Facts About Money

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

2. Cattle (which include sheep, camels, and other livestock) are the first and oldest form of money. 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.

3. The Romans made their coins in the temple of Juno Moneta. From that name Moneta, derives the words “mint” and “money.”

4. Early Romans used salt as a form of money. In fact, the word “salary” comes from sal, which means “salt” in Latin.

5. In Old English “pygg” was a type of clay that was used to make jars and dishes that held money. The word eventually morphed into “piggy bank.”

6. 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.

7. Governments can get money in three ways:
(A) Print it,
(B) Borrow it, or
(C) Collect taxes from their citizens.

8. Over 170 different currencies are used around the world today.

9. The word “coin” is from the Latin word cuneus for “wedge” because the dye for stamping metal coins was wedge-shaped.

10. It wasn’t until 1963 that the motto “In God We Trust” appeared on U.S. paper currency.

Today, most money isn’t in the form of bills or coins. It is information held in computers at businesses and banks.

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