Dollar Bill Smaller in Both Dimensions

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Dollar Bill Smaller in Both Dimensions

Postby Electron » Wed Feb 06, 2013 4:24 pm

I recently noticed that one specific dollar bill dated 2009 in my wallet was shorter than all the rest. The normal specification for a dollar bill is approximately 6.14" x 2.61". After careful measurement of several bills, I found that the bill in question is about 0.10" shorter in width and 0.05" shorter in height than specification and the other bills. In addition, the printed image is also smaller in both dimensions by nearly the same amounts.

Does anyone know if there is any noticeable variation from different printers used by the Treasury? I'm quite sure the bill is not a counterfeit. Is it possible that something made the bill shrink?

In addition, I thought I detected very slight variations in the shrubbery at the base of the pyramid on the back of the bill compared with a few other bills. If the bill is genuine, that might suggest that there are noticeable variations in different plates.
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Re: Dollar Bill Smaller in Both Dimensions

Postby talzara » Wed Feb 06, 2013 4:42 pm

There are actually people who wash and iron their dollar bills, so that they're clean and crisp. You may have received one of these bills.

U.S. paper currency is made out of cotton. Just like your jeans might shrink when they go through the washer for the first time, so would dollar bills.
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Re: Dollar Bill Smaller in Both Dimensions

Postby chaz » Wed Feb 06, 2013 4:49 pm

Or the $1.00 value is dropping.
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Re: Dollar Bill Smaller in Both Dimensions

Postby dm200 » Wed Feb 06, 2013 4:53 pm

talzara wrote:There are actually people who wash and iron their dollar bills, so that they're clean and crisp. You may have received one of these bills.


Is this really true?
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Re: Dollar Bill Smaller in Both Dimensions

Postby TxAg » Wed Feb 06, 2013 5:00 pm

Interesting.

Paper currency is made from cotton. You never know.
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Re: Dollar Bill Smaller in Both Dimensions

Postby nisiprius » Wed Feb 06, 2013 5:12 pm

I do think they must have cheapened something about paper currency a couple of decades ago, though. They always used to tell you to look for portraits that looked "flat instead of three-dimensional" and "points on the Treasury seal that look broken or rounded instead of sharp." Well, the portraits all look flat and greyish to me these days, and I don't think I've seen sharp points on the Treasury seal in a long time, either.
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Re: Dollar Bill Smaller in Both Dimensions

Postby bertilak » Wed Feb 06, 2013 5:20 pm

nisiprius wrote:I do think they must have cheapened something about paper currency a couple of decades ago, though. They always used to tell you to look for portraits that looked "flat instead of three-dimensional" and "points on the Treasury seal that look broken or rounded instead of sharp." Well, the portraits all look flat and greyish to me these days, and I don't think I've seen sharp points on the Treasury seal in a long time, either.

Maybe ALL our money is now counterfeit!

Hmm. If the Treasury can print as much money as it wants, whenever it wants, what really is the definition of "counterfeit" anymore? :confused
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Re: Dollar Bill Smaller in Both Dimensions

Postby mike143 » Wed Feb 06, 2013 5:21 pm

I barely have a physical bill to look at these days. I put more money in the ATM than I take out. When I can get 2% back on everything why use cash?
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Re: Dollar Bill Smaller in Both Dimensions

Postby Valuethinker » Wed Feb 06, 2013 5:21 pm

nisiprius wrote:I do think they must have cheapened something about paper currency a couple of decades ago, though. They always used to tell you to look for portraits that looked "flat instead of three-dimensional" and "points on the Treasury seal that look broken or rounded instead of sharp." Well, the portraits all look flat and greyish to me these days, and I don't think I've seen sharp points on the Treasury seal in a long time, either.


More likely it was something to make it harder to forge-- the Treasury is in a never ending arms race with the forgers. There are types of paper which are *only* available to licensed currency printers, I believe.

When USD were 2 tone, and good photocopiers came in, then someone made a passable imitation with a colour photocopier.

The really weird one is the 20 million or so perfect fakes that turned up-- they admitted they could not detect them. This was in the early 2000s.

However the estimate of the cost of an operation to create that money was on the order of $200m. So therefore whoever did this had big backing. Best guesses:

- a government agency (CIA or equivalent in another country) that had a great need for 'off the books' spending money, and so authorized such an audacious counterfeit operation. You could see someone wanting to do something without audit supervision...

- the North Koreans, who finance their government by smuggling stuff in the diplomatic bags-- guns, drugs, counterfeit etc.

The Germans, (using a group of Jewish forgers imprisoned in a concentration camp), successfully duplicated the old white £5 note (like a £100 note now, except max denomination is £50). A mathematician cracked the serial number algorithm the Royal Mint used. The plan was to smuggle them into Britain and create hyperinflation. When a couple of paradropped German agents with suitcases of brand new £5 notes showed up in wartime British pubs, speaking with a German accent, they didn't get too far!

The government had to hastily recall all £5 notes (a real gem, white bordered and all). When the German operation was cancelled (there was a TV show about it 'Private Schulz' and also a German movie 'The Counterfeiters'-- I assume the forgers went to the gas chamber when the operation failed) and after the war the notes were all dumped in Lake Geneva-- periodically a packet of them washed onshore.

It's funny to imagine WIlliam Petersen (from CSI) in his middle aged bulk now chasing Willem Defoe through the LA airport terminal, but that takes one 'To Live and Die in LA' a classic movie about a counterfeiter.
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Re: Dollar Bill Smaller in Both Dimensions

Postby bertilak » Wed Feb 06, 2013 5:25 pm

Valuethinker wrote:When USD were 2 tone, and good photocopiers came in, then someone made a passable imitation with a colour photocopier.

Those Damn British! Still trying to get back at us for giving old King George III the boot!
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Re: Dollar Bill Smaller in Both Dimensions

Postby SteelyEyed » Wed Feb 06, 2013 5:42 pm

Electron wrote:I recently noticed that one specific dollar bill dated 2009 in my wallet was shorter than all the rest. The normal specification for a dollar bill is approximately 6.14" x 2.61". After careful measurement of several bills, I found that the bill in question is about 0.10" shorter in width and 0.05" shorter in height than specification and the other bills.


OMG! Now they're debasing the dollar bill!
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Re: Dollar Bill Smaller in Both Dimensions

Postby Sidney » Wed Feb 06, 2013 5:49 pm

talzara wrote:There are actually people who wash and iron their dollar bills, so that they're clean and crisp. You may have received one of these bills.

U.S. paper currency is made out of cotton. Just like your jeans might shrink when they go through the washer for the first time, so would dollar bills.

Why stop there. Bleach the $1 bills and reprint them as $20s.
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Re: Dollar Bill Smaller in Both Dimensions

Postby czeckers » Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:55 pm

Inflation at work -- $1 isn't what it used to be. :D
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Re: Dollar Bill Smaller in Both Dimensions

Postby Electron » Thu Feb 07, 2013 2:36 pm

Thanks all for your comments. Here is some information on the United States one dollar bill from Wikipedia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Sta ... ollar_bill

The bills are 72.3% cotton and 27.7% linen. It could very well be that my bill did shrink for some reason.

There is some information on the Internet that dollar bills may be reduced to one quarter of normal size using a form of liquid ammonia. It sounds quite dangerous. My bill may have been exposed to something much less extreme.
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Re: Dollar Bill Smaller in Both Dimensions

Postby Valuethinker » Thu Feb 07, 2013 5:38 pm

bertilak wrote:
Valuethinker wrote:When USD were 2 tone, and good photocopiers came in, then someone made a passable imitation with a colour photocopier.

Those Damn British! Still trying to get back at us for giving old King George III the boot!


I confess to being completely confused by the humour.

I don't think there was ever anything to do with Brits forging US dollar bills (AFAIK). And we were hardly the first or only country to have money in colours-- Canada has had coloured dollar bills for as long as I can remember (40+ years).
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Re: Dollar Bill Smaller in Both Dimensions

Postby bertilak » Thu Feb 07, 2013 5:55 pm

Valuethinker wrote:
bertilak wrote:
Valuethinker wrote:When USD were 2 tone, and good photocopiers came in, then someone made a passable imitation with a colour photocopier.

Those Damn British! Still trying to get back at us for giving old King George III the boot!


I confess to being completely confused by the humour.

I don't think there was ever anything to do with Brits forging US dollar bills (AFAIK). And we were hardly the first or only country to have money in colours-- Canada has had coloured dollar bills for as long as I can remember (40+ years).


Think about who might actually have access to a colour copier. (Admittedly nor a side splitter, but I was wondering if anyone would get it.)

Or perhaps you have a more subtle sense of humour than I first thought.
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Re: Dollar Bill Smaller in Both Dimensions

Postby kenschmidt » Thu Feb 07, 2013 8:46 pm

Sidney wrote:
talzara wrote:There are actually people who wash and iron their dollar bills, so that they're clean and crisp. You may have received one of these bills.

U.S. paper currency is made out of cotton. Just like your jeans might shrink when they go through the washer for the first time, so would dollar bills.

Why stop there. Bleach the $1 bills and reprint them as $20s.


Actually that's a pretty popular counterfeit technique as the counterfeit currency is on genuine paper and defeats many of the detection methods. It is a big reason why the newer currency has the thread running thru the paper that indicates the denomination.
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Re: Dollar Bill Smaller in Both Dimensions

Postby arcticpineapplecorp. » Thu Feb 07, 2013 9:34 pm

and in other news....Subway 12 inch subs are actually only 11 inches! Back to you Jane! :happy

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Re: Dollar Bill Smaller in Both Dimensions

Postby Valuethinker » Fri Feb 08, 2013 4:41 pm

bertilak wrote:
Think about who might actually have access to a colour copier. (Admittedly nor a side splitter, but I was wondering if anyone would get it.)

Or perhaps you have a more subtle sense of humour than I first thought.


Cheers. Spoils the joke when you have to explain it ;-).

Maybe I just don't have much of a sense of humour at all ;-).
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Re: Dollar Bill Smaller in Both Dimensions

Postby Sidney » Fri Feb 08, 2013 5:32 pm

czeckers wrote:Inflation at work -- $1 isn't what it used to be. :D

That would be the 4th dimension.
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Re: Dollar Bill Smaller in Both Dimensions

Postby cherijoh » Fri Feb 08, 2013 9:25 pm

dm200 wrote:
talzara wrote:There are actually people who wash and iron their dollar bills, so that they're clean and crisp. You may have received one of these bills.


Is this really true?


I have never ironed my money, but I often forget to check pants pockets and have washed and dried quite a few $1 bills! But I must admit that I have never measured them to see if they shrunk :wink:
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