Nugget of Knowledge: Evolution of the dollar sign

Colonial currency in early America was the peso

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Laura M. of Masury, Ohio asks why the dollar sign changed from two lines, to one line through the S: $.

Here’s the answer:

Today, the American dollar is the world’s strongest currency, dependable and stable. Other country’s money is measured against it.

Back in colonial times — 1740s, 50s and 60s — the world’s dominant currency was not the British pound but the Spanish peso, backed by Spain’s silver mines.

Many Spanish pesos circulated in the colonies and its symbol was Ps. Gradually, the P and the S merged and morphed into the dollar sybil we know today.

One vertical line or two?

Doesn’t matter. It’s individual preference.

And this symbol was in use long before Ulysses S. Grant became a famous general in the Civil War and president afterward. His U.S. initials have nothing to do with the dollar.

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