The currency of a great state, such as France or England, generally consists almost entirely of its own coin. Should this currency therefore be at any time, worn, clipt or otherwise degraded below its standard value, the state by a reformation of its coin can effectively re-establish its currency. But the currency of a small state, such as Genoa or Hamburgh, can seldom consist altogether in its own coin, but must be made up, in great measure, of the coins of all the neighboring states with which its inhabitants have a continual intercourse. Such a state, therefore, by reforming its coin will not always be able to reform its currency.
The Wealth of Nations, p.446, New York 1937