US Currency Production - 1980 to 2018

2019 Week 12 Datasource and Historical Background

Posted by David Velleca on March 17, 2019

Historical Background

Our data set this week looks into the production of money in the United States. Money is made by one of two different Federal entities, depending on what type of money we're talking about. Coins are produced by the US Mint and bills are produced by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. The US Mint was created in 1792 with the Coinage Act of 1792.

This act of Congress established both the dollar as the official currency of the United States, as well as the Mint in Philadelphia, the capital of the United States at that time. Once the Mint was established, it was the sole entity responsible for producing standard issue coins for the entire country. Since that time, the mint has seen some changes, with several different facilities having produced US coinage at one point or another.

Where the Mint is one of the oldest Federal entities, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing was established in the 1860s when the Civil War necessitated paper currency that was backed by the Federal Government. Prior to 1861, there was no official paper currency. Instead, paper currency before that time was issued by State and local banks, and had both limited circulation and utility. The creation of what essentially amounted to a federally backed "IOU" forever changed the landscape of US currency.

The Bureau has seen several technological advances since its inception. The first bills were printed in sheets of 4, and hand trimmed. Compare that to our bills today which are printed in sheets of 50. Additionally, our bills today incoporate multiple anti-counterfeiting measure that were developed over the past 156 years.

We'd really love to see what you can do with this week's dataset! Download the data and see what you can visualize. Create your viz and post your work to Tableau Public and Twitter with the hashtag #ThrowbackDataThursday, tagging @TThrowbackThurs. We're really looking forward to seeing what the Tableau Community can come up with!

Data Source

This week's dataset comes from two places The US Mint for the coin data and The Bureau of Engraving and Printing. Please be sure to cite the source on your viz.