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Money—What was it Like Long Ago?

We know what paper money and coins are like today, but what was money like many years ago? And when did the use of money start? Go...



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A Look at what Money was Like Long Ago.

It is believed that cattle may have been the oldest of all forms of money. Using cattle as a form of money dates back to 9000 B.C. Some cattle were still used as money in parts of Africa in the mid 1900’s.

Coins first appeared around 2000 BC in the form of pieces of bronze shaped like cattle. Each coin’s value was determined by weight. Some of these bronze pieces were heavy, which could make them awkward to use.

The first coins with that were imprinted with their value on them were first produced around 650 B.C. in Europe.

Around A.D. 806, the Chinese invented and briefly used paper currency, but the first consistent use of paper money was by the French in the 18th century.

Money in America

Before the days of paper money, Americans traded animal skins, including deer and elk bucks, for goods and services. Hence the word "buck" to describe money.

American Indians used to carry around strings of clamshells to use as money, which they called wampum. Wampum was the most common form of money in North America.

By 1637, the Massachusetts Bay Colony declared wampum legal tender, which meant it could be used as money.


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