Friday, June 6, 2008
The tally stick system worked really well for 726 years
THE TALLY STICKS (1100-1854) King Henry the First produced sticks of polished wood, with notches cut along one edge to signify the denominations. The stick was then split full length so each piece still had a record of the notches.The King kept one half for proof against counterfeiting, and then spent the other half into the market place where it would continue to circulate as money.Because only Tally Sticks were accepted by Henry for payment of taxes, there was a built in demand for them, which gave people confidence to accept these as money.He could have used anything really, so long as the people agreed it had value, and his willingness to accept these sticks as legal tender made it easy for the people to agree. Money is only as valuable as peoples faith in it.