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Frederick The Monk
57633.  Tue Mar 07, 2006 5:24 am Reply with quote

nb - three versions of this question below......

Question: Why is a 25 cent US coin called 'Two bits'?

Forfeits: Because there are two bits to it/ it has two sides

Answer: Because, Me hearties, it was worth 2 pieces of eight

Notes: In the US the Spanish dollar or peso was common currency well into the 19th century. The coin, originally the bullion coin of Spain's New World empire was often physically cut into eight pieces for small change - hence the term 'pieces of eight'. Two-eighths hence made a quarter so a quarter dollar (25 cents) is known as 'two bits'.

Prior to the American Revolution there was, due to English mercantilist policies, a chronic shortage of English currency in its colonies. Trade was often conducted using Spanish dollars. After the Revolution currency remained so short that Spanish Pillar Dollars had to be re-introduced. In 1797 an act was passed to reinstate the Spanish coinage as legal tender along with the coinage that was being produced in the United States. That made the bits (the pie shaped pieces of the 8 Real) an ingrained part of the U.S. culture. It is even know that the U.S. Mint took part in the production (the cutting into 8 pieces) of these "bits" for circulation. The bill that was passed in 1797 remained in effect until its repeal in 1857.

The pricing of equities on U.S. stock exchanges in 1/8 dollar denominations persisted until the New York Stock Exchange converted to pricing in sixteenths of a dollar on June 24, 1997, to be followed shortly after in 2000 by decimal pricing.

In China, the base unit of the official currency Renminbi is called "yuan". The word "yuan" also means round object, but its original meaning is the Spanish dollar. Indigenous coins minted in China were always called "Chin". The word "Yuan" referred specifically to the Spanish dollars widely circulated in China in the late 19th century, when they were properly known as ?? (pronounced as "Yin Yuan" ), meaning "silver rounds". Coins minted in Hong Kong in 1866 also carried the same amount of silver as the Spanish dollar and were called "Hong Kong One Dollar". When China adopted its first national currency in 1914, the base unit was also called "Yuan". One meaning of it was still "dollar" , as witness the fact that a "yuan" at that time contained exactly the same amount of silver as a Spanish dollar.

Links to: denominations/ dimes/

Sources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pieces_of_eight
http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art40672.asp
http://www.gold-eagle.com/gold_digest_05/stott070705.html

Pictures/Props: A 25 cent coin AND as it's about pieces of eight we should have a pic of Long John Silver and his parrot. Or perhaps the chairman of the Fed in a pirates hat?

Researcher:JP


Last edited by Frederick The Monk on Fri Mar 31, 2006 3:44 am; edited 1 time in total

 
Frederick The Monk
62957.  Fri Mar 31, 2006 3:34 am Reply with quote

An Alternative Question:

Question: Until 24th June 1997 what were american stocks and shares priced in?

Forfeits: Dollars/ Cents

Answer: Pieces of Eight

Notes: The pricing of equities on U.S. stock exchanges in 1/8 dollar denominations persisted until the New York Stock Exchange converted to pricing in sixteenths of a dollar on June 24, 1997, to be followed shortly after in 2000 by decimal pricing.

The origin of this system is with the old Spanish Piece of Eight. In the US the Spanish dollar or peso was common currency well into the 19th century. The coin, originally the bullion coin of Spain's New World empire was often physically cut into eight pieces for small change - hence the term 'pieces of eight'. Two-eighths hence made a quarter so a quarter dollar (25 cents) is known as 'two bits'.

Prior to the American Revolution there was, due to English mercantilist policies, a chronic shortage of English currency in its colonies. Trade was often conducted using Spanish dollars. After the Revolution currency remained so short that Spanish Pillar Dollars had to be re-introduced. In 1797 an act was passed to reinstate the Spanish coinage as legal tender along with the coinage that was being produced in the United States. That made the bits (the pie shaped pieces of the 8 Real) an ingrained part of the U.S. culture. It is even know that the U.S. Mint took part in the production (the cutting into 8 pieces) of these "bits" for circulation. The bill that was passed in 1797 remained in effect until its repeal in 1857.

Links to: denominations/ dimes

Sources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pieces_of_eight
http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art40672.asp
http://www.gold-eagle.com/gold_digest_05/stott070705.html

Pictures/Props: NYSE/ A 25 cent coin AND as it's about pieces of eight we should have a pic of Long John Silver and his parrot. Or perhaps the chairman of the Fed in a pirates hat?

Researcher:JP

 
Frederick The Monk
62958.  Fri Mar 31, 2006 3:43 am Reply with quote

OR as a Picture Question

Question: Which of the following was legal tender in the USA until 1857?

A/.British Gold Sovereigns


B/.Guns


C/. Pieces of Eight


D/.Cows


Forfeits:

Answer: C/.

Notes: In the US the Spanish dollar or peso was common currency well into the 19th century. The coin, originally the bullion coin of Spain's New World empire was often physically cut into eight pieces for small change - hence the term 'pieces of eight'. Two-eighths hence made a quarter so a quarter dollar (25 cents) is known as 'two bits'.

Prior to the American Revolution there was, due to English mercantilist policies, a chronic shortage of English currency in its colonies. Trade was often conducted using Spanish dollars. After the Revolution currency remained so short that Spanish Pillar Dollars had to be re-introduced. In 1797 an act was passed to reinstate the Spanish coinage as legal tender along with the coinage that was being produced in the United States. That made the bits (the pie shaped pieces of the 8 Real) an ingrained part of the U.S. culture. It is even know that the U.S. Mint took part in the production (the cutting into 8 pieces) of these "bits" for circulation. The bill that was passed in 1797 remained in effect until its repeal in 1857.

The pricing of equities on U.S. stock exchanges in 1/8 dollar denominations persisted until the New York Stock Exchange converted to pricing in sixteenths of a dollar on June 24, 1997, to be followed shortly after in 2000 by decimal pricing.

In China, the base unit of the official currency Renminbi is called "yuan". The word "yuan" also means round object, but its original meaning is the Spanish dollar. Indigenous coins minted in China were always called "Chin". The word "Yuan" referred specifically to the Spanish dollars widely circulated in China in the late 19th century, when they were properly known as ?? (pronounced as "Yin Yuan" ), meaning "silver rounds". Coins minted in Hong Kong in 1866 also carried the same amount of silver as the Spanish dollar and were called "Hong Kong One Dollar". When China adopted its first national currency in 1914, the base unit was also called "Yuan". One meaning of it was still "dollar" , as witness the fact that a "yuan" at that time contained exactly the same amount of silver as a Spanish dollar.

Links to: denominations/ dimes/

Sources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pieces_of_eight
http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art40672.asp
http://www.gold-eagle.com/gold_digest_05/stott070705.html

Pictures/Props: Four images for the questions:

Then Bush wearing a pirate hat!

Researcher:JP


Last edited by Frederick The Monk on Fri Mar 31, 2006 3:44 am; edited 1 time in total

 
Frederick The Monk
62959.  Fri Mar 31, 2006 3:43 am Reply with quote

Updated 31/03/06

 
Gray
62971.  Fri Mar 31, 2006 4:28 am Reply with quote

In colloquial Chinese, yun is often replaced by kui (a bit like our 'quid'). The direct translation of kui is 'piece'.

The circle is complete!

 
Frederick The Monk
63013.  Fri Mar 31, 2006 8:10 am Reply with quote

Well I'll be jiggered.

 

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