The history of the emergence of paper money

Today it is difficult to imagine the world without paper bills, although money transactions are gradually moving into the virtual area. Who knows if electronic money will replace the real money, and if this process will take place at all. We got used to paper means of payment and stopped asking ourselves the question, where did they come from. It turns out that the first country to introduce money printed on paper was China, this is also one of the interesting facts about China. The Celestial Empire gave the world not only porcelain, gunpowder, compass and many other useful discoveries, but also set an example in the use of paper bills.

The fact that the earliest coin, which has a mass circulation, appeared in China, is proved by finds from the unsolved mysteries of the world in a Chinese tomb, which is more than three thousand years old. According to the results of research, found among the graves of the 11th century BC. items are money. Ancient coins made of silver and gold have a round shape and a square hole in the middle. They have been recognized as China's standard monetary currency. Metal money was a reliable means of trade, it was difficult to counterfeit them.

But there was also a small difficulty associated with them: in the presence of a large financial reserve, it was difficult to carry it with you. The rich had to specially hire carts to move their own savings. It was then that the Chinese society came up with "jiaozi" - official papers that confirmed the availability of money and its amount. The fact is that institutions offering money storage services have come to the aid of rich people.

With their help, the state could control the economic situation, and people could save savings. This is how the first organizations resembling modern banks appeared. The owners of these "banks" and their clients noticed the convenience in using the issued securities, which led to the appearance of the first official paper money. This period falls under the Song Dynasty, which led China in the 10th century.

Paper currency has become a convenient medium for trading operations, replacing heavy perforated metal money. Thanks to the "monetary revolution", the country leaped forward in comparison with other states of that time. The money was printed in four different regions of China, using colored ink, with the help of which drawings depicting the life of emperors or landscapes of the then empire were applied to paper.

Considering that replacing metal with paper could lead to an increase in counterfeiters, the authorities came up with ways of protection: they produced complex dyes, applied individual seals that were difficult to forge, and on the banknotes themselves they wrote warnings and punishments for those who would be caught for counterfeiting money.

10th century money was called jiaozi and was the legal vehicle for various trade transactions conducted throughout the empire. There were only two denominations - "1" and "100". This currency existed until 1279, before the conquest of Chinese lands by the Mongols. She fell into oblivion for as long as 10 years.

But then, since the reign of the Yuan dynasty, paper notes again came into use, but they began to be called "chao". At the same time, the traveler Marco Polo visited China. He was the first to see paper money and, amazed at this discovery, brought several bills to Europe.

In view of the loss of control over the country's gold reserves, money began to depreciate, the country suffered inflation and economic recession. All subsequent Chinese rulers, starting in the 14th century, preferred to use silver and gold, and banknotes disappeared from use until the end of the 19th century. Only then in China again began to print banknotes, which were called "yuan".