The first nation to make widespread use of paper money was China. Between the years 806 and 1455, paper notes were used alongside the more traditional coins. Over time, the rapid production of the notes along with an inflationary economy caused the notes to become more or less worthless. This led to the abolition of paper money from the Chinese economy.
More facts about paper money:
- The Massachusetts Bay Colony was the first of the American colonies to issue paper money. The notes were introduced in 1690.
- The first fully printed pound notes in the United Kingdom appeared in 1853. At the time of the establishment of the Bank of England in 1694, the institution was authorized to issue notes in return for deposits, with the value of the notes handwritten and confirmed by a bank manager. This process remained in place until fixed denominations for the notes became the norm during the 18th century.
- Since 1990, features such as the addition of microprints and security threads have been used in an effort to reduce the spread of counterfeit notes by making it more difficult for counterfeiters to duplicate the characteristics of money that has been issued by authorized government agencies.