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Old 05-20-2016, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by msmith537 View Post
The thought crossed my mind while watching shows like Outlander or Game of Thrones but the scenario could apply to any time period before the invention of wire transfers, ATMs, or even electricity.

Specifically, say I'm a wealthy lord traveling with my lady and a small entourage to some other country for an indefinite stay. What do I do for cash while travelling? Do I bring a big chest full of gold coins or whatever to use for purchasing stuff? What happens when I run out of local cash or am robbed? Did they have "credit" until I can send for another shipment of gold? Where do I store my gold securely?
International banking systems actually stemmed from rich guys trying to solve this very problem. IIRC, the Knights Templar made their mark by developing just such a system. Basically, if you were going to the holy land you'd swing by one of the Knights 'banks' and, in exchange for your gold they would give you part of a coded receipt for the amount of gold you were wanting to take with you (less some service fees. Not interest though ). Then you could basically head out to the holy land, stopping by Knight facilities along the way, where they would deduct some fees for services along the way. When you got to the holy land you could then change what was left on your coded receipt for the remainder of the money and be good to go. When you wanted to go back, same thing.

I know there were other civilizations and times that used similar systems. You COULD take a large guard force and just carry the gold, and that happened a lot, but there were alternatives at various times in history that were similar to my recollection above of roughly how the KT did it.

Last edited by XT; 05-20-2016 at 09:17 AM.