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Regular banknotes, issued in "normal times" and made from paper are practically all rectangular and without holes. But there were a couple of times when people remembered that anything can be "money", if they just believe in it. Below are some examples of holes in notes and odd shapes. These examples were chosen to fit the question as originally framed. ...


22

Here are a couple of square banknotes. The first one is also possibly unique in that it is one-sided. "A small square shaped and rather scarce very good or much better banknote from Argentina. This is the 1st April 1867 one peso banknote issued by the Province of Buenos Ayres in Argentina. The note is of white paper with black printing." Source: picclick....


15

Article I of the U.S. Constitution states: Section 8. The Congress shall have power ... To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin .... Section 10. No state shall ...; coin money; emit bills of credit; make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts, .... So as of the U.S. Constitution coming ...


8

In principle, a coin is worth its value in precious metal, plus or minus what the locals think of the issuing authority. So an unknown silver coin weighing half an ounce would be worth 'half an ounce of silver in local coinage' less the expected costs of melting it down and re-coining. The Vikings, who didn't use coins as such, used 'hacksilver' as an ...


8

From Wikipedia: In their oldest attested form, as used in the ancient Near and Middle East of the 8th century BCE onwards, bullae were hollow ball-like clay envelopes that contained other smaller tokens that identified the quantity and types of goods being recorded. In this form, bullae represent one of the earliest forms of specialization in the ancient ...


7

First, it is important to understand that the economic system of ancient Mesopotamia was something much closer to a barter system than a modern market. Money did exist, but not in the fully standardized form we are used to today. Here is a relevant article which explains: Although Babylon had flourishing trading activity, Hammurabi did not come up with ...


6

Marco Polo was, famously, amazed when he first encountered paper currency during his travels. In this respect he started a long tradition -- why would anyone accept this rather than something tangible like metal. The Khans, it should be noted in passing, solved that problem by sentencing those who refused it to death. Modern states solve the same problem by ...


4

Essentially, rob the poor to pay the rich French franc, like any major currency at that time, was backed by gold. Franc Germinal was valued at 0.3225 g of gold. This was instituted in 1803 and did not change until 1928. Theoretically, your savings in francs were as good as gold, and many poor and middle income citizens held their life savings in government ...


2

Maybe a little out-of-the-box thinking is called for. Source: Alexander Klink via Wikimedia Commons, attribution 4.0 license There was very little specie (i.e. precious metal coinage) in Britain's North American colonies, so throughout most of the Colonial period, tobacco was money in the big tobacco-producing colonies of Maryland, Virginia, and North ...


1

A few points to note: The devaluation is from 5/5 to 4/5, or 20%, and not from 5/5 to 1/5 (ie by 4/5) as presumed in the original post. The devaluation by 20% is only 3 times that performed in 1962 by the Canadian Government that immortalized the DiefenDollar, after Canada's then Prime Minister George Diefenbaker: Humour notwithstanding, the only real ...


1

One candidate seems to be some 1945 Finnish banknotes seem to have been near-squares. From what I can see they are still rectangular though, if an unusual ratio. Unfortunately I cannot find dimensions to be certain.


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