The first people to live on the earth did not use money. Instead they ‘bartered’ – exchanging something they had for something that they needed. This still happens in many places today. The first things to be used as money were a type of sea-shells called cowrie shells. They were used by the Chinese from about 1200 BC.
The Chinese then began to make small objects that looked like cowrie shells. These were the first coins. They weren't actual shells, but were made out of metal, and had a hole in them so that the coins could be strung together to make a chain. Over the years, money has been made of different things – for example silver, leather, paper. The Chinese were the first to use paper money, from about 800 AD. But would you believe that noses have been used instead of money? Many hundreds of years ago, people from Denmark used to cut the noses off people who would not pay their taxes.
Can money bring real happiness?
We all need money to live. Without it we cannot buy the things that we need. It is not wrong to have money, but we must use what we have in the right way. Many people think that the more money they have, the happier they will be. They spend their lives trying to get richer and richer. Others spend their lives wishing they could earn more. Some people steal so they can be rich without having to earn money. We know this is wrong. Many very rich people have found that, though they have all the things they need, they are never happy. Some live alone in big houses and die lonely with no family or friends near them. They have used their lives trying to become rich, but really they are poor. They do not know that real happiness is given to us by God.
Read more about history of money at Wikipedia: History_of_money