Why is a dollar called quid and denoted by the symbol $?.
Why is a dollar called quid and denoted by the symbol $?
The dollar is the most popular currency in the world; According to some (unconfirmed) estimates, up to 50% of all monetary transactions on the planet are made in their dollar equivalent. At the same time, in our digital age, there is still a large number of greenbacks in circulation, commonly called quid.
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The dollar is interesting both from the economic point of view and from the production/exploitation of the banknotes themselves. In this article we will tell you some interesting and little known facts about the US currency.
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How the name “dollar” arose
America at the end of the 18th century was, as it is today, a very international community in which different ethnic groups could use the currencies of their countries of origin. The Dutch used thalers, the English pounds, but the Spanish reales (pesos) were the most widely accepted currencies. However, all silver coins of the time were called thalers or dollars (in the English manner), so after the conquest of independence in 1785, the United States Congress called its own American currency the dollar.
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Why do they call a dollar a pound?
Actually, a dollar is called quid only in Russian-speaking countries, while in the rest of the world “quid” is the plural of “buck”. The most widespread and plausible version is that the etymology of the word is related to the main currency used for trade with the Indians: deer skins (buckskin).
A record from 1744 indicates that the Indians traded 5 quid (ie 5 winter deerskins) for a barrel of whiskey. That same year, the traveler Conrad Weiser recorded in his diary that he had been robbed in Ohio of what he estimated to be £300. It is believed that a winter deer skin or its equivalent was taken as crux: two summer skins (less fluffy), six beaver skins or 12 rabbit skins.
According to another, less popular version, dollars began to be called quid when green-backed notes first arrived in the southern states. Southerners called them “greenbacks,” which became the slang name for the currency.
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How did the “$” sign come about?
There are many more versions, so let’s list those that are at least somewhat close to the truth.
Most scholars are inclined to believe that the “$” is simply an evolved designation for the Spanish pesos. Oliver Pollock, the philanthropist who sponsored the fight of American patriots against the British, used the name PS superimposing the letter “P” on “S” The two vertical stripes represented the Pillars of Hercules, the heights on both sides of the Strait of Gibraltar, that were minted in pesos as two columns.
Later, US Congressman Robert Morris, who received invoices from Pollock, began to use the “$” sign on official documents.
A more trivial version, but no less plausible, could be that the “$” is the letter “U” superimposed on the “S” and has lost its lower part. The abbreviation US/SU could stand for Unified States or Silver Unit.
Naturally, the Judeo-Masonic conspiracy theory was not lacking. According to the hypothesis of the conspiracy theorists, the sign “$” appeared as a reference to the temple of King Solomon and the two bronze columns at its entrance, called Boaz and Jachin.
There are also versions about the origin of the symbol “$” of the British shilling, the word “slave” with the designation of the stocks, the image of the serpent that wraps the cross of Jesus, the sign of the Roman sestretius (HS), etc.
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Interesting facts about the dollar
The dollar is the national currency not only in the US, but also in many other countries, some of which (for example, the Marshall Islands or El Salvador) do not have their own currency and only use the dollar for their payments;
The dollar is not made of paper, but of a fabric composed of cotton (75%), linen (25%), and a small amount of synthetic fiber;
Since the abolition of the $2 bill in 2003, the $1 bill has accounted for approximately 50% of all green cash movement;
The dollar ceased to be backed by the US gold reserve in 1976. Previously, the US government had legislated “In God We Trust” on all notes;
Every day, the US Federal Reserve prints 35 million notes worth about $635 million just to replace the contaminated notes;
The crux, meanwhile, have pretty solid durability, holding up to four thousand folds/deployments. The useful life of a $1 bill is estimated at 22 months, while a $100 bill can withstand about five years of use;
Forensic experts can detect traces of cocaine in 97% of cash dollars. Pablo Escobar is dead, but his case is still alive;
Many prominent American figures have been depicted on dollar bills, but only once has a woman been depicted on a bill (Martha Washington on the 1886 $1 bill), and 100% of the faces are Caucasian.