Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Money! It is filthy, dirty and the color of it looks quite drab compared to money from other  countries yet we all need it and want as much of it that we can get our hands on. America got a new $100 bill recently and it still looks drab and dull. Do you have currency envy? Or do you think money should be drab and dull and important looking instead of some colorful canvas to be traded often.  Who cares what it looks like, just give me some stuff for it.
A lot of thought goes into the design and the color of money. Can it be considered art? These days our currency is all about our statesmen but once awhile ago it was more adventuresome. There was the $5 dollar bill who had the picture of a Native American in the middle. There were The Pilgrims  also on a $5 dollar bill and Martha Washington featured on the $1 dollar bill. Lewis and Clark  on the $10 dollar bill. Back at the end of the 19th Century there was a very ornate $5 dollar bill known as the Education Series. It had a Renaissance style woman holding a light bulb in her hand representing the future.
In 1929 we got the dollar we still know today.  Look at what the rest of the world is spending is wild.  They are all colorful and creative bills. There are bank notes graced with birds and beasts and even sports sayings. They try to capture a bit of the culture from the country it is from,  Alan Newman is Director of Design at De La Rue which is a British security printing, papermaking design company  for currencies around the world. They recently designed and printed the 280 Million Libyan dollars. They design paper money from over 150 countries.

 There is the two time banknote of the year award winner the Kazakhstan 1000-tenge and the new Libyan Dinar created after the fall of Dictator Muammar Gaddafi. On the front is the images of crowds and on the back  17 doves above the new Libyan flag.  Guess who appears on the most currency worldwide. Yes, it is Queen Elizabeth of the British Commonwealth. The United States prints the most money in the world. We print 1.3 Billion Dollars per day. We make money 24 hours per day. I wish we were actually making what it should all be worth. Most of it is replacing old dirty bills with newer crisp ones.

America’s focus is to use technology to trick counterfeiters as  seen in the new $100 Dollar bill.  The little ribbon in it contains hundreds of thousands of micro-lenses. When you tilt the bill from left to right you actually tilt the image up and down. When you tilt the bill up and down the image moves from left to right.  Hey he still is Ben Franklyn.  To foreigners our good old bill still screams The United States and we like it that way for almost 100 years to come. 

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