Kadar Solidus Bizantium

Pada masanya koin emas Byzantium Solidus, dijuluki sebagai “Dollar of the Middle Ages” dan menjadi “Standard of International Commerce” karena koin ini dihargai dan diterima semua orang di semua kerajaan selama ratusan tahun. Note ini mencoba menjawab pertanyaan, berapakah kadar emas dalam Solidus dari referensi-referensi yang ada di internet.

*silakan tambahkan dikolom komentar kalau ada referensi lain tentang kadar Solidus*

 

1. Histamenon

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Histamenon

 

Ever since Constantine I introduced it in 309, the Byzantine Empire's main coinage had been the high-quality solidus or nomisma, which had remained standard in weight (4.55 grams) and gold content (24 carats) through the centuriesEver since Constantine I introduced it in 309, the Byzantine Empire’s main coinage had been the high-quality solidus or nomisma, which had remained standard in weight (4.55 grams) and gold content (24 carats) through the centuries.

Semenjak Konstantin I mencetak koin utama pertamakali tahun 309 M, Kekaisaran Bizantium  akhirnya memiliki solidus atau nomisma berkualitas tinggi, di mana standar beratnya (4,55 gram) dan dengan kadar emas murni (24 karat) sepanjang abad sejarah Bizantium.

 

2. British tourist unearths treasure

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7797977.stm

 

Birmingham woman Nadine Ross, 34, found the solid 24-carat coins under a large rock in a car park. The coins date back to the reign of the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius, before the Persians conquered Jerusalem in 614.Birmingham woman Nadine Ross, 34, found the solid 24-carat coins under a large rock in a car park. The coins date back to the reign of the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius, before the Persians conquered Jerusalem in 614.

Perempuan Birmingham, Nadine Ross, 34 tahun, menemukan koin solid 24 karat di bawah bebatuan besar di lapangan parkir. Koin tersebut diperkirakan dari masa Heraklius, Kekaisaran Bizantium, sebelum Yerusalem ditaklukkan oleh Persia tahun 614 M.

 

3. Gold solidus of Magnus Maximus

http://www.britishmuseum.org/explore/highlights/highlight_objects/cm/g/gold_solidus_of_magnus_maximus.aspx

 

"Beneath the figures is written AVG OB. The OB is a guarantee of the purity of the gold (the Latin word obryzatus meaning 'made of pure gold') and the AVG refers to the mint of Augusta, London's new, but short-lived name."“Beneath the figures is written AVG OB. The OB is a guarantee of the purity of the gold (the Latin word obryzatus meaning ‘made of pure gold’) and the AVG refers to the mint of Augusta, London’s new, but short-lived name.”

“Di bagian bawah koin tertulis AVG OB. OB merupakan garansi akan kemurnian emas (dalam Bahasa Latin berarti Obryzatus yang artinya dibuat dari emas murni) dan AVG merujuk pada pencetak koin yaitu Augusta, sebuah pencetakan di London meski berumur pendek.”

 

4. Daily life in the Byzantine Empire by Marcus Louis Rautman

http://books.google.com/books?id=hs3iEyVRHKsC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA34#v=onepage&q&f=false

 

Seventy-two gold solidi (at ~ 4.5g) were struck to the pound (six to ounce), and purity was maintained at close 98 percent (24 carets) as late as the seventh century. Fractional coinage in gold included the semisis (~ 2.25 g) and tremisis ( ~ 1.5 g), as well as the silver hexagram (~ 6.7 g), whose purity in the seventh century was about 96 percent.Seventy-two gold solidi (at ~ 4.5g) were struck to the pound (six to ounce), and purity was maintained at close 98 percent (24 carets) as late as the seventh century. Fractional coinage in gold included the semisis (~ 2.25 g) and tremisis ( ~ 1.5 g), as well as the silver hexagram (~ 6.7 g), whose purity in the seventh century was about 96 percent.

 

5. Coinage in the Roman economy, 300 B.C to A.D. 700 by Kenneth W. Harl

http://books.google.com/books?id=5yPDL0EykeAC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA159#v=onepage&q&f=false

 

“In addition to reducing their weight, Constantine lowered the purity of gold coins for the first time in over fifty years. Solidi in his closing years average 97.7 percent fine, a fall of nearly 2 percent from the Tetrathic standard. Civil and foreign wars drove constantine's heirs to debase further until the solidus averaged less than 95 percent fine by 366 ”“In addition to reducing their weight, Constantine lowered the purity of gold coins for the first time in over fifty years. Solidi in his closing years average 97.7 percent fine, a fall of nearly 2 percent from the Tetrathic standard. Civil and foreign wars drove constantine’s heirs to debase further until the solidus averaged less than 95 percent fine by 366 ”

 

6. Failure of Empire: Valens and the Roman state in the fourth century A.D. by Noel Emmanuel Lenski

http://books.google.com/books?id=uvXo39xOV8kC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA301#v=onepage&q&f=false

 

"prior to the OB coins of 367, the average solidus contained about 4.0-6.0 percent silver and 0.25 percent copper; Beginning with the OB coins, the average solidus contained only 0.5-0.7 percent silver and 0.025 percent copper, a 90 percent reduction in impurities”“prior to the OB coins of 367, the average solidus contained about 4.0-6.0 percent silver and 0.25 percent copper; Beginning with the OB coins, the average solidus contained only 0.5-0.7 percent silver and 0.025 percent copper, a 90 percent reduction in impurities”

 

7. The Encyclopedia of Money by Larry Allen

http://books.google.com/books?id=X4kgDkYxGrcC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA53#v=onepage&q&f=false

 

Until the 11th century, Byzantine gold coins show a gold content ranging between 22 and 24 carats fine, probably the highest standard of purity obtainable with the technical processes of the timeUntil the 11th century, Byzantine gold coins show a gold content ranging between 22 and 24 carats fine, probably the highest standard of purity obtainable with the technical processes of the time

 

8. The Power of Gold: The History of an Obsession by Peter L. Bernstein

http://books.google.com/books?id=fJcsL60uj9MC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA57#v=onepage&f=false

 

When Constantine issued the first bezants, they weighed 4.55 grams –heavier than any other gold coin in existence – and were 98 percent pureWhen Constantine issued the first bezants, they weighed 4.55 grams –heavier than any other gold coin in existence – and were 98 percent pure

 

9. Byzantine Coinage

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Byzantine_coinage

 

The gold solidus or nomisma remained a standard of international commerce until the eleventh century, when it began to be debased under successive emperors beginning in the 1030s under the emperor Romanos Argyros (1028–1034). Until that time, the fineness of the gold remained consistent at about 0.955–0.980.The gold solidus or nomisma remained a standard of international commerce until the eleventh century, when it began to be debased under successive emperors beginning in the 1030s under the emperor Romanos Argyros (1028–1034). Until that time, the fineness of the gold remained consistent at about 0.955–0.980.

 

10. Ancient jewellery  By Jack Ogden

http://books.google.com/books?id=oCBt7B7nt5QC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA30#v=onepage&q&f=false

 

Roman gold coinage is usually of extremely high purity - over 99 per cent - but the economic problems of the third century AD led to some debasement and Roman gold coins of this period can be under 90 per cent pureRoman gold coinage is usually of extremely high purity – over 99 per cent – but the economic problems of the third century AD led to some debasement and Roman gold coins of this period can be under 90 per cent pure

 

11. The Fourth crusade: event, aftermath, and perceptions

http://books.google.com/books?id=tzNhJ915uZcC&lpg=PR1&pg=PA75#v=onepage&q&f=false

 

These coins were intended to be 24 carats fine, and - beginning about 368 - began to be marked OB, "refined gold". In fact, they seem to have been coined at about 98 per cent purity, or 23 1/2 carats fine. The greek name for the solidus was nomisma; Western europeans called it bezantThese coins were intended to be 24 carats fine, and – beginning about 368 – began to be marked OB, “refined gold”. In fact, they seem to have been coined at about 98 per cent purity, or 23 1/2 carats fine. The greek name for the solidus was nomisma; Western europeans called it bezant

 

12. Catalogue of the Byzantine Coins in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection and in the Whittemore Collection By Dumbarton Oaks, Philip Grierson, Alfred Raymond Bellinger

http://books.google.com/books?id=dDH8GM4xrysC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA40#v=onepage&q&f=false

 

debasement of the nomisma from ~99% to 31%debasement of the nomisma from ~99% to 31%

 

13.Catalogue of the Byzantine and early mediaeval antiquities in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection By Marvin C. Ross

http://books.google.com/books?id=IssyEPamiCUC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA166#v=onepage&q&f=false 

 

At that time, the gold of the solidus was increased from ca. 93 to 95 percent, before the reforms, to ca. 99+ percent after A.D. 368.At that time, the gold of the solidus was increased from ca. 93 to 95 percent, before the reforms, to ca. 99+ percent after A.D. 368.

 

14. Hoxne Hoard

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoxne_Hoard

 

The fineness of a solidus in this period was 99% gold.The fineness of a solidus in this period was 99% gold.

 

15. The Cambridge Economic History of Europe: Trade and industry in the Middle Ages

http://books.google.co.id/books?id=cHRvtwTLcMAC&lpg=PP1&hl=id&pg=PA864#v=onepage&q&f=false

 

Nominally fine gold. Initially at least 0.98 fine. Wt. 4.48 g. Principal mint: ConstantinopleNominally fine gold. Initially at least 0.98 fine. Wt. 4.48 g. Principal mint: Constantinople

 

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Dari referensi-referensi tersebut bisa diambil beberapa kesimpulan:

  1. Koin emas Solidus dicetak dengan kemurnian tinggi, 98% s/d +99%.
  2. Walaupun Solidus dicetak dengan kemurnian tinggi, tapi tidak ada keluhan tentang “kekerasan” koin. Justru solidus menjadi mata uang utama dunia selama 700 tahun karena konsisten dengan kemurnian tinggi.
  3. Di abad ke-11, penguasa-penguasa Byzantium mulai melakukan debasement, mengurangi kadar emas, dari +99%, menjadi 98%,97%,…,92%, 91%,…bahkan di era Romanos Diogenis (1067–1071) kadar emasnya tinggal 15% saja (4 karat).
  4. Mengurangi kadar emas dengan mengoplos dengan logam murah lain (Silver/Copper) adalah perbuatan zalim karena menyebabkan harga-harga barang naik (inflasi).

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