# Question on the nature of debasement

I have a question concerning how exactly debasement works in terms of coins becoming reduced in value. I am aware that debasement is when the amount of a precious metal in a coin is reduced, the value of the coin goes down.

But my question about this is, how exactly is this degree of value change qualified, and how is it understood by the people, especially in regards to more ancient cultures such as Rome or even just medieval and rennisance periods. As I do not see how they would so easily ascertain the amount of change in the metal content, and come to a relative agreement upon the difference in value implied by this change.

Such as, how do they determine the difference in value between a coin of 80% gold and 20% silver at 5.2 grams; and one of 20% gold 50% silver and 30% copper at 3.65 grams. This seems way too difficult to calculate, especially for less educated people.

Would one just look at the weight of each metal within the coin and the value per mass unit, so 4.16g gold and 1.04g silver; versus 0.73g gold, 1.825g silver, and 1.095g copper? Where you take the value per gram of each and then add it together to find how it changes? Because, again, that seems like it is too complicated and requires knowing the exact alloy. Which is the origin of my confusion.

## In Short

So, can someone please explain to me how exactly debasement leads to a change in the value of coinage as used by the people? And upon what factors are these changes precisely quantified? This is a general question about inflation as well, just how do people just come to an agreement upon how a currency is changing in value.

I apologize if this question is a bother.