Until 1857 Spanish silver coins were legal tender in the US.

September 22nd, 2010. Tags: , , , , .

Several countries can use the same name for their own distinct currencies (e.g., dollar in Canada and the United States). By contrast, several countries can also use the same currency (e.g., the euro), or one country can declare the currency of another country to be legal tender. For example, Panama and El Salvador have declared U.S. currency to be legal tender, and from 1791–1857, Spanish silver coins were legal tender in the United States. At various times countries have either re-stamped foreign coins, or used currency board issuing one note of currency for each note of a foreign government held, as Ecuadorcurrently does.

For more wild facts about currency, go to wikipedia.org.

It only costs the US Mint a few cents to make a quarter.

July 19th, 2010. Tags: , , , , .

The whole country makes money when the Mint makes money… Why? The answer is “seigniorage”—the difference between the cost of making a coin and its face value. (For example, it costs only a few cents to make a quarter, yet its face value is 25 cents.) This profit runs the Mint and puts extra funds into the country’s Treasury—funds then spent on education, health care, defense, and other services for the nation.

For more wild facts about coins, go to usmint.gov.

In 1825, you couldn’t visit the Philadelphia Mint on Saturdays or when it rained.

July 17th, 2010. Tags: , , , .

Rain or shine, you can visit the Philadelphia Mint. That wasn’t always true… Back in 1825, you couldn’t visit when it was raining. The following is from the official rules and regulations that were adopted that year: “Visitors may be admitted by permission of an officer to see the various operations of the Mint on all working days except Saturdays and rainy days.”

For more wild facts about coins, go to usmint.gov.

The lifespan of a coin is 20 times longer than that of a bill.

July 16th, 2010. Tags: , , , , .

Coins last a lot longer than bills. The life expectancy of a circulating coin is 30 years, while paper money usually only lasts for 18 months. Now you see why using Golden dollars instead of dollar bills makes a lot of sense!

For more wild facts about coins, go to usmint.gov.

Silver coins are pickled before they’re minted.

July 14th, 2010. Tags: , , , .

Nickels, dimes, and quarters are pickled before they’re minted… It might sound strange, but the blanks used to make these coins really are pickled. They’re not soaked in vinegar, though, like the pickled cucumbers you get on hamburgers. Instead, these copper-nickel blanks are soaked in a special chemical solution. This “pickling” washes and polishes the blanks.

For more wild facts about coins, go to usmint.gov.