China/Mongolia/Tibet/Burma/Siberia, Tea Brick Money

Tea bricks from the 19th century are very rare: it is the nature of this kind of currency to get consumed over time. Incidentally, this is the great advantage of every kind of bar currency that it can circulate as money as well as being used for its material. The value of tea bricks depends on the quality of the tea. Poorer-quality tea is often optically corrected by adding a little soot to give it a richer color. Other price factors are the quantity available and the distance from the market. In Mongolia around 1900, 12 to 15 bricks of good quality tea would buy a sheep.