Give Me That Bill Mzansi: Interesting facts about money

20 March 2015
Give Me That Bill Mzansi: Interesting facts about money Image : 348

How much do you know about money? It's history and related terms that we use daily? Have a look at the below and find out some new facts that will enlighten you on the origins of some of the terms we use today relating to money and on how "money" itself has evolved into how we understand it today.

1. Cattle (which include sheep, camels, and other livestock) are the first and oldest form of money. In parts of Africa, cows were used as money until the mid-1900s. Each head of cattle was called a caput, which is Latin for “head.” So, a person with a lot of cattle had lots of caput or “capital,” a word still used today to describe money.

2. Throughout history, people have used many forms of money, such as soap, cocoa beans, elephant tail hairs, entire elephants, grain, animal skins, fishhooks, feathers, tea tobacco, bird claws, and bear teeth.

3. The Romans made their coins in the temple of Juno Moneta, the goddess of marriage and women. From the name Moneta, we get our words “mint” and “money.” The word “money” now refers to anything that can be used to pay for goods and services or to pay a debt.

4. The Romans were the first to stamp the image of a living person on a coin. After winning in war, Julius Caesar featured his portrait on a coin in 44 B.C

5. During the Middle Ages, knights did not want to carry cash around because of robbers. Instead, knights wore special rings. When a knight stayed at an inn, for example, he would stamp the bill with his ring. The innkeeper later took the stamped bill to the knight’s castle to be paid.

6. Not only do money engravers work with incredible precision, but they also have to illustrate backwards. The design they cut into the plates is the mirror image of what it will look like when it is printed. It takes 12-15 years of training to become an engraver.

7. The word “bankrupt” is from the Italian banca rotta, literally “broken bench.” In the years of early banking, people who exchanged, stored, and lent money did their business in the public marketplace at a bench. If the man at the bench, or the “banker,” ran out of money or was unfair, his bench would be broken.

8. A modern coin-counting machine can count 2,500 coins a minute. A bank note-counting machine can tally up 100 bills in 4 seconds. It can also tell what denomination they are and if they are fake.

9. Governments can get money in three ways: 1) print it, 2) borrow it, or 3) collect taxes from their citizens.

10. Before early forms of money were developed, people used to barter, which is a simple form of exchanging goods.

11. The phrase “to pay through the nose” has its roots from the Danes in Ireland. The Danes would slit the noses of the Irish who would not pay a Danish poll tax.

12. The word “buck” as a reference to money dates back to days before paper when Americans traded animal and elk bucks for goods and services.

13. Over 170 different currencies are used around the world today.f

14. The currency most traded around the world is the U.S. dollar. Other heavily traded currencies are the euro, the Japanese yen, and the pound sterling (British pound).

15. The study or collection of money is “numismatics,” which is Greek for “coins in circulation.

(retrieved from http://facts.randomhistory.com/money-facts.html)

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