A nation's money often makes a statement. That's certainly been true with U.S. currency. Over the years, American coin and paper money designs have celebrated everything from the Founding Fathers to electricity. The designs chosen also reflect the national mood at the time, making coin and currency collecting an often fascinating look into a nation's history.

Commemorating the Contributions of Women and Minorities on U.S. Paper Currency

The early 21st century has seen an increased desire to commemorate the contributions of women and minorities to our country's evolution, and that sentiment has worked its way into proposals to change the look of our money.

In April Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew proposed a sweeping redesign of U.S. paper currency, beginning with the replacement of president Andrew Jackson, a controversial figure to some, with Underground Railroad founder and Civil War Union spy Harriet Tubman. If approved, Tubman would be the first woman to appear on the face of a U.S. bill since Martha Washington was so honored briefly in the late 19th century.

Other designs proposed by Secretary Lew include adding images of historically prominent women and civil rights leaders to the back of $5 and $10 bills; President Lincoln and Treasury founder Alexander Hamilton would remain on the bills' faces.

Presuming at least some of the redesigns survive an administration change, the first will be unveiled in 2020 to celebrate the centennial of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote nationally. If adopted, the changes will represent the largest redesign of U.S. currency since 1929, when all paper money was reduced to its current size and designs were standardized.

Currency Offers a Window to the World

Coin and currency designs offer a window into the history of not just the United States, but the entire world. Whether you're a seasoned collector or just getting started, be sure to browse the selection of U.S. and foreign coins and banknotes available online from The Great American Coin Company®. Our inventory is constantly changing, so be sure to check back often.

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