Pennys and Ancient Coins

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Nyatii, Jul 3, 2019.

  1. Nyatii

    Nyatii I like running w/scissors. Makes me feel dangerous

    I'm not sure if this has been mentioned before, or if everyone else knows this and I'm the last to know, but I've just learned something about nails and Ancient Coins, and think it's interesting. Thought I'd pass it on to those that don't know.

    Ever since I was a kid, I've known nails by a "d" designation.
    8 penny nail = 8d nail.

    What I didn't know was what the "d" stood for.

    The "d" is the designation for the penny and comes from the ancient coin Denarius.
    Thus, a 10 penny nail is a 10d nail.
     
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  3. Sallent

    Sallent Live long and prosper

    Yes, and the word money comes from the Latin word moneta, which was a nickname for Juno...as the mint was originally located at her temple. In Spanish, we borrowed the word as "moneda," which means coin or coinage. The French word for coin, monnaie, the Portuguese word for coins, moeda, and the Italian word for coin, moneta, also have the same origin. I believe Romanian also uses the word "moneta" for coinage....being the other Romance language people always forget about.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2019
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  4. Ken Dorney

    Ken Dorney Yea, I'm Cool That Way...

    Yes, its an old English system and refers to price basically, but in modern times it simply equates to size.
     
  5. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    I have never been clear on when the system started and how it related to price. Nails were expensive when hand made but not that expensive so I suspect the theory that it referred to a hundred or some other set quantity of machine made nails. Researching such things turns up theories but facts are more elusive.
     
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  6. Ed Snible

    Ed Snible Well-Known Member

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  7. EWC3

    EWC3 (mood: stubborn)

    I bought a lot of nails in my time but never came across this - so I think it is (very near?) obsolete in Britain.

    This seems a better source: https://www.sizes.com/units/penny.htm

    So at least 15th century. I think that is John Lord's site? I can ask him if anyone needs to know more. But it interesting to see the price deflation of nails in the 16th century, even when much else was inflating to my understanding.

    I share Doug's fear about theories and facts though. We do not even know with confidence how many grains a penny weighed in the 13th century...............

    Rob T

    PS - elsewhere I see people posting about coin repatination. I was taught basic techniques of cleaning and repatinating coins by Keith Howes in the British Museum. I fear the internet world has become most times a (not so) parallel universe to the real one.
     
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  8. EWC3

    EWC3 (mood: stubborn)

    Further to my last – one of the “Sizes” sources is partly on line at Google books

    https://books.google.co.uk/books?id...jAhXyQxUIHemlBkoQ6AEITjAG#v=onepage&q&f=false

    I think this is possibly the earliest surviving set of English documents which might approximate to a set of merchant's accounts? Merchant's account books in general seem to survive in England only from the 16th century I think? So we are likely stuck at just “pre-1488” as Sizes says. We have details of court cases going back quite a lot earlier, so it is just possible something got mentioned there………….

    Rob T

    PS The Celys seems to be international shipping people – so not the local hardware store…….
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2019
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