Perhaps the only money that has ever interested you is the money in your wallet–Washingtons, Lincolns, Hamiltons, Jacksons, Grants, and in some lucky cases, Franklins. We recognize those faces on our money because of the great deeds they have done for the United States.
There are many other currencies in the world that have their own unique histories. Here are a few things you might not have known about various foreign currencies.
The Dong has been deemed the least valuable currency in the world. Not because it won’t buy you anything, but because it takes so many units of the currency for you to buy anything. Think about it this way: You need 21,191 Vietnamese dongs to make up one U.S. dollar.
Chilean Peso notes come in $1000, $2000, $5000, $10,000, and $20,000 values. The $500 notes ceased circulation many years ago, and are now quite rare. Despite their rarity, they are still worth their printed value and can be used as legal tender. However, if you find one, it may be profitable for you to pocket it and see if it gains value in later years.
The 5 Yen coin is a bright yellow color because it has a high concentration of zinc in the metal. The zinc content, along with the common use of the coin, created a simple, random way of measuring radiation inside people’s homes and businesses during the 1999 nuclear accident in Tokaimura.
Another interesting fact is that some Japanese coins, like the 5 Yen, have holes in the middle. This is to help save on material costs, make it harder to counterfeit, and to help people tell the money apart by touch.
If you ever come across a Singapore $100 note, check the back. The entire national anthem is printed in microtext.
India was one of the first countries that issued coins, dating back to 6th century BC. Though Indian currency has gone through many changes, it is still called the rupee, a name adopted by many other currencies for its meaning: “shaped, impressed coin.”
As per usual, the Egyptians had a unique, and awe-inspiring version of trade and bartering for their monetary system in ancient times. Of course times evolved and after they stopped using coins in the early 1900s, they developed a system involving watermarks and metallic threads in an effort to stop counterfeiting, which many other countries use as well.
It might be well worth it for you to check out more of the interesting histories behind foreign currencies by obtaining it for yourself. Check out our Buy Currencies tab to see more options and information regarding our foreign currency selection.