Detail map of Xicheng Qu, Beijing Shi, China Overview map of Xicheng Qu, Beijing Shi, China

A: Xicheng Qu, Beijing Shi, China

Introduction of Paper Money in China

Circa 650 CE to 960 CE
Jiao zi

Song Dynasty Jiaozi, the world's earliest paper money.

"In the 600s there were local issues of paper currency in China and by 960 the Song Dynasty, short of copper for striking coins, issued the first generally circulating notes. A note is a promise to redeem later for some other object of value, usually specie. The issue of credit notes is often for a limited duration, and at some discount to the promised amount later. The jiaozi nevertheless did not replace coins during the Song Dynasty; paper money was used alongside the coins" (Wikipedia article on Banknote, accessed 08-13-2009)..

Bank notes from the Song Dynasty, which issued the notes because of a shortage of copper for coinage, are essentially woodcuts with captions, representing some of the earliest woodcuts that survived.


Timeline Themes