Money, or rather the exchange of a valued object for another was first mentioned by the Greek philosopher Aristotle in circa 350BC, but the first appearance of the actual form of currency as a coin began somewhere around 1500 BCE. From then on, money as a physical currency that you could carry and exchange for goods and services has been the commonly accepted method of transactions across the world.
And like any other act or commodity, it is and always has been open to scrutiny, abuse and amusement. Here are just a few random facts and oddities about your money and currency around the globe.
Did you know that a mere 8% of all money around the world is actual physical cash
? The rest is digital money or transactions that exist only on computers. Think about PayPal and the new crypto-currencies such as BitCoin
; the day is fast approaching when we will no longer need a wallet or purse.
While physical currency maybe headed into the realm of the antiquated, there are still places that mint money and they’re not just countries. If you've ever been to Disneyland, or ‘world, or any of the other themed parks
, you have likely used "Disney" money. Sadly, the Disney Dollar is no longer used, having ceased distribution and printing in 2016. The Disney Dollars carried anti-counterfeiting features such as micro printing, reflective ink and imprinting on the front and back of the notes and had serial numbers and letters unique to each dollar. They were also glittery.
The US secret service has declared a Peruvian team
as the world’s leading producer of counterfeit dollars. It is also widely believed that North Korea
is responsible for more creating and circulating than $45 million dollars’ worth of dollars from the 1970s onwards.
And it’s not just notes that are susceptible to forgery. The new £1
is laden with anti-counterfeiting measures. Do you know why coins have ridges along their outside? It’s as a precaution against counterfeiting and has a fascinating history – read here
Some countries have removed coins of lower denomination from production and circulation for very valid reasons; mostly because they are bulky or of little value. Australia decided that their currency could be recycled and put to use once more. In 1992, the Australian authorities collected and melted down their 1 and 2 cent coins and in reused the bronze to fashion the bronze medals
for the Sydney Olympics in 2000.
Notes known as ‘Giants’ or ‘Titans’ are held by the banks in Scotland and Ireland and carry a value of anywhere between £1million and £100 million.
While in the US of A, the largest dollar bill ever printed by their Bureau of Engraving and Printing was the $100,000 gold certificate, printed in 1934 and carried the image of President Woodrow Wilson, but it was only ever used for bank to bank transactions.
To identify the year in which a coin is minted, the Royal Mint (UK) stamps a date of production on the side, but once in a blue moon, there’s a mistake.
In 2009 the ‘Mint’, mistakenly allowed some 20 pence coins into circulation without dates. Approximately 200,000 were issued for public use. From time-to-time one of these coins appears on an auction website and usually for many times their actual monetary value.
If you’re in the market for some currency, foreign currency
that is, do feel free to visit us in branch and we will happily exchange your currency or simply order online.