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When Money Came Into Existence?

The things which occurred rarely in nature and whose circulation can be controlled came out as interacting and exchanging units of a value. The units were mother – of – pearl used in America and cowry shells used in Africa, Europe, Asia and Australia.

The history of human beings using cash currency is a long and illustrious one. Historical evidences suggest that money was in circulation as long as 40,000 years ago. First human beings indulged in bartering—exchanging goods between themselves. One of the earliest forms of barter included cattle, sheep, as well as vegetables and grain. Money made its entry a bit later. Its form has evolved over the millennia—ranging from natural objects, to coins and then paper. With rapid rise of internet and advancement of digital technology we now even have digital currency. Money in our present world act as the most important differentiator between the rich and the poor and the developed from the developing.

Origin of money

There are different types of theories floating around regarding the inception of money and when it actually came into existence. Historical evidence suggests they emerged from gift exchanges and debt repayments. In the beginning objects that were scarce and whose circulation could be efficiently controlled emerged as units of value for interactions and exchange. 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 were preferred commodity money owing to their portability, durability and of course inherent value. Coins then evolved into bank notes around 1661 AD. The first credit card was introduced in 1946.

Other materials used as currency were native copper, meteorites or native iron, obsidian, amber, beads, copper, gold, silver and lead ingots. The first known form of currency came 5,000 years ago and it was The Mesopotamian Shekel. The earliest known mints dates back to 650 and 600 B.C. It was used in Asia Minor. Stamped silver and gold coins were used to pay armies by the elites of Lydia and lonia.

In the beginning of first millennium A.D., hordes of coins of lead, copper, silver and gold were discovered and recognized as commodity money in Europe, Asia and North Africa. Money became instrument of political control.


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