FAQs: Money and Securities
- How much is a particular note or coin worth?
- Who is responsible for creating new money?
- How is United States currency backed/secured?
- Do you have an inflation calculator resource available?
- How can I get information about the money supply, M1 and M2?
- Where can I find information about security features for U.S. currency?
- Where can I find information about detecting counterfeit bills?
- How can I find out the yield/interest of my U.S. Treasury securities?
How much is a particular note or coin worth?
The Federal Reserve does not render opinions concerning the numismatic value of notes or coins. There are two good sources of information on this subject. First, public libraries have books with the values of old coins and notes. Alternatively, if you'd like to have the item appraised, you may contact several currency dealers and collectors. Listings are available in the telephone directory under the headings of CURRENCY and HOBBIES. Also, to obtain a list of local dealers, you may contact the American Numismatic Society by calling (212)234-3130 or visiting its website, http://numismatics.org/.
To determine the numismatic value of notes or coins, currency dealers may consider the condition, series date, denomination, production totals, and other factors. Grading is not an exact science; it is possible to have the same item appraised at different values.Back to Top
Who is responsible for creating new money?
The Federal Reserve does not produce bank notes or coins. The Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) produces currency and stamps, and the U.S. Mint produces our nation's coins.Back to Top
How is United States currency backed/secured?
Federal Reserve notes are liabilities on the Federal Reserve's balance sheet. The asset counterpart to the Federal Reserve liability takes the form of securities of the U.S. Treasury and government-approved enterprises (Treasury and federal agency securities represent the majority of the total collateral for currency in circulation). Because the value of currency in circulation changes daily, the Reserve Banks monitor and report changes in net payments to the Board. Net payments represent the difference between the amount of currency that the Reserve Banks pay to and receive from depository institutions. If net payments are positive, the Federal Reserve will typically purchase securities through open market operations in an amount equal to the net increase of currency in circulation to offset the monetary policy implications of the drain on depository institutions' balances held at the Reserve Banks. Similarly, if net payments are negative, the Federal Reserve will typically sell securities in an amount equal to the decrease in currency in circulation. When a Reserve Bank makes a currency payment to a depository institution, the Reserve Bank charges the depository institution's account (or the account of the bank that acts as the settlement agent) for the amount of the order. Similarly, when a depository institution returns excess currency to a Reserve Bank, it receives a corresponding credit to its account.
Coin, however, is an asset on the Federal Reserve's balance sheet, and is a direct obligation of the U.S. Treasury. As an asset, the Federal Reserve buys coin from the Mint at face value. When a depository institution orders and deposits coin from its Reserve Bank, the institution's account balance is adjusted accordingly.Back to Top
Do you have an inflation calculator resource available?
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is one measure of inflation. The CPI measures inflation as experienced by consumers in their day-to-day living expenses; it is the ratio of the value of a basket of goods in the current year to the value of that same basket of goods in an earlier year. The most recent data is available on the Bureau of Labor Statistics website.
An inflation calculator can be found at http://www.bls.gov/data/inflation_calculator.htm.Back to Top
How can I get information about the money supply, M1 and M2?
The Federal Reserve publishes weekly and monthly data on two money supply measures M1 and M2. The money supply data, which the Fed reports at 4:30 p.m. every Thursday, appear in some Friday newspapers, and they are available online as well, www.federalreserve.gov/releases/h6/current/h6.htm.
The money supply measures reflect the different degrees of liquidity—or spendability—that different types of money have. The narrowest measure, M1, is restricted to the most liquid forms of money; it consists of currency in the hands of the public, travelers checks, demand deposits and other deposits against which checks can be written. M2 includes M1, plus savings accounts, time deposits of under $100,000 and balances in retail money market mutual funds.Back to Top
Where can I find information about security features for U.S. currency?
Information about currency note features is available on the Bureau of Engraving and Printing website, http://www.moneyfactory.gov/section.cfm/7/35.Back to Top
Where can I find information about detecting counterfeit bills?
The U.S. Secret Service's website, http://www.ustreas.gov/usss/know_your_money.shtml, provides detailed information about detecting counterfeiting.Back to Top
How can I find out the yield/interest of my U.S. Treasury securities?
Information about purchasing, redeeming and assessing the value of U.S. Treasury securities is available through the Treasury Direct website, www.treasurydirect.gov/tdhome.htm.Back to Top