Dollar: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The dollar (often represented by the dollar sign: "$") is the name of the official currency in several nation states, including Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the Eastern Caribbean territories, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Brunei, East Timor, Ecuador, El Salvador, Panama, Belize, and the United States.





In the 1500s, Count Hieronymus Schlick of Bohemia began minting coins known as Joachimstaler (from German thal, or nowadays usually Tal, "valley", cognate with "dale" in English), named for Joachimstal, the valley where the silver was mined (St. Joachim's Valley, now Jáchymov; then part of the Holy Roman Empire, now part of the Czech Republic).[1] Joachimstaler was later shortened to taler, a word that eventually found its way into Danish, Swedish and Norwegian as daler, Dutch as (rijks)daalder, Ethiopian as ታላሪ talari, Italian as tallero, Flemish as daelder, and English as dollar.[1]

Development of use

The name dollar is historically related to the bohemian tolar (16th century) and also the later Slovenian tolar (1991), daalder in the Netherlands, Reichsthaler in Germany, and daler in Sweden, Denmark, and Norway. Guldiner can be traced to 1486 when Archduke Sigismund of Tyrol, a small state north of Venice, issued a dollar-sized coin which was referred to as a "Guldiner." Silver supplies were small which limited coinage.[2]

The German silver Thaler coins that were first minted in 1520 from silver taken from a mine at Joachimsthal, Bohemia, in the Holy Roman Empire. Not long after issuance, these coins gained the name Joachimsthalers. Subsequently, coins of similar size and weight were called Thaler, or dollar regardless of the issuing authority,[3] and continued to be minted until 1872.

The Dutch lion dollar circulated throughout the Middle East and was imitated in several German and Italian cities. It was also popular in the Dutch East Indies as well as in the Dutch New Netherland Colony (New York). The lion dollar also has circulated throughout the Thirteen Colonies during the 17th and early 18th centuries. Examples circulating in the Colonies were usually fairly well worn so that the design was not fully distinguishable, thus they were sometimes referred to as "dog dollars."[4] This Dutch currency made its way to the U.S. east coast due to the increased trading by Dutch colonial ships with other nations. By the mid-1700s, it was replaced by the Spanish 8 reales.[5]

The Spanish peso or pieces of eight (real de a ocho) also became known as the Spanish dollar in the English speaking world because of their similarity in size and weight to the German silver Thaler coins. It was worth eight reals (hence the nickname "pieces of eight"), and was widely circulated during the 18th century in the Spanish colonies in the New World, and in Spanish territories in Asia, namely in the Philippines. The use of the Spanish dollar and the Maria Theresa thaler as legal tender for the early United States and its fractions were the mainstay of commerce. They are many the reasons for the name of that nation's currency.[citation needed] By the American Revolution in 1775, these Spanish coins became even more important. They backed paper money authorized by the individual colonies and the Continental Congress.[5]

However, the word dollar was in use in the English language as slang or mis-pronunciation for the thaler for about 200 years before the American Revolution, with many quotes in the plays of Shakespeare referring to dollars as money. Spanish dollars were in circulation in the Thirteen Colonies that became the United States, and were legal tender in Virginia. These coins were the standard money then in use in the United States. On April 2, 1792, Alexander Hamilton, then the Secretary of the Treasury, made a report to Congress having scientifically determined the amount of silver in the Spanish Milled Dollar coins that were then in current use by the people. As a result of this report, the Dollar was defined[6] as a unit of measure of 371 4/16th grains (24.057 grams) of pure silver or 416 grains of standard silver (standard silver being defined as 1,485 parts fine silver to 179 parts alloy[7]). Therefore paper is not the dollar, instead, it is 'worth', not 'is', 1 dollar (US Silver certificate.) In section 20 of the Act, it is specified that the "money of account" of the United States shall be expressed in those same "dollars" or parts thereof. All of the minor coins were also defined in terms of percentages of the primary coin — the dollar — such that a half dollar contained 1/2 as much silver as a dollar, quarter dollars contained 1/4 as much, and so on.

Coins known as "Thistle dollars" were also in use in Scotland during the 17th century, and there is a claim that the use of the English word, and perhaps even the use of the coin, began at the University of St Andrews. This explains the sum of "Ten thousand dollars" mentioned in Macbeth (Act I, Scene II), although the real Macbeth, upon whom the play was based, lived in the 11th century, making the reference anachronistic; however anachronisms are not rare in Shakespeare's work.

In the early 19th century, a British five-shilling piece, or crown, was sometimes called a "dollar," probably because its appearance was similar to the Spanish dollar. This expression appeared again in the 1940s, when US troops came to the UK during World War II. At the time a US dollar was worth about 5s., so some of the US soldiers started calling it a dollar. Consequently, they called the half crown "half a dollar."

In an act passed in January, 1837, the alloy was changed to 11%, having the effect of containing the same amount of silver but being reduced in weight to 412 1/4 grains of standard silver which was changed to 90% pure and 11% alloy. On February 21, 1853 the amount of silver in the fractional coins was reduced so that it was no longer possible to combine the fractional coins to come up with the same amount of silver that was in the dollar.

Various acts have been passed over the years that affected the amount and type of metal in the coins minted by the United States such that today, there is no legal definition of the term "Dollar" to be found in any Statute of the United States.[8][9][10]

Today, the closest definition to a dollar comes from the United States code Title 31, Section 5116, paragraph b, subsection 2, "The Secretary [of the Treasury] shall sell silver under conditions the Secretary considers appropriate for at least $1.292929292 a fine troy ounce." However Federal Reserve banks are only required to deliver credits instead of money. The silver content of US coinage was mostly removed in 1965 and the dollar essentially became a baseless free-floating fiat currency, though the US Mint continues to make silver $1 coins at this weight.

Continued Chinese demand for silver led several countries, notably the United Kingdom, United States, and Japan, to mint trade dollars in the 19th and early 20th centuries, often of slightly different weights to their domestic coinage. Silver dollars reaching China (whether Spanish, Trade, or other) were often stamped with Chinese characters known as "chop marks," which indicated that that particular coin had been assayed by a well-known merchant and determined genuine.

Related names in modern currencies

  • The tala is based on the Samoan pronunciation of the word "dollar." Likewise, the name of the smaller unit, seneiti, equates to "cent."
  • The Slovenian tolar had the same origin as dollar, i.e. thaler.

National currencies called "dollar"

Prior to 1873, the silver dollar circulated in many parts of the world, and with a value in relation to the British gold sovereign of roughly $1 = 4s 2d. Following the US Coinage Act (1873), the value of silver declined in relation to Gold, and the USA went unto a 'de facto' gold standard. Canada and Newfoundland were already on the gold standard, and the result was that the value of the dollar in North America increased in relation to the silver dollars that were being used elsewhere in the world, notably in Latin America, and the Far East. By 1900, the silver dollars had fallen to 50 cents in relation to the gold dollars. Following the abandoning on the gold standard by Canada in 1931, the Canadian dollar began to drift away from its parity with the US dollar. It returned to parity a few times, but since the ending of the Bretton Woods system of fixed exchange rates that was agreed in 1944, the Canadian dollar has been floating against the US dollar. As regards the silver dollars of Latin America and South East Asia, they began to diverge from each other as well during the course of the twentieth century. The Straits dollar adopted a gold exchange standard in 1906 after it had been forced to rise in value against the other silver dollars in the region. Hence, by 1935, when China and Hong Kong came off the silver standard, the Straits dollar was worth 2s 4d sterling, whereas the Hong Kong dollar was worth only 1s 3d sterling.

Existing dollar units today are the Bahamian dollar, the Barbados dollar, the Belize dollar, the Bermuda dollar, the Brunei dollar, the Canadian dollar, the East Caribbean dollar, the Guyanese dollar, the Hong Kong dollar, the New Taiwan dollar, the Singapore dollar, the Trinidad and Tobago dollar, the United States dollar. The only ones on this list that have still retained their original parity from the days of the universal Spanish dollar are the Singapore dollar and the Brunei dollar.

Other countries in recent times have adopted the name dollar for their national currency, but these are not true dollars as such. They are in fact half-pound units of countries that had been using a sterling based system prior to adopting the decimal system. Examples of these kind of dollars are the Australian dollar, the New Zealand dollar, the Jamaican dollar, the Cayman Islands dollar, the Fiji dollar, the Namibian dollar, the Rhodesian dollar, the Zimbabwe dollar, and the Solomon Islands dollar.

Countries which use the dollar

Countries currently using the dollar

Countries Currency ISO 4217 code
 Antigua and Barbuda East Caribbean Dollar XCD
 Australia and its external territories Australian Dollar AUD
 Bahamas Bahamian Dollar BSD
 Barbados Barbados Dollar BBD
 Belize Belize dollar BZD
 Brunei Brunei dollar BND
 Canada Canadian Dollar CAD
 Dominica East Caribbean Dollar XCD
 East Timor United States Dollar USD
 Ecuador United States Dollar USD
 El Salvador United States Dollar USD
 Fiji Fiji Dollar FJD
 Grenada East Caribbean Dollar XCD
 Guyana Guyana Dollar GYD
 Hong Kong Hong Kong Dollar HKD
 Jamaica Jamaican Dollar JMD
 Kiribati Kiribati dollar along with the Australian Dollar N/A/AUD
 Liberia Liberian Dollar LRD
 Marshall Islands United States Dollar USD
 Federated States of Micronesia United States Dollar KWD
 Namibia Namibian Dollar NAD
 Nauru Australian Dollar AUD
 New Zealand and its external territories New Zealand Dollar NZD
 Palau United States Dollar USD
 Saint Kitts and Nevis East Caribbean Dollar XCD
 Saint Lucia East Caribbean Dollar XCD
 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines East Caribbean Dollar XCD
 Singapore Singapore Dollar SGD
 Solomon Islands Solomon Islands Dollar SBD
 Suriname Surinamese dollar SRD
 Taiwan New Taiwan Dollar TWD
 Trinidad and Tobago Trinidad and Tobago Dollar TTD
 Tuvalu Tuvaluan dollar along with the Australian Dollar TVD/ AUD
 United States and its territories United States Dollar USD
 Zimbabwe United States Dollar[11]

Countries and regions which have previously used the dollar

Other territories which currently use the dollar

Countries which accept the dollar, but is not their official currency

See also


  1. ^ a b National Geographic. June 2002. p. 1. Ask Us.
  2. ^ Julian, R.W. (2007). All About the DOLLAR. Numismatist. pp. 41. 
  3. ^ Rhodes, Richard (2009). The making of the atomic bomb. New York: Simon and Schuster. pp. 118. 
  4. ^ "Lion Dollar — Introduction". 
  5. ^ a b Julian, R.W. (2007). All About the Dollar. Numismatist. pp. 41. 
  6. ^ Act of April 2, A.D. 1792 of the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, Section 9.
  7. ^ Section 13 of the Act.
  8. ^ United States Statutes at Large. 
  9. ^ Yeoman, RS. A Guide Book of United States Coins. 
  10. ^ Ewart, James E. Money — Ye shall have honest weights and measures. 
  11. ^ Alongside Zimbabwean dollar (suspended indefinitely from 12 April 2009), Euro, Pound Sterling, South African rand and Botswana pula. The US Dollar has been adopted as the official currency for all government transactions.
  12. ^ Wojtanik, Andrew (2005). Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. Washington, DC: National Geographic Society. pp. 147. 
  13. ^ Alongside Panamanian balboa coins

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Castle Campbell
Castle Campbell

Dollar [1] is a town in the Central Belt of Scotland.

Get in

Dollar is on the A91 which comes from Stirling in the west and Cupar in the East. The A91 also connects with the M90 motorway which runs from Edinburgh to Perth. A bus (#23) runs every 2 hours to Stirling or St Andrews. There is a separate 2 hourly bus to Alloa.

Get around

Dollar is a very small town and everything is easily within walking distance.


Dollar Glen - There are paths around the glen which provide some excellent walks.

Castle Campbell - Entrance to Castle Campbell is £3.30 for an adult, £1.30 for a child, £2.50 for the concession rate or free for Friends of Historic Scotland. (01259 742408). A 15th century castle. It takes about 30-40 minutes to walk up to the castle, which is situated at the top of the Dollar Glen. Quite difficult to ride up with a bike, as the way is quite steep. With a car, you can park a five-minute walk away from the castle.

  • Stirling, to see Stirling Castle and the Wallace Monument
  • Dunfermline, to see Andrew Carnegie's Birthplace and Pittencrieff Park
  • Perth, to see Scone Palace
This article is an outline and needs more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. Please plunge forward and help it grow!

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

There is more than one meaning of Dollar discussed in the 1911 Encyclopedia. We are planning to let all links go to the correct meaning directly, but for now you will have to search it out from the list below by yourself. If you want to change the link that led you here yourself, it would be appreciated.


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also dollar




  • IPA: /dɔlɑr/


Dollar m. (genitive Dollar or Dollars, plural Dollars)

  1. dollar

Usage notes

The plural is not used if the word is used as a currency unit and follows a number. Example: 20 Dollar

Simple English

[[File:|thumb|right|United States 20 dollar bill (20 dollar note)]] A dollar is a type of currency. Many countries have named their money the dollar, so in an encyclopaedia article it is important to say which country the dollar is from that is being talked about, for example, the United States dollar or the Canadian dollar. The symbol for the dollar is a capital letter S, pierced by one or two vertical lines: $.

The dollar is named after the thaler. The thaler was large silver coin first made in the year 1518. The thaler named after the Joachimsthal (Joachim's valley) mine located in Bohemia (Tal means valley in German).



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