The history of money concerns the development of means of carrying out transactions involving a physical medium of exchange. Money is any clearly identifiable object of value that is generally accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment of debts within a market or which is legal tender within a country.
Many things have been used as medium of exchange in markets including, for example, livestock and sacks of cereal grain (from which the Shekel is derived) – things directly useful in themselves, but also sometimes merely attractive items such as cowry shells or beads were exchanged for more useful commodities. Precious metals from which early coins were made fall into this second category.
Numismatics is the scientific study of money and its history in all its varied forms.