One other theory proposes the double stroke version represents an acronym for the United States by placing a short-hand "U" atop the "S.
There is another version of the theory linking the sign to the Spanish peso. Like many other countries, the roots of the currency lie in silver.
Nevertheless a number of theories about the origin of the dollar symbol have been proposed. It has been claimed that the euro sign was invented by Arthur Eisenmenger more than a quarter of a century before the currency was introduced.
The "Y" used in the yen symbol may have been adopted due to the propensity of foreigners to pronounce the word "en" with a "y" preceding it. After the Opium War China was forced by Britain and other countries, including France, Germany, America and Japan to open up major harbours as treaty ports and to cede land to those countries as foreign concessions.
No one really knows for sure, and several theories have emerged over the years. Both these large silver coins were practically identical in weight and fineness. With far more silver than still-scarce gold, Tyrol began replacing its teeny-tiny gold coins with big heavy silver coins of equal value. Subsequently supplies picked up again as new mines were developed. Twice a week we compile our most fascinating features and deliver them straight to you.
That coin was called the Pillar Dollar in the British colonies in North America and the two pillars may have become the two strokes in the Dollar sign. By then, although as necessary to the retail trade as ever, developments in banking meant that coins were just the small change of commerce.
After centuries of sending its silver and gold abroad in trade for consumable luxuries like silk and spices very little of which ever found its way back , new sources of silver ore were discovered in Saxony, German Tyrol and Bohemia. Competition was provided for these foreign coins twenty years later in 1894 when British dollars were first minted for the colonies in the Far East.
While you may have never questioned where these signs come from, their origins are a fascinating look into financial and etymological history. South Africa still uses the rand.
A 'crown' in this context meant 5 shillings, "half-a-crown", sometimes colloquially known as "half-a-dollar", being a common coin before decimalisation in 1971.
One version of this theory is that the standard abbreviation of "peso" was simply "P", but the plural form was a large "P" with a small "s" above it and to its right. A cruder, description was "the head of a fool stamped on the neck of an ass".
Most of these "British" dollars were actually minted in Bombay in India. In 1804 Matthew Boulton, the business partner of the steam engine pioneer James Watt, was employed to erase completely the existing design on full-weight Spanish coins and stamp them as Bank of England Five Shilling Dollars. New Zealand followed Australia's lead and replaced their own pound with the New Zealand dollar in 1967. Epsilon is an "E" in English, representing the first letter of the word "Europe.