ABC: The Treasury Department recently sold 44,000 one-dollar bills to one person — at a price of $5.95 apiece.
The bills weren’t even all that special — they weren’t very old, and they didn’t have any major flaws that made them valuable to collectors.
What they did have though, was four number eights in a row in their serial numbers — a sign of luck to many people of Asian descent.
And that’s made the bills popular. The Treasury’s Bureau of Engraving and Printing says it has sold over 70,000 such “prosperity notes” to thousands of people around the world — not including the huge sale to one individual.
Now that is a high rate of seigniorage. You can buy your own lucky bills from the Treasury. Westerners may prefer the 777 series. There is a discount for bulk orders, but you will still be paying more than a dollar for a dollar. That doesn’t feel lucky to me.
Hat tip: The Blacklist.