Cents & Sensibility: Currencies
Some weird and wonderful facts. Sometimes sensible, sometimes may be not.
1 cent was the lowest ever denomination bank note issued in Hong Kong. One-cent notes were first issued in 1941 due to a coin shortage occurred during WWII. To save money they were printed on one side, with the other being blank. Even though coins were eventually introduced, one-cent notes remained very popular for decades. They were finally discontinued in 1995.
Hungary experienced extreme hyperinflation after the WWII. 100 quintillion Pengo was the highest denomination of banknote they produced during the period of rapid devaluation. 100 quintillion is 10^20 that is, 100 million trillion. It was estimated to be worth only US$ 0.20 when first issued. Amazingly, notes with an even higher face value of sextillion (10^21) were printed but never issued. The Pengo was eventually discontinued and was replaced with a new currency called the Forint.
In 2014, Singapore announced that it would stop printing the SG$ 10,000 notes, worth about US$ 8000 at the time, citing concerns about its use in money laundering. Interestingly Brunei also has a $ 10,000 note, which was not discontinued and has the same real value as the Singapore note, making these two the most highly valued banknotes circulating in the world.
In the Caribbean country of Haiti, it is a common practice to price goods in Haitian Dollars. The Haitian Dollars do not actually exist. The official currency is Gourde, which is divisible into 100 Centimes. The Haitian Dollar is a purely imaginary unit of account that is equivalent to five Gourdes. This means that while prices are quoted in Haitian Dollars, people pay for things with Gourdes and Centimes.
The official term for the HEAD side of the coin is ‘obverse’. The official term for the TAILS side of the coin is ‘reverse’. In 11th century, Chinese coins made of copper were called ‘cash’.
According to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System 2013, the life-expectancy of a modern US one-dollar is 5.8 years. On an average, a Dollar bill can be used 8000 times before it wears out. We call dollar a buck because in the frontier days, ‘the pelt of a male deer (buck) was worth a dollar’.
In the African nation of Cameroon in 2005, a trend caught on to use Beer bottle caps as currency, particularly to pay for taxi rides. A brewery started printing prize offers under beer caps as promotional offer. Other breweries started copying this trend, until most beer caps became winners. The taxi drivers in turn began using the caps to offer bribes to traffic police. Coco beans and blocks of tea have been used as money in some parts of the world.
The Bank of England have been producing British bank notes over 300 years but it only since 1970 that famous (non-royal) British characters have appeared on their bank notes. They include- William Shakespeare, Sir Arthur Wellesley, Florence Nightingale, Sir Isaac Newton, Sir Christopher Wren, George Stephenson, Michael Faraday, Charles Dickens and Charles Darwin.
An American worker during the 1880s was paid with an unusual sort of money: Trade Dollar. They contained bit more silver than the usual silver dollars of the time, were made specifically for trade and export to the Orient. When the price of silver declined it is was demonetized in 1876. Because it was demonetized, the Trade Dollar became redeemable only for its weight in silver, which was well below its face value of one dollar.
Sweden is one of the few members of the European Union that does not use the Euro. A referendum held in 2003 resulted in a vote to retain the Swedish Krona, a decision which was acknowledged by the European Union and maintained by Sweden
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