Monday, May 26, 2008

Origins of English Pound Sterling

Incidentally the term 'Pounds Sterling' - the modern name of the British currency system - can be traced back to the reign of Henry II, ie., the 12th century. The derivation of the Sterling word is almost certainly from the use of 'Easterling Silver' (the metal itself and the techniques for refining it) which took its name from the Easterling area of Germany. The Easterling area was noted for its 92.5% pure, hard and high quality coin-grade silver. It was also noted for its expertise in silver refining, and it was these techniques as well as the silver itself that Henry II imported when he arranged for the production of 'Tealbay Pennies', which formed the basis of the silver coinage quality standard established at the time. The pennies were not known as 'Tealbay' in the 12th century, they subsequently acquired the name because a hoard of the coins was found at Tealby, Lincolnshire in 1807. A contributing theme was the theory that the hallmark for what became known as Sterling Silver featured a starling bird, which many believe became distorted through misinterpretation into 'sterling'.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

it's time to get the euro!