Do you want to know what is the lowest value of U.S. paper money without a portrait of a U.S. President? You are in the perfect place to get answer to your query.

The currency of the United States is one of the strongest and most influential currencies in the entire world. The demand for the U.S. currency is continually increasing because it impacts the global markets and currencies, especially the currencies of third-world countries. 

Due to the great influence of the U.S. currency on the world, people have several important questions about it. One of such questions is “what is the lowest value of U.S. paper money without a portrait of a U.S. President?”

In this article, we will be answering it in detail and providing information about some other interesting aspects of the U.S. currencies.

Who is on US Paper Money?

The USA paper money has the portraits of the former presidents of the USA except for the bills of $10 and $100. Following is the list of the portraits on different paper money:

  • George Washington on $1.
  • Thomas Jefferson on $2.
  • Abraham Lincoln on $5.
  • Alexander Hamilton on $10.
  • Andrew Jackson on $20.
  • Ulysses S. Grant on $50.
  • Benjamin Franklin on $100.
Portraits on US Bills

What Is the Lowest Value Of Paper Money Without The Portrait Of A U.S. President?

According to the current U.S. currency, the $10 is the lowest value of paper money of the USA without the portrait of a U.S. president. It has the portrait of Alexander Hamilton, who was the first Secretary of the Treasury.

Another interesting fact about the $10 bill is that it is the only paper money in the USA with a portrait facing to the left. All of the other bills have portraits of the U.S. presidents except the $100 bill that features Benjamin Franklin.

The current picture of Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill is derived from the portrait by John Trumbull. The original portrait is hanging in New York City.

Therefore, the short answer to the question “What is the lowest value of U.S. paper money without a portrait of a U.S. President?” is that the $10 bill is the lowest paper money that has the portrait of Alexander Hamilton.

Who is Alexander Hamilton?

Alexander Hamilton was a renowned political, military commander, lawyer, economist, and legal expert. He was born in Charlestown, the capital of the Island of Nevis in the Leeward Islands. You are likely to be surprised by the fact that he was neither a Native American nor a British native, and yet, he is one of the Founding Fathers of the United States.

He completed his education in New York and became a senior aide to General Washington in 1777 to run the Continental Army. Once the war was over, Alexander was elected as a representative to the Congress of Confederation. He resigned in a few years to practice law.

What Is The Lowest Value Of Paper Money Without The Portrait Of A US President

Moreover, Alexander also founded the Bank of New York before entering politics. He was one of the most trusted members of the cabinet of President Washington, due to which he also became the first Secretary of the Treasury.

All of the U.S. bills issued today are called Federal Reserve Notes. Hamilton supported the usage of the dollar bill as a unit of currency. When he was the Secretary of Treasury, he favored the method of transaction in which coins were separated into smaller amounts.

Who Selected the Faces of Each US Bill?

The Secretary of the Treasury Department takes the final decision about whose faces will be printed on the U.S. paper money. Nevertheless, the exact criteria through which the final decisions are taken are ambiguous.

The main purpose of printing these portraits on the U.S. bills is to recognize the individuals who have played important roles in American history. This is the reason why U.S. presidents Alexander Hamilton and Benjamin Franklin are featured on the United States bills. 

Another interesting fact is that the Federal Law makes it clear that the face of a living person cannot appear on the U.S. currency. Hence, the Treasury Department will never allow the face of a living person on the U.S. bills.

10 Interesting Facts About U.S. Currency

There are many different questions associated with the U.S. currency and paper money because it holds a great significance in our lives. Currently, about 95% of the U.S. currencies in circulation are Federal Reserve Notes. Moreover, about 33% of the $100 bills are held outside the USA because about $1.55 trillion of the U.S. currency is in circulation.

Keep reading to learn some fascinating facts about the U.S. currency other than getting the answer to the question, “What is the lowest value of paper money without the portrait of a U.S. president?

US Currency

1.    People Reaction to Printing Faces on U.S. Coins

All of the U.S. currencies today feature the faces of popular faces of U.S. history. However, the U.S. citizens initially did not like this idea as they compared it to the pictures of monarchs used by the British.

People did not want to remember the challenging times before the independence. As a result, the initial coins featured the pictures of liberty and eagle instead of the portraits of the Founding Fathers.

2.    Security Threads

All of the currencies all over the world use some kind of security features to prevent counterfeiting and fraud. However, the U.S. bills are considered to be the most secure bills because they have a range of colors that can be seen with the help of U.V. light. The colors of the security threads on different U.S. bills are:

  • $5 bill glows blue.
  • $10 bill glows orange,
  • $20 bill glows green
  • $50 bill glows yellow
  • $100 bill pink

3.    Damaged Bills are Replaced

According to the statistics, more than 50% of the U.S. bills are replaced when they flow into the U.S. Federal Reserve because a lot of bills are unfit for circulation. There are more than 1.5 billion print orders for the $20 bills and $100 bills. This amount is much more than the other currencies of various countries.

4.    Cost of Printing Bills

The government has to spend a considerable amount of money to print the U.S. bills. There is no specific cost for the bills, but a $100 bill is the most expensive paper money to print in the USA and probably in the world. A single $100 bill costs about 13.5 cents for printing.

Another interesting thing about the cost of the U.S. bills is that you can sell 1899

$1 bill for about $50. Similarly, a $1 bill in the uncirculated condition is worth about $1000 today. The 1890 Grand Watermelon Bill is considered to be the rarest and most expensive U.S. bill that was sold for about $3,265,569.

5.    U.S. Bills are Made of Cotton and Linen

The majority of people believe that U.S. currencies are made of premium-quality paper that gives a unique and smooth texture. However, each U.S. bill is made up of 75% cotton and 25% linen.

6.    Location of Printing U.S. Bills

Bureau of Engraving and Printing is responsible for printing U.S. currencies. They have only two printing facilities. One is in Washington, while the other one is in Forth Worth, Texas. Most of the U.S. bills are printed in the Washington facility, while the Fort Worth Texas facility is used in emergency situations.

Printing US Currency

7.    Bills without Portraits of U.S. Presidents

Many people assume that all of the U.S. bills have portraits of the U.S. presidents on them. However, as discussed before, two U.S. bills have the faces of non-US presidents. One is the $10 bill that has the portrait of Alexander Hamilton. Secondly, the $100 bill has the picture of Benjamin Franklin.

8.    Shortage

In today’s era, there is unlikely to be a shortage of coins and money because the government has a lot of resources to deal with such situations. However, during the Civil War, the U.S. saw a serious shortage in the supply of coins due to the high value of metals.

At that time, the government started to accept postage stamps for debt payments to resolve the issue. It soon led to the shortage of stamps, due to which the government had to authorize ‘fractional currency’ in 1863.

9.    Largest Denominations

Currently, the $100 is the largest bill the government issues in the United States. However, it is not the largest denomination in the history of the U.S. Once, U.S. Government printed $1000,000 gold certificates to conduct transactions between the Federal Reserve Banks.

10.  Official Currency

A lot of people think that America is the only country that has U.S. dollars as its official currency. However, other countries like Guam and Ecuador also use U.S. dollar bills as their official currencies.


Now that you have read the article, you will get an answer to your question, “What is the lowest value of paper money without the portrait of a U.S. President?” along with getting to know some other interesting facts about the U.S. currencies.

You can check out our other articles. If you have any other questions, contact us or leave a comment below.

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