We touch money nearly every single day, whether it be coins, notes or even the plastic cards that magically deliver us the money from a hole in the wall (ATM cards for those of you who don’t follow!).
Though have you ever wondered about the lesser known facts of money? Great for looking like a smarty pants at BBQ’s, dinners and functions with friends to have a bit of this money trivia up your sleeve.
1. 1 & 2 cent coins – where are they now?
Some readers may not have ever even touched a 1 cent or 2 cent coin, though these little annoying critters were in circulation up until 1992 when they were finally halted from production.
Curious where these useless little coins ended up? Well turns out the bronze in these coins was melted down and used for the Bronze medals in the Sydney Olympic games of 2000. Talk about recycling!
2. Australia made the first plastic bank note
Yep, we are devilishly smart us Australians. Facing huge issues with the life span of paper money and the ability to counterfeit it – Australia invented the polymer note. This means notes now live for 4x longer than paper money while dramatically increasing the complexity of counterfeiting.
3. We could have been dealing in ‘royals’ not ‘dollars’
Sir Robert Menzies (the acting prime minister in 1965) wanted the new Australian currency (switching from pounds) to be called the ‘royal’. He was rather into the royal family I hear.
“1 medium big mac meal with diet coke – that will be 5.98 royals’ – hmm not so cool sounding Robbo.
Other ideas of the time included: The Boomer, The Roo, The Kanga, The Digger, The Kwid, The Dinkum, The Oz and more. Eventually we went pretty safe and agreed on the dollar. I would probably laugh myself sick every time I bought something in Dinkums.
4. People invest in money made by the mint
Occasionally the Australian Mint produce rare or limited edition coins and notes. These notes and coins are real currency and can be used for purchases. The catch however is that they are so rare, that a 50 cent coin could actually be worth $1000. This means people invest in actual money, to make money – doesn’t make sense right?
5. The flood of fake $50 notes in recent years
Australian notes are reputed as ‘impossible to copy’ – yet since 2010 there has been growing concerns about illegitimate $50 notes being circulated. A number of scams were busted via police raids, seizing machines that printed the alleged $50 notes.
So how do you spot a fake $50 note? Apparently if you scratch your nails or a coin across the translucent window of the note (see through part) – the star on the note can be removed.
Bet from now on you will be scratching every $50 you get?