By John F Chown, Forrest Capie
This booklet provides an in depth and incredible background of cash from Charlemagne's reform in nearly AD800 to the top of the Silver Wars in 1896. It additionally summarizes 20th century advancements and areas them of their old context.
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Extra resources for A History of Money: From AD 800
In 1556–8 substantial quantities of English base silver were reminted on government account into Irish coinage. No mint accounts survive from that period (Gould 1970:67). The stages of the Debasement The Appendix to this chapter reconciles the information with modern numismatic usage and includes some key statistical information. 2 shows, for the various coinages, the weight and fineness of the silver coins, and the face value of coins actually struck from one pound of pure silver: the mint equivalent.
It eventually became, in the Germanic countries, the gulden. Many of these became debased, and there was an interesting language switch. As the Venetian ducat was never debased, the term ducat became synonymous with a sound coin, while the term florin implied a debased one. Although the Florentine original was never itself debased or devalued, its image suffered from the ‘devaluation’ abroad of its original name: it, too, became known as a ducat. England Unlike the rest of Europe, England entered the new age with a sound, undebased coinage.
The first European gold coin, the Augustale, was struck by Frederick II of Brindisi in 1231, but serious gold coinage really begins in 1252, when the city state of Florence began to strike the hugely successful ‘Fiorino’ or florin. The initiative was quickly followed, or, Robert Lopez (1986) would argue preceded, by Genoa, and the idea quickly spread across Europe. The development of a coinage suited to the needs of trade created its own problems. Two of the concepts discussed in Chapter 2, seigniorage and debasement had their roots in the simple mono-metallic coinage of Chapter 3.