68 votes

Has there ever been a non-rectangular banknote?

Regular banknotes, issued in "normal times" and made from paper are practically all rectangular and without holes. But there were a couple of times when people remembered that anything can be "money",...
LаngLаngС's user avatar
  • 80.9k
47 votes

How confusing was British currency compared to decimal currency circa 1850?

[Another] question quotes Terry Prattchett as: "The British resisted decimalized currency for a long time because they thought it was too complicated." Is this a fair comparison with its ...
Graham Nye's user avatar
36 votes
Accepted

What did Canadians use to pay for goods or services between 1871 and 1935?

They paid with the coins and banknotes issued by chartered banks, and also by the Canadian government directly. The 1935 date only refers to when the Bank of Canada, created in 1933, started issuing ...
Spencer's user avatar
  • 5,325
32 votes
Accepted

Please help identify these old coins found in Germany?

They are specifically Spanish 2 Escudo Doubloons minted between 1651 to 1773, or modern replicas - as they are identical, it would seem to suggest the latter. This Amazon seller 🕑 appears to have ...
IronEagle's user avatar
  • 434
28 votes

Can someone identify this banknote?

This is a Taiwanese bankote with a face value of TWD $10. It depicts Dr Sun Yat-sen with the Presidential Office in Taipei on the reverse. The text says "Bank of Taiwan", the issuing authority, and "...
Semaphore's user avatar
  • 97.5k
28 votes
Accepted

How did people cut "pieces of eight"?

The usual method was with a hammer and a cold chisel. A large stone would suffice as an anvil. Coins are fairly small and thin, and the silver coins of the period were quite soft, as you can see from ...
John Dallman's user avatar
  • 31.6k
27 votes
Accepted

What era is this German 10 DM banknote from?

The design is that of the "sailing ship" 10 Deutsche Mark note, a banknote first issued in 1960. The front features a 16th century painting by Lucas Cranach the Elder. On a real version of the note, ...
Semaphore's user avatar
  • 97.5k
24 votes
Accepted

When and where were the first coins made showing the currency or a face value?

Edit 2: If symbols and punches count as a means of communicating a coin's denomination, then this article by Koray Konuk, which was published in the Oxford Handbook of Greek and Roman coinage, would ...
Denis de Bernardy's user avatar
23 votes

Has there ever been a non-rectangular banknote?

Here are a couple of square banknotes. The first one is also possibly unique in that it is one-sided. "A small square shaped and rather scarce very good or much better banknote from Argentina. This ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
23 votes
Accepted

What's the reason behind the 17th century tradition of British monarchs being depicted on coins facing in the opposite direction to their predecessor?

I find the answer given by news outlets to be insufficient, as it still does not answer what the symbolic meaning or reason behind this tradition that began with Charles II is. And correctly so, ...
Mark Johnson's user avatar
  • 9,696
21 votes

Please help identify these old coins found in Germany?

Note As @Volker Siegel said in the comments: Do not try to clean them any further. Dirt and patina may reduce the value somewhat, but traces of cleaning much more so. I am certain this is a ...
Tom Sol's user avatar
  • 2,257
19 votes

What coin is this? Arabic: 10 Fulus, over crossed wheat and lead

According to Jamila's Coins and Notes Collection blog, this is a modern iraqi coin from 1981. Here's a photo showing the front and back of that coin: I've found it on on Jamila's blog, with an ...
tohuwawohu's user avatar
  • 3,346
16 votes

What era is this German 10 DM banknote from?

This is an addition to Semaphore's answer: This is the 10 D-Mark note of the third edition of the Deutsche Mark, the Gemäldeserie BBk I (1961) (painting series). It was designed by the Swiss ...
Thorsten S.'s user avatar
  • 5,166
15 votes

Need help identifying 2 old coins? Struck coins, one with two standing human figures facing each other

The first coin doesn't have much detail to go by. But the second coin looks like it might have two soldiers standing with banners. Some Roman coins have that. Here's an example of a coin with ...
Denis de Bernardy's user avatar
15 votes
Accepted

When did the US colonies/states stop making their own currencies?

Article I of the U.S. Constitution states: Section 8. The Congress shall have power ... To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin .... Section 10. No state shall ...; coin money; ...
Pieter Geerkens's user avatar
15 votes

Which is the oldest, still current, government debt?

The definition of government debt is a bit problematic. What, exactly, constitutes a debt being "of the government" when we are looking at time frames much longer than most governments? I ...
DevSolar's user avatar
  • 13.9k
14 votes

How did currency exchange work in the Middle Ages, especially if the coins are not recognized?

In principle, a coin is worth its value in precious metal, plus or minus what the locals think of the issuing authority. So an unknown silver coin weighing half an ounce would be worth 'half an ounce ...
Tim Lymington's user avatar
14 votes
Accepted

Were North African silver certificates actually printed in 1935?

Were they actually printed in 1935 and reserved for a niche use like this, ... No, since the '1935' does not relect the date it was printed, but the year it was designed. At the time in most ...
Mark Johnson's user avatar
  • 9,696
13 votes

Can you tell me about this coin? श्री महेन्द्र वीर विक्रम शाहदेव 2012. i.e in English Sri Mahendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev 2012

This coin is from Nepal and belongs to King of Nepal Sri Mahendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev and came in existence in Vikrami Samvat 2012 (Gregorian calendar-1955). letters inscribed are:- श्री महेन्द्र ...
Explorer's user avatar
  • 682
13 votes

How confusing was British currency compared to decimal currency circa 1850?

Here is a comparison chart with rough equivalences between coin values. I've matched coins at an approximate ratio of "1£ : $4" as covering both coin ranges and approximating the exchange ...
Pieter Geerkens's user avatar
11 votes
Accepted

Why did the USSR have two sources of currency?

In 1922, the Soviet economy was suffering from high inflation and the government introduced a new gold-backed currency called Chervonets which was equivalent of the old Russian imperial gold coin of ...
AlexD's user avatar
  • 225
10 votes
Accepted

Why did some colonies of the British Empire have their own currencies?

Would it not be more convenient to have all colonies use the same currency? Convenient for whom? Remember, this is an era (depending on exactly when we're talking) when crossing an ocean takes days, ...
Schwern's user avatar
  • 55.2k
10 votes
Accepted

What time period did these notes come from?

The first set is a Japanese 10-yen banknote issued in 1946, during Allied occupation of Japan. The second set is a one peso banknote issued in 1943 in occupied Philippines by the Japanese government. ...
Semaphore's user avatar
  • 97.5k
9 votes

How can the value of older currencies be expressed in modern units? How is the conversion rate calculated?

It would be inadequate if there weren't so much data collected over the centuries. The Roman Empire is a very well documented period. There are detailed price lists on what the Romans thought was ...
Ricky's user avatar
  • 3,435
9 votes

Is this a Caesar silver coin?

It is a Caesar denarius minted in 49 BC. This was the first type of coin Caesar had minted. The obverse is an elephant trampling a snake with CAESAR beneath. The reverse features the fetishes of the ...
Tyler Durden's user avatar
  • 37.9k
9 votes
Accepted

How did the Mesopotamian clay tokens known as bulla actually work to maintain authenticity?

From Wikipedia: In their oldest attested form, as used in the ancient Near and Middle East of the 8th century BCE onwards, bullae were hollow ball-like clay envelopes that contained other smaller ...
Brian Z's user avatar
  • 19.6k
8 votes

How can the value of older currencies be expressed in modern units? How is the conversion rate calculated?

The value of a currency at any time is measured by a figure called the Consumer Price Index: this takes into account the price of lots of different things and comes up with a single figure for that ...
Max Williams's user avatar
8 votes

What were the types of currency used in ancient Mesopotamia?

First, it is important to understand that the economic system of ancient Mesopotamia was something much closer to a barter system than a modern market. Money did exist, but not in the fully ...
Brian Z's user avatar
  • 19.6k
8 votes
Accepted

What events led to the Aztecs and Mayans adopting cocoa beans as a currency?

It's a stretch to say that the barter economy was "replaced" with a "cocoa bean economy". However, cocoa beans were certainly an important trade item, and appear to have taken on ...
Brian Z's user avatar
  • 19.6k

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