The London Metal Exchange Founded

The second iteration of London’s “Royal Exchange” (1871), The London Metal Exchange (LME), was founded in 1877 above a hat shop in Lombard Court. The exchange was established to provide a centralized marketplace for trading copper, tin and pig iron.


The impetus for founding the LME stemmed from overcrowding at the Royal Exchange, which forced the overflowing mob of traders to congregate at the nearby “Jerusalem Coffee House”. According to Reuters, this is where the tradition of “ring and kerb” was established:


“When a dealer wished to trade he would draw a ring on the floor of the coffee shop and shout ‘Change’. The expression ‘kerb’ trade developed when the coffee houses closed at the end of the day forcing traders onto the street to trade on the kerb of the road.”