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Inventions and Discoveries

Updated on August 28, 2009
Carolina coin
Carolina coin

How the coins got their Names?


There are fascinating stories in the world of money and coins, as to, how these got their name. We consider a few to deal with the subject.


Starting with money, we know, in the ancient Roman times, Juno was the goddess of warning.  The Romans were very grateful to her for warning them of the important dangers.  They made her the guardian of finance andput their mint in her temple.  They called her juno moneta.  ‘Moneta’  came from the Latin word ‘moneo’ meaning ‘to warn’.  Our word ‘Money’ is derived there from.


The word “coin” comes from the Latin word ‘cuneus’ which means “wedge”.  The dies that made pieces of money looked like wedge.  “Dollar” goes back to the days when money was being coined in Bohemia, because of the location of silver mines there.  The mint was established at Joachimsthal and the coins were named Joachimsthaler.  With the passage of time it became ‘thaler’ and finally “dollar”.


Our ‘dime’ comes from the Latin word ‘decimus’ which means tenth.  The cent comes from the French word cent meaning one hundred, and the Latin centum.  The idea was that one hundred cents make a dollar.


Our nickel is so called because it was made of that metal.  The coins of other countries also have interesting histories about their names.  The English  ‘pound’ comes originally the full name was “Libra pondo” or a pound  as a weight.  Originally the full name was ‘Libra Pondo” or a pound by weight.  By the way, that is where the abbreviation ‘LB” for a pound we get.  The Spanish ‘Peso’ and Italian “Lira” also refer to certain weights.


The French “Franc’ come from the Latin words “Francorum Rex” for “King of the Franks”, and that appeared on their first coins.  Peru has a coin called “Sol”.  This is the Spanish name for the Sun.  The Incas of Peru worshipped the Sun long ago.


The word crown, sovereign, Krone, Kroon, Krona and Corana all used as names of coins in different countries, show that some crown authority initially gave permission to make them.  In Panama, the “Balboa” is named in honour of the great explorer, and Venezuela has the “Boilvar” after it’s national hero.


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