Most of you will ask but how? America is only 300 years old, this can be true, but it is as the greatest export product of the USA -the dollar was established on the 9th of January 1520. Yes 1520, in the Czech town of Jáchymov. That famous year when Magellan named the Pacific Ocean into the Pacific Ocean. The now small 2 700 people town, was once a thriving mining city with more than 8 000 miners, making it the Mining Valley of Europe at the time, and second-biggest city only to Prague.
In 1516 a vast quantities of silver were discovered around Jáchymov, which meant only one thing — local minting station for the Bohemian government. At the time there was no money standard and the only way a ruler could showcase his control over defined land was to mint his own currency. So that was exactly what Count Hieronymus Schlick the local nobleman did. We even know the exact date because the governing Bohemian official granted Schlick permission to mint his silver coins on 9 January 1520.
The count stamped an image of Joachim on the front, the Bohemian lion on the back, and named his new currency “Joachimsthalers” — which soon became shortened to “thalers”. Shortly after 12 million thalers were minted and the thaler spread across Europe — far more than any other currency on the continent. The Holy Roman Empire in 1566 sought to establish a standardized coin and they choose none other than the thalers, which they named “Reichsthalers” (“thalers of the empire”).
It was the Dutch pronunciation or leeuwendaler (lion dollar ) that gave the US currency its name. Moreover, after the first settlers arrived in New Amsterdam they brought this currency in which the English -speaking settlers started calling — dollars. The dollar became the US’ official currency in 1792 and ever since is the best export of the USA.
Because according to the IMF 62% of the planet’s financial reserves are held in US dollars — more than double the total foreign holdings of euros, yen combined. Thirty-one nations have either adopted it as their official currency or named their money after it and more than 66 countries connect the value of their currencies to it. Yes, the dollar is bigger than the iPhone or the Big Mack =)
Fun fact the Jáchymov mountains are also connected with the atom bomb. They have high levels of Radium that the Nazi re-opened the mins for digging of this precious mineral, which later will be used by Robert Oppenheimer in the building of the first atomic bomb. Oppenheimer knew this place because he wrote his thesis on the Joachimsthal’s uranium-rich shafts.