"The State of The World" Number 5
Complete Index Of All Issues
The Birth Of The Dollar
The "Dollar" is the name given to the various currencies of over 20 nations today, including the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore. The word "dollar" itself originated from "thaler" - a European coin that was used for many centuries.
The "thaler" got its name from the town of Joachimsthal (i.e. the "thal" in Joachimsthal) in the central-European Kingdom of Bohemia, also known as the Czech Kingdom. The coin was first minted in 1518 from the local silver mines of Joachimsthal.
After Bohemia became a state within the Holy Roman Empire (full title, the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation), the thaler became associated with Germany. In German, "thal" means valley, or someone from the valley - hence the reason for the images on some of the coins, such as the example below from 1629.
By means of the Holy Roman Empire, the thaler was used as an Imperial currency throughout Europe for over 5 centuries. Various versions were officially produced, some of which display images that are found in present-day versions of the thaler - the dollar. Notice the pyramid and sun images on the coin below and compare it to the familiar pyramid, eye and sun image of the U.S. $1.00 bill.
The ancient Roman / Germanic "Eye of Providence" as depicted on the U.S. $1.00 bill.