National Currency Collection
Canada, French Colonial Authorities, 12 livres : 1749
Money is in the eye of the beholder
In 1685, the garrisons of New France found themselves short of the French coinage needed to pay their soldiers. An ingenious solution was proposed: use playing cards as paper money. At first these were merely certificates redeemable for cash whenever said cash might arrive from France. However, after the third cash shortage incident, not all of the playing cards were redeemed but stayed in circulation. In this way, France was able to extend its expenditures while the kings, queens and aces began to function like real ‘jack’.