In our time, travelling is a breeze in many ways. But think what it must have been like for people who lived in centuries past when there were no credit cards, no ATMs, no checks, no international banks. What did they do with they were out of coins to pay for various necessities whilst on the road?

The wealthy wore jewelry including gold chains for fashionable and social reasons but those unsoldered chain links also came in handy when travelling. Individual links could easily be opened and removed to use as payment as required - another example where jewelry had a practical function other than the decorative variety.

Picture Source : Atocha Treasure Company
Picture of gold chains recovered from the Spanish 1622 treasure wreck, the Atocha, which sank off the coast of Florida. More about the Spanish Treasure Fleet here.


The Official Catalog : Armada (1588-1988) An International Exhibition to commemorate the Spanish Armada. Penguin Books in association with the National Maritime Museum.