The Environment

Aligned to elementary social studies learning standards, Really BIG Money teaches children about world cultures and supports the development of financial literacy.


8 daler plate money, Sweden, 1663 

Gift of The Chase Manhattan Bank

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How big is this money?

This plate money weighs 31 pounds. People in Sweden used heavy copper plates as well as smaller silver coins as money around 350 years ago.

What is this plate money made of?

This Swedish plate money is made of copper metal. When it was made in 1663, Sweden had a lot of copper in its mines, but very little silver metal. This made silver much more valuable than copper. This huge copper plate was worth about the same amount as the three smaller silver coins below.

1 riksdaler coin, Sweden, 1640

1 riksdaler coin, Sweden, 1643 

Gift of Paul A. Straub 

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Half riksdaler coin, Sweden, 1642

Gift of Paul A. Straub

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The design at the center of the plate shows it was worth about 8 Swedish dollars, called dalers. In 1663 this plate could buy four pigs.

Sweden’s biggest copper mine is called the Falun (FA-loon) mine. People mined copper there for over 1,000 years (until 1992). It produced more copper than any other mine in Europe.

Courtesy of Getty Images