Currency and bank notes from around the world
We’ve travelled the world to bring you weird and wonderful currency from different nations – trust us, money can be an odd thing.
Hole Punched Notes
In 1997, Zaire’s (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) dictator Josepeh Sese Seko Mobutu was finally overthrown. As his face featured on the country’s bank notes, the new government simply punched out Mobutu’s face out of their existing currency and continued to use it until new currency could be printed.
The 50 Swiss franc bill has a portrait of artist Sophie Taeuber-Arp who is the only woman that features on Swiss currency to date. But that’s not the reason it’s so bizarre, Mrs Taeuber-Arp took the photo herself, making it the only known selfie to appear on currency. This is pretty impressive as she took this photo back in the 1930s!
The Island of Yap
It turns out that not all currency needs to be kept in a pocket or a purse. On the island of Yap in Micronesia, giant circular lime stones with a hole in the middle, called Rai Stones, are used as currency across the island. The huge coins are so large, generally between 5 to 20 feet in diameter, that people know who own them without necessarily having to move them! There is one currently sat at the bottom of the ocean which still has an owner and is still used as currency.
If that wasn’t odd enough, other currencies on the island of Yap includes Reng – money made of turmeric and the most highly valued money on the island is called “Gaw”, a necklace formed of shells and whale teeth!
Image from Flickr
500 Tugrik Coin featuring JFK
In 2007, to remember the American president John F Kennedy, Mongolia produced the 500 Tugrik coin. The coin features an image of JFK on one side, and the other, a button that when pressed, plays a short clip from Kennedy’s famous “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech.
A cheesy loan
The Credito Emiliano Bank has hundreds of banks throughout central and northern Italy with the usual high security cameras, lock down doors and a large vault out back with valuable goods. However, if you think by breaking into one these banks to come out with diamonds and lots of cash, you will be met with a smell of cheese, parmesan cheese to be precise.
Hundreds of thousands of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese wheels are sat on giant shelves in an air conditioned, humified vaults. The bank takes the Parmesan from local producers in exchange for a cheap loan, and charges a 3% interest as well as a fee for looking
Weird, but Credito Emiliano treats Parmigiano-Reggiano like other banks do gold and we can see why as the cheese locked away in the vault are worth around $200 million!
100 Million Billion
In 1946, during a period of massive hyperinflation which became so bad, the Republic of Hungary had to issue currency notes with values going into millions of billions – introducing the 100 Million Billion (£100,000,000,000,000,000,000) bank note. Unfortunately, it only lasted twenty days and was only worth 20 cents!
Say hello to the Space Quid. Short for Quasi Universal Intergalactic Denomination – this money is designed to be used in space, (yes space!) where travelling distances can be too far for electronic transfers. Specifically designed to have round edges so it will not cause damage (due to zero gravity), the series of circular clear discs with coloured centres symbolise the eight planets of the Solar System. Each coin has its own unique code number, like the serial number on paper currency, to allow tracking and to prevent counterfeiting.
New to the world of currency is the Bitcoin. Designed to be created and held electronically, no one controls it. Bitcoins are produced by people and are increasingly being used by online businesses as transfers are free and the money will arrive minutes after the process. Although, if you want a refund and the recipient does not return the Bitcoin back – it’s gone forever.
Women on Sharks
The Cook Islands is the home to the odd $10 bill where the bank note features a topless woman riding a shark through the ocean. Some may say it’s offensive, some say it’s female empowerment… either way this note is weird and wonderful at the same time!
Image from Pinterest
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