Defaced Money
January 7, 2013 7:53 AM   Subscribe

"Defacement of currency is a violation of Title 18, Section 333 of the United States Code. Under this provision, currency defacement is generally defined as follows: Whoever mutilates, cuts, disfigures, perforates, unites or cements together, or does any other thing to any bank bill, draft, note, or other evidence of debt issued by any national banking association, Federal Reserve Bank, or Federal Reserve System, with intent to render such item(s) unfit to be reissued, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than six months, or both. Defacement of currency in such a way that it is made unfit for circulation comes under the jurisdiction of the United States Secret Service." - source
"Defaced Money" tagged Tumblr posts, 11 more impressive examples of creatively defaced currency, 101 Unusual, Impressive And Illegal Pieces Of Defaced Currency, and some cool guitar picks.
posted by spock (7 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Bazooka George is great!
posted by TedW at 7:59 AM on January 7, 2013

So those National Park commemorative $2 bills I saw advertised on tv last night aren't legal? Whodathunk?
posted by Thorzdad at 8:07 AM on January 7, 2013

Shout-out to Where's George?, the "Currency Tracking Project", which helpfully points out the loophole about defacement being the rendering unfit for circulation.

From their FAQ:
#8 Is it legal to write on or mark currency?
Where's George? does not encourage the defacement of U.S. Currency. The law defines 'illegal' defacement as defacement that renders bills unfit to be re-issued. For the legal details from the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing, please Click Here
An example of my standard marks
posted by achrise at 10:46 AM on January 7, 2013

My own favorite moment of currency defacement: Dave Cole's Money Dress, which I saw as part of the Radical Lace and Subversive Knitting exhibit at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York in 2007.
posted by bakerina at 12:20 PM on January 7, 2013

I make a point of saving out any wheresgeorge marked currency. I still haven't decided whether I want to try to find a bank that will return them to the treasury, hang onto them until I'm retired or pass them on when I die. Some of my friends think I'm being an asshole but I figure I'm just adding an element of danger to the game. I do love the black metal Georges and clown Abes though.
posted by mcrandello at 1:46 PM on January 7, 2013

posted by spock

Eponymous ( in Canada, at least )
posted by RobotHero at 3:17 PM on January 7, 2013

Ah, there you are.
posted by RobotHero at 3:20 PM on January 7, 2013

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