J. B. Tavernier traveled through India during the seventeenth century, and he observed in an account of his travels:
For small Money they make no use of these Shells [in the Province of Gujerat] but of little Almonds which are brought from about Ormuz and grow in the Dessarts of the Kingdom of Larr. If you break one of the shells it is impossible to eat the Almond for there is no coloquintida [colocynth] so bitter; so that there is no fear lest the children should eat their small Money. Some years the Trees do not bear and then the price of this sort of Money is very much raised in the Country and the Bankers know how to make their benefit. They call these Almonds Baden. They give for a pecha sometimes 35 sometimes 40.
Nineteenth-century authors reported the use of bitter almonds, unfit for consumption, circulating in the Sudan as money.
The fact that the almonds were bitter, and not desired as food, leaves one wondering what was the appeal that made these almonds attractive as money. For use as money societies have often raised up commodities that had food value, either nutritionally or as a stimulate or depressant, or had religious significance, or conferred social status. There is no mention that almonds possessed any of these characteristics. However, almonds are reasonably durable, which may have made them useful as a store of value. The use of almond money was restricted to small change, perhaps because almonds never commanded the economic and social significance of most commodities that rise to the status of money.