History Of Money Essay

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What is Money? At first sight the answer to this question seems obvious. A man or woman in the street would agree on coins and banknote which could be known as checks, for a good or a service but would they accept them from any country? They would probably be less willing to accept them than their own country's coins and notes but bank money actually accounts for by far the greatest proportion by value of the total supply of money. Credit cards and gold are some what different. The gold standard belongs to history but even today in many rich people in different parts of the world would rather keep some of their wealth in the form of gold than in official, inflation-prone currencies. Gold is a attractive type of material which led to its …show more content…
The use of primitive forms of money in the Third World and North America is more recent and better documented than in Europe and its study sheds light on the probable origins of modern money. Among the topics treated are the use of wampum and the custom of the potlatch or competitive gift exchange in North America, disc-shaped stones in Yap, cowrie shells over much of Africa and Asia, cattle, manillas and whales teeth. Manillas were ornamental metallic objects worn as jewelry in west Africa and used as money as recently as 1949. They were an ostentatious form of ornamentation, their value in that role being a prime reason for their acceptability as money. Wampum's use as money in north America undoubtedly came about as an extension of its desirability for ornamentation. Precious metals have had ornamental uses throughout history and that could be one reason why they were adopted for use as money in many ancient societies and civilizations. In Fijian society gifts of whales teeth were (and in certain cases still are) a significant feature of certain ceremonies. One of their uses was as bride-money, with a symbolic meaning similar to that of the engagement ring in Western society. Whales teeth were "tambua" (from which our word "taboo" comes) meaning that they had religious significance, as did the fei stones of…

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