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Money Matters

Not everybody knows that in Mallorca, between the 13th and the 19th century, a non-metric currency existed similar to the old English/British money of Pounds, Shillings and Pence. Here on the island, the largest monetary unit was called Lliura (Pound) which was based on the weight of silver equivalent to 327 gr. of the precious metal. The Lliura was divided into 20 Sous which in turn had a value of 12 Diners each. The metric monetary system was introduced in Spain in 1869 when, here in Mallorca, the Peseta replaced Lliuras, Sous and Diners.

I could not find a photographic reference of the old Mallorcan coins. Instead I offer you a page from a Mallorcan cadastre book, an administrative system to record the dimensions and locations of land parcels and to establish their values in Lliuras, Sous and Diners for taxation purposes, from 1772. I was shown this volume by the courteous and very competent Senyora Beatriz Zamorano at the Arxiu Municipal in Campos. Moltes gràcies.

P. S. The ordeal of our electric and electronic blackout was finally brought to a conclusion after a very long 56 hours. Phew.

The photo was taken in Campos, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: January 26th, 2010. The time was 14:11:49.

3 replies »

  1. A non-metric weight system existed too, made of LLIURES (aprox. 400 gm) and UNCES (8 UNCES equal 1 LLIURA) that is probably still more or less alive in the speech of some people of a certain age. The same could be said of other measurement systems (length, capacity, etc).

  2. I’m sorry, but I was mistaken. I asked my mother and she feels sure 12 UNCES equal 1 LLIURA. It’s obvious I was already born in the metric system, even though I can remember running errands expressed in LLIURES/UNCES for my mother and grandmother as a child.For instance: “Una lliura de cigrons” (boiled cheakpeas).

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January 2011


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