Jul
22
2010
2

What are Bitcoins?

bitcoinsBitcoins are computer-generated digital tokens. You can buy stuff with them, yet bitcoins differ fundamentally from banknotes, coins, and digital currencies—not the least because you can mint bitcoins yourself. Paper money, minted coinage, and digital currencies each require a central authority to issue the stock of the currency. Digital currencies also require a central authority [more...]

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Jul
18
2010
1

Is it worth picking up pennies?

look-down-for-moneyInflation has eroded the value of the penny to the point where many people will no longer pick up a penny when they see one in the street. But how does this stand up to cold-blooded economic analysis? Suppose it takes three seconds to pick up a penny. There are 3600 seconds in an hour, [more...]

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Mar
20
2010
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What are trade dollars and pieces of eight?

trade-dollarsTrade dollar is a general term for many similar sized coins once used in China and elsewhere in Southeast Asia. Originally, the trade dollar was the Spanish or Mexican silver eight reales coin (also called a peso), familiar in Pacific trade through the Spanish colonies since the 17th century. The term dollar comes from the [more...]

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Apr
08
2009
1

Is there a problem with £1 coins?

pound coinsThere are 1,452 million One Pound coins currently in circulation [1], but there is an increasing number of counterfeit One Pound coins also in circulation. According to the Royal Mint website, the most recent survey reveals that 1 in 50 coins are fake, but they have admitted recently in news reports that it is probably [more...]

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Jan
21
2009
2

What is the first US coin to have the same person on both sides of the coin?

Lincoln Memorial (photo by by chadh CC-BY)Between 1959 and 2008, the Abraham Lincoln penny. This answer is a little cheeky as the obverse has his portrait while the reverse shows the Lincoln Memorial with the Lincoln Statue. The engraving is by Frank Gasparro, who was at the time, the Assistant, and later Chief Engraver of the United States Mint. See the [more...]

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