Questions tagged [money]

Use for questions related to the history of money and methods of payment. The tag could be also used for asking for a particular system or currency (e.g. the British pre-decimal system before 1971).

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52
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7answers
4k views

Has a state ever “attacked” another one by printing fake money?

Has any state ever performed an "economic attack" against another state, by printing fake money of the victim's currency? Or, is it known if someone ever considered doing it, and which were the ...
31
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1answer
4k views

How much were telegraphists in the 1950s paid?

I'm doing some research for a small project, and am having some difficulty finding information on telegraphists as a whole. The information I'm trying to find is rather specific, and I can't seem to ...
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3answers
16k views

How much did it cost to attend events at the ancient Roman colosseum?

I recently visited the Colosseum in Rome, where a tour guide explained about the different seating sections for the elite (senators and the like), nobles, ordinary citizens, and slaves/women. He also ...
25
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3answers
4k views

How did the Bolsheviks fund their government? [closed]

I came across this from a telegram sent by a Mr. Lindley in Russia to Mr. Balfour in London.— (Received November 28.) (Telegraphic.) Archangel, November 27, 1918. Principal reason why Bolsheviks have ...
25
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2answers
3k views

When and where were the first coins made showing the currency or a face value?

According to this article Origin and Evolution of Money, coins ...for many centuries...were guaranteed by their intrinsic value, that is to say, by the trade value of the metal used in their ...
23
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1answer
3k views

Leather 1.50 German gold mark

I have a German 1.50 gold mark that looks to be made of leather. It is about 3/16 of an inch thick. and dyed black. It has many symbols. Please if anyone can tell me about this. It looks to be dated ...
22
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3answers
5k views

How did bank transactions (or “data” transactions) work when it took people weeks to travel vast distances?

I am designing a prototype for a distributed database that could work across vast distances of space, like the goals behind IPFS working at planetary, or galactic, scale. I want to solve the problem, ...
19
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4answers
1k views

How can prices be compared over time?

I've just asked a question where Tyler Durden wrote in his answer that paper was expensive at Euclids time. So I wanted to ask the question: How did the price of paper / papyrus develop over time?...
16
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4answers
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What were the factors that caused the world to move away from the Gold Standard in the 20th century?

For most of the world's history for thousands of years, gold was used as the medium of exchange for money. The world gradually moved off the gold standard in the 20th century. What were the factors ...
12
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1answer
354 views

Before modern banking, how did government-issued coins get into everyone's hands?

At first, this question sounded basic to me, but I couldn't find easy answer in Wikipedia. Since this SE prefers restricted scope, let's limit it to the empires of the 9th-10th century, e.g. the ...
11
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3answers
2k views

What was the “Brakteaten” medieval monetary system?

I am reading "Interest and inflation free money" by Margrit Kennedy. I have only found this book online (here). It is not in my local libraries or bookshops. The author states (page 39 of ...
11
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2answers
2k views

Purpose of Guinea in British monetary history

I read about Guinea itself, how it was made, but I don't really understand why would anybody keep a money worth 5% more than an existing denomination like Pound. I can accept the 1/20 and 1/12 ...
11
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1answer
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What coin is this? Arabic: 10 Fulus, over crossed wheat and lead

Years ago (maybe 15), my grandfather gave me this coin and I have no idea what it is or where it came from. Can anyone help? I'm pretty sure it came from the Middle East (he did a lot of work there ...
11
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4answers
1k views

What happened to the wealth of the Roman Catholic Church accumulated over the ages?

At one point in history, the Roman Catholic Church was the largest land owner in Europe. Given the power of compounding, the length of time for the compounding to take effect plus the huge principal ...
11
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1answer
724 views

What were the rejected designs for the Euro symbol?

The Euro symbol (€), supposedly but not certainly designed by Alain Billiet, was selected from a pool of proposals. According to a very official-looking document from europa.eu: Some thirty drafts ...
11
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1answer
236 views

Were Cypriots able to pay their bills during the “bail in” of March 2013?

During the Cypriot financial crisis, it seems that a "bank holiday" was announced on March 16 and lasted until March 26, during which time ATM withdrawals were impossible or at least tightly ...
10
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3answers
1k views

Until 1600, was it legal to counterfeit money?

Forging money or currency is more often called counterfeiting and, as is well known, the counterfeiting of money is usually attacked aggressively by today's governments. But, generally speaking, was ...
9
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2answers
943 views

Why does some Califate money feature crosses?

Why does some Muslim money feature crosses? Like the following ones: Was the cross an early Muslim symbol?
9
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1answer
376 views

When and why did round coins become a practical standard?

In the world today many countries (probably most if not all, but I don't have a reference) use round coins. It's clear that some coins of ancient times were not round, as can be seen here. At which ...
9
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0answers
363 views

Does Patonce Cross symbol have any record of use in Hungary?

Hungary introduced new 10000 HUF notes that contain a symbol I couldn't relate to Hungary's history. There were no official notes known to me why they use Patonce Cross on Hungarian notes. And here ...
8
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2answers
895 views

How can the value of older currencies be expressed in modern units? How is the conversion rate calculated? [duplicate]

We can pretty often read something like.. "He owned this sum of silver/gold which is equal to this sum of dollars in our time." But how is this calculated? How can you know what a 1000 dollars was in ...
8
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3answers
544 views

At what point after the war did Confederate money begin to attain value again?

At the start of the U.S. Civil War, the Confederate States of America began to print their own money. Almost immediately it began to lose value due to inflation (except in 1864). By the end of the ...
8
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1answer
300 views

What time period did these notes come from?

This may be a bit broad of a question, but as I was going through some old things I found some Japanese monitary bills in varying currencies from I'm guessing around WWII, but I'm not sure. I cannt ...
8
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1answer
1k views

What did the paper money of the Ilkhanate look like?

In the 1200s the Mongols conquered Persia (and a few other places). The portion of the empire in Persia was known as the Ilkhanate, ruled over by the ilkhan. Influenced by Chinese paper money, the ...
8
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3answers
550 views

Why did overestimated coins led to inflation and well-estimated coins to deflation?

It is said in Debt, the first 5,000 years by David Graeber (chapter 4, note 2) that when the value of metal coins represented exactly their weight, the result was deflation. The author says that when ...
8
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2answers
301 views

Did anyone in Alta California pay in cash?

In the Spanish and Mexican eras, California was an economy very cut off from its mother countries. Most trade was by bartering goods [Josiah Belden by Doyce Nunis, Jr., 1962]. Is there evidence of ...
8
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1answer
404 views

Was there ever a case where *physically* exporting fiat money caused severe damage to an economy?

For those people who did not experience it: During the Cold War most countries of the Warsaw Pact had ridiculously high sentences for exporting their own money. That means that if you have some coins/...
8
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1answer
284 views

How much would votes sell for in early America?

I am reading an essay by Alfred F. Young right now in which the author mentions that Gouverneur Morris said of enfranchising those without property: Give the vote to people who have no property and ...
7
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1answer
160 views

Does any of John Sutter's tin money survive?

John Sutter was a Swiss settler and investor in the late Mexican era of California. I have only seen secondary sources on the matter, but apparently his colony New Helvetia had bespoke coinage: ... ...
6
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5answers
995 views

When have salaries been paid in kind, not cash? [closed]

Formal jobs of the present day pay primarily cash wages, but a great number of historical employees earned primarily food, housing, goods from a company store, scrip, or debt repayment. These non-...
6
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2answers
229 views

Which tools were available in 1933 for the Chinese government to intervene in the money market?

I do not have profound knowledge of the Chinese banking sector in the 1930s, but, for instance, Tamagna, Frank M. Banking and finance in China. International Secretariat, Institute of Pacific ...
6
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1answer
1k views

Was Smedley Butler right when he said 21,000 million/billionaires were created from World War I?

In his book entitled "War is a Racket" Smedley Butler argues that the profit of war is counted in bodies and money spent. He also wrote that 21,000 millionaires/billionaires were made from World War I....
6
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2answers
2k views

How important was currency inflation in Fall of Roman Empire?

Under Roman Republic one unskilled worker typically made one sestertius a day, and it was enough to keep up a modest life in ancient Rome back in the day. But I found data about Rome started to ...
6
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1answer
283 views

Jewish Money Lenders in England: What happened to Money Lendings after Expulsion?

When the Jews left England in 1290 by edict of Edward 1, who took over the role of Jews? My understanding is that the primary economic function was loaning money against future sales of farm produce --...
5
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3answers
356 views

Are there any examples of recurring payments in ancient times?

I'm interested in the history of recurring payments. The farthest I could get to is the feudal system, where peasants paid rent to knights once every so often. Obviously the banking system in the late ...
5
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2answers
527 views

How were large monetary transactions conducted in medieval Europe?

Recently, I have read in the news about a large hoard of Norman coins in England being found. Apparently, all of these coins were silver pennies. And then it occurred to me that small silver coins ...
5
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1answer
743 views

What is the approximate value of a Spanish ducat in 1557?

In the text of "A narrative of the expedition of Hernando de Soto into Florida published at Evora in 1557" the anonymous author states that de Soto "... gathered a hundred and four score thousand ...
5
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1answer
356 views

Medieval symbol for money/trade/banking

I take part in arranging a medieval fair. As part of that I have the task of creating a pair of moneyboxes for use at the counter of the main place where the visitors can buy something to eat and ...
5
votes
1answer
280 views

German 10 zehn heller

This 10 zehn heller , which I believe at the top on the reverse says "Notgeld" but it is really hard to make out. The date looks like "1827" but is probably 1923 and it seems to have a wood grain ...
5
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1answer
270 views

How were large sums of money carried/transmitted prior to the 1940s or so?

I visualize that expensive items were literally paid for in cash and people going to Europe, for example, wanting to spend the season in style, brought stacks of thousand and five thousand dollar ...
5
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0answers
132 views

Was Byzantine land incredibly cheap compared to bread?

I am reading the fascinating THE ECONOMIC HISTORY OF BYZANTIUM, available here. I gather that 1 modios of land was something less than 3000 square metres and for the best land was worth about 1 ...
4
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1answer
278 views

In modern terms (for example the 2017 US dollar), how much purchasing power is 50,000 (French) Francs in 1829?

Not simply a conversion of money, as even independent of inflation, the value of basics like bread and such change over time. I am reading "The Count of Monte Cristo" and a character has just remarked ...
4
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2answers
453 views

How was financial profit viewed in Medieval Europe?

What was the attitude of people in Medieval Europe towards earning money, making a profit etc. I know that in some places Jews were well established as merchants because, from the point of the view of ...
4
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1answer
291 views

When did Germany begin to store it's gold deposits abroad? [closed]

I just learned from this question that Germany is storing it's gold reserves around the globe. When did this practice start? What was occurring at that time that drove the decision? And an ...
4
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1answer
277 views

How was money transferred before digital transactions?

Take, for example, the late 18th century and pre-French Revolution. The American War of Independence (1775 - '83) and the Seven Years War (1754 - '63) were financially ruinous for Louis XVI's France, ...
3
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1answer
139 views

How did the debt collection of Gregorius IX work?

In Dan Jones' 'The Templars', a paragraph details in broad terms how the Templar Order assisted the reigning Pope, Gregorius IX, with his debt collection over numerous Catholic realms. This is the ...
3
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1answer
149 views

Did “loan sharks” arise after debtors' prison was eliminated?

One reads about loaning money in the past and the subtext is, if you were not repaid according to the terms of a note you held, you could get the debtor arrested. Eventually, debtors' prisons and ...
2
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1answer
149 views

In the 19th century were paintings and collectibles worth, inflation adjusted, anything like today's prices?

My sense is that collectibles in general, including coins and comic books (not sure the analog of comic books existed in the 19th century) are worth far more by any measure, even taking inflation into ...
2
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2answers
611 views

How did Romans know if their money was debased?

In many moments of Roman imperial history coin was debased, with its silver contents being reduced over time, and in general this was linked with increasing imperial expenditures. In Harper's The Fate ...