chapter  3
18 Pages

–2001 – Alan Stahl

In the late fourteenth century, a French royal adviser cited the ducat of Venice as a worthy example for his young king to emulate: ‘the ne gold ducat of 24 carats that has not changed its standards for nine centuries’.1 In fact, the ducat at that point was barely a century old, but it had already impressed itself on the minds of contemporaries as an unchanging standard of immemorial presence. By the time it saw its last issue on the eve of the birth of the euro in 2001, it had indeed survived as the main gold denomination of Europe for the better part of nine centuries.