How did we get from counting wealth in beads and shells to buying a car with a thumbprint? The nature of money is constantly changing, and the way we earn, store, and spend it changes too.
One constant is that money exists to help us move value from point A to point B, without having to haul heavy trade goods around. That’s why the ancients came up with a money system as soon as they had enough valuable items to store and sell. “An entire warehouse of olive oil, beer, or wheat could be reduced in value to an easily transported ingot of gold or silver,” writes Jack Weatherford in The History Of Money.
A complete history of money around the world takes up several books (we’ve got the reading list below to prove it), but here are some highlights from millennia of monetary innovation to enjoy and share.Read more