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English dollar Options
alibey1917
Posted: Saturday, September 26, 2020 5:12:21 AM

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‘Sir Anthony [Sherley] himself in rich cloth of gold, his gown and his undercoat, his sword hanging in a rich scarf to the worth of a thousand crowns, being set with pearls and diamonds, and on his head a turban according, to the worth of two thousand dollars, his boots embroidered with pearl and rubies’. (George Mainwaring, ‘"A True Discourse of Sir Anthony Sherley’s Travel into Persia"’

This text is dated to 1599. How much is a dollar worth in old English money system?
Orson Burleigh
Posted: Saturday, September 26, 2020 6:23:11 AM

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alibey1917 wrote:
‘Sir Anthony [Sherley] himself in rich cloth of gold, his gown and his undercoat, his sword hanging in a rich scarf to the worth of a thousand crowns, being set with pearls and diamonds, and on his head a turban according, to the worth of two thousand dollars, his boots embroidered with pearl and rubies’. (George Mainwaring, ‘"A True Discourse of Sir Anthony Sherley’s Travel into Persia"’

This text is dated to 1599. How much is a dollar worth in old English money system?


The 1599 date might point to the Joachimsthaler, a silver coin which was minted in Joachimsthal, a region in Bohemia (modern Czech Republic) in the 16th century. The modern word dollar is derived from German word ‘thal’ or ‘tal,’ meaning valley. One could, in a somewhat obscure jest, refer to dollars as ‘valley money.’ The designation ‘Thaler,’ ‘Taler,’ and the derivative ‘Dollar’ came to be associated with a number of coins minted in various German states, in Hapsburg Austria and in other Hapsburg lands, including the Spanish Real. Without specific information, it may not be possible to know which sort of dollar was meant. Two thousand of any silver coin does sound like a fantastically high value for a turban in 1599Think
thar
Posted: Saturday, September 26, 2020 6:38:53 AM

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The Spanish dollar was a piece of eight, as beloved by pirates. 8 reals.
Silver coin one and a half inches diameter. So quite valuable.
Literally worth the weight of the silver so it depended on the market.
They were international currency because they were reliable at a time when other coinage (including English) was dodgy and adulterated.

Answered same time.
alibey1917
Posted: Saturday, September 26, 2020 2:35:39 PM

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Thank you, friends.
alibey1917
Posted: Saturday, September 26, 2020 2:44:49 PM

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Joined: 9/19/2018
Posts: 442
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thar yazdı:
The Spanish dollar was a piece of eight, as beloved by pirates. 8 reals.
Silver coin one and a half inches diameter. So quite valuable.
Literally worth the weight of the silver so it depended on the market.
They were international currency because they were reliable at a time when other coinage (including English) was dodgy and adulterated.

Answered same time.


I couldn't figure out what the phrase "Answered same time" means, thar?
thar
Posted: Sunday, September 27, 2020 4:41:59 AM

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I answered at the same time as the previous post.

I just put it as a quick 'label' rather than a full sentence.
It explains why it looks like I ignored the previous post, and just contradicted it without acknowledging it, which is rude. Or in other instances where I have repeated what someone else has posted, without acknowledging it - because that post wasn't there when I started composing my reply.
It happens to me quite a lot because often I get distracted by something (cat, food, jobs to be done, work colleagues) and there is often quite a delay between starting the answer and posting it. And sometimes the answer requires some research, or just leads me into interesting distractions.

People here have various ways of showing this situation. My way is the simple:
Posted same time
Posted same time as previous post
Or
Cross-posted (if the posts crossed like trains going in different directions.)
It is not important enough to warrant the effort of a complete sentence with a subject and verb. Just an adjectival phrase with the essential words.

Whistle
alibey1917
Posted: Sunday, September 27, 2020 3:46:03 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2018
Posts: 442
Neurons: 9,505
thar yazdı:
I answered at the same time as the previous post.

I just put it as a quick 'label' rather than a full sentence.
It explains why it looks like I ignored the previous post, and just contradicted it without acknowledging it, which is rude. Or in other instances where I have repeated what someone else has posted, without acknowledging it - because that post wasn't there when I started composing my reply.
It happens to me quite a lot because often I get distracted by something (cat, food, jobs to be done, work colleagues) and there is often quite a delay between starting the answer and posting it. And sometimes the answer requires some research, or just leads me into interesting distractions.

People here have various ways of showing this situation. My way is the simple:
Posted same time
Posted same time as previous post
Or
Cross-posted (if the posts crossed like trains going in different directions.)
It is not important enough to warrant the effort of a complete sentence with a subject and verb. Just an adjectival phrase with the essential words.

Whistle


Oh, I get it now.Thank you for the explanation.
tautophile
Posted: Monday, September 28, 2020 3:18:09 PM
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The Spanish dollar or "piece of eight" was indeed worth 8 "reales". Why was the Spanish dollar named after a German coin? Because in the 16th century, Spain's king was a Hapsburg, a scion of the family of the Holy Roman Emperor. The US dollar was originally defined (in about 1792) as on par with the Spanish dollar, and the Spanish dollar remained legal tender in the US until the late 1850s. The eight "reales" became called "bits" in English-speaking countries. which is why a quarter dollar (25¢ or $0.25 in the US) is--or used to be--referred to as "two bits", as in the little riff from the late 19th century, "Shave and a haircut, two bits", with a "dah-di-di-dah-dah...dah-dah" rhythm. (Nowadays, of course, a shave and a haircut in a barber shop will cost you closer to $25 than 25¢.)

In R.L. Stevenson's famous adventure novel "Treasure Island", Long John Silver's parrot called out "Pieces of eight! Pieces of eight!", and that's one reason why pieces of eight are associated with 17th- and 18th-century pirates and with buried treasure. Short John Silver's parrot, on the other hand, squawked, "Pieces of four!"
tautophile
Posted: Monday, September 28, 2020 3:38:16 PM
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By the way, a US 1¢ coin is a "cent" because it is 1/100th of a dollar, but the coin itself is often called a "penny", a holdover from Colonial-era British coinage. The US 5¢ coin is (or used to be) made of a nickle alloy and so is usually called a "nickel" (note spelling). The US 10¢ coin is called a "dime", ultimately from French for 1/10th. The US 25¢ coin is a quarter of a dollar, and so is usually called merely a "quarter", though "two bits" used to be common--not so much for the coin as for the amount. There's no usual nickname for a 50¢ coin; it's simply a "half-dollar",or sometimes "four bits".

There was a famous jazz musician named Ernest Loring "Red" Nichols (1905 - 1965), very popular in the '30s and '40s, who led a band called "Red Nichols and His Five Pennies".
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Tuesday, September 29, 2020 2:41:32 AM

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Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
Interesting; the two systems running alongside each other - the decimal and the 'eighths/quarters'.

I remember as a child, it was the same with length measurements.

This has the "regular" sixteenths/eighths/quarters, and the new tenths.

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