Monetary denominations

Charles Wells charles at FREUDE.COM
Thu Mar 8 23:51:34 UTC 2001

>Another piece of monetary/linguistic trivia:
>     The US penny reads "ONE CENT"
>     The US nickel reads "FIVE CENTS"
>     The US quarter reads "QUARTER DOLLAR"
>What denomination is specified on the US dime?  "ONE DIME"

I can't give a reference, but I believe it was Benjamin Franklin who decided
that our money should become decimal and have denominations dollar, dime and
penny paralleling the three denominations of British money, pounds, shillings
and pence.  (Probably he mentioned mills, too.)  I presume he expected we would
write $3.56 as 3/5/6 or something like that.  But of course if it is
decimalized, why do that?  It would be interesting to read early price lists to
follow the evolution of the way we wrote money amounts.

Charles Wells, 105 South Cedar St., Oberlin, Ohio 44074, USA.
email: charles at
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