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5 fun facts about piggy banks


Did you know that piggy banks have been around for hundreds of years? They didn’t start out shaped like pigs. Sometimes they were simply a pot or plate where people placed any extra coins they had. Whatever their shape, they’re the perfect place to stash your money away. Let’s see what interesting facts Mr. Orlando can tell us about piggy banks!


Piggy banks are named after an orange clay called
Photo by Ed Welsh licensed CC BY-NC 2.0

During the 1600s, people used an orange clay called “pygg” to make dishes and jars. These containers were sometimes used to hold spare change. Over time, it’s believed that some potters got creative and decided to use pygg to make pig-shaped banks. (Get it? A pig made from pygg!) Today’s piggy banks are crafted from of all kinds of materials including plastic, ceramic and glass.


Ancient piggy banks had to be smashed to get the money out.
Photo by Images Money licensed CC BY 2.0

Many early piggy banks didn’t have an opening in the bottom. That meant the bank had to be smashed to pieces to get at the money inside. For that reason, finding an old piggy bank that’s in one piece is uncommon. But a 650-year-old piggy bank was recently discovered in Indonesia. It sold at an auction for nearly $10,000!


Piggy banks are given as gifts as they represent luck and good fortune.
Photo via Pixabay.

In some countries, like Germany and the Netherlands, piggy banks are often given as gifts because they represent luck and good fortune. This is especially true on New Year’s Day, when a gift of a lucky pig is seen as a good luck charm for the coming year.


The biggest piggy bank in the world stands over four storeys tall.
Photo by Metro Centric licensed CC BY 2.0

In 2015, a German bank built the world’s largest piggy bank. Since it stood the same height as a four-storey building, a small crane had to be used to put coins into the top of the huge plastic pig. People were even able to climb inside the piggy bank to see an exhibit all about money. And the best part? They could exit the gigantic pig by zipping down a built-in slide!


The Money Box Museum has over 12,000 piggy banks in their collection.
Photo by Amy Mekelborg licensed CC BY-SA

The Money Box Museum in Amsterdam has a collection of over 12,000 piggy banks. The piggy banks come in all shapes and sizes. While some look like pigs, others resemble different animals, as well as buildings and even famous people. Some of the museum’s piggy banks are even made of silver and gold. That makes these banks valuable even when they’re empty!