Interesting excerpts below from Aristotle's "The Athenian Constitution" on how the Athenian government would assign values to the various coins they used within their economy. The specific situation here is first set up by some constitutional adjustments made under the leadership of Solon:
There are three points in the constitution of Solon which appear to be its most democratic features: first and most important, the prohibition of loans on the security of the debtor's person; secondly, the right of every person who so willed to claim redress on behalf of any one to whom wrong was being done; thirdly, the institution of the appeal to the jurycourts; and it is to this last, they say, that the masses have owed their strength most of all, since, when the democracy is master of the voting-power, it is master of the constitution.So having made some legal adjustments to the constitution, looks like the Solon government goes on to make other lawful adjustments to the monetary system:
These seem to be the democratic features of his laws; but in addition, before the period of his legislation, he carried through his abolition of debts, and after it his increase in the standards of weights and measures, and of the currency. During his administration the measures were made larger than those of Pheidon, and the mina, which previously had a standard of seventy drachmas, was raised to the full hundred. The standard coin in earlier times was the two-drachma piece. He also made weights corresponding with the coinage, sixty-three minas going to the talent; and the odd three minas were distributed among the staters and the other values.This last sentence is key, as it points out how the Greeks assigned VALUES to the different coins through the law, such as the stater mentioned here; while the WEIGHT of these coins of differing VALUE was the same "odd three minas".
So we can see here how the weight of the coins did not dictate their legal value but rather human civil law... HA! TOO BAD METAL-LOVERS!
And as an aside it may be of interest to note how the Solon government implemented an 'abolition of debts' as part of a bit of a constitutional overhaul here coming out of what looks like an ancient time of political and economic crisis.
I remember Mike one time mentioned this ('debt forgiveness') on Fox as a current policy option for us today here in the US in order for our economy to be able to recover faster and whatever moron he was on with then more or less chuckled at him... yet Mike was proposing the same policy as what we can see here WAS implemented by the Athenian leadership during the ancient period when our western ancestors were forming and establishing for the first time a constitutional government without which we wouldn't even have our country today!
Do great minds think alike? And morons think alike? Looks like so.