The birthplace of business cards is China, and they appeared there several centuries before our era. Business cards were especially popular among merchants, who thus informed their colleagues about their "coordinates". But, business cards were most widespread in Europe, starting from the 18th century.
This innovation came to our country during the reign of Empress Catherine II. They were made by hand, richly decorated with ornaments and intricate designs. It is not surprising that only a wealthy person could afford such a luxury. Therefore, the presence of a business card spoke of belonging to the high society.
In the 19th century, artistic excesses on many business cards disappeared. Until now, several business cards have survived that belonged to the great Russian poet Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin. It amazes with its laconicism - some have a modest inscription: “A. S. Pushkin ". And on others it is even simpler: "Pushkin".
Currently, in the countries of Europe and the United States, the exchange of business cards takes place without any special ceremony. But, just not in the East! In Japan, for example, to present a business card carelessly is terribly offending a person. It should be served only with two hands with an obligatory bow. Moreover, the lower the bow, the more respect for the interlocutor. Accepting a business card is also required with two hands with a return bow.
In Japan, at business meetings, the exchange of business cards is an indispensable attribute. Therefore, great attention is paid to their design. For example, for especially solemn occasions they order, in single copies, business cards made of pure gold.
And the most expensive business cards in the world are offered to its clients by the Swiss company Black Astrum. Here you can order a batch of business cards in the amount of 100 pieces for an impressive amount - $ 153, 400. They are made of fiberglass with a highly durable coating. Each batch is encrusted with diamonds, the total weight of which is 30 carats.
Japan was the first foreign country where Yuri Gagarin went after his famous flight. The astronaut himself recalled that he was the first to see her in the window. For this trip, special business cards were made with the inscription in Japanese: “Yuri Gagarin. The hero of the USSR".
By the way, business cards were not widely used in the Soviet Union - they were recognized as a relic of the past. Therefore, business cards were ordered, most often, by those citizens of the Land of the Soviets who had the opportunity to regularly travel abroad - diplomatic workers, artists, athletes. Business cards were printed only in printing houses, therefore, it was necessary to write an application and wait for the appropriate permission.
There are not so many collectors of business cards, of course, as, for example, numismatists, but they are. And the world's largest collection of business cards belongs to Leonid Leonidovich Krainov-Rytov from Nizhny Novgorod. It has about 48, 000 copies from 106 countries. The collector's name is even included in the famous Guinness Book of Records.