National Dollar Day is observed every year on August 8, to commemorate the day Congress established the U.S. monetary system in 1786.

On that day, Congress set the value of what various coins would be, and what metallic makeup they would have. The value of a gold piece was set at $10, and the silver at $1. The value of other silver pieces was set at one-tenth of $1, while the value of copper pennies at one-hundredth of $1.

However, the first dollar coin, the Flowing Hair Dollar, was minted in 1794. Its design was based on the Spanish dollar. The first paper dollar wasn't printed until 1862, and it had Abraham Lincoln's Secretary of the Treasury, Salmon P. Chase, printed on it. George Washington first appeared on the $1 bill only in 1869.


1) The U.S. once issued larger bills up to $10,000. While the $100 is the highest-denomination U.S. dollar today, we used to have $500, $1000, $5,000 and $10,000 bills. These bills were discontinued in the early 1940s after legislators argued that large denominations helped illegal activities.

2) We had seven different kinds of money: During the early 1900s, the United States used seven types of money, including bank-issued and government-issued currency besides silver and gold coins. However, in another 40 years, U.S. moved to one unified currency.

3) According to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, the US paper currency is made up of 75% cotton and 25% linen. It also has tiny red and blue synthetic fibers of various lengths evenly distributed throughout the paper.

4) Ever wondered who provides the currency paper for our bills? Well, Massachusetts-based Crane and Co has been providing the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing with the paper since 1879.

5) According to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, a banknote, irrespective of its denomination, weighs approximately 1 gram.

Representational image. Pixabay