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Diaconis

Cracked ring

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I was watching Larry’s portrayal of Hamlet last night and my ears did prick up, yea verily.

Hamlet, 2.2.428-429: "a piece of uncurrent gold, be not cracked within the ring"

A piece of uncurrent gold: a gold coin that is not legal tender, i.e,  cracked within the ring: Apparently, if a coin had a crack from the edge into the circle surrounding the monarchs head (was "cracked within the ring") it was "uncurrent," i.e, not legal tender. 

Is this mentioned in any numismatic reference books, cracked coin not being legal tender? This seems plausible as one does encounter more cracked silver than gold.

What sayest thees or thous?

 

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The only thing I've heard of was the Henry I coins requiring to be snicked to be current. Coins were current as long as the inner circle was intact. Where are we talking about. England, Scotland, Denmark?

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2 hours ago, Rob said:

The only thing I've heard of was the Henry I coins requiring to be snicked to be current. Coins were current as long as the inner circle was intact. Where are we talking about. England, Scotland, Denmark?

Set in Denmark Rob, Elsinore castle in the 1600’s, around the same time it was written.  Good question, I hadn’t thought that maybe Shakespeare could have been referring to a Danish law at that time. Then again, the term appears to be colloquial, ‘cracked in the ring’, more for use before a contemporary,  English speaking, audience who would have been conversant with the term. I’ll continue to delve.

thx

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18 hours ago, Rob said:

The only thing I've heard of was the Henry I coins requiring to be snicked to be current. Coins were current as long as the inner circle was intact. Where are we talking about. England, Scotland, Denmark?

I hadn't heard of Henry's snicking episode before, thanks. It brought this interesting article to my attention.

https://www.cointalk.com/threads/medieval-all-the-moneyers-who-were-in-england-should-be-mutilated.290165/

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19 hours ago, Diaconis said:

I was watching Larry’s portrayal of Hamlet last night and my ears did prick up, yea verily.

Hamlet, 2.2.428-429: "a piece of uncurrent gold, be not cracked within the ring"

A piece of uncurrent gold: a gold coin that is not legal tender, i.e,  cracked within the ring: Apparently, if a coin had a crack from the edge into the circle surrounding the monarchs head (was "cracked within the ring") it was "uncurrent," i.e, not legal tender. 

Is this mentioned in any numismatic reference books, cracked coin not being legal tender? This seems plausible as one does encounter more cracked silver than gold.

What sayest thees or thous?

 

There is an alternative explanation for gold not suffering from striking splits in that it is softer and so can deform (spread) more easily. Silver has a problem in that it is extracted from ore whereas gold is found as nodules and not extracted from a salt. Being the path of least resistance, I don't think it a coincidence that gold was fine until debased by Henry VIII. Then you have the question of alloying in the case of silver, with the divergent melting points of the alloy constituents coming into play. I'm pretty certain the more extensive haymarking seen on silver is down to poor metal mix because copper's m.p. is 100 degrees higher than silver compared to 20 degrees between copper and gold, so in the case of the former, the silver will be melted long before the copper.

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Adulterous desires being compared to false coining, whatever next? - a false coyner in natures mint. 

Who'd have thought our humble coins conjured up so much sexual imagery in bygone days.

Love it.

341295039_Crackedinthering.png.189ccb6b29483ed2dd8b51765f5edf87.png

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