by Adrian Ash, Gold Seek:
Just what do those bridges and windows on Euro banknotes mean…?
SO IN TRYING to match ancient Rome’s monetary reach, the Euro is running pretty much neck-and-neck with the almighty Dollar.
Some €898 billion of printed notes, plus €23bn in coin, were in circulation at end-July 2012, says the European Central Bank. By value, that just pipped the amount of physical US Dollars in circulation – put by the Federal Reserve at around $1.1 trillion. One third of those Euros took the form of €500 banknotes, the highest-value note now in circulation worldwide, and the gangster’s money of choice everywhere. But all told, the Eurozone’s population, together with the 6 other states now using the single currency, still lags the official Dollar zone, 334 million to 339 million.
Perhaps it was such hairs-breadth distinctions that European Central Bank president Mario Draghi had in mind when, on Wednesday – and writing in Germany’s Die Zeit – he called the Euro “the world’s second-most important currency.” Still, such wide-spread use 1,500 years ago was “a mark of the power of the Romans, which God has given them,” wrote ex-merchant, hermit and cartographer Cosmas Indicopleustes – referring to the Byzantine empire, run from Constaninople.