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tatramatra t1_jc1f14s wrote

That's a large complex topic. Barter was always in use, but as a substitute of money as we understand them, couple of different things were used in different location across the globe. Generally speaking these were objects/materials that had it's own high value, were durable, easy to store and transport. Metal in different forms, usually ingots of different shapes. That includes not just precious metals but also iron, cooper and bronze. That eventually led to actual coins. Cloth was used, again, in different forms, including actual costumes and garments. Today cloth is cheap, but in pre-industrial era cloth was very laborious to make and expensive. Animal skins were used, especially luxury ones. More exotic objects could be used, usually in some smaller isolated and more primitive societies: sea shells, coral beans -usually in placed where these were been imported, not where they were abundant.