Ipohworld's World

Saving Yesterday For Tomorrow
  1. Ipoh Remembered says:

    Possibly of interest: The “$” sign was originally two characters, a “p” and a superscript “s” — an abbreviation for “pesos” that was used by 16th-century Spanish conquistadores as they looted the New World of its people and its gold.

    The “$” symbol as we know it today seems to be an 18th-century version of the above, invented by Anglos who traded with the Spanish.

    And our word “dollar” is derived from the German word taler, short for Joachimstaler, which was a silver coin from Joachimstal, a mining town.

    • Ngai C O says:


      I think it was first put into circulation in 1971 and withdrawn in 2005.

      Why? Forgery, unpopular, expensive to produce or the $1 plastic money was lighter but not any better to handle than the paper version.

      Someone out there can better explain.

      Apparently, the old one cent coin cost four and a half times to produce.

      The UK just introduced the new 12 sided £1 in 2017 to try to beat counterfeit at about 2.5 to 3.5 % of the old round coins in circulation.

      A gangster said one could buy £1,000 worth for £250.

      As for the plastic that replaces the paper version, it is definitely harder to handle because it is too smooth. The $1 is particularly bad but one has to grit and put up with it.

        • Ngai C O says:

          Hi felicia,

          I had to look to wikipedia for an update as I am partly living in the past.

          Firstly, it says the $ sign was dropped from the coin in 1993 and replaced by RM. The coin was withdrawn from circulation in 2005.

          I was surprised to read that the ringgit was in obsolete Malay meaning jagged as in the old Spanish notes with jagged edges.

          In Cantonese daily life, we still use the same language when referring to local currency like when I was a kid. Absolutely no change.

          • felicia says:

            Ngai, I think I read the same Wiki article…yes, the $ sign was dropped in 1993. I recall my primary school days, when we were just about getting used to writing ‘$’ next to numbers for currency…and suddenly our teachers said we had to write ‘RM’ instead.

          • Ngai C O says:

            Hi felicia

            Thank You.

            I wonder whether the teachers ever explained the reason or just told you lot to get on with it.

            It was very typical in my days in primary school. Often, asking many questions would be frowned upon. Or if a question was irrelevant, a sharp response would be a stupid question.

  2. Ipoh Remembered says:

    Dear Ngai C O

    I was surprised to read that the ringgit was in obsolete Malay meaning jagged as in the old Spanish notes with jagged edges.

    Not notes — coins with jagged edges.

    It’s interesting, though, isn’t it, that both our dollar sign and the word “ringgit” point back ultimately to Spanish (as opposed to British) colonial coinage?

    • Ngai C O says:

      Hi Ipoh Remembered,

      If you google Ringgit Wikipedia, you would find a raft of information about how the Ringgit evolved.

      And there is mention of Spanish currency that links to Ringgit as you posted.

      For example, up to 1975, dollars and cents were used in English and ringgit and sen used in Bahasa.

      The word ringgit might have originated from Sanskrit as it was used in Java in wayang kulit.

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