.S. paper and coin money, or learn how to convert between international currencies.

American Money

The United States issues paper currency and coins to pay for purchases, taxes, and debts.

Paper Money

American paper currency is issued in several denominations: $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100. The Bureau of Engraving and Printing manufactures paper money. It also redesigns money, with new appearances and enhanced security features to prevent counterfeiting. You can purchase commemorative or bulk versions of American currency through the Bureau's Money Store.

The United States no longer issues bills in larger denominations, such as $500, $1,000, $5,000, and $10,000 bills. However, they are still legal tender and may still be in circulation. 

Coins

The United States issues several denominations, with the most common being: 1¢, 5¢, 10¢, 25¢, 50¢, and $1. The U.S. Mint is responsible for manufacturing and circulating coins to pay for goods and services. It also issues collectible and commemorative coins that honor a person, place, or event and are available for purchase.

Mutilated Money

If you have paper money that is extremely damaged, you can redeem it with the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. Examples of damaged paper money include bills that are less than one half of the bill, or in such a condition that you are unable to tell the denomination of the bill. If you have paper money that is dirty, defaced, torn or more than half of the original size, you can take it to your local bank to exchange it for a bill that is in better shape.

You can redeem bent or partial coins through the Mutilated Coin Redemption Program.

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Video: How to Authenticate U.S. Currency

Learn how to use the security features in the design of U.S. paper money.

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Currency Exchange

Each country has its own currency or monetary system for buying and selling products and services. The exchange rate between two countries tells you the price you pay to buy another country's currency. When you travel internationally, you will want to have some of that country's currency to buy products or services. 

Exchanging Currency

Research the costs and process of purchasing currency for a foreign country:

  • Use online currency conversion tools to compare the value of your country's currency with the value of other countries' currencies. Each week, the Federal Reserve Board lists  the currency value of over 20 countries against the value of the U.S. dollar. The rates are not in real time. 
  • Check with local banks to learn how to buy currency for another country.
  • Use currency exchange booths, exchange vending machines, and ATMs at international airports or train stations. These booths may charge a fee for the exchange service.

If you plan to use a credit card or ATM card abroad, the exchange rate may be different than the rates at currency exchange booths.

Cash Limits When Traveling Abroad or Entering the U.S.

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Video: Field Trip to the Money Factory

Meet Brian, a designer and Dixie, an engraver. Learn about their jobs and how money is made. Here's a lesson plan.

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Last Updated: April 03, 2018