A Bean Counter's Way

Why Money is Called Cold Hard Cash


We here the phrase “cold hard cash” used often to describe physical money. Where did this phrase come from? What is the history behind “cold hard cash”?

It was merchants and dealers who were accustomed to dealing with coinage that created the expression “cold, hard cash.” In ages ago, these coins could contain significant amounts of gold and silver, and as a result, they could be quite valuable. The earliest documented usage of paper money occurred in China in the year 806 AD, according to historical records. The Massachusetts Bay Colony issued the first legal currency in the Western World in 1690. Early Western paper money was regarded as notes of credit or IOUs, as opposed to banknotes.

It took some time for people to come around to the idea of using paper money.” For a long time after paper money backed by the government first began to be manufactured, it was difficult for people to accept the fact that these paper currencies could be exchanged for an equal amount of value in gold or silver. Many individuals preferred to have genuine coins struck from a precious medal, also known as “cold hard c

We no longer have a currency that is directly connected to the gold standard or the value of any medals. You can, however, continue to purchase precious metals using paper money. As we have progressed from being a culture that relies more on digital transactions than on physical money, whether in the form of coins or paper, the term “cold hard cash” has evolved to refer to actual physical money rather than to digital transactions.

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