Author Topic: Families of currencies  (Read 5097 times)

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Offline <k>

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Families of currencies
« on: June 10, 2010, 11:00:42 PM »
Over the decades, more and more countries have introduced their own national dollar. But which other currency names are still being used by more than one country nowadays?

Here is a list that puts world currency names (and the countries that use them) in alphabetical order:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_circulating_currencies



Some names provide no surprises: the dinar (or denar in the FYR of Macedonia) is used by both Europeans and Arabs.

The rupee has several adherents, whilst the names of the Indonesian rupiah and Maldivian rufiyaa come from the same root as the word "rupee".

The dirham is used by 2 countries, as are the som, the manat, the kwacha, and the leu. And is the name of the Bulgarian lev related to the leu?



From Switzerland to Rwanda, the franc is still popular, of course.

The crown (whether krona, krone, kroon or koruna), is used by a handful of countries.



The pound is still used by 4 Arab countries, surprisingly.

The shilling is used by 4 African countries.

The rial or riyal is used by 5 Middle Eastern/Arab countries.



According to Wikipedia, 8 countries currently use the peso:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peso#Countries_currently_using_the_peso



The rouble is used by 3 countries, all ex-USSR.



The yen and the yuan are surely related, etymologically.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2012, 05:27:14 PM by <k> »
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Offline Figleaf

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Re: Families of currencies
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2010, 12:36:18 AM »
Some names provide no surprises: the dinar (or denar in the FYR of Macedonia) is used by both Europeans and Arabs.

Makes sense. Both names are descendants of denarius, a coin that circulated on both sides of the Mediterranean.

The dirham is used by 2 countries

There used to be more, because the name comes from drachme.

And is the name of the Bulgarian lev related to the leu?

Yes. Both names mean lion and both refer to the lion dollar of the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands, which used the lion of the Holland arms. The coin was meant for export, mainly to the Ottoman empire.

The rial or riyal is used by 5 Middle Eastern/Arab countries. According to Wikipedia, 8 countries currently use the peso

These names all come from the same coin as the name dollar: the peso of 8 reales.

The yen and the yuan are surely related, etymologically.

Yes. These two and the Korean won use the same character.

The subordinate values would also be interesting, in spite of the obvious domination of centime/cent. You will find that the old Germanic groschen can still be found.

Peter
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Offline Abhay

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Re: Families of currencies
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2010, 02:49:07 AM »
Over the decades, more and more countries have introduced their own national dollar. But which other currency names are still being used by more than one country nowadays?

The rupee has several adherents, whilst the names of the Indonesian rupiah and Maldivian rufiyaa come from the same root as the word "rupee".


The word Rupee is derived from Sanskrit word "Rupyakam" meaning Silver. In fact, in olden times, the Rupee was also used by BHUTAN, AFGHANISTAN, BURMA, TIBET, GERMAN EAST AFRICA, MOMBASSA etc. Over the time, these countries have changed the name of the currencies, but at one time, Rupee was a commonly used name for many countries.

Abhay
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Offline <k>

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Re: Families of currencies
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2010, 10:19:15 PM »
Anybody familar with the modern pseudo-coin issues of little Andorra will know that they are denominated in "diner". In neighbouring Spain, the word for money is "dinero". Again, the word is probably related to dinar, denar, denarius, and all the rest.
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Offline <k>

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Re: Families of currencies
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2010, 10:20:54 PM »
> The dirham is used by 2 countries

There used to be more, because the name comes from drachme.

Which in turn is related to the "dram" of Armenia.
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Austrokiwi

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Re: Families of currencies
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2010, 09:10:13 AM »

These names all come from the same coin as the name dollar: the peso of 8 reales.



Peter

I thought the basis of the dollar was the Joachimsthaler Groschen, Even with the German language habit of linking words into bigger words the name was too much of a mouthful and was shortened in common usage to Thaler. The next language shift (towards dollar) occurred in the Netherlands Thaler became Daaler.  Then the Scottish got involved and Daaler became dollar. 


The link to the 8 reale piece is interesting. The pillar dollar (mainly Mexican 8 reales) was for a good part of the 18th &19th centuries the main coin of use in  the USA. Predominantly settled from England in the US they called the 8 reale "Dollar".   The funny thing is in Arabia Felix, the Persian gulf, and red sea regions the MTT predominated but it was given the name of Riyal. This is probably  because the 8 reale was its predecessor in the region.  The 8 Reale  decreased in value in this reason in the 18th century. I haven't managed to confirm this yet but I suspect two factors were in play. The demand for the Mexican dollar in China discouraged trade in 8 reales towards the Persian Gulf/Red Sea/East coast of Africa ( they were more common on the West Coast; think slave trade), and the MTT was cheaper ( lower silver content and less shipping costs) than the Mexican dollar, and filled a niche that the Mexican/Spanish dollar was being sucked out of.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Families of currencies
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2010, 10:45:17 AM »
I think the mediterranean story is somewhat more complicated.

Dutch large silver coins were to a significant extent replacing Spanish large silver coins in the Eastern half as of the 17th century. The Ottoman Arabs called the peso "abu midfa" (the father of the cannon), because they took the pillars of Hercules for cannons.

The Dutch struck large silver coins especially for trade with the Levant, called Leeuwendaalder, (lion dollar), known to the Arabs as "abu kalb" (father of a dog) because the badly engraved Holland lion looked like a dog to them. This situation continued until supply from the Netherlands was slowly choked off by the Spanish war of succession and the Austrian war of succession. The Republic was completely isolated from its clients during the Napoleonic wars.

This gave the MTT the chance to jump into the void, as Austria finally had Mediterranean shores. The MTT was known to the Ottoman traders as abu kush (father of the bird) for the Austrian eagle, but also to hide that MT's ample bosson was of great interest to them. ;)

Peter
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Austrokiwi

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Re: Families of currencies
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2010, 10:58:50 AM »
 It even more complicated than that:  The MTT has two main forms: Burgau and Upper Austria. The Upper Austria form was the one that traded to the Ottoman Levant and that is the story as out lined by Figleaf. The other story is the Burgau arms thaler traded to the Maghrib and onto the Sudan, Abbysinia, Somalia, the Yemen and the Persian gulf. The Burgau Taler was initially traded by French merchants..... In the islands of Bahrain it was known as the French Kurush.

On families of currencies are there any descendants of the Venetian ducat/Ashrafi?

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Families of currencies
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2010, 06:52:23 PM »
The gold ducat is still struck in Austria with dates in the first world war and in the Netherlands with current dates. They do not circulate. There is also the San Marino scudo to consider, because a sold scudo was called "ducatone" (large ducat) in Italy.

Next, there was also a silver ducaton. It was tariffed at 60 stuivers or 2 daalders and struck in the Republic as well as in the Southern Netherlands. At decimalization, 60 stuivers was the tariff of the 3 gulden piece. This coin was no longr struck after 1840.

Peter
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Offline chrisild

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Re: Families of currencies
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2010, 10:20:51 PM »
The subordinate values would also be interesting, in spite of the obvious domination of centime/cent. You will find that the old Germanic groschen can still be found.

The term "groschen" is apparently derived from the grossus denarius (gros tournois); Poland has such a unit (grosz), Austria had one (Groschen) until the end of the schilling, and in Germany the term Groschen was (and to a lesser extent still is) common for a 0.10 coin.

As for the cent, it is interesting that, apart from the easily recognizable varieties (centime, sent, etc.), there are also "less obvious" ones. If we think of cent as "one hundredth", the Bulgarian stotinka (sto = hundred) or the - pretty much defunct - Albanian qindarka (qind = hundred) are "cents" as well. And before the euro introduction, Slovenia had a stotin too ...

Christian

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Families of currencies
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2010, 10:46:19 PM »
One of my favourites is the tenge/denga/tanka/tanga discussed here.

Peter
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Offline Chinasmith

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Re: Families of currencies
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2013, 09:59:55 PM »
For coin denomination groups, see  Adrian Room --- Dictionary of Coin Names (1987) and Albert Frey -- Dictionary of Numismatic Names (1917).  Room's book runs 250 pages; Frey's over 300 with smaller type and a larger format. Frey was reprinted in 1947 and 1974.
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Offline <k>

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Re: Families of currencies
« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2015, 04:54:00 PM »
It's interesting that so many Arabic currencies get their names from European roots, such as the dirham (from drachma), the dinar (from denarius), and the rial or riyal, presumably from "real". What about "fils"? I can't find any etymology for it. And which truly Arabic names are or were used for their currencies?
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Offline Figleaf

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Re: Families of currencies
« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2015, 05:25:02 PM »
Fals, fels, fils, falus, etc. are all derived from follis, originally a late Roman coin.

Roman coins were heavily used in central Asia, until they started using Christian symbols. A childish row erupted and the Arabs started making their own coins. The drachma weight apparently remained influential, so other denominations may have survived this way also.

Peter
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Offline <k>

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Re: Families of currencies
« Reply #14 on: May 29, 2015, 06:35:25 PM »
Slightly off-topic, I've just learned that the name of the Egyptian pound, which numista.com spells as "Gunayh", comes from the British word "guinea".
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