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We use money every day to pay for things we buy. We pay with either coins or paper money. This sort of money is known as cash. There is also another kind of money. It includes cheeks, credit cards, and travellers checks.
The idea of having such a thing as money is one of the most fascinating ever developed by man. But many people don't know where this idea came from, or why money is valuable.
Thousands of years ago, money was not used. Instead, man had the "barter" system. This meant that if a man wanted something he didn't have, he had to find someone who had it. Then he had to offer him something in exchange. And if that man didn't like what he was offered in exchange, the first man couldn't get what he needed.
In time, certain things came to be used as money because practically everyone would take these things in exchange. In the past, people used shells, beads, cocoa beans, salt, grain, tobacco, skins, and even cattle. Butcoins are much easiser to use than, say, cattle. They are sasy to store and to carry about.
Coins were first used in China. They were also used by ancient Greeks as early as 600 BC. They were first made of either gold or silver. They were stamped with the mark of the government or the ruler of the country for whch they were made. The stamp also showed how much each coin was worth.
Later, people began to use coins made of cheaper metals. The metal itself had no value, but the coins were still worth the amout stampled on them. People also started to use paper money. It no longer mattered on them. People also started to real value. It was backed by the government and banks. This is the kind of money we use today. Today, of course, we have bills and coins issued by the government, and everybody uses this money.