Author Topic: Decimalisation in Europe  (Read 1055 times)

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Offline <k>

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Decimalisation in Europe
« on: April 23, 2017, 03:53:55 PM »
The UK and Ireland did not go decimal until 1971. This makes me wonder how many European countries had non-decimal systems and the year in which they decimalised. Can anybody add the data for one or more European countries?

Offline Alan71

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Re: Decimalisation in Europe
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2017, 04:39:21 PM »
Wikipedia has a piece on decimalisation in Europe as follows:

Formal decimalisations
Europe

Russia converted to a decimal currency under Tsar Peter the Great in 1704, with the ruble being equal to 100 kopecks, thus making the Russian ruble the world's first decimal currency.

France introduced the franc in 1795 to replace the livre tournois, abolished during the French Revolution. France introduced decimalisation in a number of countries that it occupied during the Napoleonic period.

Sweden introduced decimal currency in 1855. The currency riksdaler was divided into 100 öre. The riksdaler was renamed krona in 1873.

The Austro-Hungarian Empire decimalised the Austro-Hungarian gulden in 1857, concurrent with its transition from the Conventionsthaler to the Vereinsthaler standard.

Spain introduced its decimal currency unit, the peseta, in 1868, replacing all previous currencies.

Cyprus decimalised the Cypriot pound in 1955, which comprised 1,000 mils, later replaced by 100 cents.

On Decimal Day, 15 February 1971, the United Kingdom decimalised the pound sterling and the Republic of Ireland decimalised the Irish pound.

Malta decimalised the lira in 1972.

Offline <k>

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Re: Decimalisation in Europe
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2017, 04:46:54 PM »
Thanks, Alan71. Russia was ahead of the crowd - amazing. And we were well behind, despite inventing almost everything else that's useful in the world.

Offline Alan71

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Re: Decimalisation in Europe
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2017, 05:41:28 PM »
I wouldn't use the term "well behind" until the sterling-derived currencies of the world started decimalising.  Once they did then, yes, we were a bit behind. 

Offline chrisild

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Re: Decimalisation in Europe
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2017, 08:04:17 PM »
Two more: The Netherlands went decimal about 200 years ago. The 1816 muntwet introduced the decimal gulden = 100 cent(s). The countries that later became the Deutsches Reich had non-decimal currency setups; that obviously changed in 1871 ...

Christian

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Decimalisation in Europe
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2017, 10:01:21 PM »
I wouldn't use the term "well behind" until the sterling-derived currencies of the world started decimalising.

Take into account that some colonial £sd systems were actually decimal in disguise, e.g. if you count in units of 5 francs, worth 4 shillings, coins of 8, 4, 2 and 1 shilling may look like £sd coins, but they are actually decimal (or binary, if you wish) coins of 2, 1, 1/2 and 1/4 units of account. IIRC, by the time the UK went decimal, only the islands around it were still using £sd.

Some currencies had two sub-division values. An example is Malta, which had pounds, cents and mils, but some West Asian countries did it too - Egypt comes to mind. I would count those systems as decimal also...

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline <k>

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Re: Decimalisation in Europe
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2017, 10:37:16 PM »
The Netherlands went decimal about 200 years ago. The 1816 muntwet introduced the decimal gulden = 100 cent(s). The countries that later became the Deutsches Reich had non-decimal currency setups; that obviously changed in 1871 ...

Thanks, Christian.

An example is Malta, which had pounds, cents and mils, but some West Asian countries did it too - Egypt comes to mind. I would count those systems as decimal also...

Agreed!

Offline <k>

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Re: Decimalisation in Europe
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2017, 01:00:27 AM »
   Austria-Hungary      1857   
   Cyprus      1955   
   Denmark      1875   
   Finland      1809   
   France      1795   
   Germany      1871   
   Greece      1828   
   Guernsey      1971   
   Iceland    1875   
   Ireland      1971   
   Isle of Man      1971   
   Jersey      1971   
   Malta      1972   
   Netherlands      1816   
   Norway      1875   
   Portugal      1837   
   Russia      1704   
   Spain      1868   
   Sweden      1855   
   Switzerland      1850   
   United Kingdom      1971   



The data so far. So who does that leave, in modern terms? Spain, Portugal, Greece, Italy, ex-Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Romania, Denmark.

 
« Last Edit: April 24, 2017, 12:05:56 PM by <k> »

Offline chrisild

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Re: Decimalisation in Europe
« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2017, 11:39:54 AM »
Switzerland is interesting because they went back and forth. :) The Helvetic Republic, under French influence or control, introduced a decimal currency system in 1798/99 which was supposed to replace the various regional (canton) currencies: 1 Franken = 10 Batzen = 100 Rappen. Did not work well though, and in 1803 the cantons became the minting authorities again. The cantonal currencies were mostly non-decimal. After the creation of the Confederation in 1848, Switzerland got a new coinage act, and since 1850 the "new" Franken has been 100 Rappen. So you can choose between 1799 and 1850; I prefer the latter. The unit names above are the German versions, but I don't know whether there has ever been an Italian, French or Romansh version of "batzen" ...

Belgium: Shortly after the country's independence (1830), the frank/franc was introduced - in 1832. Since the country was part of the Netherlands, people were already used to decimal coinage though. :) Luxembourg was a mixed bag as far as I know; they used the French "franc germinal", then the Dutch gulden, but also (due to being a Zollverein member) the non-decimal Prussian thaler. Shortly after WW1 the country adopted the Belgian franc.

Christian

Offline <k>

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Re: Decimalisation in Europe
« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2017, 11:52:51 AM »
Thanks, chrisild. Yes, some countries, such as Belgium, previously belonged to other countries, such as the Netherlands, which were already decimal, so for such countries the issue doesn't really arise.

Offline chrisild

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Re: Decimalisation in Europe
« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2017, 12:00:50 PM »
Portugal and Spain had the real for a long time. In Spain ... I hope we have an expert here; all I know is that there were maravedí, real and escudo coins. To make things more complicated, there was also a bronze real, the "real de vellón". Don't think this was a decimal system; the peseta introduced in 1869, however, was one.

The real in Portugal was apparently decimalized in 1837. Not sure about any pre-decimal or post-decimal sub-unit though.

Greece is easy. :) Before the independence, they used the Ottoman Empire currency (1 kuruş = 40 para = 120 akçe), and when Greece became independent in the 1820s, the phoenix was introduced which was decimal (1 phoenix = 100 lepta). I am fairly sure that it worked similarly in the other Ottoman territories that later became independent.

Christian

Offline FosseWay

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Re: Decimalisation in Europe
« Reply #11 on: April 24, 2017, 12:01:49 PM »
Denmark (with Iceland, Greenland and the Faroes): 1875

Norway: 1875

Finland: 1809 in practice (when Russia took control and introduced the ruble, replacing the non-decimal Swedish riksdaler); 1860 when the markka was introduced.

Offline <k>

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Re: Decimalisation in Europe
« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2017, 12:08:57 PM »
Thanks, FosseWay. I'm guessing the Faroes didn't have their own currency anyway, unless you count the special situation of the Second Word War. Greenland is neither in Europe not the EU, so I haven't included it.