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Even though China was the first country to invent paper money, in modern history Chinese government did not print paper money until 1930s.

The paper money that we saw during the Qing Dynasty TV drama was actually a kind of IOUs that were issued by the financial institutions based in Datong, Shanxi.

Coins were more predominant during day-to-day transaction from late Qing to early ROC period. Other than the coins that were made during every emperor's reign (those coins had holes in the center just like some current Japanese coins), foreign silver coins were widely circulating in China during this period.

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I think that it is very cool that China invented paper money. This webpage about history of money says -

806 AD: Paper Currency

The first paper banknotes appeared in China. In all, China experienced over 500 years of early paper money, spanning from the ninth through the fifteenth century. Over this period, paper notes grew in production to the point that their value rapidly depreciated and inflation soared. Then beginning in 1455, the use of paper money in China disappeared for several hundred years. This was still many years before paper currency would reappear in Europe, and three centuries before it was considered common.

Didn't Marco Polo mention about paper money in China?

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It is difficult to know just where to place this post: yesterday in Paris, there was celebrated the French-Chinese connection.

Before going further into that, it seems that paper money first had to do with species of Linden trees whose bark was made into paper, and ink as well. Confucius has a part to play in this: there is a drawing of him standing with his mother as a unicorn is breathing some vapor or ray onto his text, which he is holding in his hand. If one investigates chi-lin, the Chinese unicorn, one will eventually come across these traces of the beginnings: book che(no tone mark needed at this point). It can mean turtle shell, or book. Books were sewn and bound, but che resonates well with this two-part idea. In my opinion, the linden tree is the elusive Chinese unicorn. Borne on a single stalk, note that the seeds emerge from the center vein of the leaf, somewhat unusual in botany.

Perhaps this post should be in the Xinjiang thread, because not only were there the 'blood-sweating horses of Fergana,' there was the Chinese chariot. Tocharians are the source of the Chinese chariot. In Tocharian, caxra 'wheel.' Over on the coast, in Guandong, they were bending wood, not only for ships' hulls but possibly for wheels.

'Chinese silk has been found in Celtic burials at Hochmicheln and Hochdorf(Eberdingen)Halstatt culture sixth century B.C.E. Kerameikos cemetery Athens, still earlier at Sappali-Tepe North Bactria 2000 B.C.E.....a Bronze Age link to the East.'

(Mair, Old Sinitic M(y)ag, Old Persian Magus, and English Magician, Early China, V.15, p.p.26-47)

Kerameikos coincides with the ancient name for the compass. See Joseph Needham's Science and Civilization if China.

The idea of burning money is represented in the Celtic ritual of burying prized possessions. But more profoundly, there is a link from Neolithic Brittany to the Shang dynasty, thereby pointing to a 'special' French-Chinese connection.

'Their engravings consist of the hollows, or cup-stones, on the slabs composing the stone chambers of their tombs, of spirals and concentric circles; and their highest artistic achievement is the rude figure of a stone axe in its handle of wood, engraved on the roof of the sepulchral chamber of Dol-ar-Marchant, near Locmarikaker in Brittany....These engravings prove that the implement, which is to us a symbol of the Neolithic civilisation, was highly prized by its owners. It alone has been drawn sufficiently well to be recognised by modern anthropologists.'

(Dawkins, Early Man in Britain, Macmillan and Co., London, (1880), p.305)

In Karlgren's Archaic Chinese graphs, graphs 303 a, b, and c: yue 'a kind of axe.' This is the graph that coincides with the engraving on the roof of the sepulchre: it is a Celtic plumed stone axe.

'Yue 'a kind of axe,' these perforated axes were used to rework waste silk by drawing it out once more in a continuous form for spinning.'

(Williams, Archaic Chinese Script and Ritual Bronzes, Yi Publishing, UK., (1996), p.146)

There was also a shrine set up in Shang-lin Park, 120 B.C.E. to honor the sighting of a white unicorn. At that time, there was also pot-metal money being produced.

Yes, the Silk Road, now suggested as being as long as from the Atlantic to the Pacific, for once one reaches the Shilka near Baikal, one floats down the Amur to the sea.



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