A brief history of money
18 July 2012 Last updated at 00:01 BST
Money has been used in different forms across the world for over 4,000 years.
The ancient Egyptians used lumps of metals to trade with, but the Lydians from Turkey were the first people to have used gold and silver coinage.
The British Museum has recently opened the Citi Money Gallery which explores the way in which currency has taken many different forms, from coins to banknotes, shells to mobile phones.
The curator of the gallery, Catherine Eagleton gave the BBC a guided tour of the artefacts and explained that banking crises and financial turmoil are nothing new.