By John F Chown, Forrest Capie
This ebook offers a close and fabulous 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 info for A History of Money: From AD 800
5 grains. These pennies were occasionally cut into halves and quarters to make half pennies and fourthings (farthings). Round silver halfpennies and farthings, struck as such, only became a regular feature of the coinage from 1279. Such a coinage was now quite inadequate. At one level merchants did not want to settle their transactions in thousands of small silver coins—for them gold was obviously more convenient. At another, the silver 36 A HISTORY OF MONEY penny (or even its quarter) was too large a unit for the everyday transactions of paid workmen.
1 Units of weight in the Tower and Troy systems been dearly bought, and substantial sums had to be remitted to Flanders. English money was not being accepted there at the usual 30 shillings Flemish to the pound sterling: Henry disputed the lower tariff but after assays at the Goldsmiths Hall confirmed the lower rating, he had to accept it (Challis 1978: 87). There had to be a recoinage (the ‘second coinage’) in 1526, and this did involve a change of design and of weight. After various experiments, Cardinal Wolsey recommended and superintended a reform.
There had also been occasional issues of gold coinage in Sicily and Spain under Byzantine or Islamic influence. The first gold coin of the new era was the Augustale struck in 1231 by Frederick II in Brindisi. This weighed one fifth of an oncia—about 18 grams, and related to a ‘tari’ (Moslem) system. It had limited success outside its own region. Florence had introduced its own heavier silver coin in 1232. This was smaller than the Venetian grosso and had a value of one soldo or twelve denarii. It bore the familiar Florentine punning device of the lily (fiori) and was generally known as the fiorino or florin.
A History of Money: From AD 800 by John F Chown, Forrest Capie