French denier

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Denier of Charlemagne. AD 768-814. 21mm, 1.19 g, Toulouse mint.
Denier of Pepin I of Aquitaine 817-838.
Denier of the Republic of Genoa (1139-1339).

The denier was a medieval coin which takes its name from the Frankish coin created by Charlemagne in the Early Middle Ages.


It was introduced together with an accounting system in which 12 deniers equaled one sou and 20 sous equalled one livre. Also three deniers equalled one liard. This system and the denier itself served as the model for many of Europe's currencies, including the British pound, Italian lira, Spanish peseta and the Portuguese dinheiro.

The British equivalent of the denier was the penny. Before decimalisation, 12 pennies made a shilling and 240 pennies made up one British pound. The symbol for both the old denier and, until decimalisation, the penny used in the United Kingdom and elsewhere was "d" as in 2d. or "two pence".


The name denier was derived from the name of the ancient Roman coin the denarius, a silver coin originally worth ten asses.

The denier was minted in France and Italy for the whole of the Middle Ages, in countries such as the patriarchate of Aquileia, the Kingdom of Sicily, the Republic of Genoa and the Republic of Siena among the others.

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