Nowadays you might say, “rich as Croesus,” “rich as Midas,” or “rich as Bill Gates,” but in the mid-1500s you probably would’ve said, “rich as Potosí.” Back then, the silver mines of Potosí were the largest and wealthiest in the New World.After yielding some 20,000 tons of silver, its precious-metal deposits were exhausted. What country is Potosí in, and what is Potosí’s primary product today?
4. Canadian bacon
True or false: The name of the Japanese unit of currency was derived from the term for an addictive drug.
Diamonds may be forever, but money is not. Many countries have withdrawn old units of currency and replaced them with new ones (usually after suffering a bout of hyperinflation). Match the old and new currencies with their respective countries.
A. The Argentine austral
B. The Brazilian cruzado
C. The Bolivian peso
True or false: While the dollar may not be in peak condition, it’s far more secure than earlier US currencies. During the Revolutionary War, the United States issued a bill called a continental — a paper currency with nothing to back it up.
Guatemala named its currency after an indigenous bird. It is called the:
True or false: The Canadians replaced their one-dollar bill with a one-dollar coin. It is colloquially known as a “Moosehead.”
The Swiss are justifiably proud of their multicultural society. They have four official languages, German, French, Italian, and Romansch. The Swiss unit of currency is named after:
A. The German mark
B. The French franc
C. The Italian lira
D. The Romansch roma
True or false: Pesos are the accepted form of currency in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico.
What Latin American country named its currency after its largest Amerindian population?
A. Venezuela (the Bol’var)
B. Paraguay (the Guaran’)
C. Ecuador (the Sucre)
D. Panama (the Balboa)
True or false: The United States, Australia, Canada, Guyana, Liberia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Trinidad and Tobago, Western Samoa, Hong Kong, and Singapore all use a basic unit of currency called the dollar.
C. Bolivia, although back in the 1500s it was called the Vice Royalty of Peru. 1. Tin. Once the silver was gone, there was still so much tin that it became Bolivia’s most valuable export.
True. The Japanese word “yen” is derived from the Chineseword “en,” which means “opium.”
A,1; B,3; C,2
True. “Not worth a continental” was a common expression.
B. The quetzal is named after the beautiful Guatemalan bird with green and red plumage.
False. Canadians coined the term “Looney” for their one-dollar coin in honor of the loon engraved on one side.”Moosehead” is a Canadian beer.
B. The French franc. Internationally it is called the Swiss franc(SwF). Swiss Germans refer to it as the Swiss franken, and Swiss Italians call it the Swiss franco.
False. Puerto Rico is a commonwealth of the United States and uses US currency.
B. Paraguay not only named its currency after the Guaraní, but it made both Spainsh and Guaraní official national languages.
True. The word “dollar” comes from the German word”Taler” (Low German “Daler”). “Taler” is short for “Joachimstaler,” a coin made with metal from Joachimsthal, a town in the Erzgebirge Mountains, Czech Republic.