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Currencies of the World

US Dollar
ISO code: USD
Country: USA
Issuer: Federal Reserve System
Banknotes: $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, $100

The US dollar is one of the major reserve currencies in the world. The Federal Reserve System, operating as the central bank for the US, issues the currency.

The currency is issued by the National Bank of Kazakhstan and comes as both notes and coins. Coins are issued in the form of 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 tenge, but 1 and 2 tenge pieces are still legal tender, but they are relatively worthless.Notes come as 200, 500, 1000, 2000, 5000 and 10,000 tenge. The currency is identified internationally by the letters KZT.


There are a lot of versions of the greenback history. The dollar has its origins in the Czech Republic. Initially, it was called "thaler". This name was given to coins first minted in 1519 from locally mined silver in Joachimsthal (the Czech town). Thaler is a shortened form of the term by which the coin was originally known - Joachimsthaler.

The British gave thalers the name dalers, which was applied not only to Joachimsthalers but also to the Portuguese reals and Spanish pesos as they all were practically identical.

The first American dollar was a silver coin, which was equal to the Spanish peso. It started circulation in 1792. A little while, the dollar was minted from gold, but it did not solve financial problems of the US as well as the silver production did not either. Then in 1914, the first dollar banknotes were issued in public circulation.

The dollar banknote has changed over time. It has had the present view since 1928. The design was created by Russian painter Sergey Makronovski who emigrated to the US. The portraits of the US public figures are printed on one side of the bills. At another side of the dollar banknote, Makronovski placed elements of Great Seal of the United States, the American bald eagle holding an olive branch and arrows, and the unfinished pyramid with the Eye of Providence above it.

Dollar symbol ($)

There are many theories of the dollar sign origins, none of which has been proved yet. The most widely accepted theory is that the sign owes its roots to the Spanish peso (P). The plural form was a large "P" with a small "s" above it. Traders simplified the symbol by retaining only the upward stroke of the "P" and superimposing the "S" upon it. The Spanish Peso coin had two pillars engraved on the reverse side to symbolise the "Pillars of Hercules" at Gibraltar. That coin was called the Pillar Dollar in the British colonies in North America. The two pillars may have become the two strokes in the Dollar sign.

Dollar nowadays

Today's dollar is a world currency used in almost every trading operation between countries. Even with the appearance of the euro in 2002, the buck remained the most popular measure of monetary supply in many countries. About one third to a half of money printed in the US goes abroad. With the aim to prevent counterfeiting, the US government changes the banknote design every 7-10 years.

Over the course of nearly 200 years, many experts have predicted the collapse of the dollar every next day. However, despite these forecasts, the greenback is still alive and thrives.