Circulating coins commonly suffered from “shaving” or “clipping”: the public would cut off small amounts of precious metal from their edges to sell it and then pass on the mutilated coins at full value.[29] Unmilled British sterling silver coins were sometimes reduced to almost half their minted weight. This form of debasement in Tudor England was commented on by Sir Thomas Gresham, whose name was later attached to Gresham’s law. The monarch would have to periodically recall circulating coins, paying only the bullion value of the silver, and reminting them. This, also known as recoinage, is a long and difficult process that was done only occasionally.[30] Many coins have milled or reeded edges, originally designed to make it easier to detect clipping.

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