Predecimal Currency

Shtajerc

Ad Honorem
Jul 2014
6,698
Lower Styria, Slovenia
#11
In regard to the predecimal Pound Sterling, the gold 1 pound coin was called a sovereign and is still minted today. There is also a half sovereign, worth two crowns. It is also a gold coin.

For a short period of four years during the reign of Queen Victoria they minted a double florin, worth four shillings. It was only slightly smaller than a crown coin and neither of them had their denomination written on them. The double florin was often confused for a full crown, gaining the name "barmaid's grief". Because of all this trouble it caused it was discontinued. (They could have just written the denominations on their coins. Victorians ... :rolleyes: )
 

Shtajerc

Ad Honorem
Jul 2014
6,698
Lower Styria, Slovenia
#12
Premodern Japanese currency:
1 ouban =
10 koban =
20 nibuban =
40 ichibuban =
80 nishuban =
160 isshuban =
40,000 mon

The ouban was not in common use. The koban was the highest denomination commonly encountered, and was worth one ryo, which was a unit of value.

The bu and shu coins were minted in both silver and gold, and were worth the same, although the silver and gold ones were obviously different sizes.
Were any of these issued in the form of ingots or were they coins as we imagine them today? I know what the Meiji coins look like, the so called dragon dollars, but I'm not at all familiar with what was used before, except for what I saw in Zatoichi ...

Roman Republic;

10 asses = 4 sesterces = 1 denarius.
Still today, "denar" means "money" in my native tongue.
 

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,212
#14
In regard to the predecimal Pound Sterling, the gold 1 pound coin was called a sovereign and is still minted today. There is also a half sovereign, worth two crowns. It is also a gold coin.
The gold sovereigns made today are held for metal value, but not used as currency. South Africa started with their gold krugerand and many countries have followed in making official gold and silver coins, which are different from their debased currency.

Still today, "denar" means "money" in my native tongue.
Dinero is money in Spanish. I sort of know Spanish, but I looked it up and similar words or used in other languages in Spain and in Portuguese. Not sure why it is in Slovenian, but I guess the Roman Empire got there or nearby.

Thats mostly because they were using Spanish dollars, the Chinese economy managed to suck in virtually every silver coin in the western hemisphere.
China had a hugely favorable balance of trade as today. I guess they sold a lot of silk, spices, and so on.
 

Shtajerc

Ad Honorem
Jul 2014
6,698
Lower Styria, Slovenia
#15
The gold sovereigns made today are held for metal value, but not used as currency. South Africa started with their gold krugerand and many countries have followed in making official gold and silver coins, which are different from their debased currency.
Sure, but 100 years ago could be used as currency. American silver eagles are worth 1 dollar, if you pay for your bread in the store with it, which obviously doesn't make it worth using that way. Not sure about Canadian maple leaves and rounds minted by Mexico.

Dinero is money in Spanish. I sort of know Spanish, but I looked it up and similar words or used in other languages in Spain and in Portuguese. Not sure why it is in Slovenian, but I guess the Roman Empire got there or nearby.
Of course, we're Italy's eastern neighbour. The battle of the Frigidus took place at what is today the Vipava river in Western Slovenia.
 
Sep 2012
1,618
London, centre of my world
#16
One penny piece from 1936:



There was a threepenny piece, (thruppenny bit). A two pence coin did appear after decimalisation.

Decimalisation came in when I was a mere 7 years old, yet I can still remember all the coins and notes.

There was the ha'penny, penny, thrupenny bit, tanner, bob, two bob, half a crown, five bob, ten bob note, pound note, five pound note.
(Or - half penny, one penny, threepence, sixpence (my pocket money!), one shilling, two shillings, two shillings and sixpence, five shillings, ten shillings, one pound, five pounds.
(We weren't that well off to have ten pound notes!)
12 pennies = 1 shilling; 20 shillings = 1 pound.
Prices were marked as 3/7d (3 shillings and 7 pence) for example meant how many pennies in thrupennys and bob bits?

After decimalisation we had a halfpence, penny, twopence, fivepence, tenpence, fifty pence, one pound note, five pound note.
100 pennies = 1 pound.
Prices were marked as £1.17 (1 pound and 17 pence) or 117 pennies. Somewhat easier?

And still old ladies used to get confused.
 
Likes: Shtajerc

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
34,479
T'Republic of Yorkshire
#18
Were any of these issued in the form of ingots or were they coins as we imagine them today? I know what the Meiji coins look like, the so called dragon dollars, but I'm not at all familiar with what was used before, except for what I saw in Zatoichi ...
No, not ingots like the Chinese sycee (gold boat ingots).

But the ouban was a very large gold plate, somewhat like a larger version of the koban that you see in Zatoichi (where it is usually referred to as a ryo, its face value), and generally only used ceremonially. It definitely wasn't the kind of thing you could take out and spend.

One other thing that used to happen was that koban were packaged together in bundles of, I think it was 20 coins, and then wrapped in paper and the seal of a moneylender stamped on top. These were accepted in transactions without the packet being opened, and museums still have unopened packets on display today.
 
Likes: sparky

Shtajerc

Ad Honorem
Jul 2014
6,698
Lower Styria, Slovenia
#20
No, not ingots like the Chinese sycee (gold boat ingots).

But the ouban was a very large gold plate, somewhat like a larger version of the koban that you see in Zatoichi (where it is usually referred to as a ryo, its face value), and generally only used ceremonially. It definitely wasn't the kind of thing you could take out and spend.

One other thing that used to happen was that koban were packaged together in bundles of, I think it was 20 coins, and then wrapped in paper and the seal of a moneylender stamped on top. These were accepted in transactions without the packet being opened, and museums still have unopened packets on display today.
Pretty big stuff then. Thanks for the info.
 

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