By John F Chown, Forrest Capie
This e-book provides an in depth and fabulous 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 locations them of their ancient context.
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Additional resources for A History of Money: From AD 800
Debasement in Ireland—A trial run? The first debased coins were, in fact, struck for Ireland, probably in 1536. 3 per cent pure. This change seems to have been accepted by the public and in the 1540 there was another issue, this time only 9 ounces fine and the quality was to fall rapidly to 3 ounces. A feature of this coinage is that successive issues can be dated by the initials on either side of the harp. The earliest issue had the letters ‘H’ for THE GREAT DEBASEMENT OF HENRY VIII’S REIGN 43 Henry and ‘I’ for Jane (Seymour) who was then Queen, but as every schoolboy knows Henry changed his queens as often as his coinages.
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.
This coin was introduced by Constantine the Great in AD 309, and maintained its standard until the reign of Michael IV (1034–41). It was then debased, but the old nomisma continued as a money of account. Alexius I Comnenus repaired some of the ravages of Michael’s debasement in 1092, introducing a new nomisma (hyperperon or perpero) seven-eighths of the value of the original. As we shall see, this became used as a (gold) money of account in Venice, alongside the Carolingian libra. There had also been occasional issues of gold coinage in Sicily and Spain under Byzantine or Islamic influence.
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