Black dog (coin)
A dog or a black dog was a coin in the Caribbean of Queen Anne of Great Britain, made of pewter or copper, typically worth 1½ pence or 1⁄72 of a dollar. The name comes from the negative connotations of the word "dog," as they came from debased silver coins, and the dark color of those same debased coins. Black dogs were also at times called "stampes" or "stampees," as they were typically the coins of other colonial powers—French coins worth 2 sous or, equivalently, 24 diniers—stamped to make them British currency.
A dog and a stampe were not necessarily of equal value. For example, the Spanish dollar was subdivided into bits, each worth 9 pence, 6 black dogs or 4 stampees. Before 1811, 1 dollar equalled 11 bits (making a dog 1⁄66 of a dollar and a stampee 1⁄44 of a dollar); after 1811, 1 dollar equalled 12 bits (making a dog 1⁄72 of a dollar and a stampee 1⁄48 of a dollar). In 1797, however, a "black dog" is equated with a "stampee."
- "Black dog," definition 1, Oxford English Dictionary.
- "Modern Philology," Volume 13 By Modern Language Association of America. Victorian Literature Group. Page 603.
- William Bullock in Naval Chronicle X 128, quoted in Oxford English Dictionary under "dog, n.1," definition 11.
- The History of Mary Prince, a West Indian Slave. Related by Herself. With a Supplement by the Editor. London: Published by F. Westley and A. H. Davis, 1831. Page 16.
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