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or seignorage

[seen-yer-ij] /ˈsin yər ɪdʒ/
something claimed by a sovereign or superior as a prerogative.
a charge on bullion brought to the mint to be coined.
the difference between the cost of the bullion plus minting expenses and the value as money of the pieces coined, constituting a source of government revenue.
Origin of seigniorage
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English seigneurage < Middle French seignorage, seigneurage; see seigneur, -age Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for seigniorage
Historical Examples
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of a seigniorage tax?

  • It was again and still further for the protection of gold that the seigniorage was increased to 7.48 per cent.

  • The scarcity of wheat and flour was an ever-present theme; the oppression of autocracy and seigniorage, another.

    Orphans of the Storm Henry MacMahon
  • It is on this principle that paper money circulates; the whole charge for paper money may be considered a seigniorage.

    The Value of Money Benjamin M. Anderson, Jr.
  • seigniorage is the right the ruler or state has to charge for coinage, or it is the charge made for coinage.

    The Principles of Economics Frank A. Fetter
  • If this full supply of money at a given moment is 100,000 pieces or dollars, a seigniorage charge of ten per cent.

    The Principles of Economics Frank A. Fetter
  • The small profit made by the government on every penny, nickel, or dime issued, is a seigniorage charge.

    The Principles of Economics Frank A. Fetter
  • Government paper money may be defined as money for which a seigniorage of one hundred per cent.

    The Principles of Economics Frank A. Fetter
  • The gain of seigniorage from paper money is greater and is just as easily secured.

    The Principles of Economics Frank A. Fetter
  • Now the immediate effect of a seigniorage would be, as Professor Fisher points out, a readjustment of the par of foreign exchange.

    Readings in Money and Banking

    Chester Arthur Phillips
British Dictionary definitions for seigniorage


something claimed by a sovereign or superior as a prerogative, right, or due
a fee payable to a government for coining bullion
the difference in value between the cost of bullion and the face value of the coin made from it
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for seigniorage

mid-15c., from Old French seignorage, from seignor (see seignior).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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