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Birthplace of the Dollar

By Linda Tancs

The U.S. dollar is the most widely used currency in the world. Do you know where it originated? The U.S. is obviously far too easy an answer. And wrong. To find its origin you’ll need to go to the unassuming Czech town of Jáchymov near the German border. Over 500 years ago the town minted the first Joachimsthaler coins, the predecessor of the U.S. dollar. Its high-purity silver content (derived from the mines in the region, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site) made it a popular currency that spread across Europe and was renamed locally. The word “dollar” closely resembles the German thaler and the Dutch leeuwendaler. In fact, the Dutch colonists brought their coin to New Amsterdam (the colony at the southern tip of New York City), where it eventually became the nation’s official currency.

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2 Comments»

  Eromonsele Emmanuel wrote @

Never heard this story about the Dollar before, thanks Linda!

  Linda Tancs wrote @

You’re welcome!


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