A “ton of money”: how much is that?

How much is a ton of money? Yes, it is 2,000 pounds but what is the value?

I recently heard a commercial talk about “a ton of money”.  As a Michigan State University Extention educator this led me to wonder how much is a ton of money? Yes, it is 2,000 pounds but what is the value? Of course, it depends upon the denomination of the bill or coin but still made me curious.

A US penny weighs 2.5 grams each: so a ton of pennies would be worth only \$363.54. While over \$350 is a considerable sum, that is not what I thought about from the phrase of a ton of money.

Quarters weight 5.67 grams each, so a ton (2,000 pounds) of quarters would be worth \$4007. If we move up to dollar coins (weighing 8.1 grams each), a ton of dollar coins would be worth \$11,200. These are considerable funds but hardly enough to think about buying a new car or house, let alone enough to consider early retirement.

However, a ton (U.S.) of one dollar bills (490 bills in a pound) would be worth approximately \$980,000 while a ton of one hundred dollar bills would be worth \$98,000,000. So, the value of a ton of paper bills is worth a great deal of money; enough to consider early retirement with a considerable nest egg.

The bottom line is that when someone says they can save or give you a ton of money, it might be worthwhile to ask what denomination they are talking about; under \$400 in pennies or \$98 million in \$100 dollar bills.