Interesting facts about money that everyone should know
Money is one of the most important elements in the life of every person, regardless of the country of residence, religion, skin color and other factors. To meet at least basic needs, you need food, clothing and a roof over your head – this is only a minimum. Everything needs money. Today we will tell you the most interesting facts about money that you should know.
Yes, a person can get what they want in other ways, but in the vast majority of cases, this requires coins and banknotes. If he wants to live comfortably throughout his life, then he will need considerable sums for this.
Most people do not even think about where the banknotes came from when the coins appeared. And why are they so firmly established in human life. Interesting facts about money will allow you to understand not only their nature. But also the need of society to use such elements.
How and when did money appear?
The first prerequisites for the emergence of such a phenomenon appeared about 8 thousand years BC, when primitive people began to use what they had in abundance in order to purchase scarce products – this is how the beginnings of trade arose. Cattle, cigars, shells, ore, pieces of precious metals, etc. were used for exchange. – amazing money of the first tribes.
However, trade was often delayed due to the need to establish proportions that suited everyone. Therefore, the idea subsequently arose to use items that have a general acceptance among both buyers and sellers.
That is, money in its essence should not carry material value. However, initially people took the opposite position, making coins from precious metals. But later there were paper bills. For 2020, money is what society recognizes as a single equivalent.
Where and when did silver and gold coins first appear?
Studying interesting facts about money, it is impossible not to note the coins. They first appeared in the 18th century BC. The usual shape in the form of a small circle came much later. Initially, coins of a more primitive type were used – small ingots with a certain content of the precious metal.
However, their application in practice was often hampered by the fact that it was problematic to establish the percentage of gold and silver in one unit. In addition, wearing ingots is uncomfortable.
The further development of market relations led to the minting of full-fledged coins – banknotes, for which the form and content of the precious metal are fixed by law. The use of an alloy of gold and silver was first noted in the state of Lydia in the 7th century BC. In Russia, the first coinage took place in the 9th-10th centuries AD.
How did banknotes originate?
If the facts about money in the form of coins do not cause much doubt – they still contained precious metal, they were “weighty", so you can find a logical justification for their use, then in the case of banknotes, everything is somewhat more complicated. But even in this case there is no difficulty in understanding if you know the history.
The widespread use of gold in transactions has made it unsafe for merchants to store and transport coins. At the same time, each time the coinage had to be checked for the percentage of metal content and compliance with weight requirements. To simplify the process, goldsmiths appeared, who deposited coins in secure storerooms against a special receipt confirming that its owner had a certain amount of funds under reliable protection. In fact, these are the first banks.
And then everything is logical – transactions began to be carried out by exchanging goods for receipts, which were then used by sellers to receive coins from a particular "banker".
In what form was money made?
In addition to paper notes and round coins, money was made in various forms:
- Due to the simplicity of production, at first square coins held positions, because it is more difficult to mint round coins in the absence of the necessary equipment.
- In the 2nd century BC, China used "practical" money. So, coins were cast from bronze in the form of cutlery, musical instruments, bells and other trifles.
- In Burma, until the 20th century, they adhered to the traditions of past years, paying with salt and brick tea. Around the same time, bags of cocoa beans were in use in Mexico.
- In ancient Rome, a primitive form was used – small rectangular sticks made of precious metals.
- Sparta used bulky, impractical iron bars, making it difficult to steal and pay bribes.
- The inhabitants of Yap Island in the middle of the Pacific preferred to pay with round stones with a hole in the center. Some of them weighed up to 4 tons.
At different times in different countries, tobacco, rice grains, dried fish, etc. were widely used in transactions. – it was all money.
Why are the edges of the coin notched?
For several centuries, the value of a coin was equated to the amount of metal that was contained in it. In this regard, there was a problem for a long time – scammers cut off small parts from the edges in order to make new money. Gradually, this led to the “depletion” of the coin and the loss of its original value.
To protect against encroachment by intruders, Isaac Newton suggested that the minter of the British Royal Mint make small cuts along the edges. Thus, when trying to cut off a piece of metal, the integrity of the shape of the coin was violated, which was the basis for bringing the holder of money to punishment.
Despite the fact that minting according to new methods is carried out without the use of precious metals, traditions are not violated. Therefore, on the edges of the coin, you can see many small notches that bear the name "edge".
Where did the dollar sign come from?
Interesting facts about the main US money – the dollar, which is one of the main reserve currencies of the world, did not get its famous $ sign from the Americans at all. There are several versions of the origin of the symbol.
One of them, with more evidence, but less popular, says that the symbol comes from the abbreviation of the word "peso" in the plural. As evidence, samples of documents from the 18th century are used, on which the abbreviation Ps was noted in the form of an overlay of a lowercase letter "s" on a capital "P". The last letter was reduced to one and two vertical lines by the end of the 18th century.
Another version – more popular – claims that the dollar symbol was formed from the abbreviation US also by overlay. This option was indicated in the novel Atlas Shrugged. However, the researchers point out that there is no documentary evidence of this version.
What is paper money made of?
Despite the fact that money is called "paper", their production is not based on paper at all. They are made from cotton and linen, the fibers of which contain a minimum of acids, so wear and discoloration is slower. The material is soaked in gelatin, thus providing greater strength. The average service life is about two years. This method of making banknotes is inherent in the countries of the EU, the USA and the UK.
However, the first paper money was made from paper, the production of which used pressed wood pulp. In times of crisis, countries were forced to resort to other materials. For example, in 1574, the Dutch, in an effort to regain independence and get rid of Spain, issued coins from the covers of prayer books. In the late 19th century, state Alaska printed money on sealskin.
How and when did electronic money appear?
The first official cashless period occurred in the US in 1918 with the help of the telegraph. However, this case is one of the few at that time. Officially, the year of the creation of the system of electronic circulation of finance is 1972. During this period, the FBI formed a clearing house, with the help of which a non-cash money exchange should be provided.
But electronic money came into full force with the spread of the Internet in the 90s. However, the development of the system of non-cash transfers did not stop there. Even in the 21st century, more efficient methods of making transactions are discovered almost every year. Developers strive to reduce the time spent on transferring funds and ensure the convenience of the functionality of the services used.
When did faces appear on coins?
The tradition to perpetuate portraits of personalities who contributed to the culture of the country on money originated as early as 44 BC. The pioneers were the ancient Romans. The first person on the coins is the image of Julius Caesar. According to other sources – Alexander the Great. In the 21st century, you can often see a portrait of Elizabeth II on banknotes.
In the USSR, as a rule, Lenin was portrayed. For the first time, his image was used on chervonets in 1937. In 1961, the portrait was transferred to an engraving from a bas-relief. Lenin was used on many denominations: both on paper banknotes and on metal coins.
As for American money, it is allowed to portray only those individuals who have already died. This law applies to both banknotes and coins. It was adopted back in the 18th century and is unlikely to be changed anytime soon. However, in the US there was still an exception regarding Calvin Coolidge.
What is the danger of cash?
You need to know not only interesting stories about real money. But also how dangerous they are. One of the risks concerns the placement of disease-causing microbes on banknotes and coins, which can live on them for up to several months. Money is never stored in sterile clean conditions, while they pass through many hands during their “life”, which leave various bacteria on the material.
And yet, the risk of infection with the active use of coins and banknotes is not so great. Because cash is more likely to help microbes move between continents and acquire antibiotic resistance. However, in some countries dirty money is seen as a serious problem. For example, in Japan, when cash is dispensed through an ATM, bills heat up to two hundred degrees.
No matter how great the risk of contracting an infection through money, it is still there. Therefore, it is recommended to use electronic transfers.
What coins can be called expensive?
Collectors know all about real money, they are often seized with a "money" gambling fever, because of which they spend hundreds of thousands and millions of dollars to purchase rare coins. For example:
- An Edward III florin coin issued in 1343 sold for $6.8 million. Its original cost is 6 shillings.
- Brasher’s doubloon, minted in 1787. The coin depicts the sea in the rays of the setting sun. Sold for $7.4 million.
- The Queller silver dollar, famous for being issued in 1834, although the coin itself bears the date 1804. Due to the limited edition, the buyback value at auction was $3.7 million.
However, the most expensive coin is the Loose Hair silver dollar. It was minted back in 1794. The money depicts a woman whose hair is loose and fluttering in the wind, which personifies the symbol of freedom and serenity – something that is important for the people of America. But the buyout cost was $7.850 million.
Which famous person counterfeited money?
Amazing stories about real money wouldn’t be complete without fake facts. This was done not only by swindlers, poor people or bankers, but also by rulers, philosophers, emperors:
- Diogenes, even before his fame, was engaged in the production of counterfeit money. Judging by the legends, his father was a moneylender, so it was more of a "family business";
- the ruler Polycrates, the tyrant of the island of Samos in the 5th century BC, used coins made of lead and covered with a small amount of gold to protect his lands as a ransom from the soldiers of Sparta;
- in the 19th century, the use of counterfeit coins by the imperial family in recent times in Europe was revealed by the government of the Netherlands. Counterfeit money – gold ducats – was minted at the Mint of St. Petersburg.
In numismatics, there is a direction dedicated only to fakes. Collectors are willing to pay fortunes for them. The older the fake, the more it costs.
Is it possible to sell coins for more than their value?
You can sell money for more than its face value to people who are engaged in collecting. Because they value, first of all, the dissimilarity to other specimens, the strangeness and old age of coins. You can earn a lot for:
- coins with manufacturing defects;
- money, including banknotes, the circulation of which does not exceed hundreds of units;
- coins with cultural value.
There are entire platforms and companies that only buy and sell such money. Often, people themselves try to introduce marriage into a coin in order to sell it for a large amount. Mint employees enter into full-fledged agreements with resellers.
Collecting money is a business that uses various methods of deception. If you want to buy a rare coin, you do not need to try to do it yourself. It is recommended to use the support of knowledgeable persons so as not to run into scammers.
What is bitcoin?
One of the forms of money that appeared relatively recently. Cryptocurrency is not tied to a material standard (coin or banknote). But for its extraction, mining is used: generation due to mathematical calculations. In theory, any computer owner can become the owner of bitcoin by installing a mining program. However, in practice, not everything is so rosy.
To make money, you need a whole system of computers, which means increasing costs not only for acquiring equipment, but also for providing conditions for uninterrupted operation.
States to this currency are "cool". The government has not yet included bitcoin in any of the means of payment. And therefore, when acquiring cryptocurrency, you need to take into account the risks.
This money is attractive growth. In 2013, the exchange rate of bitcoin against the ruble was about 6 thousand 🪙. In 2020 – almost 565 thousand 🪙. Another advantage concerns the lack of binding to a specific currency. Periodically, new crypto-money appears, which have no basis, but such forms do not last long.
Advertising on banknotes – is it possible?
Legislation has not recently restricted the possibility of placing advertisements on banknotes. But still, this method is not popular in marketing, but it works and has its advantages. The central feature of this advertisement is that it is free. Enough banknotes, stamps or pens. There is no need to spend time posting or distributing. Because money flows naturally. This ensures a large audience coverage.
more recently, this method has been used by small microcredit or private service firms. But every year advertising on banknotes becomes less and less effective for one reason – there is a transition to electronic money. Among other things, if a banknote with advertising gets "on the table" of employees of financial and credit institutions, it is recognized as dilapidated and withdrawn from circulation.
How long does money "live"?
The lifetime of banknotes is determined taking into account the intensity of circulation. Banknotes of 50 and 100 🪙 go for recycling in a year, as they are used more often than 500 🪙 – their shelf life is about 1.5 years, or 100 🪙 – about 3 years.
Five thousandth banknotes live for about 5 years. The central reason for withdrawing money from circulation is surface contamination. They are also recycled in the presence of mechanical damage, inscriptions, etc.
The shelf life of coins is 2-3 times longer. But even they are gradually erased with intensive use.
About money – How is old money used?
In each country, out of circulation money is used differently. For example:
- in Germany, banknotes are used to make fertilizer;
- recently, roofing material has been produced, which, according to the assurances of the developers of this material, lasts longer;
- paintings, sculptures and other works of art are created from banknotes. Thus, the artist Anatoly Orlov, with the help of scraps of foreign and many banknotes, was able to achieve the title of "The First Denomination of the Planet";
- collecting – allows you to replenish your pocket;
- handmade crafts – beads, jewelry, money tree, etc.
But often the money is disposed of in a standard way: banknotes are crushed through shredders, the mass enters the boilers, where it is mixed and brought to a homogeneous state. The use of old banknotes on the second round is not possible due to the components. However, the mixture is suitable for the production of building materials.