Mint Revenue

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Mint Revenue


state income gained through the minting of coins. Such revenue represents the difference between the nominal value of devalued coins and the market value of the metal actually contained in them, with allowance made for the cost of minting.

In slaveholding and feudal societies, mint revenue was an important component of state revenue. Such revenue was increased through further debasement of the coinage. For example, the weight of the Russian silver ruble changed nine times between the 14th and 18th centuries and was decreased by almost 12 times. In addition, the standard for the ruble was decreased from 84 to 70 parts of pure silver per coin.

Mint revenue is produced only by minting devalued (billon) coins. In Russia the silver coin worth 1 ruble contained silver worth only 60–70 kopecks, while the 20 kopeck piece contained just 7–7.6 kopecks’ worth. The nominal value of copper coinage was more than four times its market value.

In modern capitalist countries, coins constitute a relatively small part of the total supply of money in circulation—for example, less than one-tenth in the United States. As a result, mint revenue does not play a significant part in the revenue of capitalist states.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Explanation lies in the fact that Spanish silver coins competed with other nations' coins for use in international trade, whereas copper circulated only locally and under legal tender laws; any debasement by the Spanish of the former would reduce their coins' competitiveness and market share, and hence mint revenues; debasement of the latter remained a viable source of seigniorage (Motomura, 1994).