Many suggestions have been made about the origin of the dollar symbol $. One of the commonest is that it derives from the figure 8 representing the Spanish Piece Of Eight. However, it actually derives from handwritten ps: an abbreviation for Peso in old Spanish-American books. The $ symbol first occurs in the 1770s in manuscript documents of English-Americans who had business dealing with Spanish-Americans and it starts to appear in print after 1800.
The name Dollar however derives from the Dutch or Low German word daler (in German taler or thaler) - originally Joachimstaler referring to a coin from the silver mines of Joachimstal in Bohemia (now Jáchymov in the Czech Republic) which opened in 1516.