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Isotopic Ag-Cu-Pb record of silver circulation through 16th-18th century Spain

Abstract : Estimating global fluxes of precious metals is key to understanding early monetary systems. This work adds silver (Ag) to the metals (Pb and Cu) used so far to trace the provenance of coinage through variations in isotopic abundances. Silver, copper, and lead isotopes were measured in 91 coins from the East Mediterranean Antiquity and Roman world, medieval western Europe, 16th-18th century Spain, Mexico, and the Andes and show a great potential for provenance studies. Pre-1492 European silver can be distinguished from Mexican and Andean metal. European silver dominated Spanish coinage until Philip III, but had, 80 y later after the reign of Philip V, been flushed from the monetary mass and replaced by Mexican silver.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - 3:41:25 PM
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Anne-Marie Desaulty, Philippe Telouk, Emmanuelle Albalat, Francis Albarède. Isotopic Ag-Cu-Pb record of silver circulation through 16th-18th century Spain. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America , National Academy of Sciences, 2011, 108 (22), pp.9002-9007. ⟨10.1073/pnas.1018210108⟩. ⟨insu-00674962⟩

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