“Money can’t buy you happiness”, however, we’ve gathered some fun facts about currencies that will make you a little bit happier – or at least: make you laugh.

Pay less than worth?   

American pennies actually cost more to be produced and shipped than what they are worth. Indeed it costs 1.8 pennies to bring a penny into circulation. The US government actually lost 69 million dollars in 2017 due to the production of pennies.

An Indian one rupee note also exceeds its value in production costs by 1.14 times and its production has ceased since 1994. The problem of counterfeit notes remains even though in 2016 the rupee was declared invalid –  a move by the Indian government to decrease corruption and the production of counterfeit money. At the same time, new banknotes were put into circulation and the old bills could be exchanged for new ones. Nonetheless, 1% or 89 million of the invalid bills are still being used to this day.

The Euro bill is designed in a way to include all the cultures and histories that span across the European Union!

The design of the Euro is more sophisticated than you might have thought. On the front side of the banknote, windows are depicted, which symbolize the openness of the Union. On the other side are bridges showing the metaphorical connection between the countries of the EU. The architectural style of the bridges varies depending on the monetary value of the banknote, for instance, the 5 € note displays a bridge in a classical style and the 10 € note a bridge in the Romanesque style. Other architectural characteristics feature Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, and rococo elements and 19th-century iron and glass architecture. Hence, there is a lot to learn about history, culture, and architecture when you are bored standing in the queue at a market during your next trip. 

Not all currencies are suitable for animal lovers. 

Cashless to protect animals 

If you are vegan, you might want to switch to paying cashless as much as possible. The United Kingdom, Canada, and Vietnam among other countries use trace amounts of resin containing tallow, a form of rendered animal fat, in the production of their bills. Supposedly it increases the currencies’ resistance to counterfeiting. Although many animal activists have been pushing back against these production practices, the method has not yet been changed. 

The money revolution

Good news for those who care about animal wellbeing:  only around 8% of the world’s currency is actual physical money. Most of our transactions happen digitally. For instance, you are most likely paying your rent digitally, shopping online, or using a debit or credit card. 

Video game money, cryptocurrency … what may follow?

In a digital world the definition of currency is getting looser to encompass things such as cryptocurrency, NFTs, or video game currencies. But it will still take centuries for us to actually replace physical currency. In the meantime, we should stay curious about what funny and creative ideas may be implemented in the craft of designing banknotes.