Back in the city of Ur, people were expending lots of effort in verifying the precious metals. The system of precious metals as standard commodity for buying and selling goods, may have been an improvement on the earlier method of exchanging goods, but the mathematics of it, did not seem to make sense. Many people left that the effort it took to verify a nickel's worth of goods, was more than the effort spent in making the goods.
Progress, it seemed to the people to Ur, was not a straight route, like the roads in Ur, but was more like rivers that meandered in twists and turns.
But the chieftain of Ur could not be philosophical about it, especially when it was up to him, to find a solution to the difficulty his people were facing.
He consulted many wise men, read ancient manuscripts and travelled to nearby lands, hoping to find wisdom that would enable to everyone the difficulty his people faced.
But alas, he returned to Ur none for the wiser.
Then one day, the Chieftain saw Lohi, the silversmith lovingly craft his jewellery and silverware. Lohi was the best. His metal was pure and craftsmanship excellent. His fame had spread far and wide. Lohi also took great pride in his work and affixed a small mark on his jewellery as his 'signature'. His ware had great demand and people bought them because of the trust they had in his honesty, craftsmanship and quality.
The Chieftain had an idea! Why not make small pieces of precious metal of standard purity and weight and stamp it with a mark? The mark would certify the purity of the metal and also its weight!
With trust and confidence in the mark, people would no longer need to check its purity for every transaction. Every one would then honour the coin. People could count the coins and make and receive payments. It saved time and trouble and expense!. Trade could be conducted with minimum problems and with peace of mind. It was a brilliant idea.
The chieftain called Ur's town criers who went around the city to announce that henceforth coins would be used for all dealings involving the exchange of goods. And anyone caught making fake coins or duplicating the chieftain's seal would be severely punished, the town criers warned. Lohi was made the mint master. Lohi himself was asked to take a solemn oath that he would not attempt to duplicate the seal, nor make coins other than those under the instructions of the chieftain.
Seeing the people happy, Arth remarked:
The Old Man Monetary is copyright of Reserve Bank of India and is posted here in public interest and to spread banking awareness among kids.