Currency patterns may tell us something about the spread of wage payments and wage labour in specific societies in history. Extension in the circulation of medium- and small-denomination coins provides an indication of the occurrence of wage payments, in particular in cases where other sources for study of the phenomenon are lacking, e.g. non-European parts of the world before c 1900. Comparative research into the matter was done by IISH staff member Jan Lucassen. He received a pay packet with his first salary, for a holiday job starting on 12 July 1968.