The Money Portal

Euro coins and banknotes

Money is any item or verifiable record that is generally accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment of debts, such as taxes, in a particular country or socio-economic context. The primary functions which distinguish money are as a medium of exchange, a unit of account, a store of value and sometimes, a standard of deferred payment.

Money was historically an emergent market phenomenon that possess intrinsic value as a commodity; nearly all contemporary money systems are based on unbacked fiat money without use value. Its value is consequently derived by social convention, having been declared by a government or regulatory entity to be legal tender; that is, it must be accepted as a form of payment within the boundaries of the country, for "all debts, public and private", in the case of the United States dollar. Contexts which erode public confidence, such as the circulation of counterfeit money or domestic hyperinflation, can cause good money to lose its value.

The money supply of a country comprises all currency in circulation (banknotes and coins currently issued) and, depending on the particular definition used, one or more types of bank money (the balances held in checking accounts, savings accounts, and other types of bank accounts). Bank money, whose value exists on the books of financial institutions and can be converted into physical notes or used for cashless payment, forms by far the largest part of broad money in developed countries. (Full article...)

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A photograph of a hand-cranked machine
A Castaing machine, on display at the American Numismatic Association museum.

The Castaing machine is a device used to add lettering and decoration to the edge of a coin. Such lettering was necessitated by counterfeiting and edge clipping, which was a common problem resulting from the uneven and irregular hammered coinage. When Aubin Olivier introduced milled coinage to France, he also developed a method of marking the edges with lettering which would make it possible to detect if metal had been shaved from the edge. This method involved using a collar, into which the metal flowed from the pressure of the press. This technique was slower and more costly than later methods. France abandoned milled coinage in favour of hammering in 1585.

England experimented briefly with milled coinage, but it wasn't until Peter Blondeau brought his method of minting coins there in the mid-seventeenth century that such coinage began in earnest in that country. Blondeau also invented a different method of marking the edge, which was, according to him, faster and less costly than the method pioneered by Olivier. Though Blondeau's exact method was secretive, numismatists have asserted that it likely resembled the later device invented by Jean Castaing. Castaing's machine marked the edges by means of two steel rulers, which, when a coinage blank was forced between them, imprinted legends or designs on its edge. Castaing's device found favour in France, and it was eventually adopted in other nations, including Britain and the United States, but it was eventually phased out by mechanised minting techniques. (Full article...)
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100,000 Armenian dram - 2009 (obverse).jpg

The dram (Armenian: դրամ; sign: ֏; abbreviation: դր.; ISO code: AMD) is the currency of Armenia, and is also used in the neighboring unrecognized Republic of Artsakh. It was historically subdivided into 100 luma (լումա). The Central Bank of Armenia is responsible for issuance and circulation of dram banknotes and coins, as well as implementing the monetary policy of Armenia.

The word "dram" translates into English as "money" and is cognate with the Greek drachma and the Arabic dirham, as well as the English weight unit dram. The first instance of a dram currency was in the period from 1199 to 1375, when silver coins called dram were issued. (Full article...)

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  • ... that the fashionable hula master ʻIoane ʻŪkēkē was mistaken for a prince in his prime but ended his days blind and begging for money on the streets of Honolulu?
  • ... that Ken Kortas lost money speculating on hog futures during his NFL career?
  • ... that Grace Buxner said when the developers of Superhot noticed her "cool frog game, they were like 'hmmm... what if..... money?????'"
  • ... that medievalist Edward Rand rang the doorbell of Harvard president Charles William Eliot and asked him: "I would like to go to Harvard; do you have any money?"
  • ... that the manager of WVSS at the University of Wisconsin–Stout spent about $6,000 of his own money to buy more than 500 classical music CDs to program the station?
  • ... that Frankie Saluto was a member of the Ringling Giants, a dwarf baseball team that raised money for charity?
  • ... that the Gould Memorial Library once hosted pie-throwing contests to raise money?
  • ... that Neha Pendse, the lead actress of the Marathi film June, contributed some of her own money towards its production?

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In the news

25 December 2022 –
A court in the Maldives sentences former president Abdulla Yameen to 11 years in prison on money laundering and bribery charges. (ABC News)


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