Cash4coins Blog

A Brief History of Chinese Currency

As you can imagine, China’s history is steeped with colourful traditions, beautiful cuisines and a vast heritage, so it isn’t hard to believe that they’ve had an incredible impact on the rest of the world. Anything from fast paced technological developments, to wonderfully wacky inventions, and to everyday things that we may not even consciously think about, such as money. The Chinese just seem to have a knack for presenting new ideas and inventions that will ultimately be taken on around the world, and their means of currency is no exception to this…

Where it all Began

It is widely believed that China has a long relationship with money and currency, as it has been used within their country for over 3,000 years! So it is no wonder that many of their inventions were to be taken seriously, being such innovators and early bloomers in this field. They began using cowry shells as a form of currency, which eventually led to the invention of the first coins to be made of metal. It didn’t stop there. They continued to come up with several different means and ways of currency and exchange. This included, using bronze objects in the shapes of spades and knives as forms of coins.

They Weren’t Always This Smart

We are led to believe that during the period of time between 210AD and 90BC there was a major disruption to currencies and major inflations due to emperors and people in power being allowed to make their own coins and money.

“Flying Money”

Around 960AD to 1279AD the first glimpse of paper money made an appearance. Before this, it is suggested that the first kind of ‘flat money’ was made from deerskin as a type of leather note. They would then paint around the edges of the note to define the amount. In 1024, the Mongolian Yuan Dynasty took over production of paper money, the first currency to not be back by silver or gold. Compared to heavy shrapnel, this form of currency was much easier to carry around due to its lightweight form, thus the name “flying money”.


With this exciting new form of currency came the eventuality of misuse and over printing. This major inflation caused many issues for the Yuan court until the demise of the Dynasty in 1368. After this, many issues were suspended, however a lot of these notes remained in circulation for many years after.

Follow the Leader

Europe followed a step behind China in regards to their innovations towards currency. Paper money was nowhere to be seen until it was recorded in Marco Polo’s writings during the 13th century onwards. Although, paper notes were not formally adopted by Europe until Sweden introduced their bank notes in 1661.

Today, China has three forms of active currency; Renminbi, Hong Kong dollar and Macanese Pataca. However, Renminbi, is the most commonly used by the citizens of mainland China, whilst the other two are used in Hong Kong and Macau. We cannot deny that China has had an incredibly large impact on the entire world on the way we use money in exchange for goods and services. All countries use some form of paper money thanks to China and their innovative ideas. So, if you happen to find yourself some Chinese Renminbi, remember that your wallet/purse would be a lot heavier today if it weren’t for them! So, if you need any help on how to exchange your notes (and coins!) then contact us our experts today.

Check your Change – How to Avoid Counterfeit Currency

How to spot those fakes – Handy Hints

It is that dreaded time of year again, February. It is this particular month where party invitations are sparse and business is quiet, trying to recover from the mayhem that is our Christmas Break. However, we at Cash4Coins are always keen on helping you make your money stretch that little bit further, so we have done some research and collated the best tips on how to avoid accepting or receiving counterfeit coins and notes this year.

A survey done by the Royal Mint saw that 2.55% of British Pound Coins were counterfeit and in circulation as of May 2015. This may not sound like a lot, but out of the millions of pounds in circulation in the UK, it is easy to see how you could end up with them in your pocket after your next food shop, meal or night out. The responsibility lies with the individual that accepts a counterfeit note or coin so it is important that you spend that little bit of extra time to check the money you are exchanging or that is being placed into your possession. If you are ever unfortunate enough to come across one, it is handy to know what you’re looking for before you take your partner or date for a romantic meal, come to pay and then find that your handful of notes and coins are in fact, monopoly money.

Awareness is Key

It has been reported that over 700,000 fake bank notes were found in circulation last year. This shockingly large amount shows how easy it is to fall victim to having one in your possession. You should know that it is illegal to possess fake money of any kind and to pass it around, so if you do come across such a note then be sure to pass it on to the police. You can also refuse to accept any notes given to you and alternatively receive your change in coins or with a different note.

Take Note!

If you are ever unsure of a note that you have received then there are a few indicators that suggest whether your money is genuine or not. Try running your finger over the note, where it says ‘Bank of England’, the print should feel raised.

Silver Lining

On every bank note you will find a metallic strip that runs right through it. It is shown as dashes running in a line on the back of the note but then appears as a dark line with no spaces when held up to the light.

Go to the Light!

This is one of the most simple, yet affective, tricks in the book. When holding a 5, 10, 20 or 50 note up to the light, an image of the queen should appear through the, once plain, oval shaped area in the bottom middle of the note.

Spot the Difference

If you come across a coin where the writing, milled edge and inscription may seem off center, unevenly spaced or poorly defined with uneven depth, then bingo! You may have yourself a fake pound coin.


Did you know that the design of the reverse side on pound coins change every year? When coins are produced and put into circulation, the year they were made is marked on them, so if you are unsure, there are is information online or at banks that provide the information of what design goes with each year. If the design of the coin does not match the year that is dated, then you are sure to have found yourself an imposter.

Neat Trick!

If you are reading this as a business owner, there are many instruments and tools that you can purchase that will check if notes that you are dealing with from customers are real or fake. For example, running a UV light over a ten pound note will show the value of the note in bright red and green whilst the background stays the same colour. Although, if you do not have access to one of these, but you want to check a £50 note, try rubbing the top of the note, above the image of the Queen’s head that is in red, onto a white piece of paper. The red colour from the note should rub off onto the paper.

The Aging Process

If you spot a coin or note where the date suggests it has been in circulation for a few years but shows no sign of discolouration then you should be suspicious, as it may have only just been produced.


If the colour of your coin does not match the colour of a genuine pound coin or if the designs on both sides are not aligned with each other then be aware.

The Good News!

Although your counterfeit notes may be worthless, there is light at the end of the tunnel. If you have received an old note that has come out of circulation, damaged or contaminated you can take yourself down to the nearest bank and have it exchanged for the real deal! Similarly, if you have any enquiries about your currency, anything from Sterling to Yen, and how to exchange it with us here at Cash4Coins, don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our experts.


Don’t Scrimp, Be Savvy

How to start the New Year on a positive

You all know the saying; New Year… New You! Make January a positive start to your year and become savvy about your money. From your old francs to your shiniest sterling pound coins, make the most of your money and follow these simple and fun steps to help you benefit more from your pennies this year…

Set Goals

So, first thing’s first. How do you want your year to look? Do you want to go on holiday this summer? Are you saving up for a house? Or do you simply want to get yourself some savings? Whatever it is, set yourself some goals, but keep them realistic. Purchasing a notebook fit with a calendar could really help you keep you focused on your end goal. Try setting yourself short-term and long-term goals that are achievable. For example, a short-term goal may be ‘for the next week, instead of my daily coffee, I will put £3 a day in a jar and treat myself to something at the end of the week with the money I have saved.’ This is an achievable goal that will reward you with satisfaction and help you realise how much you are spending and ultimately spur you on to make more goals!

Top Priorities

Christmas has been and gone, and not only does the festive season squeeze the most out of your waistband, it is also known to squeeze the most out of your bank. Particularly you’re your credit cards. We know it is tempting to add to the collection or opt for a larger balance to spend but resist those urges and make paying them off your top priority. Make sure to pay off the debt with the highest interest rates first in order to decrease your monthly minimum payments.

Keep a ‘Naughty Jar’

A fun way to save the pennies, especially for younger children if you have a family, is to have a ‘Naughty Jar’. This can cover any topic you wish, for instance, if you are prone to stealing extra biscuits from the biscuit tin, make sure to replace your custard cream with an amount of money of your choosing. You could set a rate (e.g. £1 per biscuit or chocolate taken, which could also reduce those waistlines we spoke about… Bonus!) Or depending on the extremity offense, adjust accordingly.

Prepare for success

It sounds ever so simple, but if you are prone to the odd takeaway or dinner date, especially getting into the habit of dining out over Christmas, the spending’s can really add up. Purchasing your lunch whilst out at work can cost anything between a local £3 meal deal to a special Marks and Spencer’s salad for £5 – not to mention coffee purchases between an extra £2-£3.50 each! Whilst these are a (delicious) daily luxury, that is how they should remain: a luxury. Try a fortnightly or monthly shop of your favourite sandwich fillings, salad ingredients and soups and take the time to prepare your lunches the night before and try buying a flask and taking your coffee to work. (You could even go the extra mile and calculate how much you spend on coffees, lunches and dinners out and compare it to your fortnightly/monthly shop and put the difference in a piggy bank every month. At the end of the year you will be surprised how much you have saved and look forward to treating yourself when it comes round to opening it!)

You ‘Crafty’ Bugger!

This concept may scare some of you if you’re not into DIY, but hear us out… Whilst Kirsty Allsop’s regular TV appearances flaunting her homemade crafts may not float your boat, it could ultimately save you money, make you money and even release stress! Spending time to alter clothing (snipping off sleeves can take you from winter-wardrobe to summer-wardrobe in no time!), to making your own candles (all components can be bought off Amazon for no more than £10 and last you between 10-20 candles worth!) are just some of the ways to add to your wardrobe and home in very little time whilst taking your mind off that stressful work load. Here’s the money-making part: if you become increasingly interested in your craft work and think others will share your love for it, platforms such as Etsy can provide a place for you to showcase and sell your work to others.

If You Still Want Those Luxuries…

So you want to arrange a lad’s weekend, or a spa trip, maybe get your hair done… There are some great discounted stores online that can help you with these more expensive things to save yourself a bit of money. Sites like Wowcher, and other discount or comparison apps accessible on smart phones and tablets often offer you the best deal for that week or month depending on how many rooms hotels have filled or where is best to stay depending on what sort of break or treatment you are looking for.

Talk About It

If you feel like debt is overwhelming you or you feel that you won’t reach your goals, don’t be afraid to talk about it. Whether it is to your partner or to a professional money advice service, there is always help nearby. Even creating a finance book to help educate your family, partner or housemates can really help you feel like you are not alone in your journey (and teach younger children about smart budgeting!). Keeping a finance book with your ingoing’s and outgoings can help you see where your money is going and help you decide what is necessary and what isn’t.


Everyone has one. Yes, even you! We are talking about your change jar, and everyone knows that all change at the end of the day ends up here, even those old euros you’ve kept in your junk drawer for the last 3 years. Spending a little time to separate your shrapnel from your cents could help loosen the wallet/purse strings a little! If you have any enquiries about trading in your coins, please don’t hesitate to contact one of our experts today!


What the Roman’s did for us…

A brief history of the Roman Empire’s currency

Money has us all going a little stir crazy at this time of year. Looking for those extra coins under the sofa or behind the cupboards to help Christmas go that little bit further. But, how would you feel if what you were looking for in the bottom of your purse or back pocket wasn’t extra coinage, but 3 cows and a sheep? Well, in many cultures thousands of years ago, cattle and livestock was the appropriate exchange for goods and services. This was how the Romans went about it until the first coins were produced in late 4th century BC in Italy.


The Romans expanded such a vast empire that the coins and currency was produced only in Italy to ensure wide circulation of Roman coins. However, it was not coins, but rather a system of bronze weights that were used as currency. It was only as the Roman Empire expanded and claimed more artifacts from war that they started to use precious metals as coins to represent currency. It is alleged that the first Roman coins were small bronze coins created in 326 BCE in Neapolis, followed by the first silver coins produced in the 3rd century. The weights of coins were drastically reduced following the financial excess of the Punic war. At this time, gold coins were minted for the first time.


As the Roman Empire grew, so did the amount of silver taken from their enemies and the attainment of silver mines in Macedonia. Silver then replaced bronze as the most frequently used currency. This transcended into warfare when Lucius Cornelius Sulla, commander of the army Mithridates, minted silver and gold coins to pay his army. An action followed by Julius Caesar.


After winning in war in 44 BC, Julius Caesar had his portrait featured on Roman coins. This was the first image of a living persons portrait to be stamped onto gold and silver coins in history. Marcus Junius Brutus, a politician of the late Roman Republic, equally used his portrait on one side of the coin and two daggers on the other side after the killing of Ceasar as a mark of victory. Following suit, the production of coins began to multiply throughout individual cities across the empire that were convertible into Roman currency, now using copper and zinc rather than gold and silver.


The uses of pictures on coins became so popular that placing an image containing an image, chosen by

With such an incredibly rich history reflected through a means of currency makes it all the more spectacular and gains insight into the fascinating world of the Romans.

Unfortunately, we cannot exchange cows, chickens and sheep for you this Christmas but if it’s exchanging your unwanted currency or simply to talk to a member of our friendly team then don’t hesitate to call us on 0161 635 0000 or contact us via our website. Merry Christmas!

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Short history of the Spanish Peseta

How the Spanish Peseta has changed over time

The Spanish Peseta was the national currency of Spain from 1869 until 2002 when it was replaced by the Euro. The name Peseta comes from the Catalan word peça that means ‘fraction’. Before this (in 1808) some unofficial coins were minted in Barcelona with the words Peseta on them.

Unlike many international currency systems the Peseta was never given a special symbol (like the £, € or $), instead it was shortened to either Ptas, Pta, Pt or Pts.

Spanish Pesetas are divided into 100 centimos – the 25 centimos coins were also called Reales. The last Reales coin was produced back in 1959 and featured an image of Franco.


Spain joined the Latin Money Union in 1868 and following this the Peseta was introduced. Spanish law dictated that the Peseta became a sub division of the Peso with 1 Peso equal to 5 Pesetas.

As with many currency systems of the time the Peseta contained around 4.5 g of silver or around 20% gold. From 1873, the silver content was replaced by gold at varying percentages.

Following WWI the Latin Money Union disbanded and it was then that Spain became part of the Bretton Woods Currency System that tethered the Peseta to the US Dollar at a rate of 60 Ptas = 1 Dollar. In 1967 the Peseta established a new rate against the USD of 70 Ptas = 1 Dollar.

In 2002 the Peseta was replaced with the introduction of the Euro and the exchange rate was 1 Euro = 166 Pesetas.

Metallic makeup and nicknames 

In 1896 Peseta coins were minted in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 Centimos and 1 and 2 Pesetas. The 1, 2, 5 and 10 coins were minted in copper (later to be replaced with Bronze) and the 20, 50 centimos as well as the 1 and 2 Pesetas were minted with silver content.

The 5 and 10 centimos coins earned the nicknames small dog and fat dog (perra chica and perra gorda in Spanish) on account of the Lion on the coin looked more like a dog! Many Spanish up until the Euro was introduced called the 5 Peseta coin Duros.

In 1876 gold 25 Peseta coins were produced. This was then followed by 10 Peseta coins in 1878 and 20 Peseta coins in 1889. Production of gold Pesetas stopped in 1904 followed by the cessation of silver coins in 1910 and bronze in 1912.

Cupro-nickel coins were manufactured from 1925 as a 25 centimos coin and in 1926 the last silver 50 centimos coin was minted.

Change of rule meant change of coins

Because of the fairly turbulent history of rule in Spain each government or monarchy has changed facets of the currency.

The Spanish Republic of 1934 minted its coins as 25 and 50 centimos and 1 Peseta. The previous Royal minted coins of 25 centimos and 1 Peseta were used to determine the new coins composition and size. Further changes followed in 1937 when the first iron 5 centimos coins was produced and also a 1 Peseta coin in brass.

The first currency issued by the Nationalist government were the 25 new centimos coins with a hole that bore the image of the sun rising and arrows. Aluminium 5 and 10 centimos coins were first introduced in 1940 followed by a smaller aluminium and bronze 1 Peseta coin in 1944

All change with the Euro

In 1999 the Peseta was replaced by the Euro with coins and notes coming into circulation in January 2002. This was followed by the Peseta being taken out of circulation as non-legal tender in March 2002. Even today, 12 years later, many supermarkets and shops still show the Peseta equivalent.

It is estimated that there is still around 1.5 billion Euros worth of Pesetas in Spain that were never converted to Euros.

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