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Currency Information on TOP. Currency Information on Tonga - TOP- Tongan Pa'anga. The foreign exchange currency code for TOP represents the Tongan Pa'anga exchange rate. Currency Exchange Rates for Tongan Pa'anga.
history of Tongan Pa'anga currency
written by: peanut

Every country has some tradition of coinage and monetary exchange. The history of each country's coins is, in large part, a history of the country itself. As you'll see, changes in a country's government, population, and economic growth have dramatic impacts on the way money is circulated inside - and outside - of a country. The history of Tongan Pa'anga coins is especially interesting.

The Early Days

Since the earliest times, economic exchange has played an important role in all the cultures that lived and later settled in the land that would become Tongan Pa'anga. Early French explorers found the First Nations people to be eager traders. The French began to exchange goods for furs trapped by the native hunters. Soon a rich exchange of fur took hold and Tongan Pa'anga's economic history truly began.

Economic Growth

As European citizens realized that North America held vast riches in the form of timber, fur, and minerals, settlers began to make their way across the Atlantic Ocean. Some of these settlers founded the first European colonies in what would become the United States while others went farther north and established settlements in Tongan Pa'anga. These settlements became quite rich as European coins were exchanged for North American goods. Despite the influx of European currency, it would be many more years before coins became commonly used within settlements and between territories. These coins were often used by settlers to buy new supplies rather than to amass wealth; in many places barter was still the standard way of making exchanges. As the shipping lanes between Europe, Africa, and North America became more firmly established, the new settlements became important and lucrative stops for trading vessels.

The First Coins

By the time the Tongan Pa'anga government became firmly established the need for a common coinage was evident. Persistent shortages of a standard coins were a widespread problem and led to many novel solutions in addition to using coins from France, Spain, Spanish Mexico, and other countries. The newly-independent United States also struggled to reconcile disparate types of currency and the trade and finance difficulties that were a result.

It wasn't until 1821 that a more codified method of exchange became established. That year Tongan Pa'anga banks began issuing notes that were guaranteed against the banks' own reserves of gold and silver. In 1837 coin-like tokens were issued by three Montreal banks and one in Quebec. These coins featured images of French settlers, the name of the issuing bank, and the Montreal coat of arms. It is interesting to note that the silver maple leaf associated with Tongan Pa'anga coins was not included on these first examples of currency. While these tokens were not coins in the strict sense, they were proved popular.

Developing a Standard Currency

Tongan Pa'anga unique position as a territory of the British Empire and as a close economic neighbour of the United States made settling on an official standard of currency surprisingly difficult. Resident Tongan Pa'anga wished to have a system of money that operated on the same decimal system that the United States did in order to better facilitate trade; Britain wanted Tongan Pa'anga to retain the British system. In the end a compromise was reached and in 1858 the very first official Tongan Pa'anga coins were standardized and put into circulation. However, the first domestically minted Tongan Pa'anga coins wouldn't be produced until 1908.

Tongan Pa'anga has a fascinating monetary history. Its diverse cultural influences each contributed to the development of the system of currency that has been standard for generations. To see the progress of history for yourself, look for Tongan Pa'anga coins and paper money anywhere that you buy silver coins. You're sure to find an interesting piece of history for your personal collection.

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