Tag: America

Let the Games begin! New medals for the Olympic Games in Rio

2488! This is how many medals there are to win for athletes, over all disciplines, during the Olympic Games. The medals, commonly made of gold, silver or bronze, are the most sustainable ones in the Games’ history.

Money That Goes Up In Smoke

Since being discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1492, tobacco has become a significant feature of our society. While its detrimental effects on health are now well-known, it was initially regarded as a medicine before becoming a symbol of freedom and a life style represented, for example, by the famous Marlboro cowboy. What many people don’t know is that tobacco was used as a means of payment at various times in history ….

The fur trade

The collection of commodity money at the National Bank of Belgium museum now includes a recently acquired beaver pelt from Canada. Beaver skins were once used not only for clothing but also as money.

A tasty currency: cocoa

Belgium is famous for its chocolate, a speciality that tourists never fail to enjoy when they visit Brussels. But what is the story behind such a strong link between Belgium and chocolate?

Belgian gold in foreign hands

During the second half of the 1930s a growing threat of war was clearly felt. Hitler had come to power in 1933 and on the international level tension was building up. Belgium felt compelled to transfer most of its stocks of gold and other valuables abroad for safe keeping .

El Dorado, the myth

The discovery of the cultures of the New World by European explorers at the end of the 15th century largely surpassed it’s geographical and economic importance. It also strongly rekindled the slumbering medieval myths and legends, like the Fountain of Youth and the Garden of Eden.

The coppers of north-west America, an extraordinary means of payment!

The coppers originate from the north-west of the United States and Canada. They were used by five groups of Indians: the Haidas, Tlinglits, Timishians, Kwakiutls and Bella Collas.