All about the Benjamins!

Someone holding 8 hundred dollar bills

The hundred dollar bill is a denomination of US currency. It features a portrait of US President Benjamin Franklin on the obverse (another word for the front of a coin, medal, or paper-note) and Independence Hall on the reverse. Because of this, hundred dollar bills are colloquially known as “Benjamins” and “Franklins”.

Over the last decade, hundred dollar bills have grown in circulation, with figures of 77% of all US currency as of June 2012, and Federal Reserve data from 2017 showing that $100 bills exceeded that of $1 bills. Reasons for these rises include $100s being used by banks as reserve currency and as the note of choice by criminals (briefcase not included).

Despite this abundance in circulation, the hundred-dollar bill still symbolises wealth and prestige and has featured in a variety of songs including:

  • Gabriel Garzón-Montano’s Agüita“Put the bag by piano – Aretha – don’t play with my Franklins”
  • Diddy’s It’s All About the Benjamins (feat. The Notorious B.I.G., Lil’ Kim & The Lox) (Remix) – “Swimmin’ in women wit they own condominiums / Five plus fives, who drive millenniums / It’s all about the Benjamins, what? / I get a fifty-pound bag of ooh for the mutts”

Currency related: Disney had its own legal currency for nearly 30 years and cigarettes as commodity money

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