Carrying silver and gold coin was not only heavy, it placed the carrier at
risk from robbery. Goldsmiths would hold their client’s gold and issue notes to
represent the gold their client held with them. The barer of the note could then
exchange the note instead of the physical gold and the goldsmith / bank would
transfer the gold into the new owners name without any gold physically
exchanging hands. Arrangements between goldsmiths in different towns made it
possible to conduct business with notes without risking transporting the gold.
If the note was stolen, the goldsmith could be informed and the stolen note