A Brief History of Money

It’s a funny concept – handing over a piece of paper worth a few pennies, for an item or service worth sometimes thousands, even millions, more in real value. Today, we call bank notes ‘money’ and Gold and Silver ‘assets.’ But a paper bank note is not actually money at all – it is a currency:

Currency is defined as a “Medium of exchange: something commonly recognized in a country or community as a standard of value and used in the same way as money, e.g. Gold.” Did you notice that? Real money is actually Gold (and Silver) not what we consider to be money today.

In the ancient classical Semitic language of Hebrew the word for money was the same as the word for silver. Strikingly, it is still the same word used in Modern Hebrew today. So, even the history of languages tells us something about the real origin of money – that it was Gold and Silver.



“Money has been a part of human history for almost 3,000 years. From the origins of bartering to modern money, this is how the system has evolved.” I would personally have put that figure as several thousand years earlier. Indeed, “At the dawn of humanity, bartering was used in lieu of money to buy goods. As early man began to rear domestic livestock, one of the earliest forms of barter included cattle, sheep, as well as vegetables and grain. The first known currency was created by King Alyattes in Lydia, now part of Turkey, in 600BC. The first coin ever minted features a roaring lion.

Coins then evolved into bank notes around 1661 AD. The first credit card was introduced in 1946. Money has now developed from these early roots through to Apple’s instant iPhone payments and bitcoin – the world’s first decentralised crytocurrency.

Wearable technology is set to disrupt the world of money once more, as Barclaycard trials a contactless payments wristband. The advent of modern bartering has brought the system full circle.” (The Telegraph)



When were Gold and Silver introduced as Money?

Dates vary. Thought.co, on their humanities section of their website, puts it at about 6000 years ago – in fact – that Gold (and Silver) was introduced: “Metals objects were introduced as money around 5000 B.C. By 700 BC, the Lydians became the first in the western world to make coins. Countries were soon minting their own series of coins with specific values. Metal was used because it was readily available, easy to work with and could be recycled. Since coins were given a certain value, it became easier to compare the cost of items people wanted.”




The Development of Representative Money

“With the introduction of paper currency and non-precious coinage, commodity money evolved into representative money. This meant that what money itself was made of no longer had to be very valuable. Representative money was backed by a government or bank’s promise to exchange it for a certain amount of silver or gold.

For example, the old British Pound bill or Pound Sterling was once guaranteed to be redeemable for a pound of sterling Silver. For most of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the majority of currencies were based on representative money through the use of the gold standard.” (The History of Money)

So, you see, what we call money really isn’t.



To take part in the enjoyment and security of owning the Real Money of Gold and Silver call Bleyer now on 01769 618618 or email sales@bleyer.co.uk


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