How it Began!

How it Began!

 

The history of money spans thousands of years. Several hundred years ago, many items of value were considered to be money and were used for the purpose of trade or barter. These items of value included precious metals, cowry shells, food grains and beads. This was also called commodity exchange of one product for an equal value of another product. But in no time people started facing problems with this kind of barter system as barter can only take place if both parties have something that the other person wants. The other problem with barter was that unlike money, goods could not be broken up into smaller parts to match the offer of the other person. At other times, the barter elements perishable, making it even more difficult to set a good value. As a result, money emerged.

Our ancestors had to start working on a new form of payment and they designed money. No single person decided on the rules of measurement and the system of using money emerged as per the principles of needs and wants, It is believed that Babylonia and neighbouring cities started the law and rules related to money exchange.

The first coins were manufactured in India, China and cities around the Aegean Sea, which lies between Greece and Turkey. The first coin in China was made from bronze and had a hole in the middle so many coins could be strung together. The first Indian coin was a  punched metal disk. Initially, there was no interference in money exchange from authorities like kings or the government, but soon the authority was embossed on the money with a mark of authority was seen in Paris, France.

By then gold had also evolved as a form of money. Gold is a soft metal that is hard to find but easy to share. As a result, people started accumulating gold as money in Asia and then across the world. With this, we came to an era of standardised coins, Coins were typically minted by governments in a carefully protected process and then stamped with an emblem that guaranteed the weight and value of the metal. Over time governments realized that value of money lay in its emblem and not in the metal that was used. Thus gold and silver were substituted by metals that didn’t have great value on their own,

In the early 17th Century Sweden produced plate money, which was large slabs of copper approximately 50 cms or more in length and width, appropriately stamped with indications of their value.  

– JANE SHA

 

 

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