Ewiger Pfennig – Wikipedia


Switzerland, St. Gallen (Abbey), Ulrich IV (1167–1199), Ewiger Pfennig (Runder Pfennig), head of Saint Gallus, diameter 23 mm, weight 0.47 g

The Ewiger Pfennig or everlasting penny (Latin: denarius perpetuus) was once a coin of the regional pfennig duration (bracteate duration), which was once minted till the past due medieval groschen time. Those cash are most commonly of the Hohlpfennig or “hole pfennig” sort which, not like bracteates, needed to be exchanged often for a price however weren’t matter to annual recall of cash in movement, the Münzverruf.

Historical past[edit]

Disrepute, renewal and change[edit]

Every yr, bracteate pfennigs needed to be exchanged for a price, typically twelve previous ones for 9 or ten new ones. The previous ones had been declared invalid (Verrufung) and had been changed by way of cash with new photographs.[1][2] The excess went to hide minting prices and make a benefit. An instance of the way the change was once enforced is supplied by way of Freiberg’s municipal legislation:

“Each time the Mintmaster problems new pfennigs, they must have the previous ones banned. They are going to then be used for fourteen days. And then they should be damaged, if they’re discovered on the marketplace.”[3]

[When the mint masters issue new pfennigs, they should have the old ones banned. They may then (stay?) for a fortnight. Then let them break them where they find them in the market.]

The pfennig was once most effective legitimate within the area or town the place it was once struck.[4] Buying and selling on the marketplace was once most effective authorized with native cash, where of manufacture of which was once typically similar to the marketplace position. Any person who got here from some other foreign money space to business needed to change the cash that they had introduced with them for not unusual ones at a loss. The change price corresponded to a wealth tax of 25% for exchanging Freiberg pfennigs within the Meissen foreign money space, as an example. The change price was once a part of the mintmaster’s source of revenue.[5]
Within the Görlitz the city data (Stadtbuch) of 1305 one reads that for an interest-free mortgage of 100 Marks of silver the mintmaster for the March of Brandenburg, Henry of Salza, promised to not wreck the cash on the weekly markets anymore (to cause them to unusable for buying and selling). Alternatively, he needed to be pressured by way of a court docket to stay the settlement. In spite of everything, town of Görlitz purchased the minting rights from the sovereign.[6]

Advent of the Ewiger Pfennig[edit]

So as to create strong stipulations for business and trade, the buying and selling towns had been principally taken with taking the coinage into their very own fingers with a purpose to mint the Ewiger Pfennig, an enduring coin, and thus to do away with the the once a year change of cash and related charges, the territorially limited validity of the bracteates and the consistent depreciation of cash.[7]

The widespread scarcity of cash at the a part of the mint lords gave many towns the chance to rent the mints from their sovereigns and later to obtain them via acquire. Examples are:[8][9][10]

  • 1179: Cologne was once given the mint by way of Archbishop Philip as an enfeoffment for 1000 Marks of silver
  • 1272: Stade purchased the correct to mint cash.
  • 1291 or 1354: Erfurt, personal coinage
  • 1293: Hamburg leased the mint from the Rely of Holstein, in 1325 Hamburg owned the correct to mint.
  • 1293: Lüneburg gained the correct to mint cash.
  • 1295: Constance purchased the correct to mint cash.
  • 1296: Brunswick gained the mint as a fief, 1412 as belongings.
  • 1296: Strasbourg, personal minting, right here the forerunners of the Schüsselpfennigs had been minted as Ewiger Pfennigs, e.g. B. the Lilienpfennigs.
  • 1325: Stralsund and Rostock gained the correct to mint cash.
  • 1332: Hanover at the side of the knighthood gained the mint as belongings.
  • 1369: Within the Margraviate of Brandenburg, a number of towns, together with Berlin, Brandenburg and Stendal, paid a one-time agreement to the Margrave and gained the correct to mint cash in go back for minting the Ewiger Pfennig.[11]
  • 1373: Basel, personal coinage. The newly elected bishop, John of Vienne enfeoffed the correct to mint cash for 4,000 Swiss gulden. Hole pfennigs had been issued with the bishop’s crozier of Basle as a coin symbol.[12]

After the mints had been taken over, new cash had been typically minted. Alternatively, since no complete rules had been applied between the towns and states, coin devaluation and debasement may just now not be eradicated.

Ewiger Pfennigs of the hole (Hohlpfennig) sort, diameter 19 to 21 mm, weight 0.32 to 0.54 g are proven within the following photos:


  1. ^ Wolfgang Steguweit: Geschichte der Münzstätte Gotha vom 12. bis zum 19. Jahrhundert. Weimar 1987, p. 17.
  2. ^ Karl Walker: Das Geld in der Geschichte. Rudolf Zitzmann Verlag, Lauf bei Nuremberg, 1959
  3. ^ Walther Haupt: Sächsische Münzkunde. Dt. Verl. d. Wiss., Berlin 1974, Berlin 1974, p. 29.
  4. ^ Friedrich von Schrötter, N. Bauer, Okay. Regling, A. Suhle, R. Vasmer, J. Wilcke: Wörterbuch der Münzkunde, Berlin 1970 (reprint of the unique version from 1930), p. 440.
  5. ^ Walther Haupt: Sächsische Münzkunde. Dt. Verl. d. Wiss., Berlin 1974, Berlin 1974, p. 32.
  6. ^ Walther Haupt: Sächsische Münzkunde. Dt. Verl. d. Wiss., Berlin 1974, Berlin 1974, pp. 32/34.
  7. ^ Heinz Fengler, Gerd Gierow, Willy Unger: transpress Lexikon Numismatik, Berlin 1976.
  8. ^ Cite error: The named reference Dictionary_440 was once invoked however by no means outlined (see the assist web page).
  9. ^ Arthur Suhle: Die Münze. Von den Anfängen bis zur europäischen Neuzeit, Leipzig 1969, p. 127 (Erfurt and Strasbourg also are discussed).
  10. ^ acsearch: Ewige Pfennige – Passau; Switzerland, St Gallen; Constance; Lindau; Überlingen; Brunswick (town); Salzwedel. The Passau pfennigs, d = 18 mm, 0.55 to 0.66 g, had been struck on two aspects, the entire relaxation had been hole pfennigs, d = 20 to 22 mm; 0.37 to 0.53 g.
  11. ^ Heinz Fengler, Gerd Gierow, Willy Unger: transpress Lexikon Numismatik, Berlin 1976, p. 87.
  12. ^ Bernhard Harms: The financial coverage of town of Basel within the Center Ages, pp. 24 & 26.

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