Right of coinage in the Holy Roman Empire
The right of coinage in the Holy Roman Empire (in German Münzregal) was one of the so-called regalia (also called royal privileges or sovereign rights). It consisted of the right to issue regulations governing the production and use of coins. It covered the specification of currency, the right to mint and the right to use coins and the profit from minting. It is variously referred to in English sources as the "right of coinage", "coinage regality", "regality of coinage", "minting privileges" and "coinage prerogative".
In imitation of Ancient Rome, the Frankish crown was since Charlemagne a strongly centralized government and this included the right of coinage. The royal administration was also responsible for the construction and operation of the mints, the standard of coinage, and the coinage.
With the sharp upturn in the economy from the 9th century, the right of coinage, often connected with customs and market rights, was delegated to ecclesiastical rulers, mainly bishops. From the 11th century, it was also granted to secular princes, and later to towns and cities.
With the Golden Bull of 1356 the right of coinage and the often closely associated mining rights or Bergregal were transferred to the prince electors. In 1648, other imperial estates (Reichsstände) were granted the right of coinage. Nevertheless, the sovereignty over coinage officially remained with the Holy Roman Emperor.
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