Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Fun facts about money

1. If you have three quarters, four dimes and four pennies, you have $1.19. You also have the largest amount of money in coins possible without being able to make change for a dollar.
2. Did you know that a quarter has 119 grooves around the edge, and a dime has 118? Do you know the purpose of the ridges on the edges of coins? Without ridges, it is possible to scrape metal off coins without it being obvious. In the days when coins were made of silver or gold, a person could have made a good, but illegal, living from shaving coins and selling the precious metal.
3. During much of the 17th and 18th centuries, the Spanish dollar coin was the unofficial national currency of the American colonies. To make change, the dollar was actually cut into eight pieces or "bits." Thus, came the terms "pieces of eight" from these early times and "two bits" (a quarter) from recent times.
4. The bison on the Buffalo Nickel was from New York City. Named Black Diamond, this bison lived around the turn of the 20th century in the Central Park Zoo.
5. How long do bills last?
The Federal Reserve System lists the following life spans:
$ 1 22 months
$ 5 2 years
$ 10 3 years
$ 20 4 years
$ 50 9 years
$100 9 years
6. Coins usually survive in circulation for about 30 years.
7. Why are U.S. notes green? No one is really sure. However, in 1929, when the Bureau of Printing and Engraving began making smaller size currency, green was continued because pigment of that color was readily available in large quantities. The color was relatively high in its resistance to chemical and physical changes, and green has been psychologically identified with the strong and stable credit of the government.
8. The origin of the dollar sign —$ — has various explanations. Perhaps the most widely accepted is that it is the result of the evolution of the Mexican or Spanish "P's" for pesos. This theory, derived from a study of old manuscripts, explains that the S gradually came to be written over the P, developing a close equivalent to the $ mark. It was widely used even before the adoption of the United States dollar in 1785.

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