Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Proportions of the Denominations in English Mint Outputs, 1351-1485

This is a useful article for people interested in this question. Like, for example, people who are doing living history who wonder what ratio of coins they should have in their purse.

A lot of the evidence conflicts, and some is clearly biased. Coin hoards were biased towards the largest denomination available to the hoarder.  There are repeated complaints that the mints underproduced smaller denominations, regardless of their indentures.  Coins reserved for pyx trials in each denomination may not have been directly proportional to the total minted. Coin dies for larger denominations may have produced fewer coins per die.

Taking all this into account, we may still make some very rough guesses for the period covered, taking the second highest value coin in each metal as a benchmark.

For every 10 gold half nobles, there were three nobles and five quarter nobles in circulation.

For every 10 half groats, there were 5 groats, 14 pence, six halfpennies and six farthings.

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