View Full Version : Rouble, Thaler, and Peso

22nd July 2012, 05:09 PM
A rouble was a rouble, and likewise for the others, by virtue of the silver contained in the coin, so much so that the weight &/or finesse was often marked on the coin itself.

The silver rouble coins, and most of their denominations marked the amount of fine silver within the coin in zolotniks and dolyas. One rouble contained the weight of 4 zolotniks and 21 dolyas in silver.

The various German states, prior to unification, would inscribe the quantity of the coin needed to procure a pound of silver. For the northern German states, this likely meant the Prussian pound (467,71g), while for Bavaria, this meant the Austrian pound (560g). An extreme example of this is a 1/6 thaler from Anhalt-Bernburg reading CLXXX ein pfund fein.

The silver coins of the Mexican Peso, until 1905, were marked with 10Ds 20Gs (10/12) + (20/24)/12 = 0,90277, or 90,3% Ag by weight. Via Wikipedia:

On the republic's coins, the Mexican eagle moved to the obverse, with the legend "República Mexicana". The reverse featured a liberty cap with rays behind. The legend on the reverse reads "-denomination- -mintmark- -date- -assayer's initials- 10 Ds. 20 Gs." Mexico used the medieval system of dineros and granos to measure the fineness of their coins, twelve dineros designating pure silver with each dinero divided into 24 granos. A coin of 10 Ds. 20 Gs equated to .902777 fine.

In passing, Venezuela marked the weight and finesse of its silver coins until it switched to base metals around 1965, as did Cuba and Panama. These coins are rather common and would be a preferable medium of exchange as opposed to pre-65 US silver coin.