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Paper Money - General

The first known paper money originated in China, where it was a technological side effect of the development of block printing. Paper money was relatively unknown in the West until Sweden issued banknotes in 1661. Prior to Swiss banknotes, the only mention of paper money in Europe was a brief mention from Marco Polo several centuries earlier.

Most paper money today is fiat currency, which means it is based on a promise by the issuing government that it will always be redeemable. Before the widespread adoption of this system, paper money was backed by either a gold or silver standard. In the United States, silver certificates circulated from 1878 to1964. These certificates were and still are legal tender, but until 1968, they could also be exchanged... Read more

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