Author Topic: More on the history of money, one of my favorite subjects ...  (Read 382 times)

Offline Baruch

More on the history of money, one of my favorite subjects ...
« on: August 05, 2018, 03:34:27 PM »
Great Britain:

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Offline Baruch

Re: More on the history of money, one of my favorite subjects ...
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2018, 03:39:25 PM »
More detail on early US coins ...

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The first US cents (not pennies) were based on the privately issued half penny from GB.  At that time, there was a shortage of government small change, and many people made private half pennies.  This happened in the US later, in the Great Depression of 1836 and the Civil War of 1861.

The real coin standard of the British Empire (courtesy of the Bank of England) was the silver shilling and the gold guinea.  Monetizing the small transactions fo the common people didn't become important until the 19th century, most people still did did barter.  Gold is rich-people money.  Silver is middle-class money.  All told 90% or more of the population of GB at that time was poor.  Enlisting in the British Army during the Napoleonic wars was called "taking the king's shilling".  Navy recruits were suitably "impressed" ;-(
« Last Edit: August 05, 2018, 03:44:13 PM by Baruch »
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Offline Baruch

Re: More on the history of money, one of my favorite subjects ...
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2018, 04:28:39 PM »
Lydia/Ionia on the E coast of the Aegean, invented coined money opportunistically (local supply of electrum, natural gold/silver alloy)

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Offline Baruch

Re: More on the history of money, one of my favorite subjects ...
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2018, 10:26:50 PM »
Particularly choice examples of ancient coins ...

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Offline Cavebear

Re: More on the history of money, one of my favorite subjects ...
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2018, 12:43:17 PM »
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More detail on early US coins ...

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The first US cents (not pennies) were based on the privately issued half penny from GB.  At that time, there was a shortage of government small change, and many people made private half pennies.  This happened in the US later, in the Great Depression of 1836 and the Civil War of 1861.

The real coin standard of the British Empire (courtesy of the Bank of England) was the silver shilling and the gold guinea.  Monetizing the small transactions fo the common people didn't become important until the 19th century, most people still did did barter.  Gold is rich-people money.  Silver is middle-class money.  All told 90% or more of the population of GB at that time was poor.  Enlisting in the British Army during the Napoleonic wars was called "taking the king's shilling".  Navy recruits were suitably "impressed" ;-(

The US did not havr much gold then, so trded in other currencies.  I'm glad I wasn't a merchant then having to guess at the actual metallic content of foreign coins.  Can you imagine deciding if 3 Yaun were worth a banana?  Or ten doubloons worth a goat?  And I had a friend who had bags of Confederate Dollars, worth nothing.
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Offline Baruch

Re: More on the history of money, one of my favorite subjects ...
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2018, 02:01:01 PM »
Actually Confederate money now, is worth equal to face value or better.

Yes, the US allowed foreign coins to circulate into the 1850s.  And for a long time, the silver-gold price ratio, established by Congress, resulted in any gold coins we minted, being exported to GB.  This is why US gold coins before the 1830s are excessively rare.
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Offline Cavebear

Re: More on the history of money, one of my favorite subjects ...
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2018, 03:56:22 PM »
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Actually Confederate money now, is worth equal to face value or better.

Yes, the US allowed foreign coins to circulate into the 1850s.  And for a long time, the silver-gold price ratio, established by Congress, resulted in any gold coins we minted, being exported to GB.  This is why US gold coins before the 1830s are excessively rare.

Well, no, actually we used more foreign currency before the 1850s.m  "Pieces of Eight" in pirate talk was just Spanish silver coins cut into 8 parts to make small currency.  I mean, how could you buy a mug of grog in a tavern that cost a penny with a coin worth $100 and ask for change?  At least small pieces were more useful. 
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Re: More on the history of money, one of my favorite subjects ...
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2018, 05:30:32 PM »
There was a recent article in Science News all about the controversy concerning the history of money:

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Economists and archaeologists/anthropologists can't seem to agree on the why of money's origins. Maybe God did it?
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Offline Cavebear

Re: More on the history of money, one of my favorite subjects ...
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2018, 06:32:25 PM »
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There was a recent article in Science News all about the controversy concerning the history of money:

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Economists and archaeologists/anthropologists can't seem to agree on the why of money's origins. Maybe God did it?
Well just because there are arguments doesn't mean that both sides are almost equally right.  Diamonds an gold have a draw on the mind. 

"Bright shiny" you give for these soft otter skins *I* have?  Deal"!

And just like that, 1 ounce of gold is worth X number of otter skins.  And easier to carry or hide.  Everythig is worth more the farther from the source.  Money becomes the irreducible comparison among all goods.  It starts as actual value and becomes symbolic over time.  The paper in my wallet isn't actually worth anything, but we all agree that we can trade stuff for it, and in reverse, give stuff to get some.
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Offline Hydra009

Re: More on the history of money, one of my favorite subjects ...
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2018, 09:03:46 PM »
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Well, no, actually we used more foreign currency before the 1850s.m  "Pieces of Eight" in pirate talk was just Spanish silver coins cut into 8 parts to make small currency.  I mean, how could you buy a mug of grog in a tavern that cost a penny with a coin worth $100 and ask for change?  At least small pieces were more useful.
Unless I'm seriously misreading you, it seems like you're suggesting that the Spanish silver coins were physically cut into 8 pieces to make change, which seems incredibly inconvenient, impractical, and borderline insane.

In actuality, Pieces of Eight were just silver coins worth one Spanish dollar each and eight of them were worth one You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login - another Spanish coin.

Offline Baruch

Re: More on the history of money, one of my favorite subjects ...
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2018, 12:29:46 AM »
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There was a recent article in Science News all about the controversy concerning the history of money:

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Economists and archaeologists/anthropologists can't seem to agree on the why of money's origins. Maybe God did it?

I would go with the anthropologists.  The economists are congenital liars.  I just did a little lecture Saturday on this very subject, with historical samples ... using snippets I learned from ...

Debt: The First 5,000 Years ... and the article are pretty up to date.  The 18th century Scottish view of Adam Smith simply isn't universal, it only fit his time.  And it was an agenda, he was supporting the Glasgow merchants against the London merchants.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2018, 12:43:19 AM by Baruch »
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Offline Baruch

Re: More on the history of money, one of my favorite subjects ...
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2018, 12:36:33 AM »
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Unless I'm seriously misreading you, it seems like you're suggesting that the Spanish silver coins were physically cut into 8 pieces to make change, which seems incredibly inconvenient, impractical, and borderline insane.

In actuality, Pieces of Eight were just silver coins worth one Spanish dollar each and eight of them were worth one You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login - another Spanish coin.

They came in all sizes.  They were only cut in 1/2 or 1/4 usually, and only in the Caribbean islands where proper change was not easily found.  It was a peculiarity of the Spanish way of colonizing.  Gold and silver cobs were used in the New World, with proper gold and silver coins minted and used in Spain and thru Europe (they had higher standards).  On the other hand, there weren't any copper token coins in the Spanish colonies, but the monarchy produced copper cobs for use in Spain (they didn't care if the peasants liked it or not).  The Spanish colonies were extractive ... so they didn't care what the lower classes did here either.  But copper was available in Europe.

Gold money is first, and upper class.  Silver money is second, and middle class.  Copper money came last, and is lower class.  That is how the monetization of a traditional economy progresses ... from the top down.  Then the society collapses it all goes in reverse.  First the copper coins disappear (happened twice in the US) and the lower class goes back to barter.  Then the silver coins disappear, and the middle class goes back to barter.  That is how Rome fell.  They had to re-tariff the gold coins (Aureus to Solidus) ... lowering their weight a little, and restoring their purity.  This is because the barbarians and the mercenary soldiers wouldn't bother with the cheap stuff.  At its peak, the Roman Empire was maybe half monetized.  Today we are just about 100%.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2018, 12:45:59 AM by Baruch »
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Offline Cavebear

Re: More on the history of money, one of my favorite subjects ...
« Reply #12 on: October 04, 2018, 06:14:03 AM »
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Unless I'm seriously misreading you, it seems like you're suggesting that the Spanish silver coins were physically cut into 8 pieces to make change, which seems incredibly inconvenient, impractical, and borderline insane.

In actuality, Pieces of Eight were just silver coins worth one Spanish dollar each and eight of them were worth one You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login - another Spanish coin.

I'll be darned if you aren't correct.  And I will admit it when I'm wrong.  While true silver coins were often cut into small pieces (true silver having value at any size), from what I read today, "pieces of eight" and "cut pieces of silver coins" aren't exactly the same thing. 

It is one of those things I read once that was wrong.  Dang!  And I thank you.

Now the problem is to "unforget" the false thing I read.  That is actually quite hard.
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Offline Baruch

Re: More on the history of money, one of my favorite subjects ...
« Reply #13 on: October 04, 2018, 06:54:52 AM »
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I'll be darned if you aren't correct.  And I will admit it when I'm wrong.  While true silver coins were often cut into small pieces (true silver having value at any size), from what I read today, "pieces of eight" and "cut pieces of silver coins" aren't exactly the same thing. 

It is one of those things I read once that was wrong.  Dang!  And I thank you.

Now the problem is to "unforget" the false thing I read.  That is actually quite hard.

Only cut in some places.  But many early Americans came from the Caribbean ... Alexander Hamilton for example.  The English colonies were very poorly monetized compared to the Spanish ones (hence the piracy by the English).

Another origin of name .. two bits isn't due to the cutting, but that there were 2 reales coins ... 1/4 of an 8 reals coin (piece of eight) and twice a 1 real coin.  But coins smaller tan the piece of eight were found in Spain, not in the New World so much.
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Offline Cavebear

Re: More on the history of money, one of my favorite subjects ...
« Reply #14 on: October 04, 2018, 07:33:15 AM »
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Only cut in some places.  But many early Americans came from the Caribbean ... Alexander Hamilton for example.  The English colonies were very poorly monetized compared to the Spanish ones (hence the piracy by the English).

Another origin of name .. two bits isn't due to the cutting, but that there were 2 reales coins ... 1/4 of an 8 reals coin (piece of eight) and twice a 1 real coin.  But coins smaller tan the piece of eight were found in Spain, not in the New World so much.

The term was in the US from somewhere.  I think I'll research that a "bit" more.
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

 

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