This article was compiled by Jodi Phillips May 2014, for the Institute of Black Academics
concerning Black Under achievement.

PUBLISHED 09 MAY 2014  04:26


Currency is the form of exchange that has become the world standard since the Colonial Era, but developed during the dark ages.
Evrything that has gone before us, and every war or stolen siege has been under the influence of 'Money'. The collection of Money has aided so many homocides, suicides and the sacking of so many Ancient Empires. 

Can we learn from the past and see the lessons that are to be learned from these past atrosities and insults on human life?
[Source :].
The earliest accredited coins were made in he 7th century BC in Lydia (congruent with Turkey's modern provinces of Izmir and Manisa).
These were small blobs of electrum, (a naturally occurring alloy of gold and silver), and were decorated on one side only with the forepart of a bull, a lion or both; later a secondary design was added to the reverse. These images were impressed on the alloy by using a simple punch hit with a hammer.

Although these early coins were basic the benefits to trade were obvious, and the idea quickly spread from the kingdom of Lydia
throughout Greece and then to the Roman world and Europe.

In Britain the first coins were produced in about 100 BC. The early struck coins were copied from gold staters of Philip II of Macedon. Some of these earliest British coins were cast in an alloy of bronze and tin known as Potin, but this method only lasted a few years when they were replaced by die struck coins. The cast coins were produced by the Durotrigian tribe in the west country and by the tribes living along the
Thames valley. Different types of coin in gold, silver, bronze and potin were made by many of the Celtic tribes of Britain.

The Roman administration of Britain soon put a stop to the production of coins by the local tribes and imported Roman imperial coinage from the continent. The first Roman coin struck in Britain was issued by the Emperor Antoninus Pius in 155 AD. British coins continued to be issued by subsequent Roman emperors until possibly the reign of Magnus Maximus, 383 - 388 AD. As the Roman administration in Britain came to an end in 410, no further official British coinage was produced until about 620 AD. But at some time during the period 300 AD onwards crude copies of Roman coins, known today as barbarous radiates, were produced in great quantities.

Following the upheavals and collapse of Roman administration and the invasion and settlement of England by the Anglo-Saxons, coinage once again began to be produced in England in the form of gold thrymsas and silver sceats from 620 -765. However from 765 - 900 the production of sceats was confined to Northumbria where they became progressively debased from silver to small bronze coins known today as Stycas.

The penny was introduced in 765 AD and became the standard coin in England until 1279. The first round halfpenny was made around the year 883 and continued in production almost continually until 973 when, after the currency reform carried out by King Edgar, any halfpence required were made by cutting a penny in half.

The Viking king Guthram copied coins of Alfred the Great and established Viking coin production in the Danelaw - that part of England which was under Viking rule. The Vikings introduced the concept of the manufacture of coinage into Ireland around the year 1000 and then from there into the Isle of Man.

Anglo-Saxon coins were produced from just a small number of mints in the time of King Alfred. This was to increase gradually. In 973 King Edgar reformed the currency, producing only the silver penny with the king's head on one side (the obverse) and a cross on the reverse. It was from this time that the practice of cutting coins into halves and quarters began, using the cross on the reverse as a guide. By law, from this time, the mint signature and the name of the moneyer had to appear on every coin - previously this was at the discretion of the individual moneyers who made their own dies. The process of die cutting now became centralised and dies were sent out to the individual mints from a central die-cutting workshop. Later, five regional centres were established. By the reign of Aethelred II (978 - 1016) mints could be found in up to 90 different towns and cities.

The Norman conquest initially had no effect on the number of mints and moneyers producing coins, though towards the end of the reign of William I some new mints were established in Wales. The number of mints declined gradually during the period between the reigns of Henry I and Henry III (from 1100 to 1272), by the end of whose reign only 4 mints were operating.

Edward I reformed the mints and coins radically in 1279, putting all the mints under the control of one new official: The Master of the Mints. This position was filled by Sir William de Turnemire. During the reign of Edward I many old mints, and some new re-opened, allbeit briefly, to flood the country with the new coinage. In addition to the penny, round halfpence and farthings were stuck in great numbers to negate the old practice of cutting the coins into halves and quarters and the practice fell, very quickly, into decline. A new denomination of 4d was introduced, the groat or 'great piece'. This was the largest silver denomination produced in England until the introduction of the silver testoon or shilling in the reign of Henry VII. New die cutters were employed from the continent and a new style of coinage was produced, known as the Stirling issue, one that was to remain virtually unchanged until the Tudors. [Source :].

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