This post may contain affiliate links that earn me a small commission, at no cost to you. As always, I only recommend links I personally use and love!
Take a journey through the fascinating world of money, where every coin and bill has a story to tell. Money isn’t just for buying things; it’s filled with history, secrets, and surprising facts. From the curious symbols on banknotes to the unexpected tales behind them, there’s a lot to learn. Get ready to explore and see some cool facts about money that might just surprise you.
The Power of the Penny in Superstition
While the penny might seem insignificant in everyday transactions, it holds a significant place in superstition. The saying “Find a penny, pick it up, and all day long you’ll have good luck” reflects the belief that pennies can bring good fortune. This superstition dates back to ancient times when metals were believed to offer protection from evil. Even today, many people still abide by this tradition, hoping for a bit of luck from a simple coin.
The Penny’s Costly Secret
It might come as a surprise, but it costs more to produce a penny than its actual worth. As of recent years, the cost of producing a U.S. penny has been more than one cent, primarily due to the rising costs of metal.
The “In God We Trust” Controversy
The U.S. motto “In God We Trust” wasn’t always on currency. It first appeared on coins during the Civil War in the 1860s, amidst increased religious sentiment. However, it wasn’t until 1957 that the motto started appearing on paper money, following a law passed in 1955. The inclusion has been a topic of debate and legal challenges over the years, with some arguing it violates the separation of church and state.
The Origin of the Term “Buck”
The term “buck” for a dollar originates from the time when deer skins, or buckskins, were used as a form of currency.
The World’s Largest Banknote
The world’s largest denomination banknote ever printed was the 100 trillion-dollar note from Zimbabwe, issued in 2008 during a period of hyperinflation.
Lifespan of a U.S. Dollar Bill
The average lifespan of a U.S. dollar bill is approximately 18 months before it wears out and needs to be replaced.
Hidden Symbols on U.S. Dollar Bills
The U.S. dollar bill has several hidden symbols and features, including the owl on the upper-left corner of the one-dollar bill, which is a symbol of wisdom.
Money That Grows on Trees
The phrase “money doesn’t grow on trees” has a literal meaning in some places. For example, the Yap Islanders in Micronesia used large stone discs called Rai stones as currency.
Ancient Chinese Paper Currency
The first known paper currency was used in China over 1,000 years ago during the Tang Dynasty. These early banknotes were made from mulberry bark.
The Coined Term “Millionaire”
The term “millionaire” was coined in the late 18th century by French economist Nicolas François Canard, who used it to describe individuals with a net worth of one million units of currency.
Iceland’s Inflation Crisis
In 1944, Iceland experienced such severe inflation that it printed banknotes with a denomination of 1,000,000 Icelandic kronur, which were equivalent to one U.S. dollar at the time.
The World’s Most Valuable Coin
The world’s most valuable coin is the 1933 Double Eagle, a $20 U.S. gold coin. Only 13 are known to exist, and one sold for over $7 million at an auction.
Urine as a Commodity in Ancient Rome
In ancient Rome, urine was collected from public urinals to be used in the tanning industry. Urine was such a valuable commodity that there was a tax on it called “vectigal urinae.”
Lifespan of a Coin
The average lifespan of a typical coin is estimated to be around 30 years before it is taken out of circulation due to wear and tear.
Misquoting the Phrase “Money is the Root of All Evil”
The famous phrase “money is the root of all evil” is often misquoted. The correct quote from the Bible is “For the love of money is the root of all evil.”
The First Credit Card
The world’s first credit card was introduced in 1950 by Diners Club. Initially, it was made of cardboard and was accepted by only 14 restaurants.
The Study of Coins and Currency
The study of currency and coins is called numismatics. Numismatists collect, study, and research coins, banknotes, and other forms of currency.
These weird and interesting facts about money shed light on the diverse and often unexpected aspects of currency and its history, offering a glimpse into the fascinating world of finance and economics.