On the Money: Test Your Knowledge on the World's Craziest Currencies

By: Staff

4 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

Humans have assigned value to all kinds of things through the ages, from stones to spices. There’s even money made for potential encounters with alien life. How much is the intergalactic value of a Space Quid? The answer may surprise you!

This currency is a boon to vehicle owners in Canada; can you guess what it purchases?

Canadian Tire money debuted in 1958 and could be used to make purchases at, you guessed it, Canadian Tire stores. The loyalty program is still in use today and represents more than $100 million awarded to customers annually.


If you become a space traveler, which currency would scientists recommend?

Scientists in the U.K. have created the Quasi Universal Intergalactic Denomination (Quid) for space travel. The coin is made of a substance similar to that used in nonstick frying pans and avoids some of the problems created by traditional currency, such as the magnetic strips on debit cards that can be easily damaged in zero gravity.


A Katanga cross was currency made of copper that weighed how much?

The Katanga cross originated in the early 1900s in a copper mining region in Africa. Made of copper, it was shaped like a cross and ranged from a half-pound to 2.5 pounds. It was used as currency in the Democratic Republic of Congo.


Although it's not actual currency, this paper money featuring some cartoon characters can be spent where?

Disney dollars can be redeemed at Disney resorts and parks, and on the company's trademark cruises. The currency, sold in $1, $5 and $10 denominations, looks like traditional paper money -- with the addition of the images of Mickey Mouse, Goofy or other Disney characters.


Kissi, a west African currency made of twisted iron bars with a "T" shape at one end and a spatula shape at the other, was believed to contain what?

Kissi money ranges in length from 9 to 15 inches (22 to 28 centimeters), according to its value. Each bar is believed to contain a soul. If the bar became broken, the soul escaped. To repair the bar, a special ceremony was conducted by the local witch doctor who rejoined the pieces for a price.


What was the amount of America's largest denomination of paper currency?

America had a $100,000 bill that features an image of President Woodrow Wilson. The $100,000 bill, worth about $1.6 million today, was used only for transactions between Federal Reserve Banks and was discontinued in 1935.


Is a novelty $1 million bill illegal?

You may receive a $1 million bill as a gag gift, but luckily this novelty currency isn't illegal. In 1982, the Secret Service investigated and determined the gag gifts weren't really forgeries.


Which country once offered a currency made of cardboard-like fiber?

Manchukuo was a short-lived state located in Manchuria from 1932 until the end of World War II. Its currency was the Manchukuo Yuan, which was made of a red or brown fiber similar to cardboard.


Are U.S. $2 bills still in circulation?

It may be a rare sight to see a $2 bill, but they are still in circulation -- even though the U.S. Treasury has printed more since 2006.


Paper money in Bulgaria depicts which creature as a watermark?

The 10 leva banknote has a number of watermarks, including a rhino, globe and narwhal -- an Arctic whale with a spiral tusk.


Which edible currency was once used in the Solomon Islands?

Tumeric is one of the world's most expensive spices. In the Solomon Islands, tumeric wrapped in coconut fibers was once used as currency.


Which delicate currency started as casino coins but became so popular it was used throughout the country?

Siamese porcelain tokens were first used in a casino game known as Fantan in the early 1800s. However, the delicate etched coins included 8,000 different designs and became so popular they were used throughout Siam (now Thailand) before the government banned them in 1875. The currency then became part of a black market trade and was used well into the 20th century.


Until the 1950s, some Caribbean nations didn't have their own currency; so where did their money come from?

Several Caribbean nations only began producing their own currency in the mid-19th century. Until then, they would recycle any foreign coins that entered their country by counterstamping it. For example, Dominica recycled by cutting a heart shape into the middle of foreign currency. This made the currency worthless in its country of origin but valuable on the island.


True or false: Paper currency was first introduced in North America in 1690.

In 1690, the Massachusetts Bay Colony introduced paper currency to the Americas.


To carry a Rai stone as currency, what would you need?

Rai stones couldn't be considered "pocket change," because they would never have fit in a pocket. These doughnut-shaped stones were used as currency on Micronesia's Yap island; some of the weighty stone coins measured up to 8 feet (2.4 meters) in diameter. The larger the coin, the greater its value.


Which of the following was once a widely accepted form of payment?

One of the oldest currencies is salt. Compressed blocks of salt have been traded by people throughout the world, ranging from Roman soldiers to Sahara desert dwellers. And, testing the authenticity of this currency only required a lick.


How much was a British farthing worth?

When the British farthing was retired in 1956, its worth was equivalent to one-quarter of a penny.


In Germany, which natural resource was used for currency after World War I?

After World War I, Germany attempted to rebuild its economy through the emergency printing of currency -- on everything from wood to playing cards.


Which country's ancient currency could be steeped in hot water and turned into a drink?

In ancient China, bricks made of compressed tea (and sometimes twigs) were used as currency. The tea was compressed into bricks and then stamped with a symbol to convey its value. After the brick had served its value for trading, it could be steeped in hot water and consumed.


The value of which British currency increased depending on the price of gold:

The British guinea was actually made of gold, which caused its value to increase with the price of gold. While the guinea was originally worth one British pound, its value was officially increased several times by the monarchy before it was retired in 1816.


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