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10 interesting facts about money
How money came to be
The term Money was believed to have originated from the Roman mythological Goddess named Juno Moneta who, at the time, was worshiped as the protectress of funds or resources. The concept of money however might have dated back some 2500 years ago through trading or bartering.
There came a time when 3 friends; James, John and Joseph needed something from one another but didn't have the item to trade it with. James owns a herd of cattle, John owns sacks of grains, and Joseph a barnful of wood. James wanted to trade a cow to John for a sack of grain , but the latter didn't need a cow. He wanted wood. So James went to Joseph to trade his cow for wood and as soon as he did, he went over to John and everyone was happy. However, they soon got tired of the system and came up with idea of having an object -- perhaps some nice shiny pebbles -- as a substitute for their goods whenever they needed to trade with one another. They all agreed and found the system to be very convenient. This could have been the earliest conception and usage of money.
Eventually, money evolved from pebbles to what we are now very familiar with. Still, there are some trivial information that we may be unaware of as far as paper bills and coins are concerned.
1. A mile of pennies laid out is $844.80.
The United States' one-cent coin measures 19.05 mm (0.750 in) in diameter. By this standard, America is about $2.5 million wide, coast to coast and the Earth.... well the Earth is worth $21,036,829.44 at the Equator. Try weighing these coins in one pallet and you're looking at over 5,000 tons!
2. 1943 Lincoln Cent
More on pennies. Did you know that this particular specimen is considered as one of the rarest coins in America?
According to ABC news, the penny was erroneously made of bronze instead of the intended zinc-coated steel and was released in circulation. The United States mint switched from bronze planchets (or metal disks) to zinc-coated steel because copper, which was used to produce bronze, was needed during World War II. It wasn't clear though how many coins have been released in error.
The most interesting thing about it is, this rare 1943 Lincoln penny sells for $1 Million. I guess it's time to dig into those old coin collections.
3. The world's largest coin
If you think coins can be easily lost at any given time, then think again. The world's largest coin was revealed in Australia to commemorate the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. It measures 31 inches in diameter and almost 5 inches thick. This gargantuan coin made of pure gold weighs in at over a ton. It has the Queen's image on one side and a kangaroo on the other. It's value is 1 million Australian Dollars.
By now, they should be in the process of making the world's largest coin purse.
4. The most counterfeited money
Enough about coins for now. Do you what the most counterfeited paper bill is? Yes, it's the $100 bill. It looks like Ben Franklin still has a way with people until now. Since this banknote has owns the record of being faked, it is safe to assume that it is the most popular bill out there. Time to check your wallets folks, here's a video of spotting fake Benjamins.
5. The weight of paper bills
One $100 bill would weigh approximately 1 gram. Doesn't seem much if you're just talking about a handful of these banknotes. A million dollars would weigh 10 kilograms -- all 10,000 pieces of them. Still a little light? Maybe. Then try to imagine 10 million pieces of $100 dollar bills stacked in pallets and the scales will definitely tip out of place. We are looking at 10 tons of worth of money. So if anyone has plans of robbing a bank alone for 1 billion dollars in paper bills, then forget it.
Now if a billion dollars worth of $100 bills weigh 10 tons, how much do you think it would weigh if it were pennies?
6. The world's largest paper bill in terms of size
The Philippine Government created and officially released 100,000 peso bills back in June 1998 to commemorate its one hundred years of independence from the Spanish rule. The government issued only 1,000 pieces of these banknotes. To make things more memorable, the paper bill measured 8.5 inches x 14 inches - about the size of an A4 bond paper.
If this is the size used to commemorate the first centennial of independence, wait til you see the second centennial celebration.
7. The world's smallest banknote
From the world's largest, we now jump into the world's smallest. The Ministry of Finance of Romania issued the smallest ever paper money in the form of a 10-bani note in 1917. It measured (printed area) 27.5 mm x 38 mm or 1.08 inches x 1.49 inches.
It looks a little cute but it can be easily mistaken as a stamp. Counterfeiters of this bill at the time could have had a rather difficult time faking these.
8. The world's oldest surviving paper bills
The world's oldest surviving banknotes came from China. It is believed they were the first civilization to make use of paper money. The earliest surviving notes were from the Chin Dynasty dated around 1115 to 1234 AD and can be seen in some museums. The Ming and Yuan Dynasties' 1 Kuan are also one of the few surviving paper bills and was believed to have been used somewhere around 1335 to 1340 AD. It measured 8.75 inches x 13.25 inches and was recorded as the largest banknote until the 100,000 Philippine Peso bill took its place.
9. The future of money
From ancient to space age we now delve into what money would look like in the future. Presenting the Quasi Universal Intergalactic Denomination, or simply known as the QUID. This was the proposed "space currency" to be used by space tourists. Unlike coins which have sharp edges and could be unsafe for space travel, the QUID doesn't have any. As for credit cards, scientists perceived that magnetic strips and chips may not work well in environments with high levels of radiation. The proposed currency is patterned after the planets, thus depicting our solar system.
10. Monetary Bacteria
Remember when our parents used to forbid us from holding bills and coins when we were young? There seems to be a scientific basis behind that. Researchers analyzed 68 old, worn-out bills and found out that 13% of these specimens can cause infections to perfectly healthy individuals, while 87% of which could cause an infection in anyone with a compromised immune system (such as HIV and cancer).
On top of that, on a different research, about 13% of coins and 42% of bills test positive for unpleasant bacteria, such as fecal bacteria. This absolutely gives a whole new color to the phrase "filthy rich".
So if someone dared you to put your money where your mouth is, feel free to say no.