Countries with money that doesn’t break into hundredths.
If you already read Cheesie Mack Is Not a Genius or Anything, you know that a very special coin is an important part of the story. While I was writing about coins, I wondered whether any country breaks its money into anything other than 100 pieces?
So I wrote:
The word “cent” is almost the same as the word “century” (one hundred years, duh!) and means that there are one hundred of them in every dollar. I don’t know where the word “penny” comes from—and neither does anyone else. I looked it up. But there are pennies in England, and I’m guessing that there are one hundred of them to the pound or euro or whatever the people in England use for money. I wonder if every country uses money that breaks into one hundred smaller pieces. If you know of a country that doesn’t, please go to my website. I’m making a list.
Here’s what I found out. In North America, money is split into hundredths:
- 1 dollar (USA) = 100 cents
- 1 dollar (Canadian) = 100 cents
- 1 peso (Mexican) = 100 centavos
The Canadian dollar and the US dollar are worth almost the same amount, so American and Canadian pennies (which is what people in both countries usually call their one-cent coins) are just about equal in value. The Mexican peso, however, is worth only about eight cents (or at least it was when I wrote this), so:
- It takes 12 or 13 centavos to be equal to just about one cent (US or Canadian).
- And because one centavo is worth so little, the smallest Mexican coin is five centavos, which is equal to less than one cent! In fact, even the five- and ten-centavo coins are rarely used. I have heard that the 50-centavo coin is the smallest in regular circulation.
- Therefore, even though Mexico breaks its peso into 100 centavos, there’s really no such thing as one centavo.
So, Mexico sort of does count.
If you know of a country that does not break its currency into hundredths, please let me know by commenting below.