Last week Jim Haas asked about an old news report of a "pint-sized dollar bill" found in circulation.
Pete Smith writes:
"A member of my local coin club has a collection of shrunken money that he shows at the registration desk for our coin shows. He has a source for the paper bills that are treated with ammonia. He has all denominations up through $100.
He also has coins that are shrunken after exposure to a very strong magnetic field.
I don't know the legal status for these. They are not counterfeit but would qualify as altered."
So, will an ammonia bath shrink my waistline?
Jonathan Brecher writes:
"The pint-sized dollar bills sound like bills that were shrunk with anhydrous ammonia. See various discussion at
The shrinking process is not difficult... but neither is it something that should be tried as a lark. Anhydrous ammonia is unpleasant stuff."
Julia Casey writes:
"Look at this cool video I just came across!
"Plus attached here is an article from the Louisville Courier-Journal, June 30, 1962. This was a nationally reported story in many newspapers at the time."
To watch the video, see:
Shrinking paper money with ammonia
As usual, readers came up with a pretty convincing answer to a vexing numismatic question. Thanks, everyone.
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
THE MYSTERY OF THE PINT-SIZED DOLLAR BILLS
Wayne Homren, Editor
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