How much do you know about…Money?

October 20, 2014

1. What percentage of dollar bills carry traces of cocaine?

A. 10%.
B. 90%.
C. 50%.


2. Each penny costs _____ to manufacture.

A. 1 cent.
B. 5 cents.
C. 2.4 cents.

3. Paper money was first used in:

A. France in the 17th century.
B. China in the Tang Dynasty.
C. America in the 18th century.

4. The word “buck” for paper bills comes from:

A. Early America trading elk and deer.
B.  An old English term.
C. The Netherlands.

5. The only woman to have appeared on a US currency note is:

A. Martha Washington.
B. Geraldine Ferraro.
C. Amelia Earhart.

6. Which organization was created during the Civil War to combat counterfeiting?

A. Secret Service.
B. Treasury Dept.
C. Federal Civil Service.

7. Credit cards were used for the first time in the U.S. in:

A. The 1920s.
B. The 1950s.
C. The 1890s.


1. B – 90% of bills contain traces of cocaine.  Drug traffickers often use coke-powdered hands to move cash, and many users roll bills into sniffing straws; the brushes and rollers in ATMs most likely distribute it through the rest of the money supply. Also found on bills: fecal matter. A 2002 report in the Southern Medical Journal showed found pathogens — including staphylococcus — on 94% of dollar bills tested. Paper money can reportedly carry more germs than a household toilet. And bills are a hospitable environment for gross microbes: viruses and bacteria can live on most surfaces for about 48 hours, but paper money can reportedly transport a live flu virus for up to 17 days.

2. C – 2.4 cents.

3. B - Paper bills were first used by the Chinese, who started carrying folding money during the Tang Dynasty (A.D. 618-907) — mostly in the form of privately issued bills of credit or exchange notes — and used it for more than 500 years before the practice began to catch on in Europe in the 17th century. While it took another century or two for paper money to spread to the rest of the world, China was already going through a fairly advanced financial crisis: the production of paper notes had grown until their value plummeted, prompting inflation to soar. As a result, China eliminated paper money entirely in 1455 and wouldn’t adopt it again for several hundred years. Another not-so-well-known fact: the word cash was originally used to describe the type of round bronze coins with square holes commonly used in the Tang Dynasty, called kai-yuans.

4. A - The word “buck” as a reference to money dates back to days before paper when Americans traded animal and elk bucks for goods and services.

5.  A - The only woman to have ever appeared on a U.S. currency note is Martha Washington. She was on the $1 Silver Certificate in 1886 and 1891 and on the back of the $1 Silver Certificate in 1896.

6.  A - The U.S. Secret Service was originally created on July 5, 1865, during the Civil War to fight counterfeiting, which was a huge problem. By the end of the war, between 1/3 and 1/2 of all U.S. paper currency in circulation was counterfeit.

7.  A – Credit cards were first used in the 1920s. Hotels were the first to offer cards to their customers to pay for their hotel stays. Soon department stores and gas companies offered their own cards. However, the credit cards could be used only at the business that issued them. When Diner Card arrived in 1950s, it was different in that it could be used at different restaurants and hotels. In 1951, some banks began issuing credit cards that could be used at different places.