If you remember your history, Long Island was bought for a handful of glass beads and trinkets. I don't know if the story is true and it really doesn't matter.
Strange things have been used for currency in the past. Lets look at a few:
1. The people of Yap used huge stones brought from Palau by canoe. Its value depended on the number of people killed during transport.
2. The Romans used salt as currency. Interesting fact, our word salary comes from the Latin term for salt.
3. Back in 2008, Argentina ran out of coins, people used small candies such as tootsie rolls instead.
4. In ancient China, knives inscribed with their value were used until around 200 BC when their use was abolished.
5. Tea has been used as currency in Asia and been the preferred coin in remote places such as Siberia and Mongolia.
6. In Ghana, iron snakes were a perfectly acceptable form of exchange among the Lobi people.
7. At the time, Fiji became a British protectorate, the local official asked to be paid in whale teeth rather than gold because it was more valuable to him.
8. In the Republic of Congo the Katanga Cross was the standard. The 2.2 lb cross was made out of copper and was worth 10 lbs of flour or 6 foals.
9. In certain parts of the world, a specific shell circulated among several countries in the Pacific as the local currency
10. In Newfoundland, prior to the establishment of the first bank, people used dried cod as the preferred choice of exchange.
11. In China, receipts for copper were used as currency rather than the actual copper.
12. Canadian Tire printed its own fake money as a way to cement customer loyalty and pretty soon businesses and ebay began accepting it.
13. Potato mashers were the coin of choice by the Bafia people who used to live in Cameroon previously.
14. The criminal underworld sometimes uses liquid Tide as their currency.
There are quite a few more strange ones including furs, bit coin, etc but these I found the most fun. Let me know what you think.