It never fails — every time there is an overhaul of American currency, someone will insist it looks like “play money” simply because the appearance is unfamiliar. In reality, U.S. currency is more sophisticated than ever, and has gone through many changes over the 150-plus years it has been printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP).


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It is likely some would find older versions of U.S. currency to appear to be kin to money used in board games, but the BEP has employed several anti-counterfeit technical features since it has been producing bills from 1862.

We take a look at some of those measures and other interesting facts about U.S. currency and how it is made.

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Shirley Pulawski

Shirley is a staff writer for who covers personal finance trends, money habits, mortgages and foreclosures.