A History of Money: From Ancient Times to Present Day

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  1. The History of Money & the Future of Bitcoin and the Cryptocurrency Economy
  2. A History of Universal Currencies
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  4. A History of Universal Currencies - Global Financial Data

The History of Money & the Future of Bitcoin and the Cryptocurrency Economy

The final section provides evidence to suggest that for most of the world's richer countries the era of persistent inflation may well be at an end. If you know the book but cannot find it on AbeBooks, we can automatically search for it on your behalf as new inventory is added. If it is added to AbeBooks by one of our member booksellers, we will notify you! Glyn Davies. Publisher: University Of Wales Press , This is called barter. Different Kinds of Money: Sometimes, it was hard for people to put a barter price on things.

Instead of barter, people began to use money as a form of payment. For a definition of money, visit Word Central for Kids. The ancient Egyptians used ring money. Ring money was an actual ring made of bronze, copper, or gold.

A History of Universal Currencies

In ancient Egypt, people like to wear their wealth. When it came time to pay their bills, they simply pulled off a ring or two to use as payment. The Celts in ancient Ireland also used ring money, plus bracelet money. The Celts also liked to wear their wealth. In other places in the world, people tried to use rice, or bread, or chocolate as money. But that did not work very well. The food went bad, or it was eaten. People soon learned that although many things would work as money, to be useful, the item or items they chose to use as money had to follow a few simple rules:.

Ancient Turkey: About 2, years ago, somebody came up with the idea of using metal coins as money. The first coins appeared in ancient Turkey. Everybody loved this new idea. The amount that each coin was worth was stamped right on it.

"The History of Money" - Niall Ferguson documentary

The coins were round and flat and made of gold and silver. They were small and easy to carry. They could be decorated with pictures and designs. The use of coins made trade simple. The clever people who invented the first coins from the kingdom of Lydia , which was a little coastal kingdom on the Aegean Sea, in ancient Turkey.

Like most coastal civilizations, these early people needed something to use to trade with visiting merchants who came by sea. Coins were the answer. The problem with this version of history, he suggests, is the lack of any supporting evidence. His research indicates that gift economies were common, at least at the beginnings of the first agrarian societies, when humans used elaborate credit systems. Graeber proposes that money as a unit of account was invented the moment when the unquantifiable obligation "I owe you one" transformed into the quantifiable notion of "I owe you one unit of something".

In this view, money emerged first as credit and only later acquired the functions of a medium of exchange and a store of value. Innes in his pamphlet "What is money? Innes refutes the barter theory of money, by examining historic evidence and showing that early coins never were of consistent value nor of more or less consistent metal content. Therefore he concludes that sales is not exchange of goods for some universal commodity, but an exchange for credit.

He argues that "credit and credit alone is money". In a gift economy , valuable goods and services are regularly given without any explicit agreement for immediate or future rewards i. There are various social theories concerning gift economies. Some consider the gifts to be a form of reciprocal altruism , where relationships are created through this type of exchange.


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This custom may reflect altruism , it may be a form of informal insurance, or may bring with it social status or other benefits. In the earliest instances of trade with money, the things with the greatest utility and reliability in terms of re-use and re-trading their marketability , determined the nature of the objects chosen to exchange.

So as in agricultural societies, things needed for efficient and comfortable employment of energies for the production of cereals and the like were the easiest to transfer to monetary significance for direct exchange. As more of the basic conditions of human existence were met, [30] so the division of labour increased to create new activities for the use of time [ clarification needed ] to address more advanced concerns. As people's needs became more refined, indirect exchange became more likely, as the physical separation of skilled labourers suppliers from their prospective clients demand required the use of a medium common to all communities, to facilitate a wider market.

Aristotle's opinion of the creation of money as a new thing in society is: [22]. When the inhabitants of one country became more dependent on those of another, and they imported what they needed, and exported what they had too much of, money necessarily came into use.

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Many cultures around the world developed the use of commodity money , that is, objects that have value in themselves as well as value in their use as money. The Mesopotamian civilization developed a large-scale economy based on commodity money. The shekel was the unit of weight and currency, first recorded c. Money was not only an emergence [ clarification needed ] , it was a necessity.

The Code of Hammurabi , the best-preserved ancient law code , was created c. It was enacted by the sixth Babylonian king, Hammurabi. Earlier collections of laws include the code of Ur-Nammu , king of Ur c. They set amounts of interest on debt, fines for "wrongdoing", and compensation in money for various infractions of formalized law.

It has long been assumed that metals, where available, were favored for use as proto-money over such commodities as cattle, cowry shells, or salt, because metals are at once durable, portable, and easily divisible. The first mention in the Bible of the use of money is in the Book of Genesis [39] in reference to criteria for the circumcision of a bought slave.

A History of Universal Currencies - Global Financial Data

The first manufactured actual coins seem to have appeared separately in India, China, and the cities around the Aegean Sea 7th century BC. The different forms and metallurgical processes imply a separate development.

All modern coins, in turn, are descended from the coins that appear to have been invented in the kingdom of Lydia in Asia Minor somewhere around 7th century BC and that spread throughout Greece in the following centuries: disk-shaped, made of gold, silver, bronze or imitations thereof, with both sides bearing an image produced by stamping; one side is often a human head.

Maybe the first ruler in the Mediterranean known to have officially set standards of weight and money was Pheidon. It is an electrum stater of a turtle coin, coined at Aegina island. This coin [50] dates to about 7th century BC. Amisano, in a general publication, including the Etruscan coinage, attributing it the beginning to about BC in Populonia , a chronology that would leave out the contribution of the Greeks of Magna Graecia and attribute to the Etruscans the burden of introducing the coin in Italy.

In this work, constant reference is made to classical sources, and credit is given to the origin of the Etruscan Lydia, a source supported by Herodotus, and also to the invention of coin in Lydia. Other coins made of electrum a naturally occurring alloy of silver and gold were manufactured on a larger scale about 7th century BC in Lydia on the coast of what is now Turkey. The use and export of silver coinage , along with soldiers paid in coins, contributed to the Athenian Empire 's dominance of the region in the 5th century BC.

The silver used was mined in southern Attica at Laurium and Thorikos by a huge workforce of slave labour. The worship of Moneta is recorded by Livy with the temple built in the time of Rome [ clarification needed ] ; a temple consecrated to the same goddess was built in the earlier part of the 4th century perhaps the same temple. Assaying is analysis of the chemical composition of metals.

The discovery of the touchstone [ when? As a result, the use of gold for as commodity money spread from Asia Minor , where it first gained wide usage. A touchstone allows the amount of gold in a sample of an alloy to been estimated. In turn this allows the alloy's purity to be estimated. This allows coins with a uniform amount of gold to be created. Coins were typically minted by governments and then stamped with an emblem that guaranteed the weight and value of the metal. However, as well as intrinsic value coins had a face value. Sometimes governments would reduce the amount of precious metal in a coin reducing the intrinsic value and assert the same face value, this practice is known as debasement.

Gold and silver have been the most common forms of money throughout history. In many languages, such as Spanish, French, and Italian, the word for silver is still directly related to the word for money. Sometimes other metals were used. For instance, Ancient Sparta minted coins from iron to discourage its citizens from engaging in foreign trade.

Gold coins began to be minted again in Europe in the 13th century. Frederick II is credited with having reintroduced gold coins during the Crusades.