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The History Of Coin Currency

Jul 3, 2008
Currency or money has always been used as a means of trading or bartering even during the remotest periods. Before silver and gold were in use, currency took the forms of animals, lambs, oxen, shells, sheep, and many more.

The earliest use of money can be found in the sacred writings of the Bible as it mentions gold in the first book of Moses, which was written around 4,000 B.C. This was found in Genesis in the second chapter, then in the fourth chapter brass and iron are mentioned, and then in the thirteenth chapter the mention of silver can be found.

During early days, different countries used a variety of forms as currency, which include shells in Siam, sugar in the West Indies, and tin in Great Britain. A lot of other items were used as forms of currency. In Germany they used cattle, in Rome they used leather, in Burma they used lead, Russia used platinum, China used brass, and in Scotland they used iron and nails. All over the world copper, silver, and gold have been used as forms of currency.

In ancient Hebrew times, the measure of currency was expressed by the shekel, which were weighed out instead of counted. In the ancient tombs of Egypt, traces of scales were found engraved on the walls, which signified the wealth of their owners. The shekels did not have an equal weight and the main article of currency or barter among Egyptians was the lambs. The term shekel in Hebrew means to weigh, and became a term in the language of currency.

Originally, gold and silver were used in lumps, nuggets, or bars and in these particular forms they could be weighed out, and because they were weighed out they could be used as payments for commercial transactions. On the island of Aegina, the Greeks stamped a turtle on the first silver coins over 700 B.C. The Greeks continued stamping symbols of owls and other images and objects on their coins until Alexander the Great decided that the coins should have portraits or heads of living people and rulers.

This method allowed rulers to show evidence of their prosperity and advancement and was eventually improved by the Romans, to serve as a complete record of all the ruling families of Caesars until the fall of the Roman empire. In this age, the artistry on the coins was not advanced and quickly began to deteriorate from the beginning of the Byzantine period until over a thousand years later.

Queen Elizabeth of England began the first experiment of milling currency instead of striking currency individually. At this time, coins began to gain their round shape and a improved artistic design from England, Germany, and Saxony beginning in the 16th century. The Chinese have been producing coins for at least forty centuries, but the most of their first coins were produced from bronze, then eventually they moved to brass.

China has also made coins with the use of porcelain and tiny sea shells, while Japan and Korea use copper in the production of their coins.

Today all countries tend to make their coins with the same general appearance and shape. Coins are made of gold, silver, brass, nickel, bronze, copper, and aluminum all over the world, and these coins reflect a country's history throughout the ages.
About the Author
Victor Epand is an expert consultant about rare coins, stamp collections, and rare collectibles. Follow these links to find the best marketplace for: rare coins, collections, and history.
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