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Amazing photos of world currencies

Last updated on: April 3, 2012 12:42 IST

Amazing photos of world currencies

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Paper currency was first developed in China in the Tang Dynasty during the seventh century, and was later introduced in the Mongol Empire, Europe and America.

Paper money originated in two forms: drafts, which are receipts for value held on account, and "bills", which were issued with a promise to convert at a later date.

The perception of banknotes as money has evolved over time. Originally, money was based on precious metals. Banknotes were seen as essentially an IOU or promissory note: a promise to pay someone in precious metal on presentation.

With the gradual removal of precious metals from the monetary system, banknotes evolved to represent credit money, or (if backed by the credit of a government) also fiat money.

So, let's take a look at world currencies.

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Image: Let's take a look at world currencies.
Photographs: Bobby Yip/Reuters
Tags: IOU , China , Europe , America

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The ducat is a gold coin that was used as a trade coin throughout Europe before World War I.

The first issue of this coin is thought to have been under Roger II of Sicily, who, in 1140, coined ducats bearing the figure of Christ, and the inscription, Sit tibi, Christe, datus, quem tu regis iste ducatus (or roughly, "O Christ, let this duchy which you rule be dedicated to you.")

Even now some national mints produce batches of ducats made after old patterns as bullion gold and banks sell these coins to private investors or collectors.

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Image: Austrian gold ducat coins are pictured after being minted at the Austrian national mint in Vienna.
Photographs: Leonhard Foeger/Reuters
Tags: Christe , Europe

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The dollar is the name of the official currency or a banknote of many countries, territories and dependencies, including Australia, Belize, Canada, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan and the United States.

Currently, one US dollar is worth Rs 50.831.

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Image: A picture illustration shows a $100 banknote on $1 banknotes.
Photographs: Kacper Pempel/Reuters

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The euro is the official currency of the eurozone: 17 of the 27 member states of the European Union. It is also the currency used by the Institutions of the European Union.

The eurozone consists of Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Spain. The currency is also used in a further five European countries and consequently used daily by some 332 million Europeans.

Currently, one euro is worth Rs 67.806.

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Image: An employee checks a euro note at the Bank of Taiwan in Taipei.
Photographs: Pichi Chuang/Reuters

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The modern real was introduced in 1994 as part of the Plano Real, a substantial monetary reform package that aimed to put an end to three decades of rampant inflation.

Currently, one real is worth Rs 27.822.

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Image: A banner with the new Brazilian real currency notes is seen during a presentation ceremony in Brasilia.
Photographs: Ricardo Moraes/Reuters

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The word peso (meaning weight in Spanish) was the name of a coin that originated in Spain and became of immense importance internationally.

Peso is now the name of the monetary unit of several former Spanish colonies.

Currently, one Cuban peso is worth Rs 50.874.

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Image: A man counts freshly printed Cuban convertible peso notes in Havana.
Photographs: Claudia Daut /Reuters
Tags: Spanish , Spain

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As of 2007, the Canadian dollar is the seventh most traded currency in the world. The first paper money issued in Canada denominated in dollars were British Army bills, issued between 1813 and 1815.

Canadian dollar bank notes were later issued by the chartered banks starting in the 1830s.

Currently, one Canadian dollar is worth Rs 50.982.

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Image: A bank machine dispenses Canadian dollars in Toronto.
Photographs: JP Moczulski/Reuters

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Yuan literally means a round object or round coin. During the Qing Dynasty, the yuan was a round and silver coin.

When used in English in the context of the modern foreign exchange market, the Chinese yuan most commonly refers to the renminbi.

Currently, one yuan renminbi is worth Rs 8.078.

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Image: Chinese 100 yuan banknotes are seen in Shanghai.
Photographs: Carlos Barria/Reuters
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The Japanese yen is the official currency of Japan. It is the third-most traded currency in the foreign exchange market after the United States dollar and the euro.

It is also widely used as a reserve currency after the US dollar, the euro and the pound sterling.

Currently, one yen is worth Rs 0.613.

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Image: The word Yen is pictured on a Japanese banknote in Tokyo.
Photographs: Yuriko Nakao/Reuters

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Between 1845 and 1939, Singapore used the Straits dollar. This was replaced by the Malayan dollar, and, from 1953, the Malaya and British Borneo dollar, which were issued by the Board of Commissioners of Currency, Malaya and British Borneo.

Singapore continued to use the common currency upon joining Malaysia in 1963 but, two years after Singapore's expulsion and independence from Malaysia in 1965, the monetary union between Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei broke down. Singapore established the Board of Commissioners of Currency, Singapore, on April 7, 1967, and issued its first coins and notes.

Currently, one Singapore dollar is worth Rs 40.526.

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Image: A Singapore one dollar coin rests on top of Singapore two dollar notes.
Photographs: Tim Chong/Reuters

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In Portuguese the word real means both 'royal' and 'real'. The name of the historic real derived from the first sense. The name of the modern currency is generally understood to refer both to the historic unit and to the second sense.

Currently, one Brazilian real is worth Rs 27.822.

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Image: Close-up image of 50 real banknotes, Brazil's official currency, in Rio de Janeiro.
Photographs: Gregg Newton/Reuters
Tags: , Portuguese

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The Central Bank of China issued notes in denominations of one and five fen, one, two and five jiao, one, five and 10 yuan.

Currently, one yuan is worth Rs 8.078.

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Image: An employee counts yuan notes at a bank in Nanjing.
Photographs: Sean Yong/Reuters

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The Australian dollar is the currency of the Commonwealth of Australia, including Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, and Norfolk Island, as well as the independent Pacific Island states of Kiribati, Nauru and Tuvalu.

Currently, one Australian dollar is worth Rs 52.876.

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Image: A handful of Australian one dollar coins in Sydney.
Photographs: Tim Wimborne/Reuters

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The Australian dollar is, as of 2012, the third-most-traded currency in the world. In 2010 it was the fifth-most-traded currency in the world foreign exchange markets behind the US dollar, the euro, the yen and the pound sterling.

Currently, one Australian dollar is worth Rs 52.876.

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Image: A sheet of uncut Australian 20 dollar notes are displayed at the Reserve Bank of Australia in Sydney.
Photographs: Tim Wimborne/Reuters
Tags: , US

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The US dollar is the currency most used in international transactions and is one of the world's dominant reserve currencies.

Several countries use it as their official currency and, in many others, it is the de facto currency. It is also used as the sole currency in some British Overseas Territories (British Virgin Islands and Turks and Caicos).

Currently, one US dollar is worth Rs 50.831.

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Image: A picture illustration shows a $100 banknote on various denomination of euro banknotes in Warsaw.
Photographs: Kacper Pempel/Reuters

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The franc was the currency of Belgium until 2002 when the euro was introduced into circulation.

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Image: An employee of the Belgian Central Bank places Belgian franc notes of 2,000 on a rack in Brussels.
Photographs: Yves Herman/Reuters
Tags: , Belgium

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The peso, sometimes called the national peso, is one of two official currencies in use in Cuba, the other being the convertible peso.

Cuban state workers receive a portion of their wages in convertible pesos, the rest in national pesos.

Currently, one Cuban peso is worth Rs 50.874.

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Image: Cuban woman holding new convertible five peso coin bearing the face of Che Guevara.
Photographs: Claudia Daut/Reuters
Tags: , Cuba

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Sterling is the fourth most traded currency in the foreign exchange market, after the US dollar, the euro and the Japanese yen. Sterling is also the third most held reserve currency in global reserves.

Currently, one pound is worth Rs 81.524.

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Image: A view of British sterling money in coins and bank notes.
Photographs: Catherine Benson/Reuters
Tags: , US

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Today, dollar notes are made from cotton fibre paper, unlike most common paper, which is made of wood fiber. US coins are produced by the United States Mint.

US dollar banknotes are printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and, since 1914, have been issued by the Federal Reserve.

Currently, one US dollar is worth Rs 50.831.

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Image: New $1 coins are stacked together at Grand Central Station in New York.
Photographs: Brendan McDermid/Reuters

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The euro is the second-largest reserve currency as well as the second most traded currency in the world after the United States dollar.

As of February 2012, with more than 890 billion euros in circulation, the euro has the highest combined value of banknotes and coins in circulation in the world, having surpassed the US dollar.

Currently, one euro is worth Rs 67.806.

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Image: An official of the Volksbank Bosnia branch presents a handful of newly-launched euro banknotes in the capital Sarajevo.
Photographs: Danilo Krstanovic/Reuters

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The name euro was officially adopted on December 16, 1995. The euro was introduced to world financial markets as an accounting currency on January 1, 1999.

June 30, 2002, was the last day for changing old currency to euro at any bank for the original 12 member states..

Currently, one euro is worth Rs 67.806.

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Image: Counterfeit euro notes are shown at a Spanish police station in Madrid.
Photographs: Susana Vera/Reuters
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The kuna is the currency of Croatia since 1994. The modern kuna was introduced on May 30, 1994, starting a transitional period from Croatian dinar, ending on December 31, 1994.

Currently, one Croatian kuna is worth Rs 9.06.

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Image: A picture illustration of coins from various countries laying on kuna and dollar banknotes in Zagreb, Croatia.
Photographs: Nikola Solic/Reuters
Tags: , Croatia

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The Australian dollar is popular with currency traders, because of the comparatively high interest rates in Australia, the relative freedom of the foreign exchange market from government intervention, the general stability of Australia's economy and political system.

Currently, one Australian dollar is worth Rs 52.876.

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Image: A view of Australian dollars in Sydney.
Photographs: Daniel Munoz/Reuters
Tags: Australia

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The first dollar coins issued by the United States Mint (founded 1792) were similar in size and composition to the Spanish dollar.

The Spanish, US silver dollars, and Mexican silver pesos circulated side by side in the United States, and the Spanish dollar and Mexican peso remained legal tender until 1857.

Currently, one US dollar is worth Rs 50.831.

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Image: US dollar banknotes are displayed in Toronto.
Photographs: Mark Blinch/Reuters
Tags: , Mexican

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The pound and the euro fluctuate in value against one another, although there may be correlation between movements in their respective exchange rates with other currencies such as the US dollar.

Currently, one pound is worth Rs 81.524.

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Image: A pile of British sterling coins is displayed in London.
Photographs: Toby Melville/Reuters
Tags: , US

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The issuance of the yen banknotes began in 1872, two years after the currency was introduced. Throughout its history, the denominations have ranged from 10 yen to 10,000 yen.

Currently, one Japanese yen is worth Rs 0.613.

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Image: A 10,000 yen is displayed under a light at the currency museum of the Bank of Japan in Tokyo.
Photographs: Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters
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Production of banknotes by communist forces ceased in 1936 but resumed in 1938 and continued through to the centralisation of money production in 1948.

A great many regional banks and other entities issued notes.

Currently, one yuan is worth Rs 8.078.

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Image: Shop assistant checks hundred yuan bank notes at shop in Xiangfan, China.
Photographs: Stringer/Reuters
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Bangladesh Bank, the central bank of the country controls the issuance of the currency except one taka and two taka notes, which are the responsibility of Ministry of Finance of the government of Bangladesh.

Currently, one taka is worth Rs 0.621.

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Image: Money vendor displays crisp Bangladeshi takas of different denominations in Dhaka.
Photographs: Rafiqur Rahman/Reuters

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The New Zealand dollar is the currency of New Zealand. It also circulates in the Cook Islands, Niue, Tokelau and the Pitcairn Islands. It is divided into 100 cents.

Currently, one New Zealand dollar is worth Rs 41.721.

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Image: Reserve Bank of New Zealand dollar notes are pictured in Singapore.
Photographs: Dennis Owen/Reuters

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The United States dollar is the official currency of the United States of America and its overseas territories. It is divided into 100 smaller units called cents or pennies.

Currently, one US dollar is worth Rs 50.831.


Image: US dollar notes are seen at the Bank of Taiwan in Taipei.
Photographs: Nicky Loh/Reuters

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