What do pigs have to do with saving anyway?

Did you ever wonder why coin banks are shaped like pigs?  Honestly, why not a squirrel? At least they SAVE their nuts for winter.   Mice and beavers are known to do the same.  Ever heard of a beaver bank? 

Actually, the piggy bank was just a big misunderstanding.  Here’s what we found…

“During the Middle Ages, metal was both expensive and hard to find throughout Europe. Consequently, families used clay to create their household pots and jars. Usually the type of clay chosen to make these house wares was a clay called “pygg”. Pygg is an orange clay, and it was used widely at this time in Europe because it was inexpensive. Whenever a typical household had coins to save, the elected bank would more than likely be a pygg jar. Inevitably, these pygg jars became known as pygg banks over time. Later, in the eighteenth century, craftsmen were frequently asked to create pygg banks. Misunderstanding the request, the potters crafted banks in the shape of pigs and painted them likewise. These pig banks soon became popular, and even today piggy banks (shaped as pigs) are found around the world throughout diverse cultures.”

So as we start April 2010 — and financial literacy month, let’s be sure there is no miscommunication about the importance of saving, either in a piggy bank or maybe a saving squirrel?

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