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Top 5 Weirdest Currencies in the World

Here at Creditnet, we try to guide consumers through the wild world of credit cards.  But this doesn't mean we're oblivious to the joy of having a stack of cold hard cash in your wallet. That said, not all stacks of cash are created equal.  No, we're not talking about exchange rates or any of that boring finance stuff.  We're talking about all the wacky currencies that exist across the globe. From beautiful to bizarre, the currencies of the world are as diverse as the cultures which produce them.  Take a look at the best of the best:

Hong Kong dollar

The Hong Kong 10 dollar bill looks like the inside of a kaleidoscope. It is said to be horse themed, but apart from a tiny fragmented silhouette of a horse, there are very few tangible depictions on the note. It may seem bizarre, but due to the exponential growth of the Chinese economy, the joke may be on us!

Cook Islands dollar

The Cook Islands dollar, which debuted in 1987, stands out to us for two reasons: one, it's got a flippin' shark that leaps out at you; and two, it comes in a three-dollar note. While we'd like to give the Cook Islanders a good ol' pat on the back for eschewing the standard 5-10-20 denomination scheme, unfortunately their currency has fallen into disuse and has almost been entirely replaced by the New Zealand dollar.

South African rand

Most currency is boring. Well, at least it's not very exciting to carry around portraits of old dead dudes in our pockets like we do in America. South Africa must have understood this, as they decided to swoop in and stick a portrait of Mufasa on their 50 Rand notes. And who wouldn't want to partake in an economy with a currency that reminds you of Hakuna Matata?

Antarctican dollar

Never mind the facts that Antarctica has no official government nor any permanent residents. Who are we to exclude Antarctica from getting in on the currency fun? The Antarctica overseas exchange office has printed "Antarctican Dollars" in an effort to raise money for research. While these notes don't officially have any value, the office website states: "we do honor them for their face value throughout their validity period." Whatever that means…

Icelandic króna

As far as currency goes, the Icelandic króna earns the title of featuring the best headwear. Just look at that hat! This is a portrait of a woman named Ragnheiður Jónsdóttir (don't ask us to pronounce that), a renowned seamstress who lived in the 17th century. Apparently that merits depiction on the national currency in Iceland… Any other currencies catch your eye on your world travels? Comment below!

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Jason Bushey's picture

Jason Bushey is the former Editor and Vice President of Creditnet. Jason is a Burlington, Vermont native who moved to sunny San Diego after earning a Bachelor's Degree in English and Political Science at the University of Vermont ('09). When he's not sharing his take on credit cards, administrating the Creditnet Forum or blogging about all things related to credit, you can probably find him cheering on the Green Bay Packers (He's an owner!) or running up and down the streets of SoCal.

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