How Heavy Is A Stack Of Bills

BY Measurement Of Team - Jan 24, 2024 I 5 MIN READ
Two stacks of dollar bills on a weighing machine. Beside it there is a pile of dollar bills and a bag full of money too.webp

Introduction

The most ubiquitous thing in our life is dollar bills. Despite the popularity of credit and debit cards, we continue to use physical currency such as dollar bills for our everyday needs, from paying tolls to shopping at supermarkets. Despite their frequent usage, we do not know everything about dollars.

Do you know the weight of, say, a stack of dollars or a single dollar? Do different dollar denominations have different weights? If not, keep reading because I have answered all of these questions in this article, along with a few other intriguing things.

History of US Dollar Bills: How They Came to Be

Before anything, let’s start with the brief history of dollar bills. Despite having been in use since 1690, paper money was first issued in the United States in 1861. The Federal Reserve System, established in 1913 by the Federal Reserve Act, collaborates with the Bureau of Engraving and Printing to create the current banknotes.

Weight of A Dollar Bill

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Before moving on to a stack, let's discuss how much a dollar note weighs first. There are seven different paper money denominations in the United States: $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100. And, they are all equal in weight. Yes, you read that correctly. A $1 bill weighs the same as a $100 bill- 1 gram or 0.0022 pounds each.

Not just the weights, all banknotes have the same length, width, and thickness regardless of the denomination.

The length, width, weight, and thickness of the banknotes currently printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing are shown in the table below.

LengthWidthThicknessWeight
6.14 inches2.61 inches0.0043 inches1 gram
155.96 millimeters66.29 millimeters0.10922 millimeters0.0022 pounds

You're probably wondering why all the US dollar bills have the same dimensions and weight. In 1929, the current banknotes of the same weight and size were introduced. Before this period, USA had six different types of paper money, each with a different size and weight. The prevalence of so many different note varieties made counterfeiting a serious issue. Therefore, the US government began issuing standard banknotes in 1929. This made it easier to detect phony notes and made the production of dollars cheaper because more could be produced on a single printing plate.

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Weight of a stack of dollar bills

Let's move on to the dollar stack now. The practice of wrapping money together with a rubber or paper contraption has been around since the conception of paper money. These bundles of money are known as stacks. Due to the fact that each dollar weighs the same, the weight of the stack will depend on how much and what value of cash you place in it. 

Weight of Standardized Dollar Stacks

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Standardized straps that can hold a certain amount of money are a new thing. The American Bankers Association (ABA) in the US has a guideline for both value and color for these straps. If we follow the ABA's guidelines, a stack should have 10 straps, holding 100 bills, regardless of their monetary value.

This means a standardized stack or bundle will have 1000 US bills, which is 1000 grams or 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds, as each dollar weighs 1 gram.

If you are having trouble understanding the volume, you can compare the weight of a standard stack of banknotes to 1 liter of Coca-Cola as one kilogram is equal to one liter.

Weight by the thickness or height of the stacks

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Additionally, you can count the number of banknotes in a stack using the thickness or the height of the stack, by which you can figure out how much the stack weighs.

According to the US Treasury, 233 dollars can fit in a stack that is one inch high. In other words, a one-inch stack of banknotes weighs 233 grams or 0.51 pounds. That’s nearly the same weight as 93 US pennies or cents.

You can certainly create stacks that are 2 inches or higher in height. A 2 inches stack will have 466 bills and will weigh 466 grams or 1.027 pounds. So, a two-inch stack weighs almost as much as a football, which can weigh up to 450 grams.

Let's go up to 5-inch stacks.

Height/Thickness of the stackNumber of bills in the stackWeight in gmWeight in pound
1 inch stack233233 gm0.51 lbs
2 inches stack466466 gm1.03 lbs
3 inches stack699699 gm1.54 lbs
4 inches stack932932 gm2.05 lbs
5 inches stack11651165 gm2.57 lbs

So if someone asks you to guess how many bill are in a stack without counting, just measure the height of the stack!

How much money is in a dollar stack? Guess from its weight!

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As previously mentioned, the amount and monetary value of money you put in the stack will determine its weight.

For example, a $5,000 stack can have 5000 $1 bills or 100 $50 bills, or 50 $100 bills. In this case, the weight of the stack will differ according to the monetary value of the dollar bills placed in the stack.  If five thousand $1 bills are used to make the stack, it will weigh 5000 grams or 11 pounds. This weighs almost as much as three 13-inch MacBook Pro laptops.

However, if one hundred $50 bills are used to make the stack, it will weigh 100 grams or 0.22 pounds. This is almost as heavy as four AA batteries. Find interesting facts about batteries.

If the stack is made with fifty $100 bills, the weight dramatically decreases. In that case, the stack will weigh around 50 grams or 0.11 pounds. This is as much as 20 pennies’ weight.

So like this, the weight of stacks can vary depending on the monetary value of both, the stack and the composing bills.

So, in short, if a 20 dollar bill weighs 100 grams you can be certain that the monetary value of the stack is US$2,000 and vice versa.

Conclusion

We use dollars every single day in our lives, in one way or another, from childhood to old age. They are now deeply ingrained in our life. These have historical importance in addition to their monetary value. Learning the sizes, weights, and history of these ubiquitous things can help you comprehend the origin and the history of our nation a little bit better. I hope this post has helped you comprehend how heavy a bill stack can be.