Understanding the Symbols & Codes on a US Dollar Bill

The numbers and letters on a dollar bill are a combination of codes used by the United States Treasury to identify the bill’s series, the issuing Federal Reserve Bank, and the bill’s denomination. These codes are printed on the face of the bill and are also encoded in a two-dimensional barcode on the back of the bill. Understanding these codes can help you determine the age and authenticity of a dollar bill.

Federal Reserve Bank Code

The first two letters of the code indicate the Federal Reserve Bank that issued the bill. For example, the code “FR” indicates the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, Virginia. There are twelve Federal Reserve Banks in the United States and each has its own two-letter code.

Series Year

The next two numbers indicate the year in which the bill was issued. For example, a dollar bill with the code “FR20” was issued in 2020. The year is printed on the bill itself, so you can use this code to confirm the age of the bill.

Serial Number

The next eight digits are the serial number of the bill. This number is unique to each bill and can be used to track the bill’s history. Serial numbers are often printed in red ink, so you can easily spot them.

Denomination

The last letter indicates the denomination of the bill. For example, the letter “A” indicates a one-dollar bill, while the letter “B” indicates a two-dollar bill. This code is also printed on the face of the bill.

Barcode

The back of the bill also contains a two-dimensional barcode that encodes the same information as the numbers and letters on the face of the bill. The barcode is made up of a series of black and white stripes that represent the numbers and letters of the code. This code is used by the Treasury to verify the authenticity of the bill.

Conclusion

The numbers and letters on a dollar bill are a combination of codes used by the United States Treasury to identify the bill’s series, the issuing Federal Reserve Bank, and the bill’s denomination. Understanding these codes can help you determine the age and authenticity of a dollar bill. The barcode on the back of the bill also contains the same information, which is used by the Treasury to verify the authenticity of the bill.

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