Money Wise

Different values of Silver (in History)





This is an interesting article about the relative value of silver.
The relative value of silver today {pre-EOTWAWKI anyway} is in fact far lower than in early medieval times in terms of buying power. There are several ways of working out relative values such as the 'ale standard' or soldier's rates of pay. The theory behind the ale standard is that even since the dawn of the paid soldier, whether with coin or barter, the price
of a pint of ale has remained in relative terms the same. Another theory follows the same reasoning that the price of bread has also stayed constant
in relative terms to the wages that a warrior or soldier would have demanded. Based on that 9th century buying power, each item is noted whether
the price (in silver) comes from Britain [B], Western Europe [W], Central Europe [C], Northern Europe [N] or Eastern Europe [E].

The quotes today (6/5/07) are: Gold: $670.20 & Silver: $13.77 , 1oz of gold
= 48.7 oz of silver today but in medieval Europe, silver was more valuable
in terms of gold at 1 oz gold to 20 oz silver. Since 1 Troy oz = 31.10
grams, at present 1 g of silver = $0.443 per gram.
Formula for calculating "Medieval Dollars": 1 g silver x $0.443 x 48.7 */*
20 = $1.08

 Sword [W].... 126g of silver or calculate out to roughly $194.17  
This type of sword was in service by ordinary soldiers for a long period of time throughout all of Europe. It is manufactured to be useable (not just decretive). Classical Medieval Sword $175.00 + shipping, so it was pretty close.

Knife [W]....... 3g of silver or calculate out to roughly $3.23.

1kg (2.2 lb) Corn [W] 3g of silver or calculate out to roughly $3.23. But wheat at $4.71 per bushel, comes out to  $0.173 per kg. Grain was much more expensive then.

Pig [E] .... 30g of silver or calculate out to roughly $32.03 (raised on pasture & acorns) At $68.23 per cwt, a 100 lb pig would be $68.23. So more expensive today. 

Virgin Swarm of Bees [B] 25g of silver or calculate out to roughly $26.97 (about our price 20 years ago).
3 lb package with queen is $80.00. Much higher now.

Cloak [N]......12g of silver or calculate out to roughly $12.92
RUANA (poncho) WRAP CAPE CLOAK, a long neck cloak is made of soft fleece. $38.99

[b]Livestock...............Weight of Silver 15 chickens [C] 1.55g
Cow [E]......... 100g
Cow [C]......... 137g
Ewe and Lamb 8g
Ox [E]............ 125g
Ox [C]............ 137g
Pig [E]............ 30g
Sheep [E]....... 15g
Fledged Peregrine Falcon [B]372g
Fledged Sparrow Hawk [B]37g
Sparrow Hawk Nest [B] 37g
Virgin Swarm of Bees [B] 25g
Swarm of bees from a second swarm [B]12g
Swarm of bees from Virgin swarm [B]18g
Hive of Bees [B] 37g
Hive swarm after august [B]6g
Old Swarm of Bees [B] 37g
Second Swarm of Bees [B]18g
Horse [E]....... 300g
Horse [N] 306g
Horse [C] 478g
King's Hunting Dog, trained [B] 372g
Common House Dog [B] 6g
Male Slave [N] 306g
Female Slave [E] 204g

[b]Miscellaneous Weight of Silver
1kg (2.2 lb) Corn [W] 3g
Bridle [W]...... 10g
Spurs [W]..... 20g
Stirrups [W]... 126g
Buckle [W].... 5g
Cloak [N]....... 12g
Fleece ...... 3g
Beaver Skin [B] 186d
Fox skin [B]... 12g
Marten Skin [B] 37g
Otter skin [B]. 12g
Wolf skin [B].. 12g
Fyrdsman's (free peasant militiaman) pay/month (military duty) [B]77g
Hide of land (approx. 120 acres) [B]372g
Land tax/hide [B] 15g
Knife [W]....... 3g
Silk (1oz) [E].. 57g

[b]Arms and Armor Weight of Silver
Helmet [C] ..... 410g
Mailshirt [C]... 820g
Shield and Spear [C] 137g
Spear [W]....... 51g
Sword [W].... 126g
Sword and Scabbard [C] 478g
Sword, nobles ..... 1860g

[b]Fines, etc..................................Weight of Silver
Accepting service of another's ceorl (free peasant farmer) [B]930g
Ceorl seeking new lord [B] 465g
Binding an innocent ceorl [B] 77g
Binding innocent ceorl & shaving him like a priest [B]465g
Fighting (not in war) [B] 930g
Ceorl entering into illicit union [B] 387g
Thegn (servant of the king usually noble) entering into illicit union [B] 775g
Ceorl neglecting fyrd duty [B] 232g
Failure to perform fyrd duty (duty in the military)[B]310-387g
Freeman working on Sunday [B] 465g
Ordering a slave to work on Sunday [B] 232g
Priest working on Sunday [B] 930g
Raping a female slave [B] 504g
Holding a woman's breast [B] 39g
Seducing a free woman [B] 465g
Throw a woman down but not lie with her [B]77g
Not baptizing child within 30 days of birth [B]232g
Removing a nun from a nunnery without permission [B]930g
Reward for catching thief [B] 77g
Violation of an archbishop's protection [B]1,116g
Violation of bishop's protection [B] 744g
Violation of ceorl's protection [B] 46g
Violation of church's protection [B] 387g
Violation of the king's protection[B] 1,860g

Weregilds (death money fines) Weight of Silver
Slave [B]............................. 465g
Ceorl (peasant farmer, not a serf) [B] 1550g
Landless Thegn [B]............ 4650g
Thegn (thane or noble) [B] 9300g

Information provided by 230gr @ Survival Talk