History of Money

Money developed independently in different parts of the world, the concept of money dates back a long way in history. Before the use of money the main form of exchange was mainly in the form of barter where goods were exchanged for other goods and service. Cattle and sheep can be considered as one of the oldest form of barter people used in exchange for services. Food grains were also predominantly in use as a form of barter. Cowrie shells can be considered as one of the first forms of money which was used in china in 1200 B.C; the first metal coins were also used in china which were imitations of cowrie shells, in addition to this goods made of metal like knives were also used as a form of money.

The first metal coins from silver were developed in Turkey which had pictures of Gods and Emperors stamped in it in 500 B.C. In 1816 gold was used in England as currency but the 1930 depression stopped the use of gold as currency. Coins started gaining popularity after the Greeks started using them as currency and their use spread quickly due to convenience in usage. The first paper currency was developed in china and used for 500 years; it then disappeared from use for 100 years.

Native Americans used beaded shells called wampum as a form of money in America. The United States first printed notes to finance the revolutionary war, the currency were called continentals but they lost their value very quickly. In the 1800’s banks were allowed to print their own currencies which could be redeemed with silver and gold. To finance the civil war the United States started printing currency called greenbacks which had a more complex design with securing measures. The largest currency in circulation in the United States is the 100 dollar bill.

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