Unusual things used as currency in the world

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What comes to your mind when you hear the word money? I’m sure it must be the banknotes and coins, right? Or lately, it’s also the cryptocurrency phenomenon. But have the meaning and mode of money always been the same? Do all countries in the world use or have they always used currency in these standard forms? The answer, surprisingly, is no! Eager to know about the unusual and crazy things that have been used as a means of payment? Read on to be surprised!

1. Bricks of tea

Did you think that the role of tea was limited to being a drink? Then hold your breath and read ahead. For a long period of time, ranging from the 9th century to the 20th century, tea bricks were widely used as a form of currency in many countries like China, Turkmenistan, Mongolia and parts of Russia. These bricks were made in different shapes and sizes, and the quality of the tea, which varied from brick to brick, was the main factor that determined the brick’s value.

2. Seashells

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Probably the most beautiful form of money imaginable, seashells, right? I guess this is what people from almost every continent including America, Asia, Africa and Australia etc once thought too. Most of the inhabitants of these regions used seashells as a means of payment from at least 1200 BC, according to archaeologists.


3. Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

Cheese is probably the first thing that comes to mind when we think of Italy. But did you know that the love of Italians for cheese reached an insane level from the year 1953, when one of the Italian regional banks, Credito Emiliano, began to accept Parmigiano Reggiano cheese as collateral for small business loans!

4. Dolphin teeth

dolphin teeth used as currency
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Yes, you read that right. It’s hard to believe, but some villagers in the Solomon Islands on mainland Oceania have used dolphin teeth as currency. And no, it doesn’t go back to ancient times. This practice has probably existed since the year 1976, with thousands of dolphins unfortunately being killed by these villagers for their teeth to be used as currency as well as for personal ornamentation.

For more interesting stories about money and personal finance, click here.


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