Money, it’s such a small thing to hold in your hand, and yet one of the largest worries for almost everyone worldwide. For thousands of years the exchange of money, either in the form of commodities or paper currency, has been a measure of value and worth.
Back in the day, non-monetary societies goods and services were generally given without any explicit agreement for immediate or future compensation. If bartering took place it was generally between strangers or potential enemies (think back to Cortez and the Mexicans or Christopher Columbus and the Native Americans).
Money in the form of currency first hit the scene in Mesopotamia and was further developed by the Babylonians who can be blamed for developing the concept of debt (as well as legal contracts and laws relating to business practices and private property) and enforced by the Code of Hammurabi, Code of Eshnunna, and the Lipit of Ishtar of Isin!
Standard coins began to appear around the fourth millennium BC in Egypt with gold bars although silver bars had also been used earlier in Mesopotamia. Eventually, coinage was adopted across the Greek mainland during the 6th century BC, and led to the dominance of the Athenian Empire in the 5th century.
Many metals were used to produce coins however, Spanish and English traders preferred gold to anything else. Paper currency was originally developed by China during the Tang Dynasty during the 7th century and became prevalent with the expansion of European trade toward the end of the Middle Ages. Bills of exchange became prevalent with the expansion of European trade toward the end of the Middle Ages.
“Nota di bancos” were used in every part of Europe during the fourteenth century as method of allowing the holder to collect gold or silver deposited with a banker and internationally banknotes were issued in the form of promissory notes based on virtual currency.
Massachusetts Bay Colony was the first colony in the United States to circulating banknotes. By the 18th century fixed denominations and printed banknotes came into use.
Today marks the day (July 14, 1969) in which the $100 bill officially became the largest banknote printed in the United States. Prior denominations included the $500, $1000, $10,000, and $100,000 bills.
Here are some interesting facts about the $100 bill that might interest you:
- The average life of a $100 bill in circulation is 89 months (7 years) before it is replaced due to wear and tear.
- The hands of the clock in the steeple of Independence Hall on the reverse of the $100 Federal Reserve Note are set at approximately 4:10.
- The numeral four on the clock face is incorrectly written as “IV” whereas the real Independence Hall clock face has “IIII”.
- The bill is one of two current notes that does not feature a President of the United States
- The Series 2009 $100 bill redesign was unveiled on April 21, 2010, and was to be issued to the public in February 11, 2011, but production was shut down in December 2010 because as many as 30% were unusable due to a manufacturing flaw.
- In 2011, the U.S. Treasury issued a newly designed $100 bill that incorporates the latest high-tech anti-counterfeiting features.
- In slang the $100 bill is commonly referred to as a yard, a bill, a C note, Big Ben, or a Benjamin.
- The widely used $ symbol, which is used to represent US Dollar, doesn’t appear on US currency at all.
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