Have you ever heard
of a legal tender note? Have you ever seen a legal tender
note? They were first minted in 1861 and are still being printed
today! You probably wouldn't use them though. We use Federal
Reserve notes now. If you have seen a legal tender note, you
might have noticed that it says, "legal tender for all
debts public and private."
If you had a legal
tender note, you couldn't just give it to a teller and say
"give me this much money for the legal tender note."
You had to trust the government to give you the money later.
Even though it took time, bankers and merchants had to accept
them. It was part of the law! There are still a few of them
in circulation. Usually they are "high denomination"
bills--worth $100 or more.