Dollar

On 15 January 1520, the Czech Kingdom of Bohemia began minting coins from silver mined locally in Joachimsthal  and marked on reverse with the Czech lion. The coins were called joachimsthaler, which became shortened in common usage to thaler or taler. The German name “Joachimsthal” literally means “Joachim’s valley” or “Joachim’s dale”. This name found its way into other languages: Czech tolar, Hungarian tallér, Danish and Norwegian daler, Swedish (riks)daler, Icelandic dalur, Dutch daalder or daler, Ethiopian Italian tallero, Polish talar, Persian dare, as well as – via Dutch – into English as dollar.[1]

A later Dutch coin depicting also a lion was called the leeuwendaler or leeuwendaalder, literally ‘lion daler’. The Dutch Republic produced these coins to accommodate its booming international trade. The leeuwendaler circulated throughout the Middle East and was imitated in several German and Italian cities. This coin was also popular in the Dutch East Indies and in the Dutch New Netherland Colony (New York). It was in circulation throughout the Thirteen Colonies during the 17th and early 18th centuries and was popularly known as “lion (or lyon) dollar .The currencies of Romania and Bulgaria are, to this day, ‘lion’ . The modern American-English pronunciation of dollar is still remarkably close to the 17th century Dutch pronunciation of daler.Some well-worn examples circulating in the Colonies were known as “dog dollars”.

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