History of money

monetary historyabandonmentan international currency of the early agesinvention of moneymoney economyorigin of moneyprecursorwidely used
The history of money concerns the development of social systems that provide at least one of the functions of money.wikipedia
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Debt: The First 5000 Years

In his book Debt: The First 5,000 Years, anthropologist David Graeber argues against the suggestion that money was invented to replace barter.
A second major argument of the book is that, contrary to standard accounts of the history of money, debt is probably the oldest means of trade, with cash and barter transactions being later developments.

Commodity money

speciecommoditycommodity standard
It may have intrinsic value (commodity money), be legally exchangeable for something with intrinsic value (representative money), or only have nominal value (fiat money). However, such exchanges would be better described as barter, and the common bartering of a particular commodity (especially when the commodity items are not fungible) does not technically make that commodity "money" or a "commodity money" like the shekel – which was both a coin representing a specific weight of barley, and the weight of that sack of barley.
History of money

Medium of exchange

mediums of exchangeexchange mediumfreely exchangeable for goods
The significant evidence establishes many things were bartered in ancient markets that could be described as a medium of exchange. Further, evidence in the histories supports the idea that money has taken two main forms divided into the broad categories of money of account (debits and credits on ledgers) and money of exchange (tangible media of exchange made from wood, paper, bamboo, metal, etc.), and it is debated which was created first.
History of money

Gift economy

gift exchangegift economiesgift
In a gift economy, valuable goods and services are regularly given without any explicit agreement for immediate or future rewards (i.e. there is no formal quid pro quo). Ideally, simultaneous or recurring giving serves to circulate and redistribute valuables within the community.
History of money

History of banking

modern bankingbankerbanking history
History of banking
The history of banking is intertwined with the history of money.

Trade beads

slave beadstrade beadglass beads
Trade beads
History of money

Money

monetaryspeciecash
The history of money concerns the development of social systems that provide at least one of the functions of money. However, such exchanges would be better described as barter, and the common bartering of a particular commodity (especially when the commodity items are not fungible) does not technically make that commodity "money" or a "commodity money" like the shekel – which was both a coin representing a specific weight of barley, and the weight of that sack of barley.

Intrinsic value (numismatics)

intrinsic valuemelt valueintrinsic
It may have intrinsic value (commodity money), be legally exchangeable for something with intrinsic value (representative money), or only have nominal value (fiat money).

Representative money

representativenegotiatedcommodity backed
It may have intrinsic value (commodity money), be legally exchangeable for something with intrinsic value (representative money), or only have nominal value (fiat money). Regarding money of exchange, the use of representative money historically pre-dates the invention of coinage.

Fiat money

fiat currencyfiatfiat currencies
It may have intrinsic value (commodity money), be legally exchangeable for something with intrinsic value (representative money), or only have nominal value (fiat money).

Bead

beadsSeed beads
These included livestock and grain – things directly useful in themselves – but also merely attractive items such as cowrie shells or beads were exchanged for more useful commodities.

Commodity

commoditiescommodity goodcommodity prices
These included livestock and grain – things directly useful in themselves – but also merely attractive items such as cowrie shells or beads were exchanged for more useful commodities.

Barter

barter economybarteringbarter trade
In his book Debt: The First 5,000 Years, anthropologist David Graeber argues against the suggestion that money was invented to replace barter. Such systems can be understood as means of trading wealth indirectly; not directly as with barter. However, such exchanges would be better described as barter, and the common bartering of a particular commodity (especially when the commodity items are not fungible) does not technically make that commodity "money" or a "commodity money" like the shekel – which was both a coin representing a specific weight of barley, and the weight of that sack of barley. Due to the complexities of ancient history (ancient civilizations developing at different paces and not keeping accurate records or having their records destroyed), and because the ancient origins of economic systems precede written history, it is impossible to trace the true origin of the invention of money and the transition from "barter systems" to the "monetary systems". While not the oldest form of money of exchange, various metals (both common and precious metals) were also used in both barter systems and monetary systems and the historical use of metals provides some of the clearest illustration of how the barter systems gave birth to monetary systems. The next historical step was bronze in bars that had a 5-pound pre-measured weight (presumably to make barter easier and more fair), called "aes signatum" (signed bronze), which is where debate arises between if this is still the barter system or now a monetary system.

Shekel

shekelshalf-ShekelJewish
However, such exchanges would be better described as barter, and the common bartering of a particular commodity (especially when the commodity items are not fungible) does not technically make that commodity "money" or a "commodity money" like the shekel – which was both a coin representing a specific weight of barley, and the weight of that sack of barley.

Barley

malting barleysix-row barleyH. vulgare
However, such exchanges would be better described as barter, and the common bartering of a particular commodity (especially when the commodity items are not fungible) does not technically make that commodity "money" or a "commodity money" like the shekel – which was both a coin representing a specific weight of barley, and the weight of that sack of barley.

Monetary system

monetary standardcurrency systemsbacked
Due to the complexities of ancient history (ancient civilizations developing at different paces and not keeping accurate records or having their records destroyed), and because the ancient origins of economic systems precede written history, it is impossible to trace the true origin of the invention of money and the transition from "barter systems" to the "monetary systems". While not the oldest form of money of exchange, various metals (both common and precious metals) were also used in both barter systems and monetary systems and the historical use of metals provides some of the clearest illustration of how the barter systems gave birth to monetary systems. The next historical step was bronze in bars that had a 5-pound pre-measured weight (presumably to make barter easier and more fair), called "aes signatum" (signed bronze), which is where debate arises between if this is still the barter system or now a monetary system.

Unit of account

money of accountunits of accountaccounting currency
Further, evidence in the histories supports the idea that money has taken two main forms divided into the broad categories of money of account (debits and credits on ledgers) and money of exchange (tangible media of exchange made from wood, paper, bamboo, metal, etc.), and it is debated which was created first.

Tally stick

talliesExchequer talliesTally
Regarding money of account, the tally stick can reasonably be described as a very primitive ledger – the oldest of which dates to the Aurignacian, about 30,000 years ago.

David Graeber

Graeber, DavidGraeber
In his book Debt: The First 5,000 Years, anthropologist David Graeber argues against the suggestion that money was invented to replace barter. David Graeber proposes that money as a unit of account was invented when the unquantifiable obligation "I owe you one" transformed into the quantifiable notion of "I owe you one unit of something".

Coin

coinsspecieexergue
Regarding money of exchange, the use of representative money historically pre-dates the invention of coinage.

Precious metal

precious metalsbullionprecious
While not the oldest form of money of exchange, various metals (both common and precious metals) were also used in both barter systems and monetary systems and the historical use of metals provides some of the clearest illustration of how the barter systems gave birth to monetary systems.

Roman Republican currency

RomanaesRomans' use of bronze
The Romans' use of bronze, while not among the more ancient examples is well documented, and it illustrates this transition clearly.

Aes rude

bronze standardrough bronze
First, the "aes rude" (rough bronze) was used.

Aes signatum

The next historical step was bronze in bars that had a 5-pound pre-measured weight (presumably to make barter easier and more fair), called "aes signatum" (signed bronze), which is where debate arises between if this is still the barter system or now a monetary system.

Aes grave

bronze
The aes grave (heavy bronze) (or As) is the start of the use of coins in Rome, but not the oldest known example of metal coinage.