Would you like to learn about money stories and curiosities?
How did banks start? What is a direct exchange? Who invented the piggy bank? Are there only round coins? Do you know the name of the first Portuguese coin? Is silent trade possible? When did we start using euro coins and banknotes? And much more...
In partnership with Radio ZigZag of the RTP group, the Money Museum developed “Troco por trocas”, a children’s radio show that tells many short stories about money and some curiosities.
4 key concepts: savings, need, income and spending
Do you know what a piggy bank is used for? Have you got one?
If you know but don’t have one yet, maybe it’s time. Find out the origin of the Portuguese word mealheiro (piggy bank) or why the most typical piggy banks are pig-shaped. And also, how to make one!
The word mealheiro comes from the first Portuguese coins: dinheiros. When someone needed half the value of 1 dinheiro, they cut the coin in half. Those halves were called mealhas! And the word mealha gave origin to the word mealheiro (piggy bank). The old terracotta piggy bank is like a small safe, which originally had no key or code, like some we have at home. In the past, to get coins out of a piggy bank, we had to smash it!
No one knows for sure, but pig-shaped piggy banks originated from Germany and England about 300 years ago. In England, mealheiro is called piggy-bank. But why the shape of a pig? Because this animal and its meat were and still are essential to some cultures, as a source of food, and as such they hold a lot of value.