Kublai Khan- The Founder of Yuan Dynasty

2020-04-14 Tue

Kublai Khan was the fifth Khagan (Great Khan) of the Mongol Empire reigning from 1260 to 1294. He completed the conquest of China started by Genghis Khan in 1211 and thus became the first Yuan ruler of the whole of China.

In 1260, the first year of Kublai Khan's rule, he issued two different Jiaochao notes (Banknote). The first in July was backed by silk but was unsuccessful. The second was in October which used the silver standard. It was the first paper currency to be used as the predominant circulating medium in the history of China.

The Mongols also showed it to Marco Polo during his 17-year-long stay in Kublai Khan's court, where he was amazed by the idea of government-backed currency. The short-lived Yuan Dynasty printed increasing amounts of the currency, leading to runaway inflation. This problem was unresolved when the dynasty collapsed in 1368. Depicted here is a Yuan dynasty banknote (2 guans) with its printing plate (1287).

Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/