Grams of fine silver of different national currencies with time, in the 16th century. The different currencies got devalued due to inflation, just like now, by reducing the amount of silver in their coins. This was before one could print notes and devalue like now, the fiat currency system. One can also see the currencies at the top, are heavier and more stable like the pound sterling, and unstable at the bottom, Turkish asper, Polish grosz and livre tournois.
From Fernand Braudel, The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World in the age of Philip II, Vol. 1.