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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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45
votes
7answers
3k 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
votes
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 ...
27
votes
3answers
14k 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 ...
23
votes
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
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
19
votes
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
votes
4answers
1k views

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
votes
1answer
306 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
votes
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
votes
1answer
926 views

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
votes
1answer
215 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
votes
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 pdf): “...
10
votes
3answers
987 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
431 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
920 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
votes
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 ...
8
votes
2answers
890 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
votes
1answer
288 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
votes
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
votes
3answers
483 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
votes
1answer
389 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/...
7
votes
2answers
273 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
votes
0answers
323 views

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

In Hungary they introduce new notes of 10000 HUF which contains a symbol I couldn't relate to Hungary's history, there were no official note known to me why do they use Patonce Cross on Hungarian note....
6
votes
5answers
969 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
votes
2answers
220 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
votes
1answer
137 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
votes
2answers
1k 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
votes
1answer
265 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 --...
6
votes
1answer
194 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
334 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
votes
1answer
204 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
271 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
753 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....
5
votes
1answer
252 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
votes
1answer
222 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
385 views

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 ...
4
votes
1answer
197 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
votes
2answers
350 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
votes
1answer
288 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 ...
3
votes
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 ...
3
votes
1answer
251 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, ...
2
votes
2answers
524 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
167 views

Do you know this variety of 1856 Flying Eagle cent?

I have seen other flying eagle cents that have United States of America around the eagle but not the stars. And on the obverse it has United States of America around the reef.
2
votes
1answer
145 views

Why did Indonesia use a separate currency for West Irian before 1973?

In 1963, Indonesia took control of Western New Guinea (formerly a Dutch colony whose status was separated from the rest of Indonesia/Dutch East Indies since 1949), and renamed it West Irian. One ...
2
votes
1answer
87 views

Paying for something in Revolutionary Times

If someone were paying a bill or for a debt in 1790, did they pay with cash or a note of some sort?
2
votes
1answer
503 views

How could the Roman sestertii/sesterces be converted into modern terms (say 2017 US$)?

Of course, the value of the sesterti must itself have fluctuated over the centuries it was in use. And so if I must narrow it down, I am particularly interested in its value during the time of ...
2
votes
0answers
215 views

Value of commodity money outside of the place it was minted

How was the exchange rate determined between different commodity currencies? E.g., country X mints gold Zorkmids, each weighing 5g, and country Y mints gold Zennys, each weighting 8 grams. When Ms.XX ...
1
vote
2answers
169 views

How was money transferred in early 1900s' Russia?

I'm reading Young Stalin by Simon Sebag Montefiore. The book frequently quotes letters between him and fellow revolutionaries, often when he was in internal exile in some obscure corner of Siberia. ...
1
vote
1answer
301 views

How much money did the participating nations spend in the Napoleonic Wars? [closed]

How much money did Great Britain, Russia and France collect per year during Napoleonic wars as total revenue, and how much money did each one spend in total on that war?