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Moving to precious metals. While a bar of gold is certainly very valuable (especially at today’s prices), it is quite heavy and susceptible to theft or loss. In Jesus’ time, coins became an acceptable form of donation, as the use of currency became widespread. The Romans standardized their coins, which enabled them to be used reliably to buy all kinds of goods and services. Paper banknotes were first introduced in China during the 7th century, with paper currency appearing in Europe several centuries later.