Paper money commonly known as bank notes has undergone a lot of change over the years. The earliest use of paper as a means of exchange can be traced back to China in 7th Century. Only a thousand years later the practice came to Europe, starting with England.
The forbearer to the actual currency notes was the note given by goldsmiths in exchange for gold deposited with them. The note had the depositors name and a promise to pay the said amount was mentioned. The Bank of England followed and issued notes in return for deposits. This is how the journey of the modern currency note started. Later a special kind of paper was used to print the notes when it became the regular money.
The bank issued the note and the head cashier used to sign it. The practice was stopped with the fully printed note. Now the words” I promise to pay the bearer on demand the sum of…” were followed by a printed signature of the chief cashier. In 1833 the notes were made legal tender for all sums above £5.
Several changes have been made over the following centuries. The latest change is moving from paper to polymer. A thorough research was done regarding the introduction of the plastic bank notes. The decision came to introduce polymer notes in £5 and £10 denominations. The £5 note will feature Sir Winston Churchill and the £10 note Jane Austin. The research showed that polymer notes would be more secured and durable than paper. Also it could have extra features making it difficult to counterfeit.
The world will follow soon. The days of the paper notes are numbered……..