Please Explain: The History of Money

Friday, January 11, 2008

The first coins were invented in the seventh century BC! Please Explain looks into the history of money...from the earliest lumps of metal, to modern-day virtual money. Numismatist Douglas Mudd is the curator of The American Numismatic Association's Money Museum and author of All the Money in the World.


Douglas Mudd
News, weather, Radiolab, Brian Lehrer and more.
Get the best of WNYC in your inbox, every morning.

Comments [5]

Glenn from Manhattan

Is there a presidential candidate who is running on a platform of doing away with pennies? They're idiotic. Get rid of them. Round up or down to the next 5c already.

Seems like a great idea everyone would rally around and create a new America.

Leonard, you were obviously bored to death with this program. You could have made it more interesting for everyone including yourself.

Jan. 13 2008 11:31 AM

Using cois insteead of paper money is strictly anti-consumer. Who cares how long the coins last? They put holes in your pocket, weigh a lot more, and if you're not from the country in question, you can't figure out what the demonination is. Paper is clearly superior from the user's POV, but government bureaucrats do no care about users.

Jan. 11 2008 01:51 PM
Josh from East Village

Is the value of a nickel--in terms of its mineral content--greater than 5 cents?

Jan. 11 2008 01:51 PM
Howard Lee from Berkeley Heights NJ

I Believe Douglas Mudd is incorrect to suggest the Greeks were the first to use coins en massse. I believe it was the ancient Persians who used coins en masse first - eg the Daric coin named for Darius the Great. Darius also instituted the reforms of weights and measures necessary for the money system to take off.

Jan. 11 2008 01:48 PM

The Bush Administration is about to issue new coinage. The description can be found in the video at this url:

Jan. 11 2008 12:17 PM

Leave a Comment

Register for your own account so you can vote on comments, save your favorites, and more. Learn more.
Please stay on topic, be civil, and be brief.
Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm your comments. Names are displayed with all comments. We reserve the right to edit any comments posted on this site. Please read the Comment Guidelines before posting. By leaving a comment, you agree to New York Public Radio's Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use.