To some people money is the single most important thing on this planet. Human beings are motivated by it and work long hours to obtain more of it. Regardless of your philosophical views on the importance of money in our lives, it is always something that is going to be there. While the world is slowly becoming a more globalized economy, the currencies that people use to contribute to this economy are very different all over the world. Here’s a list of currencies that have slowly become extinct over time.
Also known as the Reichsmark by Germans, this famous currency was used in West Germany between 1948 and 1990. Once Germany was unified in 1990 it remained the currency for the country until it was officially replaced by the Euro in 2002. However, the government set no deadline for turning in their marks. As of July 2012, many Germans were still using them as tender. The mark was also used as the unofficial currency in Bosnia during the 90s due to their unstable currency and in Montenegro during the late 90s and early 2000s for the same reason. During it’s reign, the Deutsche Mark was considered to be one of the most stable currencies in the world.
A close friend of Simon Bolivar, the Venezuelan Independence leader by the name of Antonio Jose de Sucre was the man who the currency of Ecuador was named after. Between 1884 and 2000 it was the official currency of this South American nation. Problems with inflation and trust of the Sucre eventually lead to the Dollarization of Ecuador in 2000. In 1999 the Sucre lost 67% of its foreign exchange value so the Ecuadorian president Jamil Mahuad made the decision to change to the U.S. dollar.
The French Franc was once the primary currency of one of the most powerful countries in Europe. This currency became completely obsolete in 2002 when all the coins and banknotes in France were replaced with the Euro. This famous currency dates back all the way to 1360 when it was first introduced as a gold coin. It’s original purpose was to pay off the ransom for France’s King John II. The currency remained strong for centuries to come and was even used as a satellite currency for Germany during World War II.
From 1892 until 2001 the Colon was the official currency of El Salvador. In Spanish, Christopher Columbus translates to Cristobal Colon, and he is the reason behind this currency’s name. The Colon is also the name of Costa Rica’s currency, another Central American nation southeast of El Salvador. In 2001 El Salvador adopted the U.S. dollar as their new currency although in some areas the colon is still used and has not officially ceased to be legal tender.
Beginning in 1992 and ending in 2007, the Dinar was the official currency of Sudan. On July 1st, 2007 they decided to make the switch to a new currency called the Sudanese Pound. A civil war has recently divided Sudan into two separate countries, and although South Sudan is in the process of creating a new currency, they both still use the Sudanese pound.
Italy’s official currency between 1861 and 2002 was the Lira. Across the Adriatic Sea, it was also used as Albania’s currency between 1941 and 1943. Along with many of their European neighbors, Italy decided to adopt the Euro as their official currency in 2002. Italian banks would exchange Lira for Euros up to December 6th 2011. So if you still have a wallet full of Lira you are all out of luck…