Some interesting facts about foreign currency

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As things are understandably quieter at Compareholidaymoney headquarters at the moment, we took the opportunity to redesign and freshen up our currency comparison pages. In true QI fashion, our development team searched for some interesting facts about all of the currencies we compare rates for so we could share them with our visitors.

In this article we highlight a few of these fun and interesting facts but if you want to see more then visit any of our currency pages where you will find lots more information about that currency and its exchange rate.


Euro coins are struck at various national mints across the European Union, but unlike banknotes each EU country can choose their own designs. Next time you’ve got a handful of euro coins, take a look at the reverse side to see which country they originated from!

US dollars

Over 500 million dollars’ worth of banknotes are printed every day by the US Department of the Treasury. The two main printing facilities – based in Washington D.C. and Fort Worth, Texas – use 10 tonnes of ink per day.

Turkish lira

The Turkish lira symbol (₺) was created by a Turkish citizen after a country-wide competition in 2012. The symbol is based on the letters ‘T’ and ‘L’ crossed in the middle by two lines to form an anchor-like shape which represents the stability of the lira. The two lines symbolise Turkey connecting to Europe in the West and Asia in the East.

Australian dollars

Australia was the first country in the world to use plastic polymer banknotes. In 1988, the Australian government replaced the $10 paper-based banknote with a new plastic polymer version in an attempt to prevent counterfeiting.

Moroccan dirham

The name dirham is derived from the Roman word ‘denarius’ and refers to a currency that was used in Morocco during the Roman period.

Bahraini dinars

Unlike most currencies which can be subdivided into units of 100, Bahraini dinars can subdivided into units of 1,000. One Bahraini dinar is equivalent to 1,000 fils.

Argentine pesos

Pesos are derived from Spanish dollars or ‘pieces of eight’ which were brought to Argentina by the Spanish in the 16th century. The name peso means ‘weight’ in Spanish and refers to the fact that one peso was worth one-eighth of a Spanish real – another denomination of old Spanish currency.

Chinese Yuan

The official currency in China is the renminbi which translates as “the people’s money”. Renminbi is the name of the currency but individual units are expressed as yuan (pronounced yoo-an).

Egyptian pounds

Unsurprisingly, many of Egypt’s coins and banknotes feature images of pharaohs. Cleopatra is depicted on the 50 piastre coin, Tutankhamun on the 1 pound coin, Ramesses II on the 50 piastre note and Khafra on the 50 pound note.

Indian Rupees

Indian banknotes feature 17 different languages. The majority of text is printed in Hindi and English, but the value is printed in a multitude of other languages including Bengali, Punjabi, Kashmiri and Urdu.

So there we have 10 interesting facts about currencies you might buy in the future – especially when we can all travel freely once again! Much more information about all major currencies can be found on our website. And if you want to keep in touch with all the latest news from the world of travel and travel money you can sign up to our monthly newsletter.

Posted by Graham Morley

Graham Morley

Graham is the Business Development Manager for Compare Holiday Money.

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