You may have heard the term ‘stack’ in reference to a group of paper money, but knowing how much is in a stack can sometimes be a challenge.
Stacks of money are usually sorted into specific amounts, and this is particularly true when that money comes directly from the bank.
Luckily, banks make it easy to tell what bills are used in a stack and how much money the stack is worth.
How much money is in a stack?
How much money is in a stack can vary depending on what denomination the bills are and how many bills are in the stack.
Some bank stacks might be worth $100 while others might be as much as $10,000.
However, the term stack is most commonly used as slang for an amount equaling $1,000.
Usually, a stack of $1,000 is made up of $10 bills, and all stacks of $1,000 given out by the bank will be made up of $10 bills.
How big is a stack?
A United States dollar bill, no matter what the denomination of the bill, is about 0.043 inches thick.
This would mean that a stack of 100 $10 bills is only about 4.3 inches thick.
Because most bank-issued stacks are made up of 100 bills, most stacks are about this large.
Stacks can vary in size depending on how new the bills are. Wrinkles in the bills can mean that a stack appears slightly thicker.
All U.S. dollar bills are 6.14 inches long and 2.61 inches wide, so every stack, regardless of what it’s worth or even how thick it is, will also have these dimensions.
Stack Color Straps
In order to quickly differentiate between different money stack amounts, colored paper bands, called currency straps, are placed around each stack.
An orange strap indicates that the bills are all $1 bills and there are 50 in a stack, equaling $50.
A blue strap indicates that the bills are $1 but there are 100 in the stack.
Green straps are the only straps that can indicate different bill denominations or monetary amounts.
Green can mean that the bills are $1 bills and there are either 200 or 250 in the stack, or the bills could be $2 bills, with 100 in the stack for a value of $200.
A red strap tells you that the bills are $5 and there are 100 in the stack, equaling $500.
Yellow is the color used for the $1,000 stack of $10 bills.
A violet band means the stack is worth $2,000 and is made up of 100 $20 bills.
Brown bands indicate stacks made up of 100 $50 bills for a total worth of $5,000.
Mustard-colored bands indicate stacks made up of $100 bills.
These stacks hold 100 bills for a total amount of $10,000.
A black band means the stack is made up of $100 bills. These stacks have the largest number of bills in them.
They hold 1,000 bills and are worth a total of $100,000.
The idea of using colored straps to organize a stack into a specific amount of money didn’t gain popularity until the 1970s.
Prior to that, currency counters were hired to count and organize money by hand.
Currency straps, however, weigh a specific amount and are just large enough to hold a specific amount of bills, making it much easier to sort paper money.
Stacks of money can also be grouped together in larger denominations. When 10 stacks of money are grouped together, they’re called a bundle.
The value and size of a bundle depend on the denomination and amount of bills in each stack.