Everyone knows that when it comes to US currency in circulation, the $2 and the $50 bills are rapidly approaching numismatic status due to either the government's unwillingness to print them in sufficient amounts or the general public's unwillingness to accept them as legal Federal Reserve Note tender. What people may not know is how other currency denominations have fared over the years. And as the charts below indicate, the historical government production of various currency denominations may tell us something about actual supply-driven intentions of the Fed and/or upcoming price levels. Because one thing is certain: judging by recent production patterns, the $1, $5 and $10 bills (aka Federal Reserve Notes), all of which saw their lowest production in 30 years in 2010, will soon suffer the fate of the dodo!
$1 bill production 1980-2010:
$5 bill production 1980-2010:
$10 bill production 1980-2010:
Why the collapse in production? Is it simply due to the increasing (forced?) migration to electronic, and other, forms of payment? Perhaps. We leave it up to readers to decide on their own.
One thing we do know is that the plunge in small-denomination bills is not uniform. In fact, when it comes to $100 bills, production has never been higher. Is the Fed hinting at something?
$100 bill production 1980-2010:
So, how long until we start seeing the face of Grover Cleveland much more often again?