Planet Money, Episode 421: The Birth of the Dollar Bill

Planet Money, The Economy Explained is a twice weekly podcast on National Public Radio (NPR).

Before the Civil War, there were 8,000 different kinds of money in the United States.

Banks printed their own paper money. And, unlike today, a $1 bill wasn't always worth $1. Sometimes people took the bills at face value. Sometimes they accepted them at a discount (a $1 bill might only be worth 90 cents, say.) Sometimes people rejected certain bills altogether.

Listen to this episode, as the hosts of NPR's Planet Money figure out how this world worked. And explain how the Civil War — and the Union's need for money — changed everything.

This is a guest article. The thoughts and opinions in this piece are those of their author and are not necessarily the thoughts of the Certified Collectibles Group.


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