History of Money

History of Money

The term money, well, it’s hard to say exactly how old it is. When you research the term you can find out that payment of some kind was used all the way back to 2200 B.C.! But the money that they used back then is not the same that we use today. Early forms of money included shells, stones, beads and fur. Below are some fun facts about the History of Money that we would like to share with our Hometown Kids Club members.


Did you ever trade baseball cards or marbles? Two average marbles for one great marble is considered a good trade. Well, that was how people bought things in the past. If you were a farmer, you would trade your corn with a shoemaker for shoes. The shoemaker would offer shoes to a butcher in exchange for meat. This concept of trade was called bartering. This eventually got to be rather difficult.

The beginning of money:

If I went to the shoemaker with my corn and he already had enough corn, then I was out of luck. I couldn’t get a pair of shoes. To solve this problem, the next logical thing to do was to develop a type of system that anyone could use, all of the time. This invention, so to speak, was our current system of money.

The first coins:

The first coins date back to 700 B.C. by the Lydians, a group of people that lived in what is now Turkey. Coins then spread to Greece and Rome. But the worldwide use of paper money and coins took a long time to occur. Even into the early days of the United States, bartering or trading was still a popular way to exchange goods and services.

U.S. Money Trail:

Before the early settlers won the war that created the United States there was Spanish, English and French money used. But, in order to pay for the war, we needed to develop one common currency for all the colonies. In fact, the famous Paul Revere designed the first coins for the “Continental Currency.”

Mint Act:

After we won the war and the new U.S. Constitution was ratified, Congress passed the “Mint Act” on April 2, 1792. This established the coinage system of the United States, and the dollar as the official U.S. currency. In 1793, the Philadelphia Mint produced the first coins!