12 Most Unusual Things People Have Used As Money

Currency today has largely become fixed and standardized to allow for payments and transactions to be processed in an effective manner. While different countries still have their own unique forms of money, international agreement and markets regulate exactly how much a particular currency is worth. People and businesses can then spend their hard-earned cash on goods or services using established methods such as notes, coins, bank cards and electronic payments. In fact, most people take money for granted these days as the vast majority of it isn’t even in a physical form. Instead, it is simply data on computer services that is transferred by banks when requested.

This hasn’t always been the case however. Before modern techniques and technology allowed for the creation of coins, paper money and cards, people still had to find a way to pay for things. Such systems would usually depend on a commodity that everyone agreed had some kind of value, which would then allow people to trade it between each other and set prices that could easily be understood. These commodities could be anything from natural resources to manufactured objects that everyone had some need of.

While the vast majority of these strange types of currency are no longer in use today, some are still used in places where the generally accepted means of paying for goods can’t be maintained or because a temporary crisis means that people have to fall back on more bizarre things to use as money.

12 Fish

11 Shells

10 Beaver Pelts

9 Salt

8 Cocaine

7 Candy

6 Bottle Caps

5 Tea Bricks

4 Huge Rocks


3 Cell Phone Top Up Cards

2 Cheese

1 Urine

Many prisons require inmates to go through a variety of checks while they are incarcerated, with the most popular one being drug testing. This usually involves urine, as it is the easiest and cheapest way to determine whether a prisoner has been using drugs while behind bars. Getting caught could have serious consequences though, meaning that some go to extreme lengths to ensure they don’t get caught. This has led to clean urine becoming an important commodity in prisons around the world, with prisoners trading it inside condoms for other goods and services.


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12 Most Unusual Things People Have Used As Money