Is it illegal to deface the currency?

6 surprising facts about money that are hard to imagine

Here's a well-known fact about money: we all need it. We deserve it, we spend it, we save it. Money has been an integral part of our lives for thousands of years - sometimes with very funny and unexpected consequences.


Here are some surprising facts about money that will get you looking at your bills in a whole new light.


1. There's a reason your money smells

No you are not crazy It is a fact that money has a distinctive smell. But where exactly does it come from? Simply put, the smell of money is the result of a combination of volatile organic chemicals found in the special paper and ink used to print money.


The smell is so distinctive that dogs can be trained to recognize it in order to catch people traveling with too much cash.


2. Sterling is the most common counterfeit currency

According to the Great American Coin Company, the British pound is counterfeited more often than the US dollar and much more frequently than the euro.


This is also not a new phenomenon. Apparently people have been counterfeiting British banknotes for a very long time. During World War II, the Nazis even planned to drop counterfeit British banknotes on England in an attempt to destabilize the economy, according to Smithsonian Magazine.


3. It's legal to burn money ... but only sometimes

If you've heard that burning money is illegal, then this link is only partially true. If you burn money completely - to the point of ashes - that's fine. However, it is illegal to deface money in the UK, and that includes burning some bills. This is because partially destroyed banknotes can come back into circulation even though they are no longer legal.


4. The Chinese invented paper money

Coins have been around for a long time, but paper money is a relatively new thing.


It was first used only among merchants in China in the 7th century. It was widespread in the 11th century because a shortage of copper made it difficult to produce enough coins. In this context, even Marco Polo accepted the equivalent of very early paper money in the 1300s.


Paper money did not appear in Europe until 500 years later. Sweden was the first country to use it in 1661.


5. You can play a vinyl record with the new £ 5 bill

So what is that? The new 5-pound note is made of polymer, a thin plastic that lasts much longer than normal paper money.


Due to its composition, the edges of the banknote are so sharp that they can replace a scanning needle.


6. It is possible to get 1 million pound notes

Technically, you'd have to be a bank to have access to them, but £ 1 million notes are available. In this context, it is even possible for financial institutions with sufficiently large assets to get 100 million pound notes.


Both notes are out of circulation but they are regularly deposited with the Bank of England by commercial banks in Scotland and Northern Ireland to secure the daily notes.


The post 6 surprising facts about money that you can hardly imagine appeared first on The Motley Fool Germany.


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John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Barclays, Hargreaves Lansdown, HSBC Holdings, Lloyds Banking Group, Mastercard and Tesco.


Diana Bocco has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. It has been translated so that our German readers can take part in the discussion.


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