What is American Money?

 America uses both coins and paper as money. There are seven types of coins:

  • The penny – 1 cent – 100 cents equals a U.S. dollar
  • The nickel – 5 cents – 20 nickels equal a U.S. dollar
  • The dime – 10 cents – 10 dimes equal a U.S. dollar
  • The quarter – 25 cents – 4 quarters equal a dollar
  • The half dollar – 50 cents – 2 fifty cent pieces equal a U.S. dollar
  • The metal dollar – either a silver colored dollar or a gold colored dollar

The coins of the U.S. have little intrinsic value. They contain very little silver and no gold.

american money

America’s paper currency consists of

  • A one dollar bill and has the picture of our 1stS. president and father of the country, George Washington
  • A two dollar bill with the picture of Thomas Jefferson, the 3rdS President
  • A five dollar bill with Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president
  • A 10 dollar bill with the picture of Alexander Hamilton the 1stS, Treasury Secretary
  • A twenty dollar bill with the picture of President Andrew Jackson
  • A fifty dollar bill with the picture of president Ulysses S. Grant
  • A hundred dollar bill with the picture of Benjamin Franklin

The paper currency is changed from time to thwart counterfeiting. The U.S. paper currency is backed by the full, faith and credit of the U.S. and nothing else. Prior to 1971, you could trade paper currency for gold, but the currency of the U.S. is no longer backed by precious metals. You can see pictures of bills and coins here.

Americans have had several currencies since our founding in 1776, and since 1913 the dollar has lost 95% of its value, yet very few protect themselves with precious metals like people do in India or China. Very few Americans even try to diversify their dollar holdings with foreign currencies like many foreigners do. We don’t seem to mind that the Federal Reserve reduces the value of our currency each year, but we do have laws in place that forbid the defacing of our money for fraudulent purposes.

Mike Landfair
Mike is a professional writer and blogger with focus on culture, book reviews, politics, home decor, geology, economics and advice to expatriates. He was a stockbroker for almost 30 years, which enables him to communicate about financial topics in an easy to understand manner. He also has sales and marketing background and a degree in political science and economics. Recently, he published a book titled "Gold Rush," which outlines why he believes we are on the verge of a gold buying frenzy.


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