INTRODUCTION TO PAPER MONEY
Paper money was first printed in China around 700 A.D. during the Tang Dynasty, with small, local issues of paper notes. Paper money was developed because merchants and wholesalers sought to avoid using the heavy and cumbersome copper coins in large commercial transactions. By 960, the Song Dynasty issued jiaozi, the first widely circulating notes (shown at left). These notes bore a promise to redeem later for some other object of true value, usually coins struck from precious metals.