The lira was the currency of Italy between 1861 and 2002 and of the Albanian Kingdom between 1941 and 1943. Between 1999 and 2002, the Italian lira was a national subunit of the euro. However, cash payments could be made in lira only, as euro notes were not yet available; the lira was the currency of the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy between 1807 and 1814. The term originates from the value of a pound weight of high purity silver and as such is a direct cognate of the British pound sterling. "L", sometimes in a double-crossed script form, was the symbol most used. Until the Second World War, it was subdivided into 100 centesimi, which translates to "hundredths" or "cents"; the lira was established at 290.322 milligrams of gold. This was a direct continuation of the Sardinian lira. Other currencies replaced by the Italian lira included the Lombardy-Venetia pound, the Two Sicilies piastra, the Tuscan fiorino, the Papal States scudo and the Parman lira. In 1865, Italy formed part of the Latin Monetary Union in which the lira was set as equal to, among others, the French and Swiss francs: in fact, in various Gallo-Italic languages in north-western Italy, the lira was outright called "franc".
This practice has ended with the introduction of the euro in 2002. World War I resulted in prices rising severalfold in Italy. Inflation was curbed somewhat by Mussolini, who, on August 18, 1926, declared that the exchange rate between lira and pound would be £1 = 90 lire—the so-called Quota 90, although the free exchange rate had been closer to 140–150 lire per pound, causing a temporary deflation and widespread problems in the real economy. In 1927, the lira was pegged to the U. S. dollar at a rate of 1 dollar = 19 lire. This rate lasted until 1934, with a separate "tourist" rate of US$1 = 24.89 lire being established in 1936. In 1939, the "official" rate was 19.8 lire. After the Allied invasion of Italy, an exchange rate was set at US$1 = 120 lire in June 1943, reduced to 100 lire the following month. In German occupied areas, the exchange rate was set at 1 Reichsmark = 10 lire. After the war, the value of the lira fluctuated, before Italy set a peg of US$1 = 575 lire within the Bretton Woods System in November 1947.
Following the devaluation of the pound, Italy devalued to US$1 = 625 lire on 21 September 1949. This rate was maintained until the end of the Bretton Woods System in the early 1970s. Several episodes of high inflation followed; the lira was the official unit of currency in Italy until January 1, 1999, when it was replaced by the euro. Old lira denominated currency ceased to be legal tender on February 28, 2002; the conversion rate is 1,936.27 lire to the euro. All lira banknotes in use before the introduction of the euro, all post-World War II coins, were exchanged by the Bank of Italy up to 6 December 2011. Italy's central bank pledged to redeem Italian coins and banknotes until 29 February 2012, but this was brought forward to 6 December 2011. Although Italian price displays and calculations became unwieldy because of the large number of zeros, efforts were unsuccessful for political reasons until the introduction of the euro which had the effect of lopping off excessive zeros; the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy issued coins between 1807 and 1813 in denominations of 1 and 3 centesimi and 1 soldo in copper, 10 centesimi in 20% silver alloy, 5, 10 and 15 soldi, 1, 2 and 5 lire in 90% silver and 20 and 40 lire in 90% gold.
All except the 10 centesimi bore a portrait of Napoleon, with the denominations below 1 lira showing a radiate crown and the higher denominations, a shield representing the various constituent territories of the Kingdom. In 1861, coins were minted in Florence, Milan and Turin in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10 and 50 centesimi, 1 lira, 2, 5, 10 and 20 lire, with the lowest four in copper, the highest two in gold and the remainder in silver. In 1863, silver coins below 5 lire were debased from 90% to 83.5% and silver 20-centesimi coins were introduced. Minting switched to Rome in the 1870s. Apart from the introduction in 1894 of cupro-nickel 20-centesimi coins and of nickel 25-centesimi pieces in 1902, the coinage remained unaltered until the First World War. In 1919, with a purchase power of the lira reduced to one fifth of that of 1914, the production of all earlier coin types except for the nickel 20 centesimi halted, smaller, copper 5- and 10-centesimi and nickel 50-centesimi coins were introduced, followed by nickel 1- and 2-lira pieces in 1922 and 1923, respectively.
In 1926, silver 5- and 10-lira coins were introduced, equal in size and composition to the earlier 1- and 2-lira coins. Silver 20-lira coins were added in 1927. In 1936, the last substantial issue of silver coins was made, whilst, in 1939, moves to reduce the cost of the coinage led to copper being replaced by aluminium bronze and nickel by stainless steel. All issuance of coinage came to a halt in 1943. In 1943 the AM-lira was issued, in circulation in Italy after the landing in Sicily on the night between 9 and 10 July 1943. After 1946, the AM-lira ceased to be the currency of employment and was used along with normal notes, until June 3, 1950. Between 1947 and 1954, zone B of the Free Territory of Trieste used the Triestine lira. In 1946 coin production was resumed, although only in 1948, with the purchasing power of the lira reduced to 2% of that of 1939, did nu
A currency, in the most specific sense is money in any form when in use or circulation as a medium of exchange circulating banknotes and coins. A more general definition is that a currency is a system of money in common use for people in a nation. Under this definition, US dollars, pounds sterling, Australian dollars, European euros, Russian rubles and Indian Rupees are examples of currency; these various currencies are recognized as stores of value and are traded between nations in foreign exchange markets, which determine the relative values of the different currencies. Currencies in this sense are defined by governments, each type has limited boundaries of acceptance. Other definitions of the term "currency" are discussed in their respective synonymous articles banknote and money; the latter definition, pertaining to the currency systems of nations, is the topic of this article. Currencies can be classified into two monetary systems: fiat money and commodity money, depending on what guarantees the currency's value.
Some currencies are legal tender in certain political jurisdictions. Others are traded for their economic value. Digital currency has arisen with the popularity of the Internet. Money was a form of receipt, representing grain stored in temple granaries in Sumer in ancient Mesopotamia and in Ancient Egypt. In this first stage of currency, metals were used as symbols to represent value stored in the form of commodities; this formed the basis of trade in the Fertile Crescent for over 1500 years. However, the collapse of the Near Eastern trading system pointed to a flaw: in an era where there was no place, safe to store value, the value of a circulating medium could only be as sound as the forces that defended that store. A trade could only reach as far as the credibility of that military. By the late Bronze Age, however, a series of treaties had established safe passage for merchants around the Eastern Mediterranean, spreading from Minoan Crete and Mycenae in the northwest to Elam and Bahrain in the southeast.
It is not known what was used as a currency for these exchanges, but it is thought that ox-hide shaped ingots of copper, produced in Cyprus, may have functioned as a currency. It is thought that the increase in piracy and raiding associated with the Bronze Age collapse produced by the Peoples of the Sea, brought the trading system of oxhide ingots to an end, it was only the recovery of Phoenician trade in the 10th and 9th centuries BC that led to a return to prosperity, the appearance of real coinage first in Anatolia with Croesus of Lydia and subsequently with the Greeks and Persians. In Africa, many forms of value store have been used, including beads, ivory, various forms of weapons, the manilla currency, ochre and other earth oxides; the manilla rings of West Africa were one of the currencies used from the 15th century onwards to sell slaves. African currency is still notable for its variety, in many places, various forms of barter still apply; these factors led to the metal itself being the store of value: first silver both silver and gold, at one point bronze.
Now we have other non-precious metals as coins. Metals were mined and stamped into coins; this was to assure the individual accepting the coin that he was getting a certain known weight of precious metal. Coins could be counterfeited, but the existence of standard coins created a new unit of account, which helped lead to banking. Archimedes' principle provided the next link: coins could now be tested for their fine weight of metal, thus the value of a coin could be determined if it had been shaved, debased or otherwise tampered with. Most major economies using coinage had several tiers of coins of different values, made of copper and gold. Gold coins were the most valuable and were used for large purchases, payment of the military and backing of state activities. Units of account were defined as the value of a particular type of gold coin. Silver coins were used for midsized transactions, sometimes defined a unit of account, while coins of copper or silver, or some mixture of them, might be used for everyday transactions.
This system had been used in ancient India since the time of the Mahajanapadas. The exact ratios between the values of the three metals varied between different eras and places. However, the rarity of gold made it more valuable than silver, silver was worth more than copper. In premodern China, the need for credit and for a medium of exchange, less physically cumbersome than large numbers of copper coins led to the introduction of paper money, i.e. banknotes. Their introduction was a gradual process which lasted from the late Tang dynasty into the Song dynasty, it began as a means for merchants to exchange heavy coinage for receipts of deposit issued as promissory notes by wholesalers' shops. These notes were valid for temporary use in a small regional territory. In the 10th century, the Song dynasty government began to circulate these notes amongst the traders in its monopolized salt industry; the Song government granted several shops the right to issue banknotes, in the early 12th century the government took over these shops to produce state-issued currency.
Yet the banknotes issued w
Eritrea the State of Eritrea, is a country in the Horn of Africa, with its capital at Asmara. It is bordered by Sudan in the west, Ethiopia in the south, Djibouti in the southeast; the northeastern and eastern parts of Eritrea have an extensive coastline along the Red Sea. The nation has a total area of 117,600 km2, includes the Dahlak Archipelago and several of the Hanish Islands, its toponym Eritrea is based on the Greek name for the Red Sea, first adopted for Italian Eritrea in 1890. Eritrea is a multi-ethnic country, with nine recognized ethnic groups in its population of around 5 million. Most residents speak languages from the Afroasiatic family, either of the Ethiopian Semitic languages or Cushitic branches. Among these communities, the Tigrinyas make up about 55% of the population, with the Tigre people constituting around 30% of inhabitants. In addition, there are a number of Nilo-Saharan-speaking Nilotic ethnic minorities. Most people in the territory adhere to Islam; the Kingdom of Aksum, covering much of modern-day Eritrea and northern Ethiopia, was established during the first or second centuries AD.
It adopted Christianity around the middle of the fourth century. In medieval times much of Eritrea fell under the Medri Bahri kingdom, with a smaller region being part of Hamasien; the creation of modern-day Eritrea is a result of the incorporation of independent, distinct kingdoms and sultanates resulting in the formation of Italian Eritrea. After the defeat of the Italian colonial army in 1942, Eritrea was administered by the British Military Administration until 1952. Following the UN General Assembly decision, in 1952, Eritrea would govern itself with a local Eritrean parliament but for foreign affairs and defense it would enter into a federal status with Ethiopia for a period of 10 years. However, in 1962 the government of Ethiopia annulled the Eritrean parliament and formally annexed Eritrea, but the Eritreans that argued for complete Eritrean independence since the ouster of the Italians in 1941, anticipated what was coming and in 1960 organized the Eritrean Liberation Front in opposition.
In 1991, after 30 years of continuous armed struggle for independence, the Eritrean liberation fighters entered the capital city, Asmara, in victory. Eritrea is a one-party state in which national legislative elections have never been held since independence. According to Human Rights Watch, the Eritrean government's human rights record is among the worst in the world; the Eritrean government has dismissed these allegations as politically motivated. The compulsory military service requires long, indefinite conscription periods, which some Eritreans leave the country to avoid; because all local media is state-owned, Eritrea was ranked as having the second-least press freedom in the global Press Freedom Index, behind only North Korea. The sovereign state of Eritrea is a member of the African Union, the United Nations, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, is an observer in the Arab League alongside Brazil, Venezuela and Turkey; the name Eritrea is derived from the ancient Greek name for the Red Sea.
It was first formally adopted with the formation of Italian Eritrea. The name persisted over the course of subsequent British and Ethiopian occupation, was reaffirmed by the 1993 independence referendum and 1997 constitution. At Buya in Eritrea, one of the oldest hominids representing a possible link between Homo erectus and an archaic Homo sapiens was found by Italian scientists. Dated to over 1 million years old, it is the oldest skeletal find of its kind and provides a link between hominids and the earliest anatomically modern humans, it is believed that the section of the Danakil Depression in Eritrea was a major player in terms of human evolution, may contain other traces of evolution from Homo erectus hominids to anatomically modern humans. During the last interglacial period, the Red Sea coast of Eritrea was occupied by early anatomically modern humans, it is believed that the area was on the route out of Africa that some scholars suggest was used by early humans to colonize the rest of the Old World.
In 1999, the Eritrean Research Project Team composed of Eritrean, American and French scientists discovered a Paleolithic site with stone and obsidian tools dated to over 125,000 years old near the Bay of Zula south of Massawa, along the Red Sea littoral. The tools are believed to have been used by early humans to harvest marine resources such as clams and oysters. According to linguists, the first Afroasiatic-speaking populations arrived in the region during the ensuing Neolithic era from the family's proposed urheimat in the Nile Valley. Other scholars propose that the Afroasiatic family developed in situ in the Horn, with its speakers subsequently dispersing from there. Together with Djibouti, northern Somalia, the Red Sea coast of Sudan, Eritrea is considered the most location of the land which the ancient Egyptians called Punt, first mentioned in the 25th century BC; the ancient Puntites had close relations with Ancient Egypt during the rule of Pharaoh Sahure and Queen Hatshepsut. This is confirmed by genetic studies of mummified baboons.
In 2010, a study was conducted on baboon mummies that were brought from Punt to Egypt as gifts by the ancient Egyptians. The scientists from the Egyptian Museum and the University of California used oxygen isotope analysis to examine hairs from two baboon mummies, preserved in the British Museum. One of the baboons had distorted isotopic data, so t
Centesimo is an Italian word derived from the Latin centesimus meaning "hundredth". It was equal to 1/100 of currencies named lira. However, not all lira-denominated currencies feature centesimo as their 1/100 subunit. For example, the Turkish new lira is divided into 100 kuruş and the Maltese lira was divided into 100 cents. Currencies that have centesimo as subunits include: Swiss franc Panamanian balboa In Italian, centesimo is the common way of describing the euro cent. Italian lira Maltese lira Sammarinese lira Vatican and Papal lira Parman lira Sardinian lira
Silver is a chemical element with symbol Ag and atomic number 47. A soft, lustrous transition metal, it exhibits the highest electrical conductivity, thermal conductivity, reflectivity of any metal; the metal is found in the Earth's crust in the pure, free elemental form, as an alloy with gold and other metals, in minerals such as argentite and chlorargyrite. Most silver is produced as a byproduct of copper, gold and zinc refining. Silver has long been valued as a precious metal. Silver metal is used in many bullion coins, sometimes alongside gold: while it is more abundant than gold, it is much less abundant as a native metal, its purity is measured on a per-mille basis. As one of the seven metals of antiquity, silver has had an enduring role in most human cultures. Other than in currency and as an investment medium, silver is used in solar panels, water filtration, ornaments, high-value tableware and utensils, in electrical contacts and conductors, in specialized mirrors, window coatings, in catalysis of chemical reactions, as a colorant in stained glass and in specialised confectionery.
Its compounds are used in X-ray film. Dilute solutions of silver nitrate and other silver compounds are used as disinfectants and microbiocides, added to bandages and wound-dressings and other medical instruments. Silver is similar in its physical and chemical properties to its two vertical neighbours in group 11 of the periodic table and gold, its 47 electrons are arranged in the configuration 4d105s1 to copper and gold. This distinctive electron configuration, with a single electron in the highest occupied s subshell over a filled d subshell, accounts for many of the singular properties of metallic silver. Silver is an soft and malleable transition metal, though it is less malleable than gold. Silver crystallizes in a face-centered cubic lattice with bulk coordination number 12, where only the single 5s electron is delocalized to copper and gold. Unlike metals with incomplete d-shells, metallic bonds in silver are lacking a covalent character and are weak; this observation explains the low high ductility of single crystals of silver.
Silver has a brilliant white metallic luster that can take a high polish, and, so characteristic that the name of the metal itself has become a colour name. Unlike copper and gold, the energy required to excite an electron from the filled d band to the s-p conduction band in silver is large enough that it no longer corresponds to absorption in the visible region of the spectrum, but rather in the ultraviolet. Protected silver has greater optical reflectivity than aluminium at all wavelengths longer than ~450 nm. At wavelengths shorter than 450 nm, silver's reflectivity is inferior to that of aluminium and drops to zero near 310 nm. High electrical and thermal conductivity is common to the elements in group 11, because their single s electron is free and does not interact with the filled d subshell, as such interactions lower electron mobility; the electrical conductivity of silver is the greatest of all metals, greater than copper, but it is not used for this property because of the higher cost.
An exception is in radio-frequency engineering at VHF and higher frequencies where silver plating improves electrical conductivity because those currents tend to flow on the surface of conductors rather than through the interior. During World War II in the US, 13540 tons of silver were used in electromagnets for enriching uranium because of the wartime shortage of copper. Pure silver has the highest thermal conductivity of any metal, although the conductivity of carbon and superfluid helium-4 are higher. Silver has the lowest contact resistance of any metal. Silver forms alloys with copper and gold, as well as zinc. Zinc-silver alloys with low zinc concentration may be considered as face-centred cubic solid solutions of zinc in silver, as the structure of the silver is unchanged while the electron concentration rises as more zinc is added. Increasing the electron concentration further leads to body-centred cubic, complex cubic, hexagonal close-packed phases. Occurring silver is composed of two stable isotopes, 107Ag and 109Ag, with 107Ag being more abundant.
This equal abundance is rare in the periodic table. The atomic weight is 107.8682 u. Both isotopes of silver are produced in stars via the s-process, as well as in supernovas via the r-process. Twenty-eight radioisotopes have been characterized, the most stable being 105Ag with a half-life of 41.29 days, 111Ag with a half-life of 7.45 days, 112Ag with a half-life of 3.13 hours. Silver has numerous nuclear isomers, the most stable being 108mAg, 110mAg and 106mAg. All of the remaining radioactive isotopes have half-lives of less than an hour, the majority of these have half-lives of less than three minutes. Isotopes of silver range in relative atomic mass from 92.950 u
Maria Theresa thaler
The Maria Theresa thaler is a silver bullion coin, used in world trade continuously since it was first minted in 1741. It is named after Empress Maria Theresa, who ruled Austria and Bohemia from 1740 to 1780 and is depicted on the coin. In 1741 they used the Reichsthaler standard of 9 thalers to the Vienna mark. In 1750 the thaler was debased to 10 thalers to the Vienna mark; the following year the new standard was adopted across the German-speaking world when it was accepted formally in the Bavarian monetary convention. Because of the date of the Bavarian Monetary convention, many writers erroneously state that the Maria Theresa Thaler was first struck in 1751. Since the death of Maria Theresa in 1780, the coin has always been dated 1780. On 19 September 1857, Emperor Francis Joseph of Austria declared the Maria Theresa thaler to be an official trade coinage. A little over a year on 31 October 1858, it lost its status as currency in Austria; the MTT could be found throughout the Arab world in Saudi Arabia and Muscat and Oman, in Africa in Ethiopia, in India.
During the Japanese occupation of Indonesia in World War II, enough people preferred it to the money issued by the occupying forces that the American Office of Strategic Services created counterfeit MTTs for use by resistance forces. In German-speaking countries, following a spelling reform dated 1901 that took effect two years "Thaler" is written "Taler". Hence 20th-century references to this coin in German and Austrian sources are found under "Maria-Theresien-Taler"; the spelling in English-speaking countries was not affected. The MTT continues to be produced by the Austrian Mint, is available in both proof and uncirculated conditions; the thaler is 39.5–41 mm in diameter and 2.5 mm thick, weighs 28.0668 grams and contains 23.389 grams of fine silver. It has a copper content of.166 of its total millesimal fineness. Note: Rome mint struck MTTs are marginally lighter being produced in finer 835 standard instead of 833 standard silver; the inscription on the obverse of this coin is in Latin: "M. THERESIA D. G. R. IMP.
HU. BO. REG." The Reverse reads "ARCHID. AVST. DUX BURG. CO. TYR. 1780 X". It is an abbreviation of "Maria Theresia, Dei Gratia Romanorum Imperatrix, Hungariae Bohemiaeque Regina, Archidux Austriae, Dux Burgundiae, Comes Tyrolis. 1780 X", which means, "Maria Theresa, by the grace of God, Empress of the Romans, Queen of Hungary and Bohemia, Archduchess of Austria, Duchess of Burgundy, Countess of Tyrol. 1780". The "X" is a saltire or Burgundian cross, was added in 1750 indicating the new debased standard of the thaler. Around the rim of the coin is the motto of her reign: "Justitia et Clementia", meaning "Justice and Clemency"; the MTT became a standard trade coin and several nations began striking Maria Theresa thalers. The following mints have struck MTTs: Birmingham, Brussels, Paris and Utrecht, in addition to the Habsburg mints in Günzburg, Karlsburg, Milan and Vienna. Between 1751 and 2000, some 389 million were minted; these various mints distinguished their issues by slight differences in the design, with some of these evolving over time.
In 1935 Mussolini gained a 25-year concession over production of the MTT. The Italians blocked non-Italian banks and bullion traders from obtaining the coin and so France and the UK started producing the coin so as to support their economic interests in the Red Sea, Persian Gulf and East Coast of Africa. In 1961 the 25-year concession ended and Austria made diplomatic approaches to the relevant governments requesting they cease production of the coin; the UK was the last government to formally agree to the request in February 1962. The MTT came to be used as currency in large parts of Africa until after World War II, it was common from North Africa to Somalia, Ethiopia and down the coast of Tanzania to Mozambique. Its popularity in the Red Sea region was such that merchants would not accept any other type of currency; the Italian government produced a similar designed coin in the hope of replacing the Maria Theresa thaler, but it never gained acceptance. The Maria Theresa thaler was formerly the currency of the Hejaz, the Aden Protectorate as well as Muscat and Oman on the Arabia peninsula.
The coin remains popular in North Africa and the Middle East to this day in its original form: a silver coin with a portrait of the buxom empress on the front and the Habsburg Double Eagle on the back. The MTT is first recorded as circulating in Ethiopia from the reign of Emperor Iyasu II of Ethiopia. According to traveller James Bruce the coin, not debased as other currencies, dominated the areas he visited in 1768. Joseph Kalmer and Ludwig Hyun in the book Abessinien estimate that over 20% of 245 million coins minted until 1931 ended up in Ethiopia. In 1868, the British military expedition to Magdala, the capital of Emperor Tewodros II of Ethiopia, under Field Marshal Robert Napier, took MTTs with them to pay local expenses. In 1890 the Italians introduced the Tallero Eritreo, styled after the MTT, in their new colony Eritrea hoping to impose it on the commerce with Ethiopia, they remained, however unsuccessful. In the early 1900s Menelik II unsuccessfully attempted to mint Menilek thalers locally, with his effigy, but styled following the model of the MTT, force their use.
The newly established Bank of Abyssinia issued banknotes denominated in thalers. Starting in 1935 the Italians minted the MTT at the mint in Rome for use in their conquest of Ethiopia. Then