Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The dollar is the name of the official currency in several countries, dependencies and other regions (see list below), including the US dollar, the world's most widely circulated currency (see list below). It is represented by the symbol $.
The name is related to the historic currencies Tolar in Bohemia, Thaler in Germany, Daalder in the Netherlands and Daler in Sweden, Denmark and Norway. The name thaler (from thal, "valley") originally came from the German Guldengroschen ("great gulden", being of silver but equal in value to a gold gulden) coins minted from the silver from a rich mine at Joachimsthal (St. Joachim's Valley) in Bohemia (then part of the Habsburg Empire). The name Spanish dollar was used for a Spanish silver coin, the peso, an eight-real coin, which was widely circulated during the 18th century in the Spanish colonies in the New World. The use of the Spanish dollar and the Maria Theresa thaler as legal tender for the early United States is the reason for the name of the nation's currency. The word dollar was in use in the English language for the thaler for about 200 years prior to the American Revolution. Spanish dollars, or "pieces of eight" as they were called, were in circulation in the 13 colonies that became the United States and legal tender in Virginia.
Currencies styled "dollar"
Australian dollar, Barbados dollar, Bahamian dollar, Belize dollar, Bermuda dollar, Brunei dollar, Canadian dollar, Cayman Islands dollar, East Caribbean dollar, Fijian dollar, Guyanese dollar, Hong Kong dollar, International dollar, Jamaican dollar, Liberian dollar, Namibian dollar, New Zealand dollar, Singapore dollar, Solomon Islands dollar, Suriname dollar, New Taiwan dollar, Trinidad and Tobago dollar, Tuvaluan dollar , United States dollar, Zimbabwe dollar.
The dollar sign
The origin of the "$" sign has been variously accounted for. Perhaps the most widely accepted explanation, according to the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing, is that it is the result of the evolution of the Mexican or Spanish "Ps" for pesos, or piastres, or pieces of eight (there is also a separate theory that the dollar sign derives from the number 8). This theory, derived from a study of old manuscripts, explains that the floating "S" gradually came to be written over the "P," developing a close equivalent at the top to a distinct "$" mark. Subsequently, a single vertical stroke in place of the "P" became all that was necessary in written form. The symbol was widely used before the adoption of the United States dollar in 1785.
Currency bags issued by the US Mint were marked with a similar sign of superimposed letters. The letters U and S superimposed resemble the historical double stroke "$" sign. This double stroke dollar sign has been used to refer to US Currency.
Another possible origin (as found in a Danish book about this sign) is the Pillars of Hercules. When King Ferdinand in 1492 finally was able to put Gibraltar under the new joined rule of the Spanish throne, he adopted the symbol of the Pillars of Hercules and added the Latin phrase Ne plus ultra – indicating the end of the (known) world. But as Christopher Columbus later the same year discovered The Americas, the saying was changed to Plus ultra – as there was more out there.
This symbol was especially adopted by Charles V and was a part of his coat of arms as a symbol of his American possessions and riches. And when the Spanish conquistadors found gold and silver in the new world, Charles V's symbol was stamped on the coins made from this. These coins with the Pillars of Hercules were spread around America and Europe, and the symbol was ultimately adopted by the country that become the United States and by many of the continent's other independent nations. really adopted this symbol.
Later on salesmen wrote signs, that instead of saying dollar, had this handwritten symbol. And in turn this developed to the simple S with two vertical bars.
Currencies that use (or did use) the dollar symbol
Australian dollar, Barbados dollar, Bahamian dollar, Belize dollar, Bermuda dollar, Brunei dollar, Canadian dollar, Cayman Islands dollar, East Caribbean dollar, Fijian dollar, Guyanese dollar, Hong Kong dollar, International dollar, Jamaican dollar, Liberian dollar, Namibian dollar, New Zealand dollar, Singapore dollar, Solomon Islands dollar, Suriname dollar, New Taiwan dollar, Trinidad and Tobago dollar, Tuvaluan dollar , United States dollar, West Indies dollar, Zimbabwe dollar,
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