By John F Chown, Forrest Capie
This e-book offers a close and striking background of cash from Charlemagne's reform in nearly AD800 to the tip of the Silver Wars in 1896. It additionally summarizes 20th century advancements and areas them of their old context.
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Additional resources for A History of Money: From AD 800
1. The lira di piccoli was used within the city for retail trade. There was yet another complication. For some purposes the original relationship of 1 grosso to 26 denarii persisted. On this basis the lira di grossi manca, perhaps translated as ‘short pound’ was worth 239 grossi instead of 240. All three (or four, if we include the manca) were based on a silver standard. Later (from around 1328) further moneys of account became based on gold (see Lane and Mueller: 333). 5 THE GREAT DEBASEMENT OF HENRY VIII’S REIGN The average rate of depreciation of England’s currency between Eadgar’s reform of 973 and Charles II’s recoinage of 1696 was remarkably low, about 0.
In most of Continental Europe the only coin, and the only form of money in circulation, was the denarius, a base coin of little value. Exceptionally the English penny continued to be struck in fine silver and at full weight. But it was the only coin circulating: nothing larger, and nothing (apart from cut halfpennies and ‘fourthings’) smaller. By 1250 the situation had changed out of all recognition. After the upheavals of the twelfth century, Europe was at peace, and citizens could travel freely.
2. 8d. 43 in decimal) could be struck from one pound of pure silver. This was the mint equivalent. 7d. 2 per cent. Under a secret indenture of 16 May 1542, coins were struck at the same weight as before, but the metal was debased—the gold from 23 and threequarter carats to 23 carats and the silver from the traditional 11 ounces 2 pennyweights fine to only 10 ounces fine. This is known to numismatists as the third coinage. One effect, possibly unintentional, was to change the bimetallic ratio between gold and silver to 1:10, whereas in the rest of Europe the ratio was still around the traditional 1:12.