currency currency
Stories About


A banner depicting Venezuela's currency, the bolivar, at the central bank of Venezuela in Caracas in January. The bolivar has lost the vast majority of its value in just the last year. Federico Parra /AFP/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Federico Parra /AFP/Getty Images

The redesigned U.S. $100 bills that went into circulation in 2013 incorporate technology that features several visual illusions, all designed to foil counterfeiters. Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

Like Magic: The Tech That Goes Into Making Money Harder To Fake

  • Download
  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

European Union and U.K. Union Jack flags hang at a meeting for U.K. citizens living in Germany to discuss the implications of the proposed "Brexit" from the EU. Adam Berry/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Adam Berry/Getty Images

Jacob "Jack" Lew's signature, on the 2012 "Mid-Session Review" of the federal budget. He was director of the Office of Management and Budget at the time. hide caption

toggle caption

Hand-run printing presses like these in 1909 produced 45 sheets an hour, while today's automated machines churn out 10,000 in the same amount of time. "This was considered the toughest job at the time," said Franklin Noll, a historical consultant at the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing. "You had to work as fast as you could all the time on a rate where you only got paid for the good sheets." Library of Congress hide caption

toggle caption
Library of Congress

When the Swiss franc hit a historic high of buying .70 euros in May 2010, people lined up at a Geneva exchange office to get rid of their euros. This week, one Swiss franc bought .90 euros. Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images

When Canada switched to dollar coins, or "loonies," its simply took the country's dollar notes out of circulation. The GAO says the U.S. needs a similar plan. Ryan Remiorz/AP hide caption

toggle caption
Ryan Remiorz/AP