Museum Object

19. Paper Money



Room / Case / #

68 / 9

Paper Money was invented in China

Paper Money was invented in China and became prevalent in the Song Dynasty  (11th to 13th C.) evolving out of promissory notes used by merchants to avoid having to carry heavy coins. This banknote is worth a 1000 coins  as shown by the image of coins strung as 10 groups of 100 coins. See picture inside a marked up white box, An inscription states: “The Imperial Board of Revenue having memorialised the Throne has received the Imperial sanction for the issue of Government notes of the Ming Empire, to circulate on the same footing as standard cash. To counterfeit is death. The informant will receive 250 Taels of silver and in addition the entire property of the criminal.” About £12,000 in todays money. It was issued in 1375 in the Ming Dynasty and is an impressive size being just bigger than an A4 sheet of paper.