There’s no denying that money makes the world go ‘round, and in this issue, the story of money, for kids, is told in all its complex detail. From its origins almost 3,000 years ago as tiny coins in ancient Turkey, to the cashless Internet transactions that make up 90% of U.S. money exchanges today, kids will investigate money in all its forms – which, over time, have included rice, salt, cloth, grain, cigarettes, shells, rocks, and even cacao beans. They’ll learn about gold-backed currency and today’s “fiat” currency, which relies purely on people’s faith in the government for its value, and about other ways that people exchange wealth, including barter.
They’ll also explore the workings of the U.S. Mint, which turns out almost $700 million in paper currency every day, and examine the markings on a $1 bill and the meanings behind them, as well as the life cycle of a bill as it moves from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, through the Federal Reserve Bank, into the hands of consumers. The efforts used by the U.S. Treasury to prevent counterfeiting are also featured, along with some fun facts, such as the origin of the word “buck.” The superstitions behind money; ways people have tried to earn, steal, and stockpile it; and the obsessive market behavior generated by money, are also covered, along with some fun magic tricks kids can try to increase their own wealth.