One of the most-used specie currency was actually not a metal, or any sort of coin. It was the cowrie shell, used in Africa and throughout the Pacific and the Indian Oceans. It makes sense: they're durable, fungible, common enough to serve as currency but hard enough to obtain that you can't get rampant inflation, useful for decoration and games, and readily portable. In consequence, the money cowrie (its actual name) was the single longest-used and most widely used specie currency ever. According to Wikipedia at least, the word for "money" comes from their word for the cowrie shell.
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Money outside the Realm and Guild