Old money is money earned through hard work and self-determination; old money is money that was obtained before World War I and industrialized businesses. New money is quite the opposite. It is money earned through something as simple as the lottery, or bootlegging, such as in Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. In the novel The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald makes the characters in the book to be symbols of the trends of the 1920's. People from West Egg are generally what is considered to be the "new money", while those from East Egg are known as "old money" or the established aristocracy.
Old money is money which was made before the war and industrialized business came into play. The concept of old money is symbolized through East Egg and it's established aristocracy. The air of East Egg is potent with the elegance and disapproval of the way that the new money is making their cash. Daisy and Tom Buchanan, as well as Jordan Baker, live in East Egg. The novel does not lead on to any of those three characters having anything to do with the fast-paced money-making of the 1920's. Also, they are depicted in their younger years to be more on the wealthy side in Chapter 4, meaning that they acquired the money through inheritance. Thus, they are well established in the aristocracy, making them "new money" in the novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
The old money and new money clash in The Great Gatsby, with neither type of money agreeing with the way that the other obtained their money. In West Egg, the new money trend has taken reign. The key people that are considered to be new money in West Egg are Jay Gatsby and Meyer Wolfshiem. Jay Gatsby and Meyer Wolfshiem are considered to be new money because of the way that they have earned their money- through bootlegging and organized crime. Jay Gatsby is a bootlegger; he takes advantage of the Prohibition Movement of the 1920's and makes a "quick buck" off of distributing liquor illegally. Wolfshiem fixed the 1919 World Series and is a gambler, thus makes money without having to do any grueling work; he also does not inherit it. Therefore, Gatsby and Wolfshiem are prime examples of new money in West Egg.
Fitzgerald, F. Scott. "Chapter 4." The Great Gatsby. New York: Scribner, 2004. Print. "Great Gatsby Website - 1999." FCPS Home Page Redirect Page. Web. 3 June 2010.