Secrets of the Sign: The History of the US Dollar Symbol $

(ORDO NEWS) — The whole world is accustomed to the $ symbol, which denotes the national currency of the United States, as well as the Brazilian real, Dominican peso, etc. It is interesting that the history of the origin of the symbol remains a mystery to this day.

According to the first version, the crossed out S on the coins indicated that they are prohibited from circulation in Spain, but Spain does not start with S, with E.

The second version says that it is a symbol of the Pillars of Hercules, entwined with a flag. The pillars are cliffs on both sides of the Strait of Gibraltar that were considered the border of the inhabited world. The Spanish coat of arms under Charles V had several columns, meaning pillars, and on the moisture enveloping them was the inscription “Plus Ultra”, that is, “Out of bounds”. The coat of arms was on silver pesos, later money began to be designated as two vertical lines, which are entwined with a wavy line in the shape of the letter S.

There is a third theory that is considered the most plausible. So, peso-octals had the abbreviation P S , which accountants, customs scribes and other similar persons began to write PS for greater convenience. Over time, the two letters began to merge more and more, forming $. The first dollar with such a symbol was issued in Philadelphia in 1797.

It is interesting that in ancient Rome there was a tradition to cross out letters if they meant money. The €, ₽ and other currency symbols look like this.


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