STRANGE THINGS USED AS CURRENCY
Added on: 20th Mar 2015
These huge wheel like pieces of rock from the island of Palau were
transported to the island of Yap by canoe to be used as currency.
The most valuable pieces were the ones that caused the most
deaths during transport.
In Roman times this was a very precious commodity.
Even our word “salary” is derived from the Latin word
for salt, “salarium”.
When Argentina ran out of coins in 2008 people used tootsie
rolls or other small candies instead.
ONES AND ZEROS
We’re talking about digital currency here, the most famous of
which has been Bitcoins.
In what was possibly the start of paper currency, traders in China
used to use receipts for copper instead of the copper itself.
For similar reasons to why the Romans traded salt, other regions
traded pepper. In fact, when Attila the Hun besieged Rome he
apparently demanded a ransom of pepper.
These were often used to facilitate trade between Europeans and
Native Americans. It was one of the few things that both sides
found to be highly valuable.
In many parts of Africa where inflation is rampant and local currency
has lost its value, mobile phone credit has become the
currency of choice.
Until the 20th century it was actually America’s largest cash crop and
was grown for numerous uses including rope, sails, paper, and clothing.
In fact, the first draft of the constitution was written on hemp.
Perhaps it’s no wonder that it was used as currency.