The United Nations recognizes 180 currencies. These 180 currencies are used in 195 countries around the world. While some countries, such as Zimbabwe, adopt another nation's currency for their daily transactions, there are also many countries that have different currencies that share the same name. For example, 22 countries use the dollar. Aside from the United States, Canada, and Australia, the Eastern Caribbean, Hong Kong, Namibia, Taiwan, and 15 other countries also call the dollar their currency.
The 180 currencies recognized by the UN do not include historical currencies. The average person alive today would never have seen the Canadian pound or the Texan dollar in circulation. However, the typical European most likely came into contact with their country's former currency. An Italian citizen over the age of 25 would have spent a lira at some point in their life because the currency wasn't completely discontinued and replaced fully by the euro until 2002.
On January 1, 1999, the euro became the currency of the then-11 member Eurozone. These 11 countries agreed to use the euro as their shared currency. Currently, 19 of the European Unions members are part of the Eurozone. There are also four non-EU countries that use the euro. More countries are expected to switch to the euro sometime in the future.
Are you a world traveler who has experience with currencies? Do you collect currencies from around the globe? Challenge yourself with this quiz and find out how much you know.
In 2016, the British pound sterling was the fourth most traded currency in the world. The top three currencies in order were the United States Dollar, the euro and the Japanese yen. In 2016, 12.8 percent of all currency trades took place with the British pound.
During the existence of the Soviet Union, the official currency was called the Soviet ruble. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, only Transnistria, Russia and Belarus kept the ruble as the name of their official currencies.
Due to German inflation, the Deutsche mark was replaced with the Rentenmark in 1924. Under Nazi rule, the official currency changed to the Reichsmark. After World War II, West Germany switched to the Deutsche mark, which would become the official currency of a united Germany.
The Franc originally referred to a specific coin that was introduced by King John II. In 1360, the coin had the words "Johannes Dei gratia Francorum rex" on the face. The obverse side had a rendering of the king on horseback, which gave the coin the name franc "à cheval." Later coins were also called francs.
Mexico's first coins were called the Charles and Juana type. The name comes from the King and Queen at the time, Queen Doña Juana and her son Charles I. Their names in Latin are on the front of the coin.
As of December 20, 2016, Denmark stopped printing its own paper currency. The country had been making its own currency for 1,000 years. The last banknotes were printed at Danmarks Nationalbank at Havnegade, which is located in Copenhagen.
Yen takes its name from Chinese yuan. The first yen were printed in 1869 but were not adopted as the basic unit of currency until 1871. Today, banknotes are issued in denominations that range from 1,000 to 10,000 yen.
The Chinese currency has two names. Its official name is "renminbi," which means "the people's currency." "Yuan" comes from a unit of renminbi. However, Chinese people will use the word "kuai," which is roughly equivalent to the U.S. "buck" or UK "quid."
In the late 16th century, the Mughal dynasty, which ruled northern and central India, introduced the silver rupee as currency. The modern rupee was introduced in 1948. Rupee is derived from the Sanskrit word for silver.
Each year, the Royal Canadian Mint prints over 1 billion coins for circulation. Every coin is minted at a plant in Winnipeg. Since 1908, the coins have featured the face of the British monarch.
The nine legal currencies in Zimbabwe are the U.S. dollar, Australian dollar, British pound, euro, Japanese yen, Chinese yuan, Botswana pula, South African rand, and the Indian rupee. In 2016, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe released bond notes, which can only be used in the country and considered a pseudo-currency.
The drachma was a coin in ancient Greece. After Greece became independent from the Ottoman Empire, the country used the phoenix for four years. In 1832, the monetary unit of Greece was renamed the drachma.
On May 14, 1984, the Royal Australian Mint introduced the one dollar coin. The coin replaced the one dollar note, which had a short life. The coin is 92 percent copper, 6 percent aluminum, and 2 percent nickel.
Afghanistan's citizens are properly referred to as Afghans. If you are referring to something made in Afghanistan or of Afghanistan, the proper word is still Afghan. Afghani specifically refers to the nation's currency.
Argentina suffers from hyperinflation. In 2018, the Argentine peso was worth approximately one forty-seven-trillionth of its value in 1940 when compared to the United States dollar.
Italy used the lira from 1961 to 2002. It came in denominations ranging from 1,000 to 500,000. On the 1,000 lire note was Maria Montessori, who created the educational system that now bears her name.
The United Arab Emirates dirham, which is officially abbreviated AED, was first used in 1971. It replaced the Dubai Riyal, which replaced the Gulf Rupee. The nation's first currency was called the Bahraini dinar.
When the Swiss Franc was introduced in 1850, it was on par with the French franc. Fifteen years later, it became part of the Latin Monetary Union with France, Belgium and Switzerland.
The South African rand is issued by the South African Reserve. Coins are minted in denominations from 5 cents to 50 rands. Banknotes are available in 10 to 200 rand, which are printed with a rhinoceros and a leopard respectively.
South Korea has used some version of the won for thousands of years. In 1910, Korea was under Japanese rule and replaced the won with the Korean yen. After World War II, the currency reverted to its former name.
The first type of Laos kip was issued from 1945 to 1946. The following year, Laos went to the French Indochinese piastre. In 1952, Laos returned to using the kip, but this time it was called the royal kip.
While American tourists to Jamaica will find that their native currency is accepted in tourist spots, most Jamaican merchants away from areas with heavy tourism only accept the Jamaican dollar. The Jamaican banknotes come denominations from 50 to 5,000 dollars.
The Dominican peso can be divided into 100 centavos, which translates into English as cents. On February 15, 2018, the Bank of Jamaica demonetized coins that were worth less than one dollar.
In 1977, Angola introduced the first kwanza. Twenty-three years later, the novo kwanza was issued, but only in banknote form. The kwanza reajustado entered circulation in 1995. Angola's current currency was introduced in 1999 and is simply called the Angolan kwanza.
In April 1860, Tsar Alexander II declared the markka the official currency of Finland. At the time, the currency was pegged to the ruble. Finland's monetary unit takes its name from a medieval unit of weight.
In 1910, the escudo replaced the Portuguese real. In 1925, the currency was devalued because hundreds of thousands of counterfeit 500 escudo notes were circulating. The Bank of Portugal discovered that a group of its employees were responsible for the fake notes.
In 1816, the Netherlands started using the guilder as its official monetary unit. The country's coins were among the first to have lettering on the rim as a way to prevent people from shaving down the coin for metal.
During the Spanish Civil War, the peseta was split into the Nationalist and Republican pesetas. Nationalists did not accept Republican coins. The Republican pesetas were also the first pesetas that contained non-precious metal.
The Brazilian real is issued by the Central Bank of Brazil. The currency's symbol looks like the dollar sign. However, it has two vertical strokes instead of only one and is called a cifrão.
The schilling became Austria's currency in 1924. Previously, Austria used the corona, which suffered hyperinflation after World War and became worthless. In 1922, the corona was worth one fifteen-thousandth of its pre-war value.
The Central African CFA franc is used in Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Chad, Republic of the Congo, Central African Republic and Cameroon. The CFA stands for Coopération financière en Afrique Centrale, which translates to the African Financial Community.
Kaptein Hendrik Witbooi is considered a national hero to the people of Namibia. His face is featured on Namibia's 50, 100 and 200 dollar notes. The first president of an independent Namibia, H.E. Dr. Sam Nujoma, is featured on the 10 and 20 dollar notes.
On November 22, 1993, the Central Bank of Armenia introduced the dram in denominations of 10, 25, 50, 100, 200 and 500. The Soviet ruble co-existed with the dram until March 17, 1994.
Around the year 1000, Olav Tryggvason printed the first known Norwegian coin. In 1628, Norway opened a mint in Christiania, which is modern-day Oslo. The silver came from mines in Kongsberg.
When Kyrgyzstan was under Soviet rule, it was known as Kirgiziya. Russian still remains an official language of Kyrgyzstan. However, most citizens speak Kyrgyz or another Turkic language.