How The Dollar Sign Appeared

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How The Dollar Sign Appeared
How The Dollar Sign Appeared

The dollar sign ($) denotes not only the ubiquitous dollar, but also the peso, and escudos, and other currencies of other countries. There are several versions of the origin of the dollar symbolism, which, in fact, will be discussed.

Dollar symbol
Dollar symbol

Echoes of antiquity

The version about dollar symbols borrowed from Ancient Rome sounds very convincing. There is a clear relationship with the designation of the ancient sestertius (a silver coin in denomination of two and a half pounds of copper). The second name of the sestertius "Libra-Libra-Semis" ("Pound-Pound-Half") was a prerequisite for the appearance of the abbreviation "LLS" or "IIS". Subsequently, the duplicated letter began to cover the subsequent one, provoking the appearance of the final dollar symbol. The theory is quite worthy of attention, especially considering the special popularity of ancient Roman themes in the Age of Enlightenment. Take, for example, such realities of American political reality as the Capitol or the Senate.

Spanish dollar

It is known that by the end of the 15th century, King of Aragon Ferdinand II chose the Pillars of Hercules, with a developing ribbon surrounding them, as a symbol of the state. Over time, along with outstanding geographical discoveries, large deposits of silver were discovered in Mexico and Peru. Thus, the Spanish symbol migrated to new coins that came into use throughout Europe. The currency received the name "Spanish dollar" and was in use in the United States until 1794. In addition, there was an abbreviation "P" with the addition of "S", which meant "peso" in the plural. The "S" was superimposed on the "P" and then simplified to the "S" with two vertically intersecting dashes, symbolizing the Pillars of Gibraltar mentioned above.

Slave Dollar

Let's not forget to mention another very interesting hypothesis of the origin of the symbol. According to her, "$" acts as a slightly modified graphic image of the blocks, which were used to fix the position of the slaves. Also, "S" is the first letter of the common noun "slave". It is possible that the slave owners used the "$" in the ledgers to denote a slave unit. That is, this symbol could well mean some amounts, calculated in the number of slaves.

Silver Dollar

Along with others, there is also a "silver" version, on the basis of which silver was widely used instead of money in the North American colonies. Therefore, the accounting books of those times are replete with abbreviations in the form of the letter "S", meaning "silver" (silver), above which was often the letter "U" ("unit" - a piece, unit, ingot). Later "U" "crawled" to "S", which graphically began to look like "$".

Mysticism about the dollar

It will not be superfluous to mention the mystical rationale for the dollar symbol. Proponents of the idea see "$" as a Masonic symbol for King Solomon, as well as his two pillars. This is far from the only sign printed on a dollar bill that correlates with the symbolism characteristic of Masonic teachings. In addition, the connection of some of the founding fathers of the United States with the activities of the lodges is reliably known.

In fact, this icon is used not only to denote the American dollar. It is used in operations with Mexican, Argentinean, Chilean, Cuban, Dominican, as well as Uruguayan peso, Brazilian real, Nicaraguan cordon, etc.

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