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44 votes
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How much were telegraphists in the 1950s paid?

An enlisted Naval serviceman was paid anything from $80 to $213/month, depending on rank and service. I can't find a clear US record, but the Canadians had the lowest (non-training) telegraphist grade ...
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44 votes

How much would 300 pounds (money value) weigh in Medieval England?

In that era, 300 pounds weighs 300 pounds, but it's a different pound. Your example of Robin Hood fixes the time period during the reign of King Richard about 1175, though we must remember this is a ...
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41 votes

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

Historically, the solution to this was the letter of credit, circular note, traveller's cheque, or similar. Basically, it was an attestation that the bearer of the document had deposited a certain ...
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39 votes
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Was there a tax in the fifties for British citizens traveling abroad?

Currency restrictions existed between 1939 and 1979. The main goal of these restrictions after 1945 was to insure that enough foreign exchange was available to finance needed imports from non-sterling ...
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38 votes
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How did the Bolsheviks fund their government?

This is based on an Estonian radio show, 'Müstiline Venemaa' ('Mystical Russia') by historian David Vseviov, chapters 'The Financing of Bolshevik Activities', which described the pre-1917 financing, ...
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37 votes
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Leather 1.50 German gold mark

A real "Gold mark" it is not. Real leather it is, originally intended for shoe soles. This is Notgeld or Ersatz-money, issued after the Great War during the period known as hyperinflation and was ...
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37 votes

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

Quite simply, they did not guarantee atomicity or synchronicity, they guaranteed eventual consistency. The general principle is simple: it doesn't matter when the money actually gets moved, provided ...
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28 votes
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How much did Didius Julianus pay to become emperor of Rome?

Short Answer Didius Julianus (ruled 28 March to 1 June 193 AD) promised a total of around 200 million sesterces to the Praetorians but apparently did not have sufficient funds to meet this commitment. ...
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24 votes
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What was the "Brakteaten" medieval monetary system?

It appears that the author, Margrit Kennedy, has either misunderstood or is deliberately misrepresenting the situation with Medieval bracteates. Medieval bracteates (a form of pennies) are pieces of ...
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24 votes
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When and where were the first coins made showing the currency or a face value?

Edit 2: If symbols and punches count as a means of communicating a coin's denomination, then this article by Koray Konuk, which was published in the Oxford Handbook of Greek and Roman coinage, would ...
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21 votes
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Purpose of Guinea in British monetary history

Financial Wikipedia answers: The guinea is a coin that was minted in the Kingdom of England and later in the Kingdom of Great Britain and the United Kingdom between 1663 and 1814. It was the ...
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19 votes

What coin is this? Arabic: 10 Fulus, over crossed wheat and lead

According to Jamila's Coins and Notes Collection blog, this is a modern iraqi coin from 1981. Here's a photo showing the front and back of that coin: I've found it on on Jamila's blog, with an ...
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15 votes

Why does some Califate money feature crosses?

The top picture is quite obviously a coin with a crude depiction of a seventh century "byzantine" emperor holding a globe with a cross on top. The early Muslim coins issued in former Roman ...
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  • 16.8k
14 votes

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

In present time, Pakistan is waging a proxy war with India, which includes destablising the Indian economy by printing large sums of fake currency. Just search Google with 'Pakistan Face currency ...
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  • 265
14 votes

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

I have always understood they were free, paid for by the rich elite to woo/placate the general populace - hence the phrase "bread and circuses". According to the Wikipedia article you cite, the ...
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  • 7,691
14 votes

When and why did round coins become a practical standard?

I have to agree with the comments. Most coins have always been round but maybe some Asian countries have had more non-round coins than other areas of the world. But it also depends on what you want to ...
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13 votes

Can you tell me about this coin? श्री महेन्द्र वीर विक्रम शाहदेव 2012. i.e in English Sri Mahendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev 2012

This coin is from Nepal and belongs to King of Nepal Sri Mahendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev and came in existence in Vikrami Samvat 2012 (Gregorian calendar-1955). letters inscribed are:- श्री महेन्द्र ...
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12 votes
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What is the approximate value of a Spanish ducat in 1557?

Lifting the contents of the very helpful link provided by @gvk into an answer: Source: Fiat Money in 17th Century Castile, by François R. Velde, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, and Warren E. Weber, ...
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12 votes

Are there any examples of recurring payments in ancient times?

Here, from 428 BC, is a rather complicated real estate lease with a 60-year(!) term. 20 talents of dates per year, plus a number of other clauses and considerations. Baga'miri, son of Mitradatu, ...
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  • 1,753
12 votes
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What does CONOB mean on ancient Roman coins?

Constantinopoli obryzum According to a poorly cited Wikipedia article CON indicates the mint of Constantinople and OB is an abbreviation of obryzum, and quite literally translates to "1/72 of a ...
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10 votes
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How much did it cost to attend events at the ancient Roman colosseum?

SHORT ANSWER Entrance to the Colosseum was most likely free. Spectators were sometimes given free food and gifts. Tickets were probably distributed through patronage and / or were obtained through ...
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10 votes
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What time period did these notes come from?

The first set is a Japanese 10-yen banknote issued in 1946, during Allied occupation of Japan. The second set is a one peso banknote issued in 1943 in occupied Philippines by the Japanese government. ...
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10 votes

How can prices be compared over time?

Economic history's great attempt to produce a great price/wage series for Southern England's monasteries, agricultural labourers, and modern workers failed. It leaves us with the series used by ...
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10 votes
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What did the paper money of the Ilkhanate look like?

Gaykhatu Khan's paper money was visually similar to the contemporary Chinese notes. It was an oblong certificate, block printed on possibly papyrus or bark paper. The Islamic creed of Shahada was ...
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  • 95.8k
9 votes

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

It would be inadequate if there weren't so much data collected over the centuries. The Roman Empire is a very well documented period. There are detailed price lists on what the Romans thought was ...
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9 votes
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Which tools were available in 1933 for the Chinese government to intervene in the money market?

The short answer is that there was little in the way of pre-defined tools, but the government could rely on its governing and legislative powers to intervene on an ad-hoc basis. There was no coherent ...
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  • 95.8k
9 votes

Are there any examples of recurring payments in ancient times?

When the First Punic War ended in 241 BC there were a number of clauses in the peace treaty. The next order of business was money. Rome wasn’t going to let Carthage walk away without handing over a ...
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9 votes
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Are there any examples of recurring payments in ancient times?

There are cases from Ancient Rome. For example, Rome's richest man, Crassus, sold houses on installment plans. An article called Men at work: public construction, labor and society at middle ...
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8 votes

Purpose of Guinea in British monetary history

The reason for this involves the difference between wholesale and retail trade. Wholesale trade and banking was conducted in gold (guineas), retail in silver (pounds sterling). The reason for the ...
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