See also ass.
A bronze coin minted by the Romans, beginning in the 3rd century bce. It weighed one libra, was divided into 12 unciae, and often served as a standard of mass. Around 211 bce its weight was reduced to 1/6 libra. In 155 bce it fell to 1 uncia, and in 91 bce to ½ uncia.
Also spelled es. In Denmark, 15th – 18th centuries, a small unit of mass used for precious metals, = 1/18 ort. Before 1683, about 48 milligrams; between 1683 and 1700, about 50.1 mg; after 1700, 50.8 mg. Doursther (1840), however, says the as in Copenhagen was 57.468 mg.
The as based on the Amsterdam pund was 47.87 milligrams around 1600, and 48 mg around 1650.
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Last revised: 29 April 2006.