A reader asked me via Facebook, what is World’s first paper money? Nowadays, almost all banknote collectors knew that it is the Jiaozhi banknote and I had share about it before in my 2008 post; World's First banknote. The banknote is from China Song Dynasty (960 - 1279 AD). The notes are widely used in Chengdu and were stamped with manifold Banknote seals in order to combat counterfeits. The first Bank saving management in the world also started in Chengdu which were called Jiaozhiwu (Office of Jiaozhi).
It all started when people used paper money as a circulating medium after a shortages of metal for coins. In ancient China coins were circular with a rectangular hole in the middle. Several coins could be strung together on a rope. Merchants in China, if they became rich enough, found that their strings of coins were too heavy to carry around easily. To solve this problem, coins were often left with a trustworthy person, and the merchant was given a slip of paper recording how much money he had with that person. If he showed the paper to that person he could regain his money. Eventually from this paper money jiaozi originated.
Jiaozi, also named jiaochao, appeared in China in 1154 during the reign of the Jin regime (1115-1234). It was believed in the past that Jin regime hired coining workers of Song (960-1279), Jin's preceding dynasty, to make the paper notes. Made of coarse jute paper, jiaozi was too hard to be preserved and not a piece of such paper has been discovered so far. The copper printing plate used during the Zhenyou period (1213- 1217) of the Jin dynasty is kept in the Museum of the Chinese History now, has become the only proof to tell the identity of jiaozi.
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