Know the differences between Dollar currencies before traveling to Orlando

At dollar coins are different from others, such as the euro, yen and Argentine peso. Well, the last ones have numbers engraved on them, while the first ones don't.

That is, they are identified through drawings, words and phrases.

As Americans have run away from the rule, tourists are confused when they arrive in Orlando.

So, to unravel this mystery, learn here to differentiate one from the other. Also, get to know some interesting facts about this American money.

See how to distinguish the value of Dollar coins

Instead of numerals, the amount is written in full. For example, in ten cents, the value is expressed as “one dime”. 

The term “cent” is only present in two: in those of 1 and 5. However, they have other more popular names, such as “penny” and “nickel”.

So, later on you will learn more about this, including the origin of these nicknames.

How to differentiate 25 and 50 coins

They are recognized as follows:

  • “Quarter dollar” (a quarter of a dollar);
  • And “half dollar” (half a dollar).

It's easy for Americans to tell them apart, after all, they've been the same size and shape for years. However, with tourists, the story is different. 

They question the following: if in most of the world, they have numbers, why in dollar coins this doesn `t happen? With that in mind, read on below.


Not even the American Mint explains this

The United States Mint, which produces the coins, never gave an answer on the matter.

However, in one single time, the US embassy in Japan gave a kind of clarification. 

In a document, they disclosed the differences between US currencies. But, the same is no longer available to the public.

And even so, why they don't have numbers was not made clear at the time. Anyway, the mystery remains.

Some words have to appear on the Dollar coins

There is a federal law that dictates which phrases must be in the coins in a mandatory way. So, they are:

  • “In God We Trust” (in God we believe);
  • “Liberty” (freedom);
  • “United States of America”;
  • And the Latin term, “Pluribus Unum” (of many, one).

Still on this law, it is also what defines:

  • The size of the coin;
  • Weight;
  • Thickness;
  • As well as the composition of metals.

In the beginning, the 10 and 25 were made of silver. While the 5's were nickel, that's why people call them “nickel”. The 1's were made of copper. Over time, the type of material changed.

Dollar coins that circulate less in the United States

If you go there for the first time, rest assured. Well, the 50 cents and 1 dollar don't circulate much. Thus, the most common ones are one, five, ten and twenty five.

The popular names of each American coin

There is a name engraved on the coins, but Americans usually call it most otherwise.

No doubt this ends up leaving tourists even more confused. Therefore, it is necessary to know the most popular way they are called. Check out what they are:

  • 1 cent: “penny”;
  • 5 cents: “nickel” (a reference to the type of metal used in its manufacture);
  • 10 cents: “dime”;
  • 25 cents: “quarter”;
  • 50 cents: “half”;
  • 1 dollar: “dollar”.

The first two do not have this nomenclature on coins. But, that's what the Americans called it.

Surely, now that you know that, you'll be better prepared when you get to the US.

Learn more about the Six Dollar Coins

Values are written in full. As in the Brazil with the real and the cents.

To avoid any confusion while on American soil, find out more details below.

Also, check out a little of the history of each one and some curious facts as well.

1 cent or "one cent"

This is the easiest to identify, because its value is written in English. In fact, another way to differentiate it from the others is by its color.

After all, she's the only one made of copper.

From 1793 to 1837, it was 100% of this type of metal.

However, over time, there were some changes, for example:

  • Until 1982, it consisted of 95% of copper and 5% of zinc;
  • More recently, it now has 97.5% of zinc and only 2.5% of copper. 

The origin of the term "penny" in these dollar coins

Everyone calls her that, even though she recorded “one cent”. It even has a Nordic origin which comes from the word “penning”. In other countries it has the following nomenclatures:

  • Germany: “pfennig”;
  • Sweden: “penning”;
  • Iceland: “peningur”.

Curiosities about one of the dollar coins

It was first minted in 1793. From that date until today, more than 300 billion units have been manufactured.

According to the United States Mint, the US government in 2014 cost 1.7 cents to produce it. 

Most of them have the image of Abraham Lincoln on one side, 16th president of the USA.

On the other, the Lincoln Memorial, a monument in the capital in honor of him.

In the most recent version, from 2010, the monument was replaced by the coat of arms of the union.

5 cent dollar coins 

The value is also in full. Before “five cents”, it was known as “half dime”, meaning half a tithe. Also, it was made of silver, but that changed during the American Civil War.

From 1861 to 1865, this and other noble metals became harder to find.

In this way, it ceased to be produced for a short time.

Soon after, the dollar coins they were remanufactured, now in a new material: nickel. So the choice was made under pressure from Joseph Wharton. 

He was a great tycoon who owned the mines of that particular metal. That's why Americans call her “nickel”.

Today, the coin has Thomas Jefferson's face in the left corner.

In fact, he was the third president of the USA and the person responsible for the famous Declaration of Independence. On the other hand, on the reverse is Monticello, the castle where he lived.

Ten cents or "one dime" is one of the Dollar coins

This is one that most confuses those who don't know it well. That is, tourists.

This is because of its name and size. After all, it is the smallest of them all in weight and diameter. 

It is not out of this world to assume that it has the minimum value (a penny). Since it has the “one” (one) minted and is also the smallest coin.

To complicate things even more, there is the term “dime” which has nothing to do with a penny or a ten.

The origin of this name in dollar coins

Its meaning is tithe, the tenth part in Latin. Therefore, 10/100ths or ten cents. Without a doubt, it would be easier if they wrote “ten cents”.

However, tradition explains this fact.

The coin produced for the first time was made of silver. Thus, its weight was the equivalent of one-tenth of a dollar. Therefore, “one dime”.

Regarding his drawings, one side has the profile of Franklin D. roosevelt. That is, the 32nd president of the United States. On the other side, there is a torch surrounded by olive and oak branches.

25 cents or "quarter dollar"

This is one of the dollar coins most famous and one of the most circulating. Besides, there's no mystery, a quarter of a dollar is equal to 25 cents.

On one side she has the profile of George Washington, the famous first president of the USA. While on the back, it has an eagle with its wings spread, on two olive branches. This bird is the symbol of the country.

They get special editions every year

For those who collect this object as a hobby, you will like to know about it. The American Mint releases annual commemorative versions.

In this way, it is a way to honor the 50 states in the country.

They circulate normally as the dollar coins conventional ones. Each year, different state sights are recorded on the reverse side of it. 

One example is that in 2011, they made national parks. But, it has also been made of animals and other elements of American culture.

50 cents or "half dollar"

The current half-dollar coin bears the face of John F. Kennedy, the 35th US president. On the other hand, on its reverse, there is its presidential coat of arms.

Several other images have already been highlighted. However, since 1964, Kennedy's effigy has been coined there.

In fact, it was the year before this one that he was murdered in Texas. Without a doubt, he was one of the greatest personalities of the 20th century.

The choice to honor him came from his wife, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy.

Thus, the decision was taken days after the tragic death of John F.

He ended up replacing the face of Benjamin Franklin, one of the main leaders of the American Revolution.

One dollar or "one dollar"

This is the only exception among all the dollar coins. Well, the latest versions are coming with the number 1, but very small.

Several different models have already been on the market, but only now with the coined numeral.

The type currently in circulation honors the Indians. Therefore, the recorded image is of an Indian woman holding her baby.

The most popular versions of the dollar 

The most successful, of course, was with the figure of the suffragist Susan B. Anthony. She fought for the female vote, among other rights.

Thus, she was the first woman to have her face stamped on these dollar coins.

This happened between 1979 and 1981, then in 1999 as well. Besides her, another outstanding personality was Eisenhower.

Its profile was the highlight from 1971 to 1978. In fact, the size and weight of the coin were larger than normal.

On the obverse was the figure of the 34th US president, while the reverse had a reference to the Apollo 11 mission. However, from 1975 to 1976, another version emerged, with the image of the Liberty Bell and a moon in the background.

The latest of Dollar coins

It began to circulate in 2006 and honors the 45 presidents of the United States. This was a way found to attract the interest of Americans.

However, there are two restrictions:

  • It can't have one with the drawing of an effigy of a living president;
  • And even if he died less than two years ago.

Trivia About US Dollar Coins

There are some interesting facts about them. The first is that, as already mentioned, some specific phrases and words must be coined in them.

Thus, it is believed that the numbers do not appear, perhaps due to lack of space.

The second is that we U.S, change and payments are made at the exact amount. In other words, it is different from Brazil, where they are often rounded.

So when you buy something there, know that you'll get a penny back, if that's the case.

Lastly, in 2014, the American Mint reported that it spent 1.7 cents to mint a 1 coin. This means that they invest 70% more than it is worth.

US Dollar Coins

Only those who have had some of them in their hands know how confusing it can be to understand their values. For this reason, the purpose of this article was to show you how to differentiate between them.

So that you won't be embarrassed when you travel to the USA.

They were first minted in 1792 at the Philadelphia Mint. So, from that, several versions emerged across the country.

Thus, billions of coins are manufactured every year in the following places, in addition to the aforementioned:

  • Denver;
  • San Francisco;
  • And West Point.

Now there's no way to confuse pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters and more anymore. That way, you'll know which one to pay and which one to get in change.

As you have seen, there is a lot of history and curious facts about the dollar coins. Therefore, they are not simple metal objects, they go much further than that.

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