Debasement

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Debasement

The act of lowering the value of something, especially a coin. In the past, a government would melt coins down and mix them with a metal of lower value in order to create more coins of the same denomination. This inevitably caused inflation, though it is unclear how well these governments understood that. Because few currencies are now based on a precious metal, debasement it rare.
References in periodicals archive ?
We come to the third disadvantage: The cost of trade will be in proportion to the debasing of money.
The historian ascribes two reasons for so great a disaster: the first, the greediness of the nobles who possessed many towns and strongholds of the kingdom; the other that, from the time of Ferdinand, five kings had altered money either by debasing it or increasing its value.
Some, however, are not affected by the disadvantages derived from debasing of copper coinage.
Now if the yearly shipments from the Indies bring in a million silver marks, at least five hundred thousand gold coins would be added to the treasury annually by means of this debasing.
This rate continued for several years until it was noticed that the neighbors were further debasing gold.
At this point, we may consider the possibility of debasing gold coins.