The First Coined Money.
Coined money is a very ancient invention. When precious metals—gold, silver, copper, or iron—began to be used for payment, they wore at first simply weighed. Even we still speak of a pound instead of a sovereign. The next step was to issue pieces of gold and silver properly weighed, and then to mark the exact weight and value on each piece. This was done in Assyria and Babylonia, where we find shekels or pounds of gold and silver. It was the Greeks, the Greeks of Phocma, in lonia, who in the seventh century u.0., first conceived the idea of coining money, that is, of stamping on each piece their city arms, the phoca or seal, thus giving the warranty of their State for the right weight in value of those pieces. From Phocsea, this art of coining spread rapidly to the other Greek towns of Asia Minor, and was thence transplanted to Angina, the Peloponnesus, Athens, and the Greek colonies in Africa and in Italy. The weight of the most ancient gold coin in all these countries was originally the same as that of the ancient Babylonian gold shekel, only stamped with the arms of each country, which thus made itself responsible for its proper weight. And this gold shekel or pound, in spite of historical disturbances, has held its own through centuries,
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The First Coined Money., Evening Star, Issue 7987, 16 August 1889
The First Coined Money. Evening Star, Issue 7987, 16 August 1889
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