Did You Know?

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  • A stack of dollar bills one mile high would be worth 14.5 million dollars.
  • Cattle (which include sheep, camels, and other livestock) are the first and oldest form of money. Each head of cattle was called a caput, which is Latin for “head.” So, a person with a lot of cattle had lots of caput or “capital,” a word still used today to describe money.
  • Throughout history, people have used many forms of money, such as soap, cocoa beans, elephant tail hairs, entire elephants, grain, animal skins, fishhooks, feathers, tea tobacco, bird claws, and bear teeth.
  • The Romans were the first to stamp the image of a living person on a coin. After winning in war, Julius Caesar featured his portrait on a coin in 44 B.C.
  • The Sumerians in ancient Mesopotamia (modern Iraq) were the first people to use ingots, the first form of metal money. The value of ingots depended on their weight.
  • In Old English pygg was a type of clay that was used to make jars and dishes that held money. The word eventually morphed into “piggy bank.”
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