In the black exchange market where the blue dollar is traded illegally, there is a rule: not all bills are worth the same, even if the denomination is identical. In other words, there are $100 bills that are not worth the same as others. And this is simply due to its design, for being “small face” or “big face”.
In the informal exchange market that operates in the City of Buenos Aires, there has been a difference between different issues of the dollar bill for years. For the “small face” dollars you can pay up to 4% less than the “big face” and that is why many savers do not want them.
What are “small face” dollars?
The so-called “small face” dollars are those that were printed in the United States until 1996. On the US$100 bill, Benjamin Franklin is inside an oval frame and, in terms of dimensions, it is smaller compared to later printed versions.
Why are “small face” and “big face” dollars worth differently?
The caves in the City of Buenos Aires pay less for these tickets and also sell them cheaper. Although they are totally legal tender, savers reject them. You get to pay 2% and 4% less because in theory they are “more difficult to move.”
In the “caves” they say that the small faces are also easier to counterfeit and that is why they are reluctant to take them.
The US clarifies about the dollar “small face”
In 2013, the Fed announced on the occasion of the last time they redesigned the bill: “Consumers around the world are advised that it is not necessary to exchange $100 bills from the old design for the new ones. It is the policy of the US Government that all US coin designs remain legal tender regardless of the time of issue.”
The most recent version of the US banknote is the one with a blue band running through it and Franklin’s face appears in the foreground, without the oval. That is the bill called “big head”, and the blue band is an additional security measure that seeks to prevent counterfeiting.
Although there are no “legal” reasons, the “little trees” take the old $100 bills at a discount. The same is true for lower denomination dollars.
In the last hours the Federal Reserve of the United States published a new clarification in this regard. “There is no need to change the old #UScurrency design for newer designs. All #UScurrency maintains its face value, regardless of when it was issued,” warns the official account on US currency.
In another post he insisted: “It is not necessary to trade in old design notes. All #UScurrency remains legal tender, regardless of when it was issued.”
The problem reached the banks
But more situations happen. Something that happens is that the banks became recipients of those bills and now they have most of their stock with a small face. And when they want to deliver them to customers, they reject them.
There are even real estate operators who, as a differential treatment, close deals under the condition that they take both versions at the same value.
In banks, the problem arises when withdrawing, because savers prefer “big face” bills. This is not the case for deposits, since entities have the obligation to accept any type of legal tender.
The solution for the old bills is to send them to the US to be replaced by the new ones, but this operation is hampered by the pandemic.
What to do if I have dollar face girl
Beyond the fact that legally they are worth the same, but that does not happen in the market, there is a way to use the “small face” dollars without being given less for their value.
The main alternative is to resort to banks, not to sell but to deposit. I know in detail.
Deposit in savings account
Ideally, leave the old bills in the machines that are in the branches and wait a few days for them to be returned to you. The bank, for its part, has the obligation to accept them and in general when they replace them they deliver new bills.
It’s important to put attention on, in case of going to the window, this option may fail. It may happen that a bank rejects this type of version.
Another way is to use the debit card and spend the foreign currency. Of course, it is necessary to ask the bank beforehand to cover the consumption with funds from the savings bank in dollars,
Change in the USA
If you are traveling in your country of origin, we advise you to change them there. the same ones accept without distinctionas it is legal tender according to current federal regulations.
A common practice is to go to a casino, buy tokens as if you had the intention of betting, but then redeem them again for tickets, which will probably be of newer series. But also buy in stores, they will not make you any problem with it.
If you like to buy toys, clothes and technological items, this way is for you.
If you are in Argentina and buy in a foreign virtual store, you can pay with your credit card. In this way, in the next summary you will see the amount reflected in dollars, so you can pay at the bank and deliver the “small face” dollarswhich will be taken at full value.
Faced with a transaction, for example real estate, that is blocked because the buyer only has “small face” dollars and the seller does not want to accept them, or asks for compensation, a solution is bank the payment.
I am a 24-year-old writer and journalist who has been working in the news industry for the past two years. I write primarily about market news, so if you’re looking for insights into what’s going on in the stock market or economic indicators, you’ve come to the right place. I also dabble in writing articles on lifestyle trends and pop culture news.