On this day 999 years ago
I have been reading a very interesting book on the History of Fiat Paper Money by Ralph T. Foster.
After many various private endeavors that failed for various reasons, on January 12, 1024, the Imperial Chinese Sung Court directed the National Treasury to issue the first Chinese National Paper Money for general public use. Their right of physical coinage had already a monopoly of the state for the previous 1,000 years.
Much of the existing common coinage was in the form of iron coins. Ninety pounds of iron coin "cash" in a string of coins with square holes, was equal to one ounce of silver. When people and merchants brought in the official coins, they could now receive a sealed, government paper note.
Merchants were no longer allowed to create their own currency notes which had numerous failures due to over issuing notes and business collapses. I am thinking of about the modern crypto "currency" creation analogies, associated fraud and likely future government control. Not to mention, the Federal Reserve and 31 trillion in unsustainable government debt.
History sure repeats itself. I have a stronger desire to trade a few more of my Federal Reserve Notes for physical silver and gold.
National Commemorative Medals of the U.S. Mint: