World currencies and their origins

13 May 2016  Fri

Have you ever wondered why different kinds of money are called what they are? Why a pound is called a pound and a peso called a peso?

Here are a few currencies names from all around the world and their possible meanings and origins.

RUPEE (India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Mauritius etc.) – The word Rupee is derived from the Sanskrit ‘rupa’, which means "shape" or from other Sanskrit word ‘rupyakam’, where ‘raupya’ means "silver" and ‘rupyakam’ means "coin made of silver".

DRACHMA (Greece) - Means "handful" or “handle”, Drachmas were used as a currency in Greece in various periods of its history. It was a monetary unit of modern Greece until the euro was adopted.

FRANC (France, Switzerland, Luxembourg) - First issued in 1360, as a gold coin, Franc gets its name from a Latin inscription “Francorum Rex” meaning "King of the Franks". Gold francs were issued from 1360-1380 and later silver francs were issued from 1575-1641. Franc finally became a national currency in 1795. It was a monetary unit until the euro was adopted 2002.

PESO (Mexico) – The word peso means "weight". In old Spanish, it meant a ‘measure’ or ‘weight’ of gold and silver coins. Peso was a Spanish name given to the 8-royal coin or real de a ocho, a large silver coin of the type commonly known as a thaler (dollar) in Europe. It was introduced by Spain in 1497 and then adopted by Mexico and other Latin American countries in the late 19th century. Since its introduction peso is the monetary unit of Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Guinea-Bissau, Mexico, the Philippines, and Uruguay.

POUND (English) – Pound Sterling commonly known as the pound is named so for its weight in Sterling’s, - the unit of currency in Medieval England. The first pound coin was issued in 1642.

There are many such exciting etymological origins of the currencies that we so often handle. Keep visiting this space for more!

Happy Collecting!

Knowledge Base
Online: 9.30 am to 6.30 pm