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Dollar’s history starts back in 1520 when the Czech Kingdom of Bohemia began minting coins from silver and marked on the reverse with the Czech lion. The coins were called joachimsthaler, which became shortened in common usage to thaler or taller. A later Dutch coin also illustrating a lion was called ‘lion dealer’. The Dutch dealer circulated throughout the Middle East and was imitated in several German and Italian cities. This coin was also popular in the Dutch East Indies and in the Dutch New Netherland Colony (New York). It was in circulation throughout the Thirteen Colonies during the 17th and early 18th centuries and was popularly known as “lion (or Lyon) dollar”. Spanish pesos – having the same weight and shape – came to be known as Spanish dollars. By the mid-18th century, the lion dollar had been replaced by Spanish dollar. Like the government itself, money in America dates back to 1776 when the Continental Congress issued the country’s first official dollar bills.
On April 2, 1792, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton reported to Congress the precise amount of silver found in Spanish dollar coins in common use in the states. As a result, the United States dollar was defined as a unit of pure silver weighing 371 4/16th grains (24.057 grams), or 416 grains of standard silver (standard silver being defined as 1,485 parts fine silver to 179 parts alloy). It was specified that the “money of account” of the United States should be expressed in those same “dollars” or parts thereof. Additionally, all lesser-denomination coins were defined as percentages of the dollar coin, such that a half-dollar was to contain half as much silver as a dollar, quarter-dollars would contain one-fourth as much, and so on.
The euro is the official currency of the eurozone, which consists of 19 of the 28 member states of the European Union: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Spain. Till this day, the euro is not the currency of all European Union members. Some new EU members are still trying and are working seriously to meet the conditions which are necessary to adopt the single currency. In the same time, UK and Denmark negotiated opt-outs from the obligation to join the European Monetary Union.
The currency is also officially used by the institutions of the European Union and four other European countries, as well as unilaterally by two others, and is consequently used daily by some 337 million Europeans as of 2015. Outside Europe, a number of overseas territories of EU members also use the euro as their currency. Additionally, 210 million people worldwide as of 2013 use currencies pegged to the euro.
The name euro was officially adopted on 16 December 1995 in Madrid. On 31 December 1998, the conversion rates between the euro and the currencies of the participating Member States were irrevocably fixed.
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