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Anatomy of the Banknote

A banknote is a promissory note made by a bank, payable to the owner of the note and is considered legal tender (along with coins). While currency has taken many forms over the course of time, banknotes were first developed in China during the 7th century. The heavy bulk of coin had become cumbersome and unsafe, so the merchants of the Tang Dynasty came up with a sort of receipt that represented coinage. The ‘receipt’ evolved into paper money. It took seven hundred years for the concept of paper money to find its way to Europe, and another three hundred years for bank notes to begin circulating outside of China. The transition between ‘receipt’ and legal tender was fraught with problems. The first bore nothing more than a picture depicting merchants, and a certain n...[Read More]