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08 Jul 2015
David Rendell - Digital marketing executive at Dave Rendell

The world’s weirdest coins and currencies


As if you needed it, here are a few more reasons to love money, from currencies around the world.

Bottlecaps in Cameroon

Strange currency

In 2005, a brewery in Cameroon started printing prize offers under beer bottle caps to boost sales.

Competitors followed suit until eventually, for the price of one beer, you were almost guaranteed to win anything from another beer to a sports car.

People then started using their bottle caps to pay their taxi fares. Taxi drivers used them to bribe the traffic police. Pretty soon they became a small part of the local economy.

We'll toast to that.

The Zimbabwe dollar

Strange currency

Hyperinflation in Zimbabwe around 2008 led to bills ranging from 10 billion to 100 trillion dollars in value being printed.

This means that for around £3.20, you could put “multi-trillionaire” on your Tinder profile.

Canadian dollars

Strange currency

Canadian dollar bills are among the most colourful in the world, often decorated with national pastimes like ice hockey.

That's not the strange part – what’s strange is that Canadian notes are made from plastic.

They do bear a striking resemblance to Monopoly money, though...


Strange currency

Scientists from the National Space Centre and the University of Leicester have designed the QUID, short for Quasi Universal Intergalactic Denomination, to be used as a space-currency.

We hear exchange rates are out-of-this-world.

The American dollar

Strange currency

The American dollar is shrouded in conspiracy theories, because of the dozens of weird symbols across it, like the Masonic "all seeing eye", a hidden spider, and a secret skull & crossbones.

They're called conspiracy "theories" for a reason, so don’t get too excited.


Strange currency

Heard of Bitcoin? The open source currency of the internet?

Well it’s got a competitor – the Dogecoin.

It's a cryptocurrency, or internet money, which has adopted the likeness of the much loved Shiba Inu dog – made famous with internet memes – as its mascot.

"Wow. Much future. Very money. Wow."

Zairean zaire

Strange currency

When Zaire’s dictator Mobutu Sese Seko was toppled in 1997, they spent no time worrying about what to do with their currency, which bore his face.

Cut the face out and carry on. Job done.

Somalian coloured coins

Strange currency

Somalia has a tradition of producing colourful and oddly-shaped coins of all sorts, from guitars to animals, motorbikes and foreign flags.

Would you pay for one of these? Or is it silly money?

Norwegian krone

Strange currency

Norway have some newly designed, pixelated banknotes, due to enter circulation in 2017, which are being praised as works of art.

With a running theme of "the sea", the Viking warship, lighthouse and choppy ocean waves really are beautiful to look at.

And that fish is gorgeous.

Scottish Sterling

Strange currency

While Scottish coins are the same as in the rest of the UK, they have their own notes in circulation.

They look quite different to what we see south of the wall, but they’ve been around since the 19th century, so stop giving them funny looks.

It's legal tender. Get over it.


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