Care to help the U.S. government dig itself out of debt by buying new dollar bills for $5.95 each? Me neither but these aren't just any dollar notes, they feature “lucky” serial numbers beginning with “8888” and they're packaged in attractive red & gold folders to celebrate the upcoming Year of the Snake.
Since 8am on November 15th, 2012, the U.S. Department of the Treasury has been offering these great-looking “lucky money product ,” as they call it, with a limit of 88,888 notes being prepared. Since the “Year of the Snake” in the Chinese horoscope is associated with good fortune and prosperity, giving someone such a gift is a great way to relay your fond wishes for their financial success in the New Year.
The Bureau of Engraving and Printing is no stranger to the business of selling money – they've offered similar gift folders in previous years. That's U.S. Treasurer Rosie Rios at left introducing last year's “Year of the Dragon” lucky money collection.
The U.S. Treasury is into these Chinese-themed money products in a big way. They offer generic lucky money folders that have no connection to a Chinese horoscope year yet still include the exclusive “8888-” serial numbers, and a series of notes with serial numbers beginning with the numerals “168” which stand for Prosperity Forever.
Getting back to the current issue of Year of the Snake lucky note folders, they sell for $5.95 each but volume discounts are available: $4.50 each for orders of 50 to 999, and just $3.95 each for orders of 1,000 or more. Each folder is designed to evoke Chinese symbolism and feature gold foil highlights on a rich vermillion background.
The banknotes themselves are crisp uncirculated Federal Reserve $1 notes whose one distinguishing feature is a serial number beginning with the numerals “8888”. As the number 8 is symbolic of good luck in business and finance, a quadruple-8 note is very lucky indeed! (via the U.S. Department of the Treasury and ECNS)