Thursday, November 21, 2013

Gold Coins in England 1351-1465

How common were gold coins in use England in the late 14th and Early 15th century? Coin hoards give some indication. 62 hoards were dated between 1351 and 1465. 34 contained only silver coins, 8 a mixture of gold and silver, and 20 only gold, typically all nobles. The all silver hoards averaged 7s 6d in value, a little more than the value of a single gold noble. The mixed hoards averaged 10 pounds 7.5d in value and the all gold hoards 15 pounds 6s 5d.

Gold was used, then, for sums of money large enough to make gold more convenient. Martin Allen suggests by 1377 the value of gold coins circulating in England was greater than the silver coins, although of course the number of coins was much smaller.

Allen notes a common petition in Parliament in 1363, asking that, in addition to half pence and farthings, half nobles be minted "for the purchase of food and other commodities." The government responded that this was already being done.

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