Journal Article

Early modern copper money: multiple currencies and trimetallism in Sweden 1624–1776

Rodney Edvinsson

in European Review of Economic History

Volume 16, issue 4, pages 408-429
Published in print November 2012 | ISSN: 1361-4916
Published online August 2012 | e-ISSN: 1474-0044 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ereh/hes007
Early modern copper money: multiple currencies and trimetallism in Sweden 1624–1776

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In 1624–1776, Sweden implemented a complicated trimetallic monetary system. Five different copper, silver, and gold currencies circulated. The heaviest copper coins weighed 20 kg. Gresham's law worked differently for various coins. Swedish trimetallism was asymmetric. Copper money could not replace silver and gold coins. When the latter became undervalued they circulated at a premium. Due to high transaction costs in using copper coins at a premium, they were sometimes driven out when becoming dear money. However, complaints about money shortage and Sweden's monopoly position at the European copper markets implied that the copper standard was not abandoned until 1777.

Journal Article.  10011 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Industrial History ; Labour History ; Economic History

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