The first paper money

Hand-written notes — obligations to pay to the note’s owner the indicated amount in metallic money — were considered as the first paper money. Such notes-obligations were first used by the Chinese in the 10th–11th c. The Chinese would leave heavy metallic money in shops and would get a note of the pledged amount, signed by the shop’s owner.

In Europe, the first paper money, equivalent to copper notes, as debt certificates for the metallic money left with the bank, was first issued in 1661 at the Bank of Sweden. While similar debt certificates of goldsmiths (receipts) were used in England and other European countries, Sweden’s copper notes became the first to be issued by the Bank and therefore are referred to as the first banknotes. Banknotes only became widespread after founding the Bank of England at the end of the 18th c. Its major activity was the issue of paper money — banknotes.

The first paper money in the territory of Lithuania were the treasury notes of the 1794 T. Kosciuszko Uprising. In 1794, the rebels’ leadership — the National Supreme Council, with a view to strengthening its financial position and paying out salaries to the soldiers, issued into circulation one-sided treasury notes in 11 denominations, which were printed in Holland. They were the first paper money, which only existed until the end of the Uprising.