The 1696 Recoinage

Historical Context Essay

Download PDF Add to Bookshelf Report an Error


Before the 1660s all English coin was produced by hand; contemporaries called it “hammered” money. It wasn’t uncommon for “clippers” to scrape away small amounts of precious metal from the edges, pass the coin back into circulation, and pocket the illicit proceeds. In 1662, in a bid to halt clipping, the Mint introduced mechanized production; “milled” coins bore a serrated edge that made it easy to detect when a coin had been clipped. But many older hammered silver coins remained in circulation, and upon these clippers went on plying their trade. Hammered coins naturally shrank over time, but so gradually that they continued circulating at normal face values. Clipping quickened with the onset of the Nine Years War (1689-97); by 1695 hammered coin had dwindled to a mere 50%…

581 words

Citation: Kleer, Richard. "The 1696 Recoinage". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 14 October 2003 [, accessed 07 December 2023.]

1304 The 1696 Recoinage 2 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here

Leave Feedback

The Literary Encyclopedia is a living community of scholars. We welcome comments which will help us improve.