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A Brief History of Money

No one is sure when the use of money for trading purposes actually began but it is certain that some sort of money was used during the earliest known civilizations, although it was not as we know money today.

As early humans progressed in their ability to reason with numbers and with the ability to communicate with other people within, and outside of their own societal boundaries, it became necessary to develop standards for paying for goods and services.

Purchasing power or wealth was determined by the number of domesticated animals such as sheep, oxen, camels, goats, and other animals that an individual owned, and trade was conducted using certain animals, skins, shells, beads, bones, pebbles, and other items that were considered to have value.

Standard forms of money were developed and used for the purchase of goods and services, as well as for paying debt that was owed to others. The development of monetary standards also became a means of collecting taxes.

It has been noted that measurements of value were developed and used by the Chinese, Egyptians, Sumarians, and other societies around the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Europe. Those early forms of money paved the way for what we use today to transact our business.

The use of metallic coins, gold and silver, date back to the early Egyptians and Lydians and became a standard for Greek and Roman societies. Eventually, coinage of gold, bronze, and silver became standard throughout Eruope and the rest of the world.

Paper money is thought to have developed in China during the ninth century. It was the English who started issuing certificates of deposit in the seventeenth century, starting the first successful European entry in the use of paper money.

Although coins are still used today in most societies, they have lost their importance to paper money and paper money might someday become obsolete due to electronic banking and credit and debit cards.

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