The dollar is the standard monetary unit of the United States. One dollar can be divided into 100 cents. The USA dollar has a number of slang names, such as a "buck", a "clam", a "smacker", or a "greenback".

The name dollar

The name dollar comes from German word "Taler" which is short for Joachimstaler. Joachimstal is the German name for a town in the Czech Republic (Europe) called "Jáchymov". Jáchimov is the town where coins called "Taler" were first minted. The first "Taler" (i.e. the father of today's dollar) was minted in the Czech Republict at around year 1500.

Where is dollar used

dollar The USA dollar is probably the dollar that comes to everyone's mind when we say a "dollar". However, the name dollar is being used by many other countries as well. The name dollar is being used for a currency by the following countries: Antigua, Barbuda, Australia, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, Brunei, Canada (also called "Loonie"), the Cayman Islands, Dominica, East Timor, Ecuador, El Salvador, Fiji, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Hong Kong, Jamaica, Kiribati, Liberia, Malaysia, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Namibia, Nauru, New Zealand, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, and Zimbabwe.

Dollar as a reserve currency

One dollar Central banks around the globe hold USA dollars as their reserve currency which makes the USA dollar a global currency. A reserve currency is a currency which is held by foreign governments and institutions as part of their foreign exchange reserves. Foreign central banks and governments need to hold USA dollars in their reserves to be able to do transactions with the USA. For example, when a German person buys an automobile from someone in the USA, he or she needs to pay the seller in USA dollars. The buyer in Germany visits local currency exchange to buy dollars. The currency buys dollars from dollar reserves of the German central bank. Arund 60% of official foreign exchange reserves is denominated in USA dollar.

USA dollar as a pricing unit

USA dollar is often also the international pricing and accounting currency. Commodities such as oil, gold, diamonds traded on a global market are priced in dollars.

The one dollar coin

dollar coin The dollar goes back to 1792 when the U.S. Congress adopted an act establishing a mint, and regulating the Coins of the United States. Since 1792, USA dollars went through many designs. One form of a dollar was the one dollar coin which however was never very popular among shoppers.

Dollar bill presidents

The following table lists presidents and other individuals on dollar bills. Not all faces on dollar bills are presidents.

dollar bill Portrait
$1 one dollar bill president George Washington
$2 two dollar bill president Thomas Jefferson
$5 five dollar bill president Abraham Lincoln
$10 Ten dollar bill face Alexander Hamilton
$20 twenty dollar bill president Andrew Jackson
$50 fifty dollar bill president U.S. Grant
$100 One hundred dollar bill face Benjamin Franklin
$500 five hundred dollar bill president William McKinley
$1,000 one thousand dollar bill president Grover Cleveland
$5,000 five thousand dollar bill president James Madison

Dollar bills of a value of $500 and higher are not used in daily trade in shops. See here for more information about the counterpart to the USA dollar, the European euro.
Copyright © 2012 Euro Dollar Currency
Reproduction without written permission from the owner of this site is prohibited.
All articles are protected by copyright and have been archived at a national library.
Linking to this page is permitted provided that the links are clearly acknowledged. Thank you.