Friday, February 18, 2011

Money Money Money Money.....MONEY!

You may be asking yourself, "Can money really be considered ephemeral?" And to that I say, it is in MY house! (Cue rim shot).  Thank you!  I'll be here all week!  :D

I guess the short answer is, it depends. 

Our economy, even though it has been through the ringer lately, is still fairly stable.  We've never had one of those crises when the dollar is so devalued that one has to literally carry wheelbarrows full of money to purchase a loaf of bread.  In those cases, I'd call that money ephemeral.

WWII Italian money
 We also haven't witnessed a war on U.S. soil in our lifetimes but when it did happen, like in so many other countries, the money created during those times has become ephemeral (think Confederate money).

Chinese Hell money
 Some cultures create different types of money for ceremonial purposes, like the Chinese do for funerals.  You may have seen "hell" and "heaven" money for sale in Asian grocery stores or in our Chinatowns in larger cities.  Since the money is created to be burned, I'd call that pretty ephemeral.

They pulverize old money now, but the US Treasury used to just cut up or shred old money that had been uncirculated due to age or condition.  If you look online or in older shops you can still find small packets of this money for sale.  I'd say that counts as ephemeral.

Teeny-tiny play money (at right is a real penny!)

And let's not forget play money!  I LOVE play money and I'd beg my mom to get some whenever we'd go to the grocery store - they always sold it in the kiddie section along with all of the other $.99-priced toys.  Sometimes if you got really lucky, you'd get a wad of teeny-tiny dollar bills in the gumball machine.  THAT was a good day.

So yes, money can be ephemeral.

And I love using it in my artwork!  I collect all different types and it's SO versatile! 


  1. Just got some of that teeny vintage play money - will be available soon on SilverCrow and we have lots of the shredded (non-pulverized) US currency - I heard they were gonna stop selling it, so I have way too much...maybe, we'll just have to do something special - any ideas?

  2. I heart play money! I can't wait to see it on your site! :D As for what to do with all of the shredded currency....ideas, ideas.... :D

  3. I've been watching a lot of Pawn Stars (on the HIstory channel) while I've been sick and they've had a lot of different types of money come in. One that fascinated me used an imprint of a leaf as it was too difficult for counterfeiters to emulate. I think the designs on money are fascinating. Btw. I LOVE your blog :)

  4. OOOH - I don't think anyone could go wrong with leaves on money - far more beautiful than dead presidents, in my opinion! :D

    I hope you feel better soon, and thank you so much for your very kind words about the blog! I'm so glad you like it, Polly! :D