The Slate Money of Blaenau Ffestiniog

If you thought that stone currency was unique to the Micronesian island of Yap think again. Coins made of slate were in use the Welsh principality of Gwynedd from over 1000 years ago. Not the small change that you can carry in a codpiece, these were up to 8 foot diameter and capable of causing serious damage when you put together round objects, hilly landscapes and gravity. One documented tragedy occurred at a Crusades recruitment drive in Blaenau. During Medieval Times, with the evolution of a new middle class, smaller thinner slate coins came into everyday use, with a variety of names and values for the many different sizes in use. Value of the slate pieces could also depend on the colour of the slate and how chipped the edges were. Eventually these became square or oblong and people would display their wealth by using them to keep the rain out of their homes. Even today a so-called Dowry Cottage is sought out by homebuyers.

The stamps show slate coins in use throughout the centuries.

228 228  229 229  230 230  231 231  232 232  233 233

The Slate Money of Blaenau Ffestiniog

SK NumberTypeDescription
310228Hywell Dda collecting taxes
311229Castell de Bere with huge slate coins
312230Medieval minstrels Bywyd Orllewin and their appearance fee
313231Caernarfon on market day
314232Synchronised slate coin minters at work
315233Typical dowry Cottages

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