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History of the US Dollar

History of the US Dollar ($ USD)

The US dollar is one of the world’s most important currencies; it is more used in international transactions than any other currency, and is one of the most significant global reserve currencies. For all its status as a global institution, though, the dollar is a relatively young currency and has been through many changes over the years.

Prior to independence, the British colonies in America used a wide range of currencies, but the most common was the Spanish peso, known in English as the “dollar” after similar coins minted in what is today the Czech Republic.

After the colonies became independent, Congress ordered a new currency, but one based on the value of the Spanish dollars. Indeed, Spanish and Mexican currency remained in circulation in the US well into the 19th century.The modern US dollar is the product of a long serious of changes over the course of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Almost all of the current coin values have been in circulation since the 1790s, but many others, such as the twenty-dollar “double eagle” gold piece, or the short-lived two-cent coin, are now collectors’ items.

The 1920s and 30s saw the last of these fade away, with the demise of the $2.50, $5, $10 and $20 coins. Since 1933, the familiar American coinage of penny, nickel, dime and quarter has been the standard. 50-cent and $1 coins do exist, but they are far rarer and seldom used in transactions.

Dollar notes, or bills as they are known in the US, come in $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 denominations. The two-dollar bill is extremely rare, although still legal tender. This range of bills has existed since 1969, when high-value bills such as the $100,000 bill were taken out of circulation. Unlike many currencies, the US dollar uses the same size for all its bills. Recent redesigns to many denominations of bill have prompted some Americans to refer to these as “Monopoly money”, although as with most currency redesigns the initial distrust for the new bills soon faded.

Both dollar bills and coins bear the images of famous Americans, with national symbols on the reverse. Although often referred to as “presidents” (“dead presidents” is a slang term for money), not all of these individuals were presidents. Benjamin Franklin, whose face appears on the $100 bill, and Alexander Hamilton, whose image appears on the $10, were prominent early statesmen who never served as president. Similarly, womens’ rights campaigner Susan B. Anthony and Native American explorer Sacagawea appear on the $1 coin.

If you would like to exchange US Dollar coins, Dollar banknotes or any coins from the USA for cash then we can help you. We specialise in changing foreign coins back into a usable currency of your choice. Contact us for more information.  We have helped countless customers to turn their otherwise useless coins and notes into cash they can use.  What will you do with your extra money?  You might be surprised just how much that old collection of foreign coins is worth.  Send your coins to our helpful and friendly team today and we will count, sort and value them for you.
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