The Beauty of World Banknotes

The Fascinating Hobby of World Banknote Collecting

World banknotes are often colorful engraved pieces of art depicting the history, economy, geography and people of countries from around the world.

For a beginner, this hobby can be an inexpensive way to explore the world, let’s take a look.

The Beauty of Banknote Art

Banknotes can be works of art

Each year the International Banknote Society selects a Banknote of the Year. Here are a few past winners.


Discover World Geography

Do you know the difference between Guinea and Guyana? How about Slovakia and Slovenia? Sri Lanka and Ceylon (Trick Question)?

You will once you start collecting.

Explore World Economic Conditions

Imagine a country that issues a 1 cent note and a 100 Trillion Dollar banknote all within a year.

It happened in Zimbabwe in 2007 & 2008.

Sometimes inflation happens so fast that old notes are overprinted with new values.

A Brazil 5,000 Cruzados note becomes a 5 Cruzados Novos

Banknote collecting can be inexpensive

One can buy 50 different notes for under $20 on eBay.

TIPS:  Be sure to collect Uncirculated banknotes as they can be traded and hold value better than commonly circulated notes.

Banknotes from high-inflation countries tend to be very inexpensive to collect, often under $1 each.

World Currencies

Ever hear of a Florin, Manat, Real, Escudo, Colon or a Sucre?


Name of
Country Meaning
Afghani Afghanistan derived from the country name: “that belongs to or that is from Afghanistan”
Agora / Agorot Israel (coins) Old Hebrew: אגורה – Agora. The name was suggested by the Academy of the Hebrew Language and was borrowed from Torah “agorat kessef” meaning “a piece of silver”. >אגורות – Agorot is the plural form.
Akşa Tuva (old) In Tuvanian and in other Turkic languages: Akşa (pronounced as Aksha) means “Money”. It was the currency of the People’s Republic of Tuva from 1921 till 1944 when Tuva joined the USSR.
Angolar Angola (old) Portuguese: Angolar means “of Angola”
Anna India, Burma, Pakistan (old coins) Word is borrowed from Hindi word ānā which has the Sanskrit root aṇu – “small”
Ariary Madagascar 17th-century currency unit consisting of 720 Variraiventy, a piece of silver equal to the weight of a rice grain. Ariary system is a nondecimal one which is divided into 5 Iraimbilaja
At Laos (coins) derived from Thai At, a former coin worth one-eighth of a Füang
Auksinas Lithuania (old) derived from Auksas: “gold” in Lithuanian (with special thanks to Audrius from Lithuania)
Aurar Iceland (coins) Plural of Eyrir from Old Norse “money”, probably from Latin Aurum “gold”
Austral Argentina Latin: “Australis” – coming from the South, Southern, “Auster” – the South wind
Avo Macao (coins) Portuguese shortened from Oitavo “eighth” from Latin Octvus “eighth”
Baht Thailand Thai: บาท – Baht is a weight unit of 15 grams – Upto 1940’s the currency of Thailand was Tical which was 15 grams of silver
Baiza Oman (coins) derived from the Hindi Paisa “a quarter”
Balboa Panama Vasco Nunez de Balboa – Spanish explorer who discovered the Pacific Ocean (1475-1519)
Ban / Bani Romania (coins) Ban means “money” in Romanian. Bani is the plural form
Birr Ethiopia In Amharic (language of Ethiopia) Birr means “to be white”
Bolivar Venezuela Simon Bolivar – a Venezuelan statesman who revolted against Spanish rule, founded Bolivia in 1825 (1783-1830)
Boliviano Bolivia Meaning Bolivian in Spanish. The country Bolivia itself was named after Simon Bolivar. (With special thanks to Don Cleveland)
Cash China (old) Please see Wen
Cedi Ghana In Akan (a native language of Ghana) Cedi is a “small shell”
Cent, Centavo, Centime Many countries Latin: “centum” – a hundred, used in the meaning of “a hundredth”
Chon Korea Korean: 전 – Chon (also spelled as Jeon) means 1/10. 1 Won is divided into 10 Chon.
Colon El Salvador, Costa Rica Cristobal Colon is the Spanish name of Christopher Columbus, the explorer who discovered America (1451-1506)
Cordoba Nicaragua Francisco Fernandez Cordoba – Spanish explorer who discovered Yucatan (1475-1526)
Cruzado Brazil from the Portuguese verb “Cruzar: to bear a cross” – early Portuguese gold or silver coins that bore a cross on the reverse
Cruzeiro Brazil from Portuguese word: Cruz – “Cross”
Dalasi Gambia A Gambian native name
Denar Macedonia derived from Latin: “Denarius” – Silver Money
Dinar Many countries Dinar is derived from Latin: “Denarius” – Silver Money
Dinara Srebru Serbia Serbian: “Silver Dinar”
Dinara Zlatu Serbia Serbian: “Gold Dinar”
Dirham Morocco, UAE Arabic: درهم – Dirham is derived from the Old Greek word “Drakhme” which came to Latin as “Drachma” meaning “a handful”
Dobra St.Thomas and Principe Portuguese: Fold, folding
Dollar The USA and many other countries from 16th century German: “Thaler” a short form of Joahimsthaler, a coin made from metal mined in Joahimsthal, a town now in the Czech Republic
Dong Vietnam Vietnamese: đồng – literally “copper” or “bronze”, in modern Vietnamese Dong means “currency”. 1 Dong is divided into 10 Hào.
Drachma Greece Old Greek: δραχμή – Drakhme meaning “a handful” derived from the verb δράττω – dratto “to grasp”. It is also an ancient unit of weight equal to 60 grains.
Dram Armenia Armenian: Դրամ – Dram means “money” which was derived from the Greek word “Drachma”.
Ducat Austria, Germany, Holland and many other countries Derived from Ducatus – the Latin word for Duchy, which is ultimately derived from Latin Ducis: Duke.
Emalangeni Swaziland In Swati language Langeni means money; Emalangeni is used as plural and Lilangeni is singular
Euro European Union derived from Europe. This name was the winning choice in a contest in 1996, and was invented by a group of scholars in Spain. (with special thanks to Roberto Cacciamani)
Escudo Portugal, Cape Verde Portuguese: Shield displaying the coat of arms; from Latin: Scutum
Fen China Chinese: 分 – Fen means 1/100. 1 Yuan is divided into 100 Fen. (with special thanks to Kevin Au from Canada)
Fenniga Bosnia and Herzegovina derived from the German “Pfennig”
Filira Croatia Croatian cognate of the Hungarian Filler.
Filler Hungary In Hungarian Filler means “a very small amount of money”
Fils Bahrain, Kuwait, Iraq, UAE, Yemen (coins) In Arabic, the word Fals or Fils is derived from Latin word Follis meaning “piece of money”
Forint Hungary from Italian word “Fiorino” – Florin
Franc France and other French-speaking countries 14th century French word derived from Latin phrase: Rex Francorum – King of the Franks, inscribed on 14th century francs.
Fun Korea (old coins) Korean: 분 – Fun is the cognate of Chinese Fen. 1 Whan, a silver Dollar, was divided into 500 Fun. (with special thanks to Kevin Au from Canada)
Gourde Haiti A tropical American evergreen that produces large round gourds
Gros Czech Rep. (Former Bohemia) Pronounced as grosh. The name of the coin is equal to the one-thirtieth of a Thaler. The word is adopted from Latin (Denarius) Grossus: lit. “A thick coin” where grossus being “thick”
Groschen Germany and Austria (coins) Derived from the Czech Gros, ultimately from Latin Grossus
Grosz Poland (coins) Grosz was a 3.2 gr. silver coin equivalent of 12 Denarius in the 14th century in Poland. Derived from Latin Grossus
Guarani Paraguay Indigenous people living in Paraguay and Bolivia
Gulden Holland, Surinam, Netherlands Antilles Dutch: Golden
Haler Czech Republic (coins) derived from the German “Haller”
Halier Slovakia (coins) derived from the German “Haller”
Hào Vietnam Originally Hào is a unit of weight in Vietnam equal to 3.77 milligrams. In currency terms, it is used as one-tenth of a Dong.
Heller / Haller Germany (coins) from SchwäbischHall, a town near Stuttgart where the coins were minted
Hryvnia Ukraine Hryvnia was the currency unit of the Kievian Rus in the 11th century. Originally the word meant “neck” and used for the valuable things worn around the neck.
Hwan Korea (old) Korean: 환 – Hwan derived from Chinese 元 Yuan, was the currency unit in South Korea from 1953 till 1962.
Inti Peru a regional word from Quechua, Peru meaning “Sun” the principal god of Inca culture (with special thanks to Massimo Accordi)
Iraimbilanja Madagascar (coins) Iriambilanja means “one iron weight” in Madagascar language which is one-fifth of an Ariary
Jeon Korea Korean: 전 – Jeon (also spelled as Chon) means 1/10. 1 Won is divided into 10 Jeon.
Jiao China Chinese: 角 – Jiao means 1/10. 1 Yuan is divided into 10 Jiao. (with special thanks to Kevin Au from Canada)
Karbovanetz Ukraine, Belarus The name given to Ruble in Ukraine and Belarus is derived from the German word Kerbe: To carve, to cut; same as the meaning of the Ruble (with special thanks to Philippe Simon from France)
Khoums Mauritania (coins) from Arabic word Khoums “fifth”, 1 Ouguiya is divided into 5 Khoums
Kina Papua New Guinea Kina means “pearl shell” in Pidgin and Kuanua languages
Kip Laos In Lao language, Kip means “ingot”, a mold in which metal is cast
Kobo Nigeria (coins) derived from the English “copper” penny
Kopeck / Kopek Russia, Belarus, Ukraine (coins) Kopeika is derived from “kopyo” meaning “spear”, from the image of a rider with a spear on the coins minted by Moscow after the capture of Novgorod in 1478
Koruna Czech Rep., Slovakia Czech: Crown, head from Latin “Corona”
Kran / Qiran Iran (old) Persian قران – Kran was 1000 Dinar or one-tenth of a Toman. The Rial replaced Kran in 1932.
Krone Scandinavian currencies Latin: Corona – “Crown”
Kroon Estonia Latin: Corona – “Crown”
Kuan / Guàn China (old) Chinese 贯 – Guàn literally means “string the cash coins together (old Chinese coins had a hole in the center)”. Guàn is an old unit equal to 1000 coins. (with special thanks to Fung Nai Chuen – a money issuer from Hong Kong)
Kuan Wen Sheng / Guàn Wen Sheng China (old) Chinese 贯文省 / 贯聞省 – Guàn Wen Sheng in Chinese literally means “string the cash coins together”. It is an old unit equal to 770 / 800 cash coins used between 1168 – 1279 AD. (with special thanks to Alex Fung – money issuer from Hong Kong)
Kuna Croatia Croatian: “Marten” – a small furred animal, as its fur was unit of exchange in medieval trading
Kurus Turkey (coins) Pronounced as Kurush, derived from the Austrian Groschen, ultimately from Latin Grossus
Kwacha Malawi, Zambia In Bemba (Zambian language): “Dawn” symbolizes the Zambian nationalist slogan “New dawn of freedom”
Kwanza Angola In Swahili the word means “the first fruits”, but the currency takes its name from Kwanza River in Angola
Kyat Myanmar (formerly Burma) Burmese: Kyat (pronounced as chat) literally means “round” and “flat”. Kyat was used in the 19th century as a unit of mass, approximately 16.33 grams.
Lari Georgia In old Georgian language ლარი – Lari means “hoard” or “property”
Lats Latvia Derives from “Latvija”: Latvia in Latvian language, Lati and Latu are plural forms (with special thanks to Audrius from Lithuania)
Lek Albania Named after 15th-century Albanian feudal lord Lek Dukagjini
Lempira Honduras Lempira is an Indian Chief who opposed the Spanish
Leone Sierre Leone derived from the country name
Lepton Greece (coins) Lepton (plural Lepta) means “small” or “thin” in Greek
Leu Romania, Moldova Romanian: “Lion”
Lev Bulgaria Bulgarian: “Lion”, the plural form is Leva
Leva Srebrni / Srebro Bulgaria Bulgarian: “Silver Leva”
Leva Zlatni / Zlato Bulgaria Bulgarian: “Gold Leva”
Lilangeni Swaziland In Swati language Langeni means money; li- is the singular prefix and ema- is the plural prefix
Lira Italy, Turkey, Vatican, Malta, San Marino Latin: “Libra” – “scales” or “pound”
Lirot Israel Hebrew לירות – Lirot is simply plural of לירה “Lira”
Lisente Lesotho Plural of Sente which is derived from “Cent”
Litas Lithuania Derives from “Lietuva”: Lithuania in Lithuanian language, Litai and Litu are plural forms (with special thanks to Audrius from Lithuania)
Loti Lesotho In Sesotho (language of Lesotho) Loti is the singular form of Maloti
Lumma Armenia (coins) derived from the Armenian Lumay “small coin” which comes from the Greek Noummos “current coin”
Maloti Lesotho Maloti is the name of a mountain chain where there is the highest peak in South Africa
Manat Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan derived from the Russian word for coins “manyeta” (spells as “moneta”) which comes from Latin Moneta, “mint, money”
Mark Germany Old English: “Marc” is a unit of weight of precious metals perhaps from the marks on metal bars.
Marka Bosnia and Herzegovina Konvertibilna Marka is derived from the German “Mark”, established by Dayton Agreement in 1995
Markkaa Finland Its etymology is the same as “Mark”
Mecidiye / Medjidie Turkey (old coins) Coins minted during the reign of Ottoman Sultan Abdulmecid or Sultan Mecid as more commonly called, which is pronounced as Medjid in Turkish
Metical Mozambique Derived from Arabic Mitqal: a weight measuring unit used for gold and other precious metals. The plural in Portuguese is Meticais. (with special thanks to H.E. Marc van den Reeck from Belgium)
Millimes Tunusia (coins) from French Millième “thousandth” which comes from Latin Millesimus “thousandth”
Mohru / Mohar Nepal (old) Originally the Nepalese word is मोहर् – Mohar derived from Persian Muhr “seal”. 1 Mohar (Mohru) was an 8 anna silver piece. Mohru was replaced by Rupee in 1932 at a rate of 2 Mohru equal to 1 Rupee.
Mongo Mongolia (coins) Mongolian: мөнгө pronounced as Möngö means “silver”. 1 Tugrik is divided into 100 Mongo.
Mun Korea (old) Korean: 文 – Mun was a cognate of the Chinese 文 – Wen meaning “cash”
Naira Nigeria Altered from the word “Nigeria”
Nakfa Eritrea Nak’fa is a town in Eritrea that became the symbol of Eritrean resistance
Ngultrum Bhutan Dzongkha: དངུལ་ཀྲམ – Pronounced as “Engultrum”. “Ngul” means “silver” and “trum” means “money” in Dzongkha, a Tibetan language.
Notgeld Germany German: Notgeld is “emergency money” issued in Germany and Austria during economic crises. Although it is neither a currency unit nor legal tender, notgeld is still a specialized category in banknote collecting.
øre / Öre Sweden, Denmark, Norway (coins) from Old Norse Eyrir “gold coin” which comes from Latin Aureus “gold coin” from Aurum “gold”
Ostmark German-controlled Eastern Europe German: Ostmark is literally “East Mark”. The German Dahrlenskassen issued this currency in 1918 to be used in German-controlled Eastern Europe at that time. Later GDR Mark was colloqually called Ostmark.
Ouguiya Mauritania a native word in Mauritania, Ouguiya system is nondecimal and is divided into 5 Khoums
Pa’anga Tonga Tongan: “Bean-shaped pieces”
Pahlavi Iran Belonging or related to the Pahlavi Dynasty in Iran
Paisa India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh (coins) derived from Sanskrit word Padamsah which means a “quarter”
Pang China (antique) Chinese 朋 – Pang is an antique unit equal to about 10 cypraea shells. Cypraea shells formed the base of the Chinese Moneraty System. (with special thanks to Fung Nai Chuen – a money issuer from Hong Kong)
Papiermark Germany Literally “paper mark” in German. As a result of hyperinflation after WWI Mark became worthless and was called Papiermark. In 1923 Rentenmark was introduced at the exchange rate of 1,000,000,000,000 (1 trillion) Marks.
Para Turkey (old), Yugoslavia (old) From Persian word Pare means “a piece”. In Ottoman currency system, 1 Kurus was composed of 40 Paras. In today’s Turkish Para means “Money”.
Pataca Macao Portuguese: “Paw”
Pence / Pennies England Plural of Penny
Pengő Hungary (old) Hungarian: Pengő – meaning “twang”. Probably derived from the sound of a coin when thrown.
Pennia Finland (coins) derived from the German “Pfennig”
Penny England In Old English, it was Penig which was derived from Pfenning which means “coin” in Old High German
Perper Montenegro Derives from a 21-carat gold coin minted by the Byzantine Emperor Alexis I in 1092. The coin was called in Greek Hyperpyron meaning “Highly refined” whereas in Latin Perperum (with special thanks to Philippe Simon from France)
Peseta Spain diminutive of Peso
Pesewa Ghana (coins) In Akan (a native language of Ghana) Pésewabo is a seed of a plant, formerly used as the smallest gold-weight
Peso Many Spanish-speaking countries Spanish: “Weight”
Peso Oro Dominican Republic, Paraguay Spanish: “Gold Peso”
Pfennig / Pfennigs Germany derived from Pfenning which means “coin” in Old High German
Pfeniga Bosnia and Herzegovina derived from the German “Pfennig”
Piaster / Piastre Egypt, Lebanon, Sudan, Syria derived from Italian Piastra “thin metal plate”
Poisha Bangladesh (coins) In Bengali Poisha is a “quarter” which is derived from the Hindi “Paisa”
Pound Sterling England and many other countries Old English: “Pund” from Latin word: “Pondus” – Weight; Sterling is derived from the old English word “Steorra” – Star, referring to a small star on early Norman pennies
Pruta / Prutah Israel (coins) Hebrew פרוטה – Pruta means a “coin of small value”.
Pul Afghanistan (coins) from the Persian word Pul which means “money”
Pula Botswana In Setswana (the language of Botswana) Pula means “Rain”
Punt Ireland Irish Gaelic: Pound
Qepiq Azerbaijan (coins) Derived from Russian “Kopeika”
Qindarka Albania (coins) In Albanian Qint / Qind (pronounced as chint) is a hundred and Qindarka is “one hundredth”
Quetzal Guatemala Spanish: a kind of bird; zool: Pharomachrus mocinno
Rand South Africa Named after Witwatersrand a region of northeast South Africa where the richest gold-mining areas in the world are located
Real Brazil Portuguese: 1) Royal, 2)Actual, 3)Real
Reichsmark Germany German: Reich is literally “realm” or “empire”. Reichsmark was the official currency of Germany from 1924 until 1948.
Renminbi Yuan P.R. of China Chinese: 人民幣 – “Renminbi” is the “People’s currency”; 元 or 圆 “Yuan” is literally “round object”
Rentenmark Germany Bank notes issued by the Rentenbank (Annuity Bank) were called Rentenmark. It was an interim currency introduced to stop the hyperinflation in 1923. In 1924 Reichsmark succeeded Rentenmark.
Rial Iran, Oman Persian ريال – Rial is a cognate of the Arabic “Riyal” which is derived from the Spanish word “Real”
Riel Cambodia In Khmer language, Riel means “the one that shines, shiny”
Riffan Riff Republic (present Morocco) Derived from the name of the self-proclaimed state Riff Republic in 1921. The word originates from Arabic الريف – er-Rif meaning “countryside”.
Rigsdaler Denmark (old) Danish: Rigsdaler – “Thaler of the realm” The currency of Denmark until 1873 which was divided into 96 Skilling.
Riksdaler Sweden, Norway (old) Norwegian/Swedish: Riksdaler – “Thaler of the realm”. The currency of Sweden until 1873 was divided into 48 Skillingar. Riksdaler courant in Norway was used until 1813 and was divided into 96 Skilling.
Ringgit Malaysia, Brunei In Malay Ringgit means “jagged” and was originally used to refer to the serrated edges of the Spanish silver coins widely used in the area.
Riyal Many Arabic-speaking countries derived from the Spanish word “real” meaning “royal”
Rubel Belarus derived from the Russian “Ruble”
Ruble Russia Russian: Pубль – Rubl “silver bar” from the Russian verb “Rubit”- “to cut up”
Rufiyaa Maldives derived from “Rupee”
Rupee India, Pakistan, Nepal and others from Sanskrit word “Rupya” – Silver
Rupiah Indonesia derived from “Rupee”
Satang Thailand (coins) Thai สตางค์ – Satang is one-hundredth of a Baht.
Scudo Papal States, Malta (old) Italian: Scudo, like Escudo, is also derived from Latin Scutum – “shield”. So-called because the coins had a shield bearing a coat of arms. Scudo was the currency of the Papal States until 1866 and was divided into 100 Baiocchi.
Sen Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, Japan, Cambodia derived from “Cent”
Sene Western Samoa derived from “Cent”
Seniti Tonga (coins) derived from “Cent”
Senti Estonia (coins) derived from “Cent”
Shahi Iran, Afghanistan, India (old) In Persian, Shahi means belongs to or related to the “Shah” – King. So the word may be interpreted as “Royal”. Also in ancient India and Afghanistan, there were rulers called Shahi.
Shahiv Ukraine Ukrainian шагiв – Shahiv is the plural form of Shah which was originally a silver coin equal to 3 grosz in the Polish-Lithuanian Union in the 17th-18th centuries. Shahiv money stamps were used in the Ukrainian People’s Republic.
Shekel / Sheqel Israel Hebrew: שקל – Shekel means “weight” and was used as a unit of weight of around 12 grams. The plural form is Sheqalim.
Shilling UK (old), Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania etc from the Old English and Old High German verb “Scilling” – “to divide”
Skilling Sweden, Norway (old) Swedish and Norwegian cognate of the Shilling
Sol Peru Sol stays for Sun, meaning the “God of Sun” the principal god for Inca culture (with special thanks to Massimo Accordi)
Soldo Italy (old coins) Derived from Latin Solidus. Plural form is Soldi.
Solidus Ancient Rome In Latin “nummus solidus” means “solid coin”. The coin was originally gold therefore it was “solid”. The English word “soldier” derives from this word as they were paid with such coins.
Som Kyrgyzstan Kyrghyz: “Pure” (gold)
Somoni Tajikistan named in honor of Ismoil Somoni (849-907) – the founder of the first Samanid (Tajik) State
Sou / Sol until 1715 France Sou is a derivation of Sol which is derived from the Latin Solidus. Sou is a slang word for “money” in French today.
Speciedaler Norway (old) Speciedaler was the currency of Norway from 1816 till 1875. It was divided into 120 Skilling. Krona replaced Speciedaler when Norway joined the Scandinavian Monetary Union in 1875.
Srang Tibet Srang, pronounced as sung in Tibet language, is a unit of weight equal to Chinese Liang about 37.50 grams (with special thanks to Phub from Bhutan)
Stotinki Bulgaria (coins) derived from the Slavic word Sto a “hundred” meaning “hundredth”
Stotin Slovenia (coins) derived from the Slavic word Sto a “hundred” meaning “hundredth”
Sucre Ecuador Antonio Jose de Sucre – South American liberator who revolted against Spain, first president of Bolivia (1795-1830)
Sueldo Spain (old coins) Derived from Latin Solidus. Also means “salary” in today’s Spanish.
Sum / Som Uzbekistan pronounced as Som – Uzbek: “Pure” (gold)
Tael China (old) Chinese: 兩 – Liyang – a unit of weight equal to 40 grams (of silver). Today the unit is still used for weight measuring. In China it means 50 grams, whereas in Hong Kong 37.429 grams. The English word Tael originates from Malay tahil meaning “grain” which has its root in Arabic dahl – “grain”.
Taka Bangladesh Bengali word Taka comes from the Sanskrit word Tankah.
Tala Western Samoa derived from the English “Dollar”
Tallero Eritrea (old) Derived from German Thaler. It was the currency unit in Eritrea from 1890 till 1921.
Tam / Trum Tibet In the Tibetan language, Tam / Trum means “money”. (with special thanks to Phub from Bhutan)
Tambala Malawi (coins) In Chewa (a Bantu language spoken in Malawi) Tambala is a “cockerel”
Tamlung Thailand in Thailand, Tamlung is a unit weight equal to 60 grams.
Tanga Tajikistan (coins) derived from the Uzbek Tenga
Tangka Tibet Derived from Sanskrit word Tankah.
Tankah India (old coins) Sanskrit word Tankah means a “stamped coin” which may be related to Mongolian Tamga “stamp, seal” or Turkic Tenge “balance”
Tenga Uzbekistan (Buhara – old) Uzbek (and also other Turkic languages): “balance, scales”, from Mongolian Tenkhe, from Chinese Tengse: “balance”
Tenge Kazakhstan Kazakh (and also other Turkic languages): “balance, scales”, from Mongolian Tenkhe, from Chinese Tengse: “balance”
Tenne Turkmenistan (coins) Turkmen (and also other Turkic languages): “balance, scales”, from Mongolian Tenkhe, from Chinese Tengse: “balance”
Tetri Georgia (coins) Georgian: “white”, due to the silver coins minted in ancient Georgia
Thaler Germany (old), Ethiopia (old) As the Dollar, from 16th century German: “Thaler” a short for of Joahimsthaler, a coin made from metal mined in Joahimsthal, a town now in Czech Republic
Thebe Botswana (coins) In Setswana (the language of Botswana) Thebe means “shield”
Tical Thailand, Burma (old) Burmese: Tical is a small unit of weight roughly equal to 5 grams.
Toea Papua New Guinea (coins) Toea is a very valuable shell used for trading and found in the depths of the ocean
Tolar Slovenia Derived from the German word “Thaler” as the “Dollar”.
Toman Iran (old) Persian: تومان – Toman: A gold coin formerly used in Persia worth 10,000 Dinars, the word comes from Turkish Tümen which ultimately comes from Mongolian Tümen meaning “a unit of ten thousand”
Tugrik Mongolia Mongolian: төгрөг pronounced as Tögrög – meaning “round”
Wen China (old) Chinese: 文 – Wen means “cash”. This unit is shown in the catalogs as Cash. The Wen notes are the first officially circulating banknotes in the world dating as back 960 A.D. In 1889 Yuan was introduced at the rate of 1000 Wen.
Whan Korea (old) Korean: 圜 – Whan was equal to 5 Yang later became Won.
Won Korea Korean: 원 or 전 – Won (pronounced like on) derived from Chinese 元 Yuan
Xu Vietnam Xu is derived from the French Sou
Yang Korea (old) Korean: 兩 – Yang is the cognate of Chinese 兩 – Liyang. Yang was the currency unit of Korea between 1892-1902.
Yen Japan Japanese: 円 – Yen – from Chinese 元 Yuan
Yuan China Chinese: 元 or 圆 – Yuan: literally “a round object”
Zaire Congo Democratic Republic, Zaire The word Zaire is derived from the Kikongo (an ethnic language in Congo) word nzere meaning “river”. It refers to the Congo River where the country takes its name. Congo originally means a “hunter”.
Zloty Poland Polish: Golden



People often specialize in specific topics. Here are just two examples.

Leaders / Heroes