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Production, Supply and Circulation of 'National' Gold Coins in Brazil (1720-1807)


  • Fernando Cerqueira Lima
  • Rita Martins de Sousa


Based on the hypotheses that Brazil was not merely an economy that exported precious metals and that there was a relative expansion of the domestic market, in this paper we assess the production, supply and circulation of ?national' gold coins in Brazil in the 18th century. New estimates are provided of the production of these gold coins at the mints of Rio de Janeiro, Bahia and Minas Gerais. Comparing the values of the coinage with remittances to Lisbon, the first half of the 18th century reveals a more stable conjuncture than was found in the second half. This latter period shows fluctuations that were expressed in the faster growth of the supply despite the fall that took place in the production/coinage of gold. Our conclusions question the historiographical theses about the shortage of currency in Brazil throughout the 18th century. The growth of the economy from the last quarter of the century onwards implied an increase in the demand for money, which it proved possible to meet through the production of ?national' gold coins.

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  • Fernando Cerqueira Lima & Rita Martins de Sousa, 2015. "Production, Supply and Circulation of 'National' Gold Coins in Brazil (1720-1807)," Working Papers GHES - Office of Economic and Social History 2015/56, ISEG - Lisbon School of Economics and Management, GHES - Social and Economic History Research Unit, Universidade de Lisboa.
  • Handle: RePEc:ise:gheswp:wp562015

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Redish, Angela, 1984. "Why Was Specie Scarce in Colonial Economies? An Analysis of the Canadian Currency, 1796–1830," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 44(3), pages 713-728, September.
    2. Glassman, Debra & Redish, Angela, 1985. "New Estimates of the Money Stock in France, 1493–1680," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 45(1), pages 31-46, March.
    3. Fantacci, Luca, 2005. "Complementary currencies: a prospect on money from a retrospect on premodern practices," Financial History Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(01), pages 43-61, April.
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    1. repec:scn:00rbes:y:2017:i:2:p:68-74 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:col:000485:017224 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    Brazilian Mint Houses; Brazilian gold; Money Supply JEL classification: N13; N23; N43;

    JEL classification:

    • N13 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N23 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N43 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Europe: Pre-1913

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