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This is because Americans were used to dealing in quarters at the time the denomination was chosen. During the colonial period, a common unit of currency was one eighths of a Spanish real de a ocho. Since each of these Spanish dollars were worth eight Spanish reales it was habitual to divide the eight-real coin into 12.5% wedges known as bits. Two of these ...


I originally thought it was because of best way to reduce number of coins needed before I read Semaphore's answer. I thought it was designed this way due to efficiency: for example at all values between 0 and 1 dollar that ends in 0 or 5 5 cent = 1 coin 10 cent = 1 coin 15 cent = 2 coins 20 cent = 2 coins (1 coin if using 5/10/20) 25 cent = 1 coin (2 ...

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