By John F Chown, Forrest Capie
This e-book provides a close and astounding heritage 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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Additional resources for A History of Money: From AD 800
This became a conventional relationship, which survived further debasement of the piccolo. This resulted in a ghost money of account, the libra ad grossos (occasionally ‘libra parvorum ad grossos’ which, say Lane and Mueller, might be translated as ‘the pound of pennies paid in groats’) or lira a grossi. This called for payment of 240 old pennies, conventionally valued at 26 1/9 to the grosso. The lira di grossi (240 grossi) was thus valued at 26 1/9 times the lira a grossi, regardless of the actual silver content of the piccoli.
England was a late starter (effectively 1346) perhaps because the undebased English penny was in any case half the weight of the new large coins, and there was no really urgent problem. GOLD The groat revolution resulted in new silver coins having the purchasing power of (typically) thirty of the debased denarii which was the sole coin in most of Europe, but only twice that of the stable English silver penny. The needs of the expanding trade required an even more substantial means of payment, and this could only be provided by gold.
Coins might, at best, have been accepted only by weight. King John therefore ordered another general recoinage in 1205 without any change in the weight standard or the design. Clipped money was called in. That which had lost no more than one-eighth of its proper weight was recoined and the bringer was given 234 pence for 240 pence brought in. Silver more heavily clipped was accepted only as bullion, and there were penalties for continued ownership of clipped coins. This operation, to restore the effects of clipping and wear, was at a heavy cost to public funds: 240 pence of the minimum acceptable weight would have a silver content of only 210 pence, and in this, extreme but probably not uncommon case the issue of 234 pence would have resulted in a loss to the King of 24 pence.