by Donnie Hayden
© 2014, all rights reserved
Money? Yes! Let’s face it, we all like it and we all need at least some! And after almost 2 months abroad, we are running out of it. 🙂
Today, I thought I would share some pictures of local currency from Japan and Australia and compare these with what in my country have been referred to as “green backs,” ever since President Abraham Lincoln basically took over the banks in 1861. Ever since then, US currency has pretty much remained the same.
Oh sure, over the years since the 1800’s (probably always), there have been issues with counterfeit money or what some refer to as, “funny money.’ It’s really not so funny if you, businesses or the banks get caught holding it, but it’s “funny,” as in odd or not real.
One of the jobs of the same people that guard the president of our country and other dignitaries (the Secret Service), is investigation of counterfeit money.
The US Mint that is responsible for printing our dollars and minting our coins have introduced many anti-counterfeit measures over the years and especially since the technology of the digital press, scanners and computer software has made counterfeiting a state of art and can produce a lot of this “funny money” so close to the original that even many experts can be fooled into thinking it’s the real deal.
But again, and despite such techniques as micro printing, the insertion of encoded magnetic strips and other measures into US currency, it still pretty much looks the same, ever since the 1800’s. Oh sure, there are some newer presidents and signatures that are used, a special commemorative coin here and there once in awhile, but the flat stuff, the paper money is still basically green. Not until very recently, has any other color been used, other than green.
With all due respect to the skill of engravers that make the printing plates from which our money is printed and the coins are minted, the US is far behind the world, at least as far as my experience has been, in Japan and Australia. In short, the currency from these two countries is beautiful. They are works of art! I do not know how safe their currency is and how much of a problem in either of these two countries have with counterfeiting, but their money is impressive!
I want to thank my wife Susan for taking all these pictures below (except the one of US money that I copied from the Internet. Even though I stole these pictures from Japan and Australia from Susan, thanks Honey! 🙂
Let’s start with some money from Japan.
Japanese dollars are beautiful works of art and contain many colors. The common name is Yen. The multiple colored item in lower left corner of the paper money is, actually a holographic image, most likely used as an anti-counterfeiting measure, but it adds to its beauty.
Various coins from Japan are easy to distinguish by design and color of metal used, including the ‘Lucky coins’ with the hole in the center. Most products for sale including the appropriate tax is in rounded numbers. No one in Japan wants to deal with the 1 yen coin which is like a 1 cent coin in the US. The 100 yen was really beneficial to me as I could get a cup of coffee most of the time for 100 yen which is about $1 in US money. In the US we have the Dollar Stores for all kinds of inexpensive (cheap as crap stores), but both Susan and I love those stores! She is not allowed to shop in one brand name dollar store during the holidays, as it is my own personal stocking-stuffer store to stuff her stocking! 🙂
In Japan, they have the same kind of stores only these are called the 100 yen stores. Yes the stuff sold in a 100 yen store is inexpensive, but it’s not crap like the dollar stores usually are in the US.
The picture above is the front an back of the Australian 5 dollar bill. It too is a very beautiful work of art and shows the Queen of England. The newer paper currency has a colored transparent plastic window in each bill making it difficult to counterfeit. In fact, all the Australian dollars (new) are made out of plastic mostly, wear longer than paper and probably float on the water if you fall out of a boat while fishing. 🙂
The coin top left is a heavy coin with cut edges. It is the Australian 50 cent piece and is used in many sporting events in Australia to “toss the coin.” The brass 2 dollar coin is very valuable and preferred in Australia over most other coins. Like Japan, Australia usually price everything including tax in whole amounts. They do not like their 1 cent coins either.
Although I appreciate the pictures of our favorite and famous presidents, the skill of the engravers, the anti-counterfeit measures installed on and within the bills and even the attempt at adding some color, come on US, get with the world! Update your designs, add colors and make some beautiful works of art like the world has been doing or is and perhaps has been, for a very long time!
In fact, if you search online for the most beautiful currency and the safest currency (hardest to counterfeit), the US is not on any of the top lists! Why is this? Get with the world and quit making and thinking and charging in terms of cents. WE the people don’t like the 1 cent penny either. Round or make everything for sale including tax, in whole amounts.