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Video:Tips for Touring the Bureau of Engraving and Printing

with Holly Deambrosi

The Bureau of Engraving and Printing creates money and features rare bills and coins. Here are some tips for touring the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Washington, D.C.See Transcript

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Transcript:Tips for Touring the Bureau of Engraving and Printing

Your momma always told you that money doesn't grow on trees. As usual, she was right. Money gets printed at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.

Many Money-Related Exhibits at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing

To begin your free tour, step inside and encounter a stack of 10-dollar bills that amounts to a million dollars. Savor the moment -- you'll probably never get that close to so many Alexander Hamiltons again.

If you had a stack of 100-dollar bills as tall as you, how much money would that be? Step up to this wall and find out. What's the story behind the $100,000 Gold Certificate? Printing money involves grooves on plates and ink on paper. An introductory movie will show you exactly how it gets printed.

Watch How Money Is Made at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing

As you move on to the gallery above the money factory, you'll see the process unfolding: first sheets of carefully made paper, then multiple layers of printing, stacks of legal tender, workers preparing the bills for shipment to the Federal Reserve for circulation. Every sheet must be printed exactly right.

You know the currency isn't valid yet, but there's something spectacularly horrifying about seeing a misprinted sheet of 20-dollar bills earmarked for the shredder. The gift shop itself is worth a visit to the Bureau. Swing by and purchase a bag of shredded notes as a souvenir of your visit.

Location and Ticket Info for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing

The building is on 14th street between the Washington Monument and the Jefferson Memorial. No tickets are required from September through February. During peak season from March through August, pick up your free, same-day tickets at the Raoul Wallenberg Place before they're gone, usually by 8:30 a.m.

If you want to sleep in that morning, request tickets well in advance through the office of your local United States Senator or Representative. And while you're online, visit moneyfactory.gov to learn more about the tour. Enjoy your tour of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. Just don't plan on getting any free samples at the end.

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