A playing card as the first Canadian dollar

A playing card as the first Canadian dollar

There are numerous stories telling that playing cards were used for the mutual settlements of goods and services in the past. Some of such stories are real while others on the contrary are overflown with legends. However, it is authentically known that many centuries ago playing cards were Canadian currency.

In the middle of the 17th century Canadian authorities governing such huge territories under the control of the French elite had to state an obvious lack of money. There was so a little paper money that it could hardly service the state needs. It was connected with a huge number of problematic issues the Europeans had domesticating those lands. It was necessary to find an analogue of that currency which would be accepted by different social groups to solve the problem.

Beaver skins of the highest quality that were quickly sold out all over the world were the main French export commodity. Considering that the colonial authorities offered to pay for the goods with playing cards. Gamblings were rather popular in Canada thought there were only a few ones. Thus, it was possible to solve two problems at once- to sell beaver skins profitably and get valuable goods for that.

An officially currency the «playing card» was introduced in Canada in 1685. So playing cards were absolutely legal means of payment for about a century up to 1763. However soon France gave up its interest in Canada and the country came under the jurisdiction of the Great Britain and cards as currency were cancelled.

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