What Is the History of American Currency?

Have you ever wondered about the history of the money that is used all around the world? 

Like all nations, the American dollar carries an importance that is unmatchable. After the European Sterling Pound, the American Dollar has the highest value of any currency in the world. 

But how did the country gain its way into this position and allowing the country financial stability while many countries are struggling? 

Contrary to popular belief, The United States of America didn’t start using paper money as its currency. Coins and pennies were accepted as a common currency people paper currency was introduced. 

Establishing a financial system in the country has been tougher than can be narrated here. So here is a brief little flashback of the History of American currency.

Continental Currency 

The first paper currency was issued in 1775 to fund the Revolutionary War. But this only lasted for a short term and was soon devalued. When the war ended, the value of continental currency ended with it. 

Coin of Silver

After the Revolutionary War and the decline of Continental Currency, the country passed the Coinage Act of 1792. The silver coinage last from 1792 to 1863. These coins were made from silver, except 10% of the material was made from copper. Today, silver coins are still used today as dimes and quarters, but they contain 25% nickel and 75% copper with zero traces of silver. 

Coins of Gold

Gold will always be valuable, and so will gold coins. The first gold coin was introduced in 1795. These gold coins are still used for large investments by the upper class who want a portion of their wealth invested outside of property or stocks. 

Demand Notes

Primarily made to fund the Civil War, Demand Notes used green ink that led to the term “Greenbacks.” The government used this note to pay expenses and salaries when normal currency wasn’t available.

Federal Reserve Notes

As the country started to find more opportunities to stabilize itself, the banking system was created, and the paper currency we know today was invented. Federal Reserve Notes were introduced in 1913 and are still used. There a Federal Reserve Notes for $1, $2, $10, $50, and $100 respectfully. Other values have been tried, but five bills have been proven. 

Looking Ahead

The history of American currency is fascinating, but so too is the future of money. Attempts have been made to phase our smaller currency, such as pennies, because they cost more to make than they are worth. With inflation, even a single dollar bill can’t buy very much anymore. Today, more transactions occur online, like when purchasing from brands such as Standard Process, New Chapter, and Megafood. Kids with allowances may get that money from their parents through a program like PayPal, instead of checks or hard currency. Not to mention crypto-currency, which is a whole nother topic.

While all businesses working in the United States are required to accept American currency, many are moving away from bills, requiring instead that you only use credit cards or other forms of digital transactions.