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The History of Money

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❶It is interesting that when someone says, "as rich as Croesus", they are referring to the last Lydian king who minted the first gold coin. Geert Rouwenhorst 1 August

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History of Chinese Invention - The Invention of Paper Money
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The First Paper Money

The Indian word "wampum" means white, which was the color of the beads. Gold was officially made the standard of value in England in At this time, guidelines were made to allow for a non-inflationary production of standard banknotes which represented a certain amount of gold.

Banknotes had been used in England and Europe for several hundred years before this time, but their worth had never been tied directly to gold.

In the United States, the Gold Standard Act was officialy enacted in , which helped lead to the establishment of a central bank. The massive Depression of the s, felt worldwide, marked the beginning of the end of the gold standard.

In the United States, the gold standard was revised and the price of gold was devalued. This was the first step in ending the relationship altogether. The British and international gold standards soon ended as well, and the complexities of international monetary regulation began. In our digital age, economic transactions regularly take place electronically, without the exchange of any physical currency. Digital cash in the form of bits and bytes will most likely continue to be the currency of the future.

See how currency designers at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing revamped the Franklin to thwart counterfeiters. Trust your gut when trading stocks?

Explore how the Song Dynasty gave rise to printing, paper money, gunpowder, the compass, and other innovations. PBS is a c 3 not-for-profit organization. Mind Over Money Can markets be rational when humans aren't? The Disposition Effect Trust your gut when trading stocks? Perhaps one of the least desirable earlier systems of exchange was the use of noses! Tang people had it easier once they had paper money. Paper money is light, foldable, potentially worth a lot more, and takes less effort to make than many earlier systems.

For jobs how would you like to be paid in thousands of pounds of coins? And also in Stop and Shop you'd have to wait hours just to buy a Snickers because everyone in line is pouring out change to pay for their groceries.

So you see now that the Tang were great and thank goodness for paper money! Kublai Khan established currency credibility by decreeing that his paper money must be accepted by traders on pain of death. As further enforcment of his mandate, he confiscated all gold and silver, even if it was brought in by foreign traders. And when all is prepared duly, the chief officer deputed by the Khan smears the seal entrusted to him with vermilion, and impresses it on the paper, so that the form of the seal remains imprinted upon it in red; the money is then authentic.

Anyone forging it would be punished with death. And the Khan causes every year to be made such a vast quantity of this money, which costs him nothing, that it must equal in amount all the treasure of the world.

As is to be expected, paper money did not succeed everywhere. In Persia, its forcible introduction in led to a total collapse of trade. By the 15th century even China had more or less given up paper money. Over this period, paper notes were issued irresponsibly, to the point that their value rapidly depreciated and inflation soared. Then beginning in , the use of paper money in China disappeared for several hundred years. This was still many years before paper currency would reappear in Europe, and three centuries before it was considered common.


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A banknote (often known as a bill, paper money, or simply a note) is a type of negotiable promissory note, made by a bank, payable to the bearer on demand. Banknotes were originally issued by commercial banks, who were legally required to redeem the notes for legal tender (usually gold or silver coin) when presented to the chief cashier of the originating bank.

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History of paper money. Federal Reserve notes. Federal Reserve notes make up the majority of U.S. paper money in circulation today. The rest consists of U.S. notes and other currency still in circulation but no longer issued.

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Paper bills were first used by the Chinese, who started carrying folding money during the Tang Dynasty (A.D. ) — mostly in the form of privately issued bills of credit or exchange notes — and used it for more than years before the practice began to catch on in Europe in the 17th century. Paper money was made by the Tang Dynasty in China in B.C. They made the paper money as an offshoot of the invention of block printing. Block printing is like stamping. Some people used the process for quilts, but the government made ready use of it in printing money.

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Paper money is an invaluable element of everyday commerce for the convenience of its use compared to coins and we can thank the Chinese and the Swedes for that, as they are the people who invented paper money and pioneered its subsequent widespread use. From the colonies to the 21st century, this interactive timeline shows the history of American money.