A Bit about Historical Gold Coins
1678, the most common British gold coin was the golden Guinea, worth
about 22 shillings (in the old money) or equivalent of a Pound (new
money). They were a recent mintage, having been around for only a
decade or so. Before then, there was the English gold sovereign, Unites,
Laurels, and Broads, all worth about 20 shillings.
comparison, a housemaid's annual wage about this time was about three
guineas a year, plus vails (tips), if she was lucky. (Then again, she
also got room and board and clothing in the form of livery, about 2-3
outfits a year.)
So, to come up with a hundred guineas was a seriously daunting task.
Could you have done it?
"As Good As Gold", our heroine Daywen Athalia must come up with a
hundred pieces of gold. Earning it (by the sweat of her brow or on her
back) is out of the question, so she must resort to good, honest theft.
Theft is how Bel MacEuros acquires his wealth--stealing it from fey creatures.
current acquired wealth comes from Germany, in the form of Gulden or
Guilder. (Because you want to ask: Florins were also gold coins, but
only up to the 18th Century. After, in the 19th and 20th centuries,
Florins were silver.)
Gold is fungible--flexible in exchange of
mutual substitution. The gypsy woman who sets the price knows this, and
is happy to accept gold in pretty much any form, whether it be minted as
Guineas or Guilders. Golden florins were smaller than Guilders or
Guineas. Would the gypsy woman have taken a hundred florins, or would
she have preferred guilders?
Have you ever held a gold coin?
bit of trivia: Australian's modern-day currency features one- and
two-dollar coins fondly referred to as "gold coins" because they shine
like gold when new. They are not actually gold, but are minted in
aluminium bronze (92 percent copper, 6 per cent aluminum and 2 per cent
nickel). Not a speck of gold to be found, except in the hearts of
generous Australians, who freely donate to charities who ask for a "gold
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