Mention in the Sherlock Holmes thread of the word “dollar” in Shakespeare led me to this site.
Since the symbol is more recent than the name, and the origins of the latter are well understood, one might expect that the origins of the sign would also be known for certain particularly when the origin of the British pound sign, £, which is far older, is well-established. However that is not the case with regard to the dollar.
Perhaps this is less surprising when there has been controversy over the origin of the sign for the European euro, €, a currency that did not come into existence until 1999. (It has been claimed that the euro sign was invented by Arthur Eisenmenger more than a quarter of a century before the currency was introduced). Nevertheless a number of theories about the origin of the dollar symbol have been proposed.