Essay on the Evolution of Money

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Have you ever thought of how money started? Well, it all started with bartering. People use to swap their goods for the other persons goods. Bartering turned to coins. The first coin ever minted featured a roaring lion created by King Alyattes in Lydia now known as Turkey. Coins then turned into bank notes around 1661 AD. In 1950 credit cards were then introduced. Money has evolved for the better because there is more control over how much people take and use, it is a lot easier to read and the value of money has grown a lot over time.


Bartering is how the whole money thing started. People use to swap their goods for the other person’s goods, like farming produce for farming produce. Bartering dates all the way back to 6000BC, when it was introduced by Mesopotamia tribes, and adopted by Phoenicians. Bartering was one of the earliest, most significant inventions because it was very convenient for everyone.

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Why do people need currency? “There are many theories about the origin of money, in part because money has many functions”. Money is an essential thing in life, it is something you can’t live without, but unfortunately some people have to survive with very little money. Money is one of the earliest and most significant inventions of civilization. Money provides everything in life food, water, a shelter, medicine and the list just keeps going on. As the years went on the medium of money and exchange got better, now we have an option of credit cards, bank notes and coins, you can even have both as well. Money entered the digital age in the 1980’s.

Coin Currency

King Alyattes created the first known currency. Decimal currency was introduced in Australia on the 14th of February. decimal currency system of dollars and cents that is still used today. With 1c, 2c, 5c, 10c, 20c and 50c coins, they were all rounded in shape. These decimal coins replaced the half penny, penny, threepence, sixpence, shilling and florin. The circular 50c coin was replaced by a 12-sided 50c coin which we still use today. A $1 coin was introduced to replace the $1 note because the $1 notes kept wearing out too quickly from being touched and passed around. A $2 coin was introduced to replace the $2 note. Australia’s 1c and 2c coins were taken out of circulation because their worth had dropped, and they were becoming too expensive. It has now been 50 years since decimal currency was introduced in Australia. The first coin we recognize today was issued in Lydia now called Turkey, in about 600BC coins were made of electrum, a naturally occurring alloy of gold and silver. Metal objects were first used as money as early as 5000BC. Around 700BC the Lydians became the first western culture to make coins. Money then entered the digital age around the 1980’s.

Paper Currency

Paper money was first developed by the Chinese in about 700AD just after they invented wood block printing, they called it flying cash. Money is not just a piece of paper, it is worth a lot more than that. After bartering someone came up with this genius idea of money, it was then turned into money, people had to work to get money, people then started to get richer and richer until bills, economy and inflation became a thing so then people weren’t so rich anymore and didn’t have much money as they did before bills. Around 700BC the Chinese moved from coins to paper money.

Credit Cards

As the years went on the medium of money and exchange got better, now we have an option of credit cards, bank notes and coins and even both. In 1950 credit cards were then invented. The first universal credit card, which could be used at a variety of establishments, was introduced by the Diners' Club in 1950. Another major card of this type, known as a travel and entertainment card, was established by the American Express Company in 1958.


Due to people being so rich before there was such things as bills, economy and inflation; when they were introduced people had to pay and they started to lose money. Bills were introduced in 1857-1996. There are four types of legislation that move through congress bills and three types of resolutions. Generally, bills are legislative proposals that, if enacted, carry the force of law, whereas resolutions do not. Though, this is not always true.


To summarize, that is how money has changed and evolved over time. I think the evolution of money has changed for the better because it is a lot easier to read and count up because all the notes and coins are multiples of five which is easy to count up compared to what we use to have which was pounds and that was much harder to count up. Also, the value of money has improved a lot over time. The unfortunate thing of money evolving is the price of items in shopping centres and bills have increased in price over the years as the value of money has increased.


  1. Anderson, K. (2007). Guide to the Barter Economy & the Barter System History. Retrieved from
  2. Continental Staff. (2017, May 25). The Current . Retrieved from THE HISTORY OF MONEY:
  3. Gascoigne, B. (2001). HISTORY OF MONEY. Retrieved from History World Net :
  4. Kusimba, C. (2017, June 20). How Did Money Evolve in Human Societies? Retrieved from Real Clear Science:
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Essay on the Evolution of Money. (2022, August 25). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 17, 2024, from
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