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Full text of "A manual of Gold and silver coins of all nations"



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http://archive.org/details/manualofgold1842jaco 



A MANUAL 

OF 

GOLD AND SILVER COINS 

OF ALL NATIONS, 

STRUCK WITHIN THE PAST CENTURY. 



SHOWING THEIR HISTORY, AND LEGAL BASIS, AND THEIR ACTUAL WEIGHT, FINENESS, AND 
VALUE, CHIEFLY FROM ORIGINAL AND RECENT ASSAYS. 

WITH WHICH ARE INCORPORATED 

TREATISES ON BULLION AND PLATE, COUNTERFEIT COINS, SPECIFIC GRAVITY OF PRECIOUS METALS, ETC. 

WITH RECENT STATISTICS OF THE PRODUCTION AND COINAGE OF GOLD AND SILVER IN 

THE WORLD, AND SUNDRY USEFUL TABLES. 



BY 

JACOB R. ECKFELDT, AND WILLIAM E. DU BOIS, 

ASSAYERS OF THE MINT OF THE UNITED STATES. 



ILLUSTRATED BY NUMEROUS E N G- E, A VI N G- S OF COINS, 

EXECUTED BY THE MEDAL-RULING MACHINE, AND UNDER THE DIRECTION, OF 

JOSEPH SAXTON, 

OF THE UNITED STATES MINT. 



PHILADELPHIA: 
PUBLISHED AT THE ASSAY OFFICE OF THE MINT. 

SOLD BY 

CAREY AND HART, J. DOBSON, AND J. TCHETHAM AND SON, CHESTNUT STREET, PHILADELPHIA. 

JAMES MUNROE AND CO., WASHINGTON STREET, BOSTON. 

WILEY AND PUTNAM, BROADWAY, NEW YORK, AND PATERNOSTER ROW, LONDON. 

HECTOR BOSSANGE, (JUAI VOLTAIRE, PARIS. 

PERTHES, BESSER AND MAUKE, HAMBURG. 

1842. 



Entered according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1842, by Jacob R. Eckfeldt, and William 
E. Dc Bois, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States in and for the Eastern 
District of Pennsylvania. 



C. SHERMAN, PRINTER, It' ST. JAMES STREET. 



TO 

ROBERT M. PATTERSON, M. D., 

DIRECTOR OF THE MINTS OF THE UNITED STATES, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE AMERICAN 
PHILOSOPHICAL SOCIETY, &C. &C. 

Dear Sir, 

In the publication of the ensuing work, the authors find a proper occasion of 
testifying their sense of your personal and official merit, by inscribing upon it your 
name. Be pleased to accept this dedication, with the warm regards of 

Your faithful servants, 

JACOB R. ECKFELDT, 

Assayer. 

WILLIAM E. DU BOIS, 

Assistant Assayer. 



INTRODUCTION. 

A new book of coins seems to be required by the commercial world about once in 
twenty years. In 1806, the " Traite des Monnaies" of M. Bonneville appeared, and 
perfected the science of real moneys to that date. When the second and improved 
edition of Dr. Kelly's " Universal Cambist" was published (in 1821,) although based 
in part upon the great standard just referred to, it had numerous alterations to supply ; 
new nations had sprung into existence, old ones had been blotted out, the whole retinue 
of Napoleonic sovereignties was transformed, and the world had another currency. 
So we, from this year of 1842, looking back upon the time which has elapsed 
since the Cambist appeared, perceive even greater changes in the constitution of 
nations, and the order of their coinage. This last monetary cycle has witnessed the 
origin of the kingdoms of Belgium and Greece in the old world, and in the new, the 
Empire of Brazil, and the whole catalogue of Spanish American republics, claiming 
a prominent place by the abundance of their gold and silver. Besides, there have 
been many and essential changes in the moneys of other countries ; insomuch that of 
the money systems of the sixty nations treated of in our second chapter, only eighteen 
remain as they are found in Kelly's work, and nine as in Bonneville's. Again, even 
if so great alterations had not ensued in the laws of coinage, experience proves that a 
watch must be kept upon the practice, and mint-assayers are continually testing the 
coins of foreign countries, choosing rather to trust to the cupel and balance, than 
to codes and allowances. From time to time, it devolves upon some of them to em- 
body their results in a manual for public use. Since the opening of the nineteenth 
century, France has given the first standard of this sort, England has supplied the 
second, and a third is now offered from the United States. 

In this undertaking, singular facilities have been afforded us. We have operated 
on nearly all the kinds of coin current in the world for a hundred years past, and in 

l 



jj INTRODUCTION. 

the most important instances, upon considerable masses of them, and by frequent 
repetitions ; so that a fair average has been attained. Out of 760 assays of coin 
stated in the second chapter, six-sevenths are original; the remainder, consisting 
chiefly of the older European and Oriental moneys, have been taken from Bonneville 
and Kelly, with a few from Becher. We have also had the advantage of an extensive 
correspondence, opened and conducted at our request, by the present Director of the 
Mint, with foreign ministers and consuls of the United States. Nor would we forget 
the encouragement extended by the entire corps of our fellow-officers, to whose 
courtesy and worth it is a pleasure to bear testimony. Still, the labour of the enter- 
prise has been such as to take from us, during three years past, most of the leisure 
which the daily and often urgent routine of official business allows. 

But we have aimed to do something more than to satisfy those who deal or take an 
interest in coins. The whole subject of Bullion demanded a methodical treatise ; 
this has been attempted in the third chapter, and it is hoped will be found useful to 
those engaged in mining, or in trading with mining countries. In the fourth chapter, 
we have ventured to handle Counterfeit Coins. M. Chaudet, in his recent work " L'Art 
de l'Essayeur," expresses his surprise that this subject has not found a place in the 
works of assayers, and makes a valuable contribution to it, in the chapter " De l'ex- 
amen des fausses monnaies francaises." We have taken advantage of some of his 
suggestions, but not without laying the ground anew, and submitting the whole 
matter to a practical and patient investigation. Our fifth chapter contains an 
original and extensive series of results in the specific gravity of the precious metals, 
important alike to men of science, and men of business. In the sixth chapter, we 
have sought to interest not only artists, but all who have a taste for engravings, by a 
brief history of the new process of machine engraving, and by numerous specimens of 
what it is able to achieve. The plates are fully described, and an attempt is made to 
acquaint ordinary readers with an easy method of distinguishing Oriental coins. In 
the appendix are statistics of various kinds relating to coinage, and tables of daily use 
to dealers in money, most of which are nowhere else accessible in print. 

Assay-Office of the Mist of the United States, 
Philadelphia, June 1842. 



CONTESTS. 



CHAPTER I. 




Hanse Towns (Hamburg, 


&c.) . 


. 65 






Hesse (Cassel, Darmstadt 


&c.) 


67 


General Principles of Coinage . 


5 


Hindustan 




. 69 


Material for coins, and their alloy 


. 5 


Japan 




74 


Their shape, and manufacture 


10 


Malay Archipelago (Java, 


&c.) . 


. 74 


Impressions on them 


. 15 


Mauritius . 




76 


Right of coinage 


17 


Mecklenburg 
Mexico 




. 76 

77 


CHAPTER II. 




Milan . 
Morocco 




. 85 

87 


Systems of Coinage of Various Nations . 19 


Naples . 




. 87 


Method of this chapter 


19 


Nassau 




90 


Argentine Republic (La Plata) . 


. 19 


Netherlands 




. 90 


Austria .... 


20 


Norway 




94 


Baden .... 


. 25 


Persia . 




. 95 


Bavaria .... 


26 


Peru 




97 


Belgium 


. 28 


Poland . 




. 98 


Bolivia .... 


30 


Portugal 




100 


Brazil .... 


. 31 


Prussia 




103 


Britain .... 


33 


Rome 




106 


Brunswick 


. 40 


Russia . 




109 


Burmah .... 


42 


Sardinia 




112 


Central America 


. 42 


Saxony 




114 


Chili .... 


43 


Sierra Leone 




117 


China .... 


. 44 


Spain 




117 


Cochin China 


46 


Sweden 




123 


Colombia, (New Granada, &c.) 


. 46 


Switzerland 




124 


Denmark .... 


49 


Tripoli 




128 


Egypt .... 


. 51 


Tunis . 




130 


France .... 


53 


Turkey 




132 


Germany .... 


. 58 


Tuscany 




134 


Greece .... 


61 


United States 




138 


Guiana (Demerary, &c.) 


. 62 


Venice . 




144 


Hanover .... 


63 


West Indies 




145 



TABLE OF CONTENTS. 



Westphalia 




. 147 


Wurtemberg 


CHAPTER III. 


148 


Gold and Silv 


ek Bullion . 


. 149 


Gold grains or dust 


150 


Gold amalgam 




. 153 


Laminated gold 




154 


Gold bars 




. 154 


Jewelry 




156 


Coined gold — Reid's and Bechtler's coins 


. 159 


Silver amalgam, 


or platapina 


162 


Silver bars 




. 162 


Plate 


. 


163 


Coined silver . 


. 


. 164 


Mixed bullion 




165 



CHAPTER IV. 

Counterfeit Coins . 
Sensible tests 
Mechanical tests 
Chemical tests 
Table of counterfeits . 

CHAPTER V. 

Specific Gravity of Gold and Silver 
Method of taking specific gravity . 
Table of specific gravity of gold 
Table of specific gravity of silver . 

CHAPTER VI. 
Description of the Plates . 



167 
170 
174 
176 

178 



180 
181 
182 
185 



186 



History of machine engraving . . 186 

Plate I. to XVI. . . .189 to 199 

Method of distinguishing Oriental coins . 200 



APPENDIX. 

Statistics of Coinage 

1. United States . 

2. Mexico 

3. Peru . 

4. Chili 

5. Bolivia 

6. Great Britain 

7. France 

8. Austria 

9. Prussia 
10. Spain 

Summary table of coinage, in proportion to popu- 
lation . . . . 

Proportion of coinage in large and small pieces 

Production of gold and silver . 

Table A. — Comparison of various modes of ex- 
pressing the fineness of gold and silver 

Table B. — Value, in U. S. money, of silver and 
gold, of standard fineness, (900 thous.) from 
1 to 100 ounces troy 

Table C. — Value, in U. S. money, of one ounce 
troy, of silver or gold, at different degrees 
of fineness .... 

Table D. — Equivalent of U. S. cents in British 
and French moneys 



203 
203 
204 
205 
206 
206 
207 
208 
210 
210 
211 

211 
212 
212 

213 



215 



216 



217 



A MANUAL OF COINS AND BULLION. 



CHAPTER I. 

GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF COINAGE. 

IT has been truly remarked, that the citizens of any country have commonly very 
little idea of the composition of their own coins. Among the many respectable and 
educated persons who visit our Mint, to witness its operations, not a few learn, for 
the first time, what is the difference between fine and standard gold or silver ; what 
are the reasons for mixing the base with the precious metals, and in what proportion 
this mixture is made. And in general, there is a want of information in regard to 
these metals, especially in the shape of coin, which, considering how incessantly they 
are passing from hand to hand, how earnestly sought after, and how diligently amassed, 
is a matter of just surprise. 

Such being the fact, it will be admissible, in the present work, to open with 
some of the general principles of coinage, as they may be gathered from the con- 
current practice of most countries. 

We shall therefore offer a few propositions and facts, under the following four heads 
of inquiry : 

I. Of what coins are made. 
II. Of the shape of coins; and their manufacture. 

III. Of the impressions on coins. 

IV. Of the power of coining ; to whom entrusted. 

I. OF WHAT COINS ARE MADE. 

It is an interesting inquiry to ascertain how, among all the products of nature, ihe 
metals came to be singled out, as the proper material for money. The reasons, what- 
ever they are, must be of universal application ; since the case is so, not in a few 
countries only, but in every part of the world, where mankind has been reclaimed 

2 



6 OF WHAT COINS ARE MADE. 

from savage life. But this is a research of Political Economy ; and it has been ably 
prosecuted, in many treatises on that branch of science. We borrow from them the 
definition of money, and the substance of which it should be made. 

" Money is a standard measure, by which the values of all things are regulated and 
ascertained ; and is itself, at the same time, the value or equivalent for which goods are 
delivered." This is a standing definition, given by all authors, from Aristotle down 
to the present time* 

It is equally well settled, that this standard of measure should be a scarce and 
valuable substance ; not necessarily bulky ; capable of being divided, without impair- 
ing its value; of sustaining no injury from the atmosphere, from much handling, from 
fire, water, or any of the ordinary exposures and accidents : — or, if thus injured, 
easily restored again ; that it should be not unpleasant to the sight and the touch ; 
and that it should be capable of receiving some distinctive and permanent impres- 
sion, by which to be recognised at sight. These various requisites point to the metals 
as the only proper substance. 

THE METALS USED. 

There are thirty-five metals known at this day. Of these, seven, viz : gold, silver, 
copper, tin, iron, lead, and mercury, have been known from all antiquity. Fourteen 
were discovered from the fifteenth century to the commencement of the present : 
among which are antimony, bismuth, nickel, platinum, and zinc. The remaining 
fourteen have come to light since the year 1802: such are palladium, iridium, rho- 
dium, &ct 

Of all these, the greater part are entirely unfit for coins. Many of them, such as 
iron, lead, zinc, and tin, are too cheap ; others, like antimony, bismuth, &c. are too 
brittle, and cannot be wrought. 

Again, only a few of them are actually wanted. Such a variety as six or eight 
would create confusion. The common consent of men has pitched upon three, as 
the proper number ; one, highly precious, for large transactions ; another, much less 
so, for ordinary purchases, and a third, still lower in value, to supply the smallest 
dealings. 

The three metals thus every where selected, are gold, silver, and copper. \ They are 

* Treatise of the Earl of Liverpool on the Coins of the Realm, p. 8; Lond. 1805. — Prof. Vethake employs a sim- 
pler expression : — " Money is that commodity which is most frequently exchanged for every other." — Political 
Economy, p. 23 ; Philadelphia, 1838. 

f Chaudet's Art de VEssayeur, ch. xviii ; Paris, 1835. 

\ It is well established, however, that there can be but one uniform measure of value. For example ; gold was for- 
merly worth eleven or twelve times as much as silver ; at present, it is fifteen or sixteen times ; which fluctuation at 
once gives rise to a gold and a silver valuation, or two standards. Such changes in the relative value are usually 
very gradual ; still, the monetary laws of a country cannot promptly follow them, and therefore one of the metals is 



OF WHAT COINS ARE MADE. 7 

believed to have been the earliest metals discovered ; and a beneficent Providence has 
certainly endowed them with properties which peculiarly fit them for a circulating 
medium, an end so important to the happiness and progress of society. 

The requisite qualities already mentioned, they possess in an eminent degree. But 
a few particulars may be added. 

Gold is found in nature usually mixed with other metals, such as silver, tin, &c, 
besides being involved in earthy substances ; but from all these it is separable with 
ease and certainty. 

It is very scarce ; but the annual produce is remarkably steady, and the quantity in 
market is not subject to sudden and great fluctuations. 

It is remarkable for weight; being 193 times heavier than water,* and next to pla- 
tinum, the heaviest known substance. 

It is remarkable for beauty, being of a peculiar yellow colour, and affording a re- 
splendent polish ; for which reasons, added to its rareness, it is much in demand for 
ornamental purposes, and hence acquires an intrinsic value. It is also of great use in 
some of the fine and common arts of life, which adds to its intrinsic worth. 

It is very ductile ; easily wrought and stamped ; can be melted by an easy process, 
and does not waste by that operation. 

Once more, it may be stated, that when alloyed with other metals, its proportion 
can be speedily and certainly ascertained. 

Silver possesses many of the above valuable properties, though in a less degree. Its 
specific gravity is 10-5; its colour is a clear white; as to value, 15£ to 16 ounces of 
it are, at the present day, equal to one of gold. 

Copper, being comparatively plenty, and easily oxidable, is not considered as a pre- 
cious metal. Nevertheless, experience proves that the smallest bits of silver, capable 
of receiving a stamp, are not small enough for many of the ordinary dealings; copper, 
therefore, has been resorted to, as in every respect preferable to the other base metals. 
Its specific gravity is 8-9 ; its colour is a deep red ; its value is about one-fiftieth that 
of silver.f 

Gold and silver coins pass freely from one country to another ; in general, receiving 
a new form, at the respective national mints. But copper coins, being of low and arbi- 
trary value, never travel beyond their own land. 

usually at a premium, against the other. The late Mr. Raguet proposed that gold coins should be of known weights, 
such as an ounce, half ounce, &c, and suffered to pass at their market value, without affixing any legal price upon 
them. Treatise on Banking, pp. 12 and 211 ; Phila. 1839. 

* In the technical term, which we shall hereafter use, this is its specific gravity. For various researches on this 
interesting subject, see Chapter V. 

t A fourth metal, platinum, has recently been used for coinage in Russia, where it is produced in considerable quan- 
tities. Tt holds a rank between gold and silver, as to value. The example is not likely to be followed by other coun- 
tries. See art. Russia. 



8 THE ALLOY OF COINS. 

In respect to the use of these three metals for coinage, it is farther to be observed, 
that copper alone is fit to be employed in a pure or unalloyed state. It is true that 
gold and silver are used, in some countries, in a state of absolute or approximate 
fineness ; for example, the sequins of Tuscany, and the florins of Hanover. But the 
general usage is quite otherwise, and for good reason. Those metals, in their purity, 
are soft, easily bent or injured, and exposed to rapid wear. They are greatly bene- 
fitted, for coining purposes, by being moderately hardened ; and this is best done by 
the admixture of copper. 

To what degree gold and silver should be alloyed, is by no means a settled question. 
A very prevalent proportion has been one-twelfth ; that is, that any given weight of 
mixed metal, ready for coining, should contain eleven parts pure, and one part alloy. 
Other proportions, however, are common ; such as, one-tenth ; one-eighth ; one-sixth ; 
one-fourth. But the practice of Spanish America, from whence the world is chiefly 
supplied with silver, has given a tone to the systems of other countries. For many 
years, the dollars from that region have been alloyed about one-tenth. These are 
mostly recoined when they reach other parts of the world ; and as it is an advantage 
to make as little change as possible, in the mixture, and as that mixture falls in so 
well with the decimal proportion, of one part alloy in ten, and effects a proper degree 
of hardness in the metal, it is gaining favour in many nations, and in the course of 
time may become a universal law. The silver coins of Spain, Spanish America, and 
parts of Germany, and both gold and silver of France, Belgium, Rome, the United 
States, and other countries, are now alloyed at this rate. 

Another unsettled question is, as to what the alloy of the gold coins should be. In 
Spanish America, finding that silver is mixed with the gold in its natural state, they 
have made that the alloying metal, without introducing copper ; though the practice 
is now changing there. On the other hand, Great Britain, France, Germany, and 
some other countries, are now endeavouring to rid their gold coins of silver entirely, 
using copper only, as the alloy. These two extremes give rise to a great diversity of 
colour in gold coins ; the doubloons are often sadly pale, and the sovereigns sus- 
piciously red. In the United States, it is thought very desirable to maintain a gold 
colour; which is best attained by using both silver and copper. Our law provides that 
the alloy should consist of not more than one-half silver ; the practice of the Mint is 
to approach the ratio of one-fourth. That is to say, of any given weight of mixed 
metal, prepared for coining, there shall be of gold, 900 parts; of silver, 25 parts; of 
copper, 75 parts; = 1000. 

Considering the practice of most countries, the weight of authority is in favour of 
keeping a small proportion of silver in the gold coins. 

A third unsettled question is, whether the silver coins, large and small, of any one 
country, should all be of the same fineness. In some nations, it has been a long esta- 



THE BILLON SYSTEM. 9 

Wished principle to make the small coins of very, base alloy, the silver constituting 
only one-half, one-third, and even one-fourth ; which mixtures, as they can properly 
be called neither silver nor copper, have received the name of billon* 

To make this the more intelligible to an American reader, we will suppose that 
our denominations of silver coin, and their intrinsic value, remain as at present ; but 
that their standards should vary, as follows : 

The dollar, at 412^ grains, nine-tenths fine. 

The half-dollar, 206? grains, nine-tenths fine. 

The quarter-dollar, I805 grains, five-tenths fine. 

The dime, 124 grains, three-tenths fine. 

The half-dime, 92f grains, two-tenths fine. 

Such would be our system, if we took Austria, the German States, Denmark, and 
some other countries, for our pattern. But why such a diversity of mixtures? For 
no other reason, than to make the piece more bulky and tangible ; thus, at the above 
rate, our half-dime would be nearly as large as the present quarter-dollar: and one 
cent, instead of the present large copper piece, would be represented in a coin 
scarcely smaller than the present half-dime. But these low alloys, although when first 
issued they have a silvery surface, soon obtain a bad colour by wear, and if very base, 
can hardly be distinguished from mere copper. They can also be easily imitated. 
Further, the large amount of copper put in them, is nearly thrown away, since the 
value of a coin is ascertained by the amount of pure metal in it ; and lastly, the silver 
cannot be recovered from such mixtures, without great expense and loss. For these 
and other reasons, it is the prevailing practice to make all the coins, large and small, 
of one fineness. 

It should be remarked, that in countries where billon is used, the coins made of it 
are not of full intrinsic value, but are made to yield a profit to the government. 

The coins of Turkey and the Barbary Powers, are all made of a low alloy of silver. 
The reason there is, that as the money is to be forced upon the people at an arbi- 
trary and fictitious value, the less silver that is used the better, provided there is some 
plausible show of the precious metal. But this policy does not prevail in other 
Mohammedan countries, as Egypt and Persia, nor in countries farther East. 

The series of gold coins, in every country, is always maintained at the same fine- 
ness. 

* This is a French word, and is traced back to the money-dealers of Lombardy and Venice, who, during the bloody 
strife between the Guelphs and Gibellines in the thirteenth century, escaped to various parts of Europe. The words 
bilan, agio, cambiste, usance, &c. now every where familiar, were introduced by the Lombards. Mongez, Memoire 
sur V Art du Monnoyage, &c., p. 220. 

3 



10 THE SHAPE OF COINS. 



II. OF THE SHAPE OF COINS AND THEIR MANUFACTURE. 

Coins are generally ma.de Jlat, circular, and thin. 

By being flattened, they receive better impressions ; are conveniently handled, 
counted, and piled. The exceptions to this rule are, the silver tical of Siam, shaped 
somewhat like a bullet, and impressed only by a few small marks ; and the star 
pagoda of India, which is a convex lump. 

They are also more convenient for being circular. Any other shaped edge would 
retard the process of coining very much ; besides, angular pieces would not only be 
exposed to increased wear, but would themselves wear upon other substances ; few 
would choose to carry them in the pocket. An attempt at the circular form has 
generally been made, in all ages ; but it is since the seventh or eighth century of the 
Christian era, that a true circle has been attained* The ancient practice was, to 
cast the metal into a convex button, and then give it an impression, with great force. 
From this operation, the edge remained pretty nearly in a circular line, though often 
with fissures and rough places. The cobs, or coins of Spanish America, of about a 
century ago, were of all manner of shapes, being struck with a hammer, and clipped 
to their proper weight ; leaving ample opportunity for future clipping without detec- 
tion. Other specimens there are, of a more regular workmanship, in which the 
angular form has been expressly aimed at ; as for instance, the square ducat of 
Nuremberg ; the square rupees of the Mogul empire ; the parallelograms of Japan ; 
and the octagonal pieces of Assam. 

Coins are also made thin. By this we only mean, that they are rather in plates, 
than in blocks. There is a great variety in the thickness of coins ; and this is com- 
monly proportioned to the diameter ; a small piece being much thinner than a larger 
one. But this rule is not universal. The miscal, or dollar of Morocco, is one-third less 
in breadth than the quadruple ducat of Austria, yet is six times as thick. 

The purposes for which coins are fabricated, demand that they should be convenient 
to handle, and to carry about the person ; neither too large, nor too small. They 
must be less than a medal, and larger than a spangle. Yet there is a great diversity 
of opinion as to what the public will require, or endure, in this respect. The heaviest 
coin of modern times, is the golden five-moidore piece of Portugal, struck about a 
century ago, weighing 828 grains, and worth $32-70. The smallest coin is the 
Turkish para, of the present sultan; which weighs from 1| to 2| grains, contains a 
small portion of silver, and is one-thirtieth of our cent. 

* Pinkerton's Essay on Metals, i. 68. 



THE SIZE OK COINS. 1 | 

The following particulars may be observed, of coins of the different metals. 

Coins in gold generally vary in size from the ducat to the doubloon ; which is from 
53i to 416i grains in weight, and from #2 - 26 to $15 - 56 in value. The scope of our 
coinage is from the eagle, or ten dollar piece, of 258 grains, to the quarter-eagle, of 
64A grains* 

As to silver coins, our own series well represents the usual scope. A smaller piece 
than our half-dime (20^ grains) is seldom used. On the other hand our dollar is near 
the usual weight and value of the crowns and dollars of other countries, which are 
found a good size, both for currency at home, and for exportation. Pieces of less 
value than our half-dollar generally abide, like the copper, in their own country .t 

Of copper coins, there are in our monetary system, two denominations ; the cent, 
of 168 grains, and the half-cent. The latter is nowhere used, and even the cent is 
scouted in some parts of the Union, especially at the South and West, where the 
citizens do not deign to buy any thing under the value of a half-dime, or a Spanish 
medio. But in many other countries, the case is quite different. For example, the 
pfennig (penny) of Saxony, weighs but 24 grains ; and the centime of Geneva, which 
must be the smallest bit of copper money in Europe, is 14 grains, or just one-twelfth 
of our cent. 

It would be interesting to compare New Orleans with Geneva, with a view to 
ascertain what can be the difference in their social condition, when the smallest coin 
of the one, is sixty times more valuable than the minimum of the other. What can 
the Genevese buy with a centime, or the Turk with a para? It is a matter of wonder 
to us in the western world. 

On the other hand, the Russian czar supplies his subjects with copper coins, the 
largest of which, if they were cheap enough, might almost serve the ends of whole- 
sale dealers in that metal. A piece of 1795 weighs 890 grains; about 5J times as 
much as our cent. The ten copeck piece of the present emperor, the arbitrary value 
of which is one-tenth of a rouble, or 7j cents, weighs 700 grains, equal to the weight 
of 4J cents. 

In this connexion it is curious to notice the very great difference in value, between 
the nominal coins of countries. Every national system of currency has its integer, 
unit, or starting-point. In the United States, this is the dollar ; in Great Britain, it 
is the sovereign, or pound sterling. Observe then the disparity, even in contiguous 
regions. The nominal coin of Britain, the highest, in the world, is equivalent to $4-84 
in our money. That of France (just over the channel) is the franc, worth I85 cents. 
In Holland, and a large part of Germany, it is the florin, about 40 cents ; in Austria, 

* The proposition made some years since, to coin gold dollars, was decided to be injudicious, and therefore 
abandoned. 

t The measurements of our coins, both singly and in large packages, will be detailed hereafter. 



12 MANUFACTURE OF COINS. 

another florin, worth 48i cents; in Turkey, the piastre, " of no particular value," but 
at present about 4 cents. This disparity shows itself in the display of figures, and has 
its effect upon the eye and the mind, when we read of salaries or subsidies. If we 
instance the pay of the governor of the British settlement at Good Hope, which is 
£6000 per annum, we shall find its magnitude increasing upon us, if it be expressed 
as a sum of 29,000 dollars, or 156,000 francs, or 726,000 piastres. So the tribute of a 
pasha, or a loan to the sultan, which, when stated in Turkish money, seems enough 
to drain the money market, dwindles into a mere annuity, when measured by the 
British unit. 

Considering the ordinary course of business transactions, and the prevalence of the 
Spanish- American dollar over the world, we of this country may, on the whole, rest 
satisfied with the dollar as our money unit. It is a good medium between the widely- 
differing integers of England and France, with whom we have most intercourse. 

The reader will now be disposed to inquire, by what process the metals are shaped 
into coins ? — which will lead us to a description, not too minute, of this manufacture. 

Under the ancient Roman empire, this was a laborious operation, requiring many 
artists and workmen. They had first the Optio, or Director ; then the Exactores, or 
Nummularii, Assayers ; Scalptores or Calatores, Engravers of the dies, who were usually 
Greek artists ; Cenarii, Refiners ; Fusarii, or Flatuarii, Melters ; Equatores, Adjusters 
of weight, and Signatores, who certified the same ; Suppostores, who put the pieces on 
the die, and Malleatores, who struck the blow* The whole body constituted a corpo- 
ration in law : and so numerous were they, that on one occasion, under the Emperor 
Aurelian (a.d. 274) they were excited to a revolt, and killed seven thousand soldiers, 
before they could be subdued ; from which incidental fact it is plausibly inferred that 
they themselves must have been at least seven thousand strong.t 

Their process is briefly thus stated : The metal, when assayed and refined, was cast 
by the melters in the shape of bullets, in order to assist the high relief; the busts on 
Roman coin being prominent to a degree not known in modern times. These bullets 
were then placed between the dies, and received the impression by repeated strokes 
of the hammer. The edges of the piece, not being confined by a collar, as in our 
day, were allowed to spread out as they might, and therefore presented an irregular 
line, approaching to a circle. It would seem that in some cases a large stone was 
made to drop upon the piece, and so produce the impression.^ 

Thus much for ancient minting. It would be interesting to trace the progress of 
the art, especially in France and England ; but we must proceed at once to state the 

* Pinkerton on Medals, i. 67 ; and M. Mongez, " Memoires sur l'Art du Monnoyage chez les Anciens," &c. in the 
Transactions of the Royal Inst, of France, p. 218; 1831. 
f Mongez. 
I Pinkerton. 



MANUFACTURE OF COINS. 13 

modern process; and in the hope that our own will be acknowledged as a fair speci- 
men, the routine of this Mint will here be given. 

Bullion is brought to the Mint in every form ; amalgamations from the ore, bars, 
plate, jewelry, and foreign coin* All these present a great variety as to quality. 
Some of the metal will be nearly pure ; other portions will be of lower grade, and in 
every proportion, down to two-thirds fine, or less. Part will also be ductile, and fit 
to work ; part will be brittle, and will require a process of toughening. Once more, 
a deposit will often consist of the two metals, gold and silver, in a mixed mass, 
requiring to be parted by chemical agents. To ascertain all these points is the busi- 
ness of the Assayer. 

To bring this heterogeneous mass into good malleable metal, and to separate the 
gold from the silver, are not strictly Mint operations. In some countries, these pre- 
liminary processes have to be performed by private refiners. At the Mint of the 
United States, a department is provided for the parting, refining, and standarding of 
the metals, and casting them into ingots or small bars, suitable for the manufacture 
of coin.t These bars are about twelve inches long, half an inch thick, and from one 
to one and a half inches in width, according as they are to be used for different sizes 
of coin. Before they can be wrought, their fineness is tested by an assay ; and those 
which are found better or worse than the legal limits, are sent back to be melted and 
cast over again, at the proper rate. 

The ingots, being approved, are annealed or heated to redness, to soften them for 
rolling ; and by the power of a steam-engine, they are rolled out into long and thin 
strips. In this form they are carried to the drawing bench, where, by the same 
engine, they are drawn slowly through the drawing dies, or plates of the hardest 
steel, nicely set to reduce the strips to their proper thickness. In the next place, they 
are passed through the cutting press, also moved by steam, and pieces or planchets of 
the true size are cut out. The punch moves so rapidly, that one hundred and sixty 
planchets are, on an average, cut out in one minute. After this process, the strip, 
now full of holes, is folded up, and sent back to the melting-pot. 

The next step is to raise the edge of the planchet to afford a protection to the 
surface of the coin. This is done by the milling machine, in which the edge is 
compressed, and forced up ; and which moves so nimbly, in its present state of perfec- 
tion, that 560 half-dimes can be milled in a minute ; but for large pieces the average 
is 120. 

The planchets are then cleaned, annealed, and whitened, by a course of treatment 
not necessary to be particularized in this place. The gold pieces are next adjusted 
in their weight, piece by piece ; the silver pieces, having before been tested by sam- 

* Details are given in the chapter on Bullion. 

+ This department is now in the charge of Dr. J. R. McClintock, who is styled the Melter and Refiner. 

4 



14 MANUFACTURE OP COINS. 

pies from each strip, do not require such critical accuracy. After coinage, their 
weight is proved, by quantities. 

The pieces are now ready for stamping. To effect this there is a machine, of new 
construction, moved by steam-power, which receives the planchets in a tube, from the 
hand of a workman ; and of itself, slides them one by one to the proper point, 
within a steel collar, and between the coining dies. There, by a rotary motion, it 
silently but powerfully impresses the piece, and instantly pushes it away, a perfect 
coin, to be followed as instantly by another. And thus the coins, after counting and 
packing, are ready to be handed over to him who brought the bullion* 

The coining dies, we should state, are prepared by an engraver, specially main- 
tained at the Mint for that purpose.t The devices and legends are first cut in soft 
steel ; those parts being sunk which on the coin are raised.^ This, being finished 
and hardened, constitutes what is called an original die. Being the fruit of a tedious 
and difficult labour, it is not used for coining, but for multiplying dies. It is first 
used to impress another piece of steel in its soft state, which then appears like the 
coin, the letters being raised ; and is called a hub. This hub being hardened, im- 
presses other pieces of steel, which, being the opposite of the coin as to the raised 
and sunken parts, are the coining dies. A pair of them will, on an average, perform 
two weeks' work. 

The coining presses are of various sizes, to suit the different denominations of 
coin ; those for the dollar and the half-dime, compared together, are as a pon- 
derous machine by the side of a plaything. The usual speed of striking is sixty 
pieces per minute for the dollar and half-dollar, seventy-five for the quarter-dollar, 
ninety for the dime and half-dime. 

The Mint is now manned by about sixty officers, clerks, and workmen. By the addi- 
tion of ten or twelve men of the latter class it would be competent to a coinage of six 
millions of dollars annually, half in gold and half in silver, with a due proportion of 
small coins, and at an expense to the government of $70,000. But if the institution 
were put to its utmost capacity, and with a still further increase of hands, it is 
estimated that it would accomplish a coinage of twelve millions annually, the cost of 
which would be $106,000.§ 

The above particulars, if not satisfactory to the reader, will at least aid him in 
understanding the routine, whenever he may please to visit the Mint. 

* All the manipulations, after the ingots are made, are within the department of the Chief Coiner. This office is 
now executed by Franklin Peale, Esq. 

f C. Gobrecht, Esq., is the present Engraver of the Mint. 

| The art is called die-sinking, rather than engraving. 

5 Report of Dr. Patterson, Director of the Mint, to Congress, through the Treasury Department, March 1838. 



IMPRESSIONS ON COINS. 15 



III. OF THE IMPRESSIONS ON COINS. 

The piece of metal offers two disks and an edge, for whatever impressions are to 
be put upon it, to constitute a current coin. What should the impressions be ? 

In all monarchical countries the likeness of the sovereign is almost invariably 
stamped on one side of the coin. This is sometimes the head only, sometimes the 
head and bust, but never more, as the pieces, even the largest, are too small to admit 
of it. Russia affords a remarkable exception ; the imperial head, since Alexander, 
appears on none of the coins. 

The face is always in profile. A front or three-quarter view, though it would offer 
a more effective likeness, would present difficulties in the die-sinking, not to be 
explained here ; it could not be brought up by a single blow in coining, which is a 
conclusive objection : moreover the face, and especially the nose, would offer a pro- 
tuberance, to be rapidly worn down, and render the picture false and ludicrous. 

In republics, on the other hand, the likeness of the political chief is never given. 
This may be considered a criterion, to judge whether a republic, so called, is essen- 
tially and permanently so. Under the British Commonwealth, we find the portrait of 
Cromwell upon the money, but the republicanism of his government may justly be 
called in question. In Fiance, the head of the First Consul was placed on the coin, 
with the legend Rqmblique Francaise ; but very soon after, that head appears encircled 
with a laurel wreath, and over it the motto Empire Francais. So in the less con- 
spicuous dominion of Hayti, in the West Indies, we observe the effigy of President 
Boyer on the money, but it is well known that the name of republic is there a cover- 
ing for a virtual despotism. 

In Bolivia, the head of Bolivar appears on all the coins ; but that distinguished 
warrior has been dead for many years, and the exaltation of his image does not put 
the liberties of the nation in jeopardy. The other republics of Spanish America pre- 
sent no heads of Presidents; though in the Argentine Republic, or Buenos Ayres, the 
chief is glorified by a legend, importing " Eternal praise to the Restorer Rosas." 

In the United States, while the newly-established Mint was trying its powers in an 
experimental way, in the years 1791-92, the head of Washington, then President, was 
stamped on the copper cent. But this, being offered to Congress, was promptly for- 
bidden ; and it is said (no doubt with truth) that Washington himself disapproved it. 
If ever a true republic could depart from the line of precedents, this Union might well 
have done so, in multiplying the likeness of the Father of his country.* 

* The " Washington Cent," of which a few specimens escaped the Mint, is now one of the greatest numismatic 
curiosities, and is eagerly sought after, by collectors. There were two dies, materially different. 



16 IMPRESSIONS ON COINS. 

The republics of Europe are so few, as to afford little scope for exemplification. 
Still, the practice there is uniform. The Swiss coins give no portrait of the Landam- 
man ; Holland, while a federal republic, never displayed the head of the Stadtholder ; 
nor did independent Venice her Doge. 

As a substitute for a sovereign's head, republics have always adopted some em- 
blematical device, expressive of Liberty. This is often the head or figure of a 
female, with a pileus, or Roman liberty-cap somewhere in sight. But the devices are 
various. 

In Mohammedan countries (which are never republics) there is, indeed, no mo- 
narch's effigy upon the coinage. The reason of this is, that the Koran, in its wide 
interpretation of the second commandment, forbids the likeness to be made of any 
body, for any purpose. But this injunction is compensated, by Shahs and Sultans, in 
the pompous and vainglorious array of titles, which make up the inscription on their 
coins. Thus in Persia, it reads " Mahomed Shah, the king of kings." In Turkey, 
as late as the reign of Selim III., the inscription was " Sultan of the two lands, and 
sovereign of the two seas, Sultan by inheritance, son of a Sultan." His successors 
Mahmoud II., and Abdul Medjid (now reigning), have used, with better taste, a sim- 
pler title ; but their sweeping toghra or cypher, is as expressive of royalty as any 
portraiture. 

As a final remark upon this point we observe, that copper coins are not usually 
graced with the monarch's head ; nor indeed, with any such elaborate devices as 
appear on gold and silver. 

Thus much for the face or obverse of coins : we proceed to notice the reverse* On 
this side is usually displayed the shield or coat of arms ; which is, as it were, the 
national seal, attesting the weight and purity of the piece. But this is not an uni- 
versal rule. In France, and some other countries, the reverse exhibits a wreath, 
enclosing the denomination or value of the coin. This is very common in small 
coins every where ; our own are examples. It has been thought by some, that the 
reverse should be diversified by devices illustrative of national events, as is the case 
with medals, thus constituting a train of medallic monuments for history. The Papal 
coinage shows a considerable variety of subjects in this way. And in Bavaria, from 
1 827 to 1 830, there were as many as seven different reverses on the dollars. 

Besides the pictures, a coin is always stamped with words, in full or abbreviated, 
and almost always with dates. The words are disposed, technically, either as legends 
or inscriptions. A legend runs around the head or shield, near the border ; sometimes 
it is at the bottom, under a line, which space is called the exergue. An inscription 
(which is much less frequent) occupies the field, or the part usually taken up by the 
head or shield. Sometimes the motto is found on the edge of the coin. 

* In common terms, the two slides of a coin are head and tail ; in French, the terms are croix et pile. 



PREROGATIVE OF COINAGE. 17 

In respect to these legends or inscriptions, the following points are to be observed. 

1. Being meant for the information of all sorts of persons, learned or unlearned, 
they should be in the language of the country. Yet this common-sense proposition 
has found favour only within the last half century, Latin terms being almost uni- 
versally used. Russia appears to have been the first, of Christian nations, to employ 
a vernacular legend. The United States of America used this style from the first, 
though not exclusively ; the Latin motto " E pluribus Unum," (which was not 
acknowledged in the law) floated in a scroll over the eagle's head, until the change 
of standard in 1834, when it was discontinued. In 1791, republican France began to 
inscribe her own language upon her coins. The example has since been followed by 
most nations of Europe ; but England and Austria adhere to the old system. 

2. The coin should declare its country. This is always done, with gold and silver ; 
not always with billon and copper. Sometimes it is so abbreviated or Latinized, that 
the common reader can learn nothing from it. 

3. The coin should declare its denomination, or value. French coins are very ex- 
plicit ; " 5 Francs" and " 20 Francs" occupy the field. In most countries this con- 
venience is added to the coinage : but not so in England, except in the small silver 
coins. Sometimes the weight, or fineness, or both, are given ; as in Russia, Poland, 
parts of Germany, and the republics of Spanish America. 

4. The date of the coinage should be given. This was not the practice, some 
centuries ago ; but now it is hard to find an exception.* 

5. When there are several mints in one country, some distinctive letter or mark is 
usually given, to indicate at which one the piece was coined. In the United States, 
the three branch mints at Charlotte, Dahlonega, and New Orleans, use the initials 
C. D. and O., respectively. The principal Mint, at Philadelphia, employs no mark, 
and its coins are ascertained by that fact. 

In South America, some of the mints use monograms, or involutions of letters ; as 
M for Lima, 'W for Potosi. 

IV. OF THE POWER OF COINING— TO WHOM IT IS ENTRUSTED. 

The right of coinage ought always to be vested in the sovereign, and be regulated 
by known laws. In a confederated republic, it should lodge in the general govern- 
ment, and not with the states. It is so in the United States, and most of the American 
republics : it is not so in Switzerland, nor, formerly, in the United Provinces of Hol- 

* On the coins of Mohammedan countries, the date is of course, the year of the Hegira. But in Turkey, the manner 
of dating is peculiar. For example : Mahmoud II. ascended the throne A. H. 1223 (A. D. 1808), and all the coins of 
his long reign bear that date. But on another part of the coin, the year of his reign, as 1, 10, 22, &c. is given ; this, 
added to the former, gives the true millesime of the piece. 

5 



18 PREROGATIVE OF COINAGE. 

land. In Mexico, the laws regulating the coinage are enacted by the Federal Con- 
gress, but the mints are conducted by the States in which they are located, without 
supervision or control ; hence there is an irregularity in the value of their dollars. 

The mischiefs of private coinage need not be dwelt upon here. No one will strike 
money without receiving an adequate profit ; but coins are of such a nature, that they 
cannot yield any gain, without fraud. Coin is intrinsically worth nothing, or next to 
nothing, beyond its weight of gold or silver, in mass. Again, it is impossible to guard 
against moderate frauds in the alloying of coins, such as making them eight-tenths, 
instead of nine-tenths fine. The public faith alone is a sufficient guarantee of the 
integrity of a coin* 

During the suspension of specie payments in England, when the private coinage of 
silver was extensively carried on, the shilling token was far below the value of a 
shilling, and very irregular between one maker and another. In our own country, the 
gold coinage executed by Mr. C. Bechtler, in North Carolina, which circulates freely 
at the South and West, is not far below its declared value, if a single piece were in 
question ; but in considerable quantities, the depreciation is seriously felt.t 

It has thus been attempted to lay down some of the principles by which coinage is 
regulated. Other matters might have been introduced, but not without infringing on 
our design, and the good will of the reader. 

* The difficulty of deciding upon good counterfeits is illustrated by a curious case at Nashville, Tennessee, in 
1829, which is noticed in the chapter on Counterfeits, 
f The loss is 2i to 3 per cent. See particulars in the chapter on Bullion. 



CHAPTER II. 

THE SYSTEMS OF COINAGE OF THE VARIOUS NATIONS. 



In this chapter, which fulfils the principal object of the work, and constitutes its 
greater portion, the monetary systems of the different countries in the world will be 
exhibited, with such incidental details as are naturally suggested by the subject. 

The method generally, though not rigidly, pursued, is the following. Each nation 
is treated of distinctly. The order of governmental succession, and some historical 
facts bearing upon the coinage or metallic currency, are briefly set forth. The legal 
standards are then stated, in the metrical terms of the country, and of our own. The 
annual product of precious metals, if any, and the amount of coinage, next receive 
some notice. The article is concluded with tables of the gold and silver coins, eluci- 
dating the previous statements, and, in general, serving the inquiries of dealers and 
amateurs in coin, legislators, and persons of varied reading, desiring to extend their 
information in this direction. These tables have been prepared with great care, and 
chiefly from trials made here. They comprise the following specifications: 1, the 
denomination, or name of the coin — 2, the dates — 3, the reign, or government — 4, the 
weight, in troy grains — 5, the fineness in thousandth parts* and 6, the value in our 
money .t The system has been, not to cull the finest specimens, but to take the ordi- 
nary circulation, not too much defaced by wear ; and to operate upon large quanti- 
ties, in all practicable cases, so as to obtain the true average. 



ARGENTINE REPUBLIC. 

(Formerly La Plata.) 

Republics Argentina Confederada. 

This country formerly included Bolivia, and the whole was a vice-royalty of Spain. 
Containing the famous silver mining region of Potosi, it was well designated La 

* At the end of the book is a table for converting thousandths, or milliemes, into carats, loths, dineros, &c. 
f For the convenience of foreign readers, a table is placed in the Appendix for converting the American valuation 
into the British and French. 



20 



ARGENTINE REPUBLIC. 



Plata ; but now that the mines are chiefly enclosed in the bounds of another state, 
the propriety of the new title of Argentine Republic, seems not so evident. 

The Spanish domination was thrown off in 1810, but independence was not 
formally declared until 1816. In 1825, the whole northern part of the country, 
including most of the silver mines, was set off into the distinct republic of Bolivia. 
The name by which the country is now known, is of recent adoption. Frequently 
the whole territory is spoken of, by the name of its chief city, Buenos Ayres. 

The coinage is professedly upon the Spanish basis (see Spain) ; but in its results, is 
exceedingly irregular and uncertain. In fact, neither the doubloons nor dollars are 
worthy to be received by count, as the ensuing table will show. (See Plate V., with 
the description.) 

GOLD AND SILVER COINS. 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


GOVERNMENT. 


WEIGHT. 
GES. 


FINENESS. 
THOUS. 


VALUE. 
D. C. M. 


Doubloon 


1828-32 


Provinces of R. de la Plata. 


418 


815 


14 66 


do. 






1813-32 


do. 


415 


868 


15 51 


Dollar . 






1828 


do. 


380 


862 


88 2 


do. . 






1828 


do. 


411 


822 


91 


do. . 






1828 


do. 


418 


800 


90 


Half do. 






1815 


do. 


205 


888 


49 


Quarter do. 






1813-16 


do. 


98 


886 


23 4 


Dollar . 






1838-39 


Argentine Republic. 


388 


928 


97 


do. . 






1838-39 


do. 


427 


894 


1 02 8 


do. . 






1838-39 


do.* 


412 


915 


1 01 5 



AUSTRIA. 

Oesterreich. 



The coins of the Austrian Empire at this day are of three classes ; a fourth, 
though still current, ceased to be issued in 1800. Their origin and character will be 
explained by what follows. 

* This is the average of the Argentine dollars. The two preceding are extremes. But in fact, any single dollar 
may combine the extremes of good or of had, in weight and fineness; in a word, one dollar may be worth 93 J cents, 
and another 107 cents ; nor can any eye or hand detect a difference. 



A U S T R I A. 



21 



When the French Revolution began to convulse all Europe the monarch (Francis 
II.) who ruled what is now the Empire of Austria, was the titular Emperor of Ger- 
many ; and his dominions comprised the Archduchy of Austria and its dependent 
provinces, the Kingdom of Hungary, the Duchy of Milan or Lombardy, and the Low 
Countries, now known as Belgium. 

For each of these four regions there was a distinct coinage. The Austrian was to 
be known by its double-headed eagle ; the Hungarian, by the images of the Virgin and 
Child; the Lombard by its shield, quartered with eagles and serpents; and the Braban- 
tine or Belgian, by the X-shaped cross, profusely ornamented. About the close of the last 
century, the Low Countries were detached from German rule, and the coinage of the 
gold sovereign and silver crown, as already intimated, was arrested. Near the same 
time, Lombardy also passed into other hands, and a second class of imperial coin was 
for a time suspended. 

The course of events, in that memorable period, brought on another change in 
Austrian moneys, affecting, however, only the inscriptions upon them. In 1806, the 
ancient German Empire was dissolved ; Francis II. of Germany, became Francis I. of 
Austria, and the stately legend of " Roman Emperor, ever august," gave place to the 
simpler one of " Emperor of Austria."* 

At the pacification of Europe in 1815, Lombardy, with Venice annexed, reverted 
to Austria ; and soon after, a monetary system was decreed for that country. There 
are now, therefore, the three series of Austrian, Hungarian, and Lombard coins ; but 
in such harmony with each other, as to be in some respects interchangeable. 

1. The coins proper to Austria are, in gold, the single, double, and quadruple ducat 
— einfache, doppelte, and vierfache ducaten. The ducat and its multiples are coined at 
the rate settled in 1559, and generally in use in other countries; that is, 67 ducats to 
be made from a Cologne mark of gold,t 23§ carats fine. Reducing these terms to our 
own, the ducat should weigh 53-87 troy grains, and the fineness should be 986 thou- 
sandths. Since 1786, its legal value is 4J Austrian florins; but it is at a premium, 
against silver.:): It is designated in mercantile papers by the mark =#=, after the 
manner of our %, for dollar. 

The silver coins are of six denominations: 1, the reichsthaler, or rixdollar ; 2, the 
gulden, or florin, which is half of the former, but is itself the principal money of 
account, being divided into 60 kreutzers ; 3, the zioanziger, or piece of 20 kreutzers, 
which is one-third of the florin ; 4, the zehner, or 10 kreutzers ; 5, the piece of 5 
kreutzers ; and 6, the piece of 3 kreutzers. The standards of these were fixed by the 

* The initials R. 1. S. A. signified Romanus Imperator, semper augustus, the Emperor of Germany being the 
honorary Emperor of Rome. The coins of the Electorates used to bear the letters S. R. I., for '' The Holy Roman 
Empire." The suffix of "semper augustus" is noticed by Dr. Arbuthnot, as a motto on some coins of Constantine. 
Treatise, p. 8. 

f The Cologne mark, a celebrated money-weight, is equal to '233-855 grammes, or 3609-5 troy grains. (See Germany.) 

\ Recently the market price of the ducat was 4 florins 43 kreutzers. 

6 



22 



AUSTRIA. 



well known money-convention between Austria and Bavaria, in 1753 ; from which 
circumstance they are commonly styled convention coins. The terms of this compact 
were, soon after that date, adopted by most of the German powers, and tended very 
much to give uniformity to the moneys of Germany. They have recently been super- 
seded in every state except Austria. (See Germany.) 

The following are the legal standards of Austrian silver coin : 





PIECES, TO A COL. 


PIECES, TO A COL. 


PIECES TO AVIEN. 


FINENESS, 


TROY WT. 


FINENESS, 




MARK PIKE. 


MARK ALLOYED. 


MARK ALLOYED. 


IN LOTUS. 


GRS. 


IN THOUS. 


Rix dollar 


10 


8* 


10 


133 


433i- 


833 


Florin . 


20 


16-1 


20 


13* 


216J 


833 


20 Kr. (Zwanziger) 


60 


35 


42 


91 


103^ 


583 


10 Kr. (Zehner) . 


120 


60 


72 


8 


601 


500 


5 Kreutzer 


270 


105 


126 


7 


34f 


437 


3 Kreutzer 


400 


1371 


165 


5\- 


26 


344 



2. The coins of Hungary are the same in all respects, except the devices stamped 
on them, as those of Austria. The Hungary or Kremnitz ducat was formerly of a 
rather higher standard of fineness than the Vienna ducat, but is not so now. No 
larger pieces than single ducats are coined. 

3. The coins of the Lombard- Venetian kingdom are, in gold, the sovrano, souverain, 
or sovereign, and its half. These began to be issued in 1819, although the edict 
declaring the standards appears of the date of 1823* These should be nine-tenths 
fine, and the whole piece should weigh eleven denars 3£ grains, or 174J grains troy. 

The Lombard silver coins are of five denominations: 1. The scudo. 2. The half 
scudo. 3. The lira, or livre. 4, 5, The half and quarter lira. These are all, by 
legal standard, nine-tenths fine, except the last, which is six-tenths. The weight of 
the scudo should be 25 denars, 9-5 grains, or 401 troy grains, the others in propor- 
tion ; except the quarter-lira, which should weigh 25 grains troy. The scudo is of 
finer metal than the rixdollar, but reduced in weight, to make it of the same value, 
by count. The two cannot easily be distinguished by the eye. (See Description of 
Plate IX.)t 



* See a valuable statistical work, entitled Das Oesterreichische Miinzwesen, vom 1524 bis 1838, (Information upon 
Austrian Moneys, from 1524 to 1838,) by Dr. S. Becher, 2 vols. ; Vienna, 1838. 

Another useful numismatic work, with numerous engravings, has recently been published in numbers, at Pesth, in 
Hungary, 1832-36. It is by M. Urosius Andreits, and is entitled Mti-nz- Journal' des nev.meh.nlen juhrhunderts, (Maga- 
zine of Moneys of the Nineteenth Century.) 

f The coins of Austria and Hungary are commonly designated by the prefix of k. k. for kaiserliche kanigliche (impe- 
rial royal), as, for example, k. k. ducaten. 



\ I STRIA. 



23 



The Austro-Belgic coinage (noticed under the head of Belgium), consisted, in gold, 
of the souveruin, at 22 carats, or 917 thousandths fine, and of the legal weight of 172 
grains troy ; and in silver, of the crown and its subdivisions, at 872 thousandths fine, 
and 1\\ crowns to the Cologne mark, or 19 dwts. troy to each piece. These crowns, 
being now much worn, are rapidly recoined in Germany into new denominations. 
They are frequently brought to this Mint also. 

The amount of coinage in gold and silver, in the Austrian empire, is about twelve 
millions of florins (nearly six millions of our dollars), annually. Formerly the silver 
coinage greatly exceeded the gold ; but for a few years past, the proportion is entirely 
reversed, and the gold issues are twice as great as the silver. The whole amount, 
from 1792 to 1339, forty-eight years, is 640£ millions of florins. 

Austria produces a considerable share of the precious metals. In sixty-seven years, 
from 1773 to 1839, the amount brought from the mines for coinage, was about 250 
millions of florins, making an annual average of near four millions. The production 
is now somewhat greater, and is about half in gold, and half in silver. 

The following is the line of imperial succession, of late years. Francis I., who 
reigned in right of his consort, Maria Theresa, died in 1765. His son, Joseph II., 
reigned from that year to 1 790 ; but during both these reigns, the name of Maria 
Theresa usually appeared on the coins, until her death, in 1780. Leopold, previously 
the Grand Duke of Tuscany, and brother of Joseph, reigned from 1790 to 1792. His 
son, Francis II., retained the throne until 1835, and was then succeeded by Ferdinand 
]., the reigning emperor. 

GOLD COINS.* 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


REIGN. 


WEIGHT. 
GES. 


FINENESS. 
THOUS. 


VALUE. 
D. C. M. 


Ducat . 


1762 


Maria Theresa. 


53-5 


985 


2 26 9 


Sovereign 


1778 


do. 


170 


917 


6 71 3 


Ducat . 


1790 


Leopold II. 


53-5 


986 


2 27 2 


Do. . 


1809-34 


Francis I. 


53-7 


983 


2 27 4 


Quadruple 


1830 


do. 


215-5 


983 


9 12 2 


Sovereign 


1831 


do. 


174-5 


898 


6 74 8 


Do. 


1838 


Ferdinand I. 


174-5 


901 


6 77 1 


Half do. 


1839 


do. 


87 


902 


3 38 


Ducat . 


1838 


do. 


53-7 


985 


2 27 8 


Quadruple 


1840 


do. 


215-5 


985 


9 14 


Hungary ducat 


1839 


do. 


53-7 


986 


2 28 1 



* For specimens of recent coinage, with accompanying statements, we are indebted to J. G. Schwarz, Esq., Consul 
of the United States at Vienna, and a valued correspondent of this Mint. 



24 



AUSTRIA. 



SILVER COINS. 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


KEIGN. 


WEIGHT. 
GHS. 


FINENESS. 
THOUS. 


VALUE. 
D. C. M. 


Rix dollar 


1753-80 


Maria Theresa 


430 


835 


96 7 


do. 






1780-89 


Joseph II. 


431 


835 


97 


Florin . 






1788 


do. 


215 


835 


48 4 


Rix dollar 






1790-92 


Leopold II. 


432 


835 


97 2 


do. 






1793-1800 


Francis II. 


432 


835 


97 2 


Brabant crow 


n 




1793-99 


do. 


454 


875 


1 07 


Rix dollar 






1834 


Francis I. 


432 


833 


97 


Florin . 






1834 


do. 


216 


838 


48 8 


20 Kreutzer 






1834 


do. 


103 


580 


16 1 


10 Kreutzer 






1834 


do. 


60-5 


500 


8 1 


Rix dollar 






1840 


Ferdinand I. 


432-5 


834 


97 2 


Kremn. do. 






1839 


do. 


432-5 


834 


97 2 


Florin . 






1840 


do. 


216-5 


834 


48 7 


Kremn. do. 






1839 


do. 


216-5 


834 


48 7 


20 Kreutzer 






1840 


do. 


103 


582 


16 2 


Kremn. do. 






1839 


do. 


103 


582 


16 2 


10 Kreutzer 






1840 


do. 


60 


498 


8 1 


Scudo . 






1839 


do. 


401-5 


902 


97 6 


Half do. 






1839 


do. 


201 


902 


48 8 


Lira 






1839 


do. 


67 


900 


16 2 


Half do. 






1839 


do. 


33-5 


900 


8 1 


Quarter do. . 






1839 


do. 


25 


606 


4 1 



BADE N. 



25 



BADEN. 

Previous to 1301, this was but an inconsiderable state. In that year, by the treaty 
of Luneville, it was doubled in territory and population, and two years later received 
further additions. In 1803, the Margrave Charles Louis was advanced to the rank 
of an Elector; and in 1806 assumed the title of Grand Duke. At the settlement of 
Germany in 1814-15 by the Congress of Vienna, the continuance of Baden as an 
independent state was very uncertain ; but the influence of the Emperor of Russia, 
who was a son-in-law of the Grand Duke, decided the question. Baden has since 
ranked in the second class of German states. 

There seems to have been no gold coinage worthy of notice, previous to the acces- 
sion of Louis, in 1819. Since that date, there are pieces of ten and five florins, of 
nine-tenths fine. 

The silver coins are of various classes. The convention standards (see Austria) 
were adopted as early as 1765; by which ten rix dollars, or twenty florins, were 
coined from a Cologne mark of fine silver. Subsequently the florin was reduced to 
the rate of 24 pieces to the fine mark ; and by the conventions of 1837-38, it has 
been further reduced to 24i ; which is likely to be a permanent basis. (See Ger- 
many.) Since 1813, there has been a regular coinage of crown dollars {kronen 
thaler) at the Austrian rates. These pieces, being worth about 2| florins of the 
24 rate, seem illy fitted to the money system, and were, no doubt, intended for an 
international currency. They are now superseded. 

The legal fineness of the principal silver coins is as follows : the convention dollar, 
833 thousandths ; the florin of 24, 750 ; the crown, 875 ; and the new florin of 24J, 
900 thousandths. (See Plate XIII.) 

GOLD COINS. 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


REIGN. 


WEIOIIT. 
GES. 


FINENESS. 
THOUS. 


VALUE. 
D. C. M. 


Ten Gulden . 
Five Gulden . 


1819 
1819-28 


Louis, Grand Duke, 
do. 


105-5 
52-7 


900 
900 


4 08 6 
2 04 3 



26 



BAVARIA. 



SILVER COINS. 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


KEIGN. 


WEIGHT. 
GBS. 


FINENESS. 
THOUS. 


VALUE. 
D. C. M. 


Specie dollar . 


1765-78 


Charles Frederic, Margrave. 


428 


833 


96 1 


Crown . 


1813-16 


Interregnum.* 


455 


875 


1 07 3 


do. . 


1819-29 


Louis, Grand Duke. 


455 


877 


1 07 5 


Two Gulden . 


1822-25 


do. 


392 


755 


79 8 


Ten-kreutzer 


1830 


do.f 


42 


500 


5 5 


Crown . 


1831-34 


Leopold. 


456 


877 


1 07 7 


Gulden 


1837-39 


do. 


164 


900 


39 7 


Half do. 


1839 


do. 


82 


900 


19 8 



BAVARIA. 

Bayern. 

This kingdom formerly consisted of numerous petty sovereignties, each of which 
coined its own money. Such were the Duchies of Upper and Lower Bavaria ; the 
Palatinate of the Rhine ;% the Margraviate of Brandenburg-Bareuth ; and various 
bishoprics and imperial cities. The two Duchies of Bavaria, however, were long ago 
united; and in 1623 were constituted an electorate. In 1777, by the death of the 
Elector Maximilian Joseph without issue, the realm passed over to Charles Theodore, 
of the elder Bavarian branch, then Elector of the Palatinate. This may be consi- 
dered the date of the extinction of the latter sovereignty, or rather its incorporation 
into Bavaria.§ In 1799, Charles Theodore also died without issue, and was succeeded 



* These crowns bear neither a sovereign's head nor name, but simply the title Grosherzogthum Baden — Grand 
Duchy of Baden. They indicate the unsettled state of the country at that epoch. 

t Dr. Becher mentions a thaler of 100 kreutzers, of the year 1829, of 875 thousandths fine, and worth 1J florins. 
This coin we have not seen. 

X Sometimes called Manheim, which was the capital of the Palatinate. 

5 The amateur, who has been embarrassed by pieces bearing the abbreviations " Car. Tlieod. C. P. R." &c, will 
understand that they belong to the Palatinate of the Rhine, and are properly classified with Bavarian coins. He 
must also distinguish between the coins of Electoral Brandenburg, now a part of Prussia, and those of Brandenburg 
Anspach and Bareuth. 



BAVARIA. 



27 



by Maximilian Joseph II. of Deux-Ponts, of remote kindred. This prince was, in 
1806, raised to the regal dignity by Napoleon; since which time, Bavaria has main- 
tained the rank of a kingdom. 

The other principalities already named, enjoyed the prerogative of coinage, until 
towards the close of the last century. The emissions were no doubt very limited, and 
consisted chiefly of ducats and convention-dollars, of the established rates. 

The only gold coin is the ducal, of the German standards. (See Germany.) The 
silver coins are, the convention-thaler, at the rate of " ten to the fine mark," and the 
kronen-thaler, or crown, lately discontinued ; besides the scheidemiinze, or small coin. 
This state was a party to the German conventions of 1837-38, by which a. gulden and 
half-gulden were to be coined by the southern powers, at nine-tenths fine. This 
coinage was immediately carried into effect, and will doubtless soon supersede the 
previous issues. The amount coined, from October 1837, to June 1839, was four 
million pieces of one florin or gulden, and two millions of the half-florin ; in all, near 
two millions of dollars in our money* (See Plate XIII.) 

GOLD COINS. 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


REIGN. 


WEIGHT. 
GKS. 


FINENESS. 
THOUS. 


VAiUE. 
D. C. M. 


Ducat . 


1764 


Maximilian Joseph. 


53 


980 


2 23 7 


do. (Palatin.) 


1764 


Charles Theodore. 


53 


980 


2 23 7 


do. . 


1797 


do. 


53 


980 


2 23 7 


do. . 


1800 


Maximilian Joseph II. 


53 


984 


2 24 6 


do. . 


1832 


Louis. 


53-5 


987 


2 27 4 



SILVER COINS. 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


EEIGN. 


WEIGHT. 
GES. 


FINENESS. 
THOCS. 


VALUE. 
D. C. M. 


Specie-dollar 


1755-60 


Maximilian Joseph. 


430 


833 


96 5 


do. 


1762-72 


do. 


430 


831 


96 3 


Kopfstiick 


1773 


do. 


102 


580 


15 9 


Crown, (Palatin.) . 


1758 


Charles Theodore. 


397 


995 


1 06 4 


Florin, do. 


1758 


do. 


198 


995 


53 1 



* Letter of R. De Ruedokffer, Esq., U. S. Consul at Munich. 



28 



BELGIUM. 



SILVER COINS (continued). 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


REIGN. 


WEIGHT. 
GR3. 


FINENESS. 
THOUS. 


VA1UE. 
D. C. M. 


Specie-dollar, (Pala 


tin.) 


1765 


Charles Theodore. 


430 


833 


96 5 


do. 




1778-80 


do. 


430 


833 


96 5 


do. 




1800 


Maximilian Joseph II. 


430 


833 


96 5 


do. 






1806-22 


do. (king) 


430 


835 


96 7 


Crown . 






1809-25 


do. 


455 


875 


1 07 2 


do. . 






1826-32 


Louis. 


455 


875 


1 07 2 


6 Kreutzers 






1833 


do. 


41 


320 


3 5 


3 do. 






1833 


do. 


21 


317 


1 8 


Kreutzer 






1833-39 


do. 


12 


177 


6 


Florin . 






1839 


do* 


1635 


900 


39 6 


Half do. 






1838 


do. 


82 


900 


19 8 



BELGIUM. 

La Belgique. 

This country was formerly known as Flanders, or the Low Countries. Though so 
long the game for which the empires of Europe contended, and so often merged in 
one or other of them, it has constantly preserved its nationality, and is now a distinct 
monarchy. 

By the treaty of 1748, it was apportioned to Austria. In 1795, it was annexed to 
the French Republic. In 1815, it was incorporated with Holland into the kingdom 
of Netherlands. By the Revolution of 1830, it became an independent nation, with 
Leopold I. as its king. 

Two systems of coinage only will require any details ; that of Austrian Belgium, 
from 1750 to 1800, and that of the new kingdom, since 1830. 

The gold souverain, or sovereign, ordained in 1749, was to weigh 7 esterlins 8 as, 
(about 172 troy grs.) and to be 22 carats, or 917 thousandths fine. The silver crown, 



■ The new florins vary in fineness from 699 to 900'5. 



B E L G I U M. 



29 



(commonly known as the Brabant crown), which began to be coined in 1755, was to 
weigh at the rate of 7\h pieces to the Cologne mark, or 456 troy grs. per piece, the 
half and quarter crown in proportion ; and all of the fineness of 10 deniers 1 \hgrs., or 
872 thousandths. 

A coinage of gold and silver pieces called lions, was projected in 1790, by a congress 
of Belgian Provinces, but was not fairly carried into effect. There are some pieces 
of that year. 

By the law of 1832, gold and silver coins are issued of the same denominations and 
standards as those of France. The amount of coinage is trivial ; the circulation of 
Belgium consisting chiefly of French and Dutch coin* (See Plate X.) 

GOLD COINS. 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


REIGN. 


WEIGHT. 
GRS. 


FINENESS. 

■mors. 


VALUE. 
D. C. K. 


Sovereign 


1778 


Maria Theresa. 


170 


917 


6 71 3 


do. . 


1793 


Francis II. 


170 


917 


6 71 3 


Forty francs . 


1835 


Leopold I. 


199 


895 


7 67 


Twenty do. . 


1835 


do. 


99-5 


895 


3 83 5 



SILVER COINS. 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


REIGN. 


WEIGHT. 
GRS. 


FINENESS. 
THOUS. 


VALUE. 
D. C. M. 


Crown . 


1781-90 


Joseph II. 


453 


875 


1 06 7 


do. . 






1790-92 


Leopold II. 


453 


875 


1 06 7 


do. . 






1793-1800 


Francis II. 


454 


875 


1 07 


Half do. 






1795-1800 


do. 


226 


875 


53 3 


Five francs 






1833-35 


Leopold I. 


385-5 


895 


93 1 


Two do. 






1835 


do. 


154 


895 


37 


Franc . 






1835 


do. 


77 


897 


18 6 


Half do 






1835 


do. 


38 


897 


9 3 


Quarter do. 






1835 


do. 


19 


897 


4 6 



* Letter of T. H. Barker, Esq., late U. S. Consul at Antwerp, through whose attention some specimens were 
received for assay. 

8 



30 



BOLIVIA. 



BOLIVIA. 

This country, which originally formed a part of Peru, and which was afterwards 
included in the vice-royalty of Buenos Ayres, became a distinct nation in 1 825 ; 
taking its name from the celebrated Bolivar. The name and effigy of that personage 
always appear on the coins. 

The monetary system is that of Spain. The mint, which is at Potosi, has long 
performed an important part in the coinage, both royal and patriot, of Spanish 
America. Its mark is the figure 1? ; which is an interlacing of the letters, P, T, S, I. 

Since the year 1830 inclusive, it has been the policy of this government to debase 
its silver coin, of denominations less than the dollar. The reduced standard of fine- 
ness is eight dineros, or two-thirds ; about twenty-six per cent, worse than the dollar 
standard. The annual issue of this depreciated coin is nominally restricted to 200,000 
dollars ; but, as might be expected, this limit is usually exceeded. In 1837, the base 
coinage amounted to 302,000 dollars; in 1835, it was 509,000 dollars. The pieces 
are of good colour, and appear as well as the whole dollar. 

Bolivia produces a large share of the precious metals. Under the Spanish govern- 
ment, the annual coinage was, in gold, about half a million of dollars, and in silver, 
over three millions. Of late years, the amount has fallen to 150,000 dollars in gold, 
and about two millions in silver* (See Plate IV.) 

GOLD AND SILVER COINS. 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


GOVERNMENT. 


WEIGHT. 
GES. 


FINENESS. 
THOUS. 


VAiUE. 
D. C. M. 


Doubloon 


1827-36 


Bolivian Republic. 


416-5 


870 


15 58 


Dollar . 


1827-37 


do. 


416-5 


902 


1 01 2 


Half do. 


1827-28 


do. 


208 


903 


50 5 


Quarter do. . 


1827-28 


do. 


104 


900 


25 2 


Half do. 


1830 


do.t 


208 


670 


37 5 


Quarter do. . 


1830 


do. 


103-5 


675 


18 8 


Dollar . 


1840 


do.| 


417 


900 


1 01 1 



* British Statistical Tables. See Appendix. 

t The weight of these depreciated coins varies from 205 to 210 grains, (which is regular for that region,) and the 
fineness, from 668 to 674 thousandths. 

t Vary in weight from 409 to 425 grains ; in value, 99 to 103 cents. 



BRAZIL. 31 



BRAZIL. 

Within the period which will come under notice, Brazil appears first as a colony of 
Portugal ; next as the residence of the sovereign, by which Portugal, from being the 
parent, seemed to become the dependent ; and finally, as a distinct nation, taking 
rank as an empire. 

The following has been the monarchical succession. — John V. reigned from 1706 to 
1750; Joseph to 1777 ; Maria I. to 1816; but during the earlier part of her reign, 
the name of her consort, Peter III., appeared with hers on the coin, until his death 
in 1736. In 1799, the queen having become mentally imbecile, her son, John Maria, 
began to administer the government as Regent. In 1804, her name was displaced 
from the coin, and that of the Regent substituted. Three years after, upon the 
invasion of Portugal by the French, his court was removed from Lisbon to Rio 
Janeiro. In 1816, he became king, with the title of John VI. The revolution of 
1822 separated Brazil from the mother country, and Peter I. was placed upon the 
throne, as Emperor. Another revolution, in 1831, dethroned this monarch, and 
installed the infant Peter II. ; then only six years of age. 

Although both countries reckon by reis, there has long been a difference in the 
valuation. As early as 1747, it was decreed that a mark of such silver as was coined 
into 7500 reis for Portugal, should make one-tenth more, that is, 8250 reis, in Brazil. 

Previous to 1822, the moidore (moneda d'ouro), of 4000 reis, and its half, were the 
gold coins of Brazil. In 1822, a new coinage was ordained, of pieces of 6400 reis 
(familiarly called half-joes), weighing four oitavas, at 22 carats fine. This is equiva- 
lent to 221-4 troy grains, at 917 thousandths. The same coinage was confirmed by 
the law of October 1833, and the value of the piece fixed at 10,000 reis, currency ; 
but 6400 still appears on the coin. 

The silver coins previous to 1833 were, the patacoon, or piece of three patacs 
(960 reis), and of two, one, one-half, and one-quarter patac. They were professedly 
1 1 dinheiros fine, or 917 thousandths. In actual fineness, as well as weight, they betray 
much irregularity, as will appear by the ensuing tables. 

In 1833, a silver coinage was instituted, with new devices. The denominations 
were these five : 1200, 800, 400, 200, and 100 reis. The first piece is the equivalent 
of the former 960 reis, and all are intended to be of Spanish standard fineness; though 
in fact they are somewhat below. 

The currency of Brazil is chiefly in paper ; except that for household purposes 



32 



BRAZIL. 



copper is largely used. The silver coins are in market, at fluctuating prices ; in 
October 1839, the piece of 1200 reis was worth 1680 in paper. 

Small ingots of gold, assayed and stamped at the government offices, are used in 
the circulation of the country, and are not allowed to be exported* 

In a statement of a sum of money, the milreis and reis are divided by the figure $, 
as for example, 6 $400, which is 6400 reis. 

The coinage is of small amount. In six years, from 1833 to 1838, the gold 
amounted to 377,700 milreis, the silver only to 33,000. The annual average there- 
fore, in both kinds, is about 60,000 dollars, in our money. From all gold sent to the 
Mint, 6 J per cent is deducted ; from silver, 13y per cent. 

Brazil is a famous gold-producing region. The mines being chiefly in British 
hands, the metal passes out of the country uncoined. From statistics to the middle of 
1839, we gather that the annual produce of the principal mines, in latter times, is 
about 700,000 dollars ; besides which, a considerable quantity is obtained from private 
mines and from the rivers, which comes to Rio for sale, but does not pass through the 
Intendant's office for the payment of duty. It is doubtless sufficient to increase the 
sum total of Brazilian production to 900,000 dollars annually.t 

All the mines, except Gongo Soco, pay to government a duty of five per cent, on 
gold raised, and an additional two per cent, as export duty. The primary duty paid 
by Gongo Soco is ten per cent.:): (See Plate V.) 



GOLD COINS. 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


REIGN. 


WEIGHT. 
GES. 


FINENESS. 
THOUS. 


VALUE. 
D. C. M. 


Moidore 


1779 


Maria I. and Peter III. 


125-5 


914 


4 94 


do. . 


1807-13 


John, Regent. 


125 


914 


4 92 


do. . 


1819 


John VI. 


124-5 


914 


4 90 


Half-joe 


1822-31 


Peter I. Emperor. 


221-5 


914 


8 71 7 


do. . 


1833-38 


Peter II. do. 


221-5 


915 


8 72 7 



* Kelly's Cambist, art. Rio de Janeiro. 

j Jacobs, quoting various authorities, estimates the annual product from 1810 to 1829, at a sum equal to $986,000. 
(Inquiry, &c. 342.) Our statistics from Brazil, will be found in the Appendix. 
X Letter of G. W. Slacom, Esq., U. S. Consul at Rio. 



BRITAIN. 



33 



SILVER COINS. 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


REIGN. 


WEIGHT. 
GRS. 


FINENESS. 
THOUS. 


VALUE. 
D. O. M. 


640 reis 


1750-77 


Joseph I. 


274* 


915 


67 5 


do. . 






1777-86 


Maria I. and Peter III. 


267 


903 


64 9 


320 reis 






1777-86 


do. do. 


132 


903 


32 1 


640 reis 






1786-87 


Maria I. 


274 


903 


66 6 


do. . 






1800-04 


do. 


294 


903 


71 4 


320 reis 






1800-04 


do. 


130 


903 


31 6 


640 reis 






1804-16 


John, Regent. 


284f 


903 


69 


320 reis 






1804-16 


do. 


132 


910 


32 3 


960 reisj 






1810-16 


do. 


413 


900 


1 00 1 


do. . 






1816-21 


John VI. 


416 


900 


1 00 8 


640 reis 






1816-21 


do. 


275 


910 


67 4 


960 reis 






1822-26 


Peter I., Emperor. 


416 


900 


1 00 8 


640 reis 






1822-26 


do. 


276 


905 


67 2 


1200 reis 






1837 


Peter II. 


414 


891 


99 4 


800 reis 






1838 


do. 


276 


891 


66 2 


400 reis 






1837 


do. 


138 


886 


33 


200 reis 






1837 


do. 


69 


886 


16 5 


100 reis 






1837 


do. 


34-5 


886 


8 2 



BRITAIN. 



Our notice of the coinage of Great Britain will commence with the accession of 
George I. The various reigns since that date, have occurred in the following order : 

* These vary from 267 to 283 grains ; the newest are the lightest. 

| These vary from 270 to 294 grains. 

J This is simply the Spanish dollar, in a new dress; being softened by annealing, and then restamped. The pillars 
may be seen peeping from beneath, upon close observation. In the same way, Bank Tokens were made in England, in 
1804, from the same coins. (See Britain.) 

9 



34 BRITAIN. 

George I. 1714 to 1727; George II. to 1760; George III. to 1820; George IV. to 
1830; William IV. to 1837; Victoria, from 1837, reigning sovereign. 

The basis of British money is the pound sterling, of 20 shillings. This was at first 
represented by the guinea, a gold coin, ordained in 1675, during the reign of Charles 
II * After some years, from the depreciation of the silver coinage by wear and fraud- 
ulent arts, as well as from other causes, gold was thrown into the market, at fluc- 
tuating and enhanced prices ; so that the guinea, as compared with silver, varied 
from 20 to 28 shillings. This evil was not arrested until the third year of George I. 
(1717), when, upon the recommendation of Sir Isaac Newton, then Master of the 
Mint, the guinea was rated at 21 shillings, and has so continued ever since. 

The pound sterling had therefore no representative in any single coin, until the 
great era in British moneys, the coinage law of 1816. The guinea and its parts were 
then discontinued, and the sovereign, of 20 shillings, with subdivisions, substituted. 
The relative proportion of weight and value being preserved, the guinea continued to 
circulate, at 21 shillings, though it ceased to be coined. 

In the same year, an alteration was effected in the silver coinage. The denomi- 
nations, from the crown downwards, were maintained as before ; but the old series 
was called in, and recoined at a reduced weight. The profit to government by this 
operation was not so much the object in view, as to give to the silver coinage a less 
intrinsic value than the gold, and thus to make the latter the only measure of value ; 
the former to be used merely for making change, in the domestic circulation.t Silver 
coins are a legal tender only to the extent of 40 shillings at a time. 

Before proceeding to state in detail the legal regulations of the coin, a few general 
observations upon the metallic currency of this empire, may be. in place. 

A very prominent and peculiar feature, is the vast preponderance of the gold over 
the silver coinage ; and this, for a century before it became the settled policy of the 
nation. The causes which operated to produce this result, could not be explained in 
a work like the present. AVe only notice the fact, that from the accession of Queen 
Anne (1702) to the end of 1840, the gold coinage amounted to 160 millions sterling, 
while that of silver was but 12J millions.^ For the last twenty years, ending with 
1840, the coinage of gold was 52 millions nearly, and of silver 4 millions. In every 
other country, the preference seems to be given to silver, as the specie basis, whether 
gold is a concurrent legal tender or not. 

In general, it is noticed that a country does not recoin its own money, except upon 
a change of standard. A memorable exception took place in England, in 1774. The 

* Ruding's Annals of the British Coinage. 

f This policy was brought before the public, eleven years before (1805), by Lord Liverpool, in his Treatise on the 
Coins of the Realm. 
\ Statistics of the coinage will be found in the Appendix. 



BRIT AI N. 



35 



unskilful style in which, confessedly, the gold coins had for a long time been executed, 
exposed them to the nefarious arts by which coins are diminished in weight. From 
these causes, as well as from ordinary wear, the circulation had become so depreciated, 
that it was judged necessary to call in all the gold coins below a certain weight, and 
recoin them, at the full standard. To this effect, an Act of Parliament was passed in 
that year, providing also for making good the deficiency to holders of light coin, from 
the public treasury. This famous recoinage commenced in that year, and appears 
to have been in progress until 1788* 

Another memorable event, in the monetary history of England, was the total sus- 
pension of silver coinage, at the Mint, from 1788 to 1816 — a period of twenty-nine 
years ; and that at a time when such coin was never more needed. The reason was 
simply that silver was not valued high enough by law, in proportion to gold, and there- 
fore went to the market instead of the Mint. This, in its turn, was brought about by 
various causes, not the least of which was the policy of the French Republic, which 
exchanged assignats for silver, wherever it was to be had. In the single year of 1792, 
there was drawn away from England near three millions of ounces.f 

There was an obvious remedy for this evil, but the times did not admit of its appli- 
cation. So far from it, the scarcity of silver was only a precursor to a similar 
scarcity of gold. In the protracted wars of Europe, of which England had her full 
share, there was a continual necessity for remittances abroad, by the government. 
These were almost wholly in bullion, and were procured from the Bank of England. 
In 1797, the drain of specie had been carried to such an extent, that only a million 
and a quarter sterling remained in the vaults of that Institution, and a suspension of 
specie payments was the necessary consequence. This suspension continued until 
1821. 

Until the general pacification of Europe, there was no opportunity for reforming 
the monetary code, and establishing it upon a firm basis. Meanwhile the silver 
coinage, the need of which was most urgently felt for the smaller purposes of traffic, 
was supplied in a semi-legal way, by the issue of Tokens. In 1804, the Bank of 
England, with the approbation of his Majesty's Council, effected a recoinage of two 
millions of Spanish dollars, at the Mint of Mr. Boulton, near Birmingham. The 
pieces were stamped with appropriate devices, with a valuation of five shillings. The 
Bank of Ireland resorted to the same expedient, making the dollar a token for six 

* The whole coinage, 1774 to 1788, was 181 millions sterling; probably three-fourths of this was recoinage. The 
deficit of weight was an expense to the government of a little over half a million. Ruding, vol. i. 

f Marsh, quoted by Ruding, ii. 499. These assignats, or state bonds, were founded upon the landed property taken 
from the clergy. In five years, the issue amounted to 36,000 millions of francs. Eventually they were received at 
one-seventieth of their nominal value, in payment for public lands. Thiers's French Revolution. 



36 BRITAIN. 

shillings Irish* By Act of Parliament of the same year, these issues were so far 
legalized as to make it felony to counterfeit them. 

As these larger pieces did not supply the deficiency, smaller ones were issued subse- 
quently by the Banks, and by local corporations ; and as will presently appear, at an 
increased reduction of real value. In 1805, the Bank of Ireland issued pieces of ten 
pence, and five pence, coined from dollar silver, professedly at the rate of 65 pence 
to the dollar. In 1811, the English country banks, and mercantile houses, put in cir- 
culation their own shillings and sixpences; and from the same year to 1815, the 
currency was further supplied by tokens of 3 shillings, and 1£ shillings, from the Bank 
of England.! The Bank tokens, and doubtless the others also, were eventually 
redeemed at the prices stamped upon them. 

During all this period, the gold coinage was carried on at intervals, but in very 
reduced amount.^ 

In 1816, peace having been re-established, and trade restored to its due course, the 
state of the coinage was made a subject of legislation, and, as already observed, 
important changes in both the gold and silver coin, were provided by Act of 
Parliament. 

Dr. Kelly remarks, that — " In the history of the English Mint, the coinage of 1816 
will be memorable, not only on account of the important alteration then made in the 
monetary system, but also for the great accommodation afforded to the public. Thus, 
after a long period of disorder in the currency, the new silver coins were exchanged 
for the old, on very liberal terms ; and although they amounted to several millions of 
pounds sterling, the exchange was effected simultaneously throughout the kingdom. 
The supplies too, from the Mint, have been since continued, to all parts of the 
British dominions, with a degree of regularity and despatch, unknown at any former 
period. "§ 

The following are the legal rates of coinage, before and since 1816. 

From a pound troy of gold, 22 carats or 916| thousandths fine, 44A guineas were 
coined ; and since 1816, 46ff sovereigns; the various divisions or multiples being in 
proportion. 

From a pound troy of silver, IItV parts in 12 fine, or 925 thousandths, 62 shillings 
were coined ; under the new system, 66 shillings ; other denominations in proportion. 

* It is stated by Ruding, that the silver coins in Ireland had by this time become so light, that 21 shillings were 
not intrinsically worth more than nine. As 12 pence English are equal to 13 pence Irish, the dollars of the Bank of 
Ireland " went farther" than those of the other institution. 

f This system of tokens began with copper, in 1788, in default of lawful coinage. Ten years after, the private 
coinage of copper was arrested. 

t A new Mint was erected in London, between the years 1806-10. In Ruding's Annals, iii. 523, it is stated that 
the cost of the premises was £7,062, cost of building and machinery, £261,978 : Total, £269,040. 

t) Kelly's Cambist. Introd. 



B R I T A I N. 



37 



This advance is equal to 6i per cent, upon the old coinage. The new coins, being 
rated higher than the market price of silver, are eflectually kept within the realm ; 
occasional specimens only finding their way abroad. 

From the above rates, it is found that the full weight of the guinea is 129i grains, 
and the sovereign, 123J grains. But if the former weigh 128, or the latter 122g, they 
are still a legal tender, at their nominal rates. The full weight of the old crown, is 
464i grains, and of the new, 436J grains.* The crown is equal to five shillings, or 
60 pence. 

The remedy of the Mint, or allowed deviation, is, for gold, 12 grains per lb. in 
weight, and tV carat in fineness ; for silver, 1 dwt. per lb. in weight, and ^hth part in 
fineness. 

Great Britain prescribes distinct systems of coinage for her numerous colonies, of 
which notice will be taken, under the heads of Guiana, Hindustan, Mauritius, Sierra 
Leone, and West Indies. 

England should now be ranked among the silver producing countries, since the 
recent improvement in parting argentiferous lead ores. By the process of Pattinson, 
three ounces of silver in a ton of lead, will pay the expense of its extraction. This 
proportion is about one part in ten thousand. England and Scotland raise annually 
from 35,000 to 40,000 tons of lead, or about four-sevenths of the whole produce of 
Europe. In one year (1835) the argentiferous lead, containing about 8| ounces per 
ton, yielded 140,000 ounces of silver. In the same year, the amount of 36,000 ounces 
was raised in Cornwall, from silver ores; making the whole production 176,000 
ounces, worth, if fine, about 227,000 dollars.f 

GOLD COINS. 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


HEIGN. 


WEIGHT. 
GRS. 


FINENESS. 
THOCS. 


VALUE. 
D. C. M. 


Guinea 


1719 


George I. 


127 


914 


5 00 


do. . 


1727-60 


George II. 


127 


915 


5 00 5 


Five guineas . 


1729 


do. 


644 


913 


25 32 2 


Guinea 


1760-85 


George III. 


127-5 


915-5 


5 02 6 


do. . 


1785-1809 


do. 


128 


915-5 


5 04 6 


do. . 


1813 


do. 


128-3 


915-5 


5 05 9 


Seven shillings 


1806-13 


do. 


42 


915-5 


1 65 6 



* The fractions are not extended to an arithmetical nicety. 

10 



f Ure's Diet. Arts. Mines, &c., London, 1839. 



38 



BRITAIN. 



GOLD COINS (continued). 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


REIGN. 


WEIOHT. 
GRS. 


FINENESS. 
THOUS. 


VALUE. 
D. C. M. 


Half guinea . 


1801-13 


George III. 


64 


915-5 


2 52 3 


Quarter do. . 


1762 


do. 


32 


915-5 


1 26 2 


Sovereign 


1817-20 


do.* 


122-5 


915-5 


4 83 


do. . 


1820-29 


George IV. 


122-7 


915-5 


4 83 8 


Half do. 


1820-29 


do. 


61-2 


915-5 


2 41 3 


Double do. . ■ 


1826 


do. 


246-5 


915-5 


9 71 9 


Sovereign 


1831-36 


William IV. 


123 


915-5 


4 85 


Half do. 


1831-36 


do. 


61-3 


915-5 


2 41 7 


Sovereign 


1838-39 


Victoria. 


123-3 


915-5 


4 86 1 



SILVER COINS. 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


REIGN. 


WEIGHT. 
GRS. 


FINENESS. 
THOUS. 


VALUE. 
D. C. M. 


Shilling 


1721-23 


George I. 


87 


930 


21 8 


Half crown 






1745-46 


George II. 


218 


930 


54 6 


Shilling 






1727-46 


do. 


90 


930 


22 5 


do. . 






1787 


George III. 


92 


926 


22 9 


Half crown 






1817-19 


do. 


215 


930 


53 9 


Shilling 






1816-17 


do. 


86 


934 


21 6 


Sixpence 






1817-20 


do. 


43 


930 


10 8 


Crown . 






1822 


George IV. 


435 


930 


1 09 


Half crown 






1820-26 


do. 


216 


930 


54 1 



* The gold coins are remarkably uniform in fineness, but below the legal standard, about one thousandth. In weight, 
as they are found in circulation, 1000 sovereigns will vary from 5111 to 5124 dwts. The par value of the pound sterling 
is therefore $4 84 as near as may be ; and our dollar is equal to 49-6 pence. Sterling gold is worth 94-6 cents per 
dwt. 



B R I T A I N. 



39 



SILVER COINS (continued). 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


REIGN. 


WEIGHT. 
GES. 


FINENESS. 
THOUS. 


VALUE. 

D. C M. 


Shilling 


1820-29 


George IV. 


86-5 


930 


21 7 


Half crown* . 


1836 


William IV. 


216 


930 


54 1 


Shilling 


1831 


do. 


87 


930 


21 8 


do. . 


1838-40 


Victoria. 


87 


925 


21 7 


Sixpence 


1838 


do. 


43 


925 


10 7 


Fourpcnccf . 


1838 


do. 


29 


925 


7 2 



We have not included the Tokens in the above table. They possess now no com- 
mercial importance, but for the sake of their historical interest, and for the gratifica- 
tion of those who retain them as specimens, a few particulars are annexed. 

They are evidently coined from dollar silver, being of the fineness of 896 to 901 
thousandths. The following varieties have been examined here. 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


BY WHOM ISSUED. 


WEIGHT. 
GES. 


VALUE. 
D. C. M. 


5 shillings 


1804 


Bank of England. 


411 


99 7 


6 shillings Irish 


1804 


Bank of Ireland. 


409 


99 2 


30 pence Irish 


1808 


do. 


190 


46 


10 pence Irish 


1813 


do. 


53 


12 8 


3 shillings 


1811-12 


Bank of England. 


228 


55 2 


1 shilling 6 pence . 


1812-15 


do4 


115 


27 7 



* The almost uniform result of 930, being 5 thousandths higher than lawful standard, is found by humid assay. The 
old method of assaying silver is said to be still in use in the British Mint ; but the fineness seems to be falling to a humid 
standard. 

f There are lower denominations of threepence, twopence, 14 pence, and penny, which are coined for royal distri- 
bution, and are called maundy money. 

I Besides which there were numerous shillings issued in 1811 by the country banks, and by merchants of Bristol, 
York, and other places, weighing from 60 to 68 grains, and worth 14J to 164 cents. 



40 BRUNSWICK. 

BRUNSWICK. 

Braunschiveig. 

To avoid confusion in the examination of Brunswick moneys, the reader will bear 
in mind that the ancient dominion of that name has, for the past three centuries, been 
divided into the two sovereignties of Brunswick and Hanover ; but it is only within 
a few years that the King of Hanover has removed the title of " Brunswick and 
Luneburg" from his coins, and substituted the former. For a proper understanding 
of the distinction between the two houses, see the article Hanover. 

Gold Coins. There seem to have been no ducats coined in Brunswick, for more 
than a century past. 

In 1742, the coinage of double, single, and half pistoles, (rated at 10, 5, and 2£ 
thalers,) was established at the standard weight of 35 pistoles to the Cologne mark, 
21| carats fine. It is probable that the standards have since been slightly reduced, as 
in Hanover the rate is 35i to the mark, and the Brunswick pieces show no difference 
of weight. The fineness also, which in the last century was 21§ carats, or 903 thou- 
sandths, has for many years been no higher than 896. 

The ten-thaler pieces find their way to this country in considerable quantities, and 
are frequently recoined at our mint. As Brunswick is a state of only 250,000 
inhabitants, and without a large commercial city, this fact seemed remarkable, until 
it was ascertained that the gold coinage is not effected on behalf of the state, but of 
bankers at Hamburg and Bremen, who send their bullion to the mint at Brunswick. 
Its reaching the United States is accounted for by the fact that German emigrants, 
embarking at one or the other of those cities, generally change their funds from the 
interior, for such as are current at the port ; which latter are brought over* 

Silver Coins. The standard of the German Convention of 1753, was adopted in 
Brunswick about ten years after. Ten species thalers were coined from a mark of 
fine silver; or 8£ thalers to the mark, alloyed to 13J loths. In our terms, this is a 
weight of 433J grains, and fineness of 833 thousandths. The half and quarter thaler 
(called also the § and J piece, being those parts of the thaler of account) were of 
proportional weight, and of the same fineness. Besides these coins, there have been 
issued at various times, the florin, or § piece of the Leipsic rate ; sometimes of fine 
silver, and sometimes only three-fourths fine; the weight being so proportioned as to 
contain 200-5 grains fine. Thus there are three florins, or § pieces ; the first is the 
half thaler of the convention, the other two are the fine and base florins of the 

* For information on this and other articles, we are indebted to the correspondence of John Cuthbert, Esq., U. S. 
Consul at Hamburg. 



B R U N S W I C K. 



41 



Leipsic rate. The former is worth 481 cents, the latter two 54 cents, in our money. 
Pieces of I and tV of the thaler, and of one marien-groschen, 6 pfennigs and 4 pf. 
constitute the scheidemiinze, or small coin of the duchy. A convention-florin is equal 
to 24 mar. gros. of 8 pfen. each. 

Brunswick, although not represented in the German mint-convention of 1838, has 
since acceded to the regulations then adopted. (See article Germany!) Rixdollars, of 
14 to the fine mark, have been issued recently. 

The silver mine of Rumelsberg, near Gosslar, is the joint property of Brunswick and 
Hanover. Its annual product is about 10 marks of gold, and 4000 marks of silver. 

GOLD COINS. 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


REIGN. 


WEIGHT. 
GRS. 


FINENESS. 
THOUS. 


VALUE. 
D. C. M. 


X Thaler 


1745 


Charles. 


202 


898 


7 81 2 


V do. . . 


1748-64 


do. 


102 


903 


3 96 6 


X do. . . 


1805 


Charles William Ferd. 


204 


896 


7 87 2 


do. 


1813-14 


William Frederic. 


204-5 


896 


7 89 1 


do. 


1818-19 


George, Regent, in name of 
Charles. 


204-5 


896 


7 89 1 


do. 


1824-30 


Charles. 


205 


896 


7 91 


do. 


1831-38 


William. 


205 


894 


7 89 3 



SILVER COINS. 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


REIGN. 


WEIGHT. 
GRS. 


FINENESS. 
THOUS. 


VALUE. 
D. C. M. 


Florin . 


1704 


Anthony Ulrich. 


201 


997 


54 


Species thaler 


1764 


Charles. 


428 


833 


96 


Half do. 


1764 


do. 


215 


833 


48 2 


Florin (Leipsic.) 


1764 


do. 


198 


997 


53 2 


f th Thaler . 


1764-75 


do. 


78 


564 


11 8 


Species thaler 


1790 


Charles William Ferd. 


428 


833 


96 


Florin . 


1789-1800 


do. 


263 


750 


53 1 


ith Thaler . 


1780-92 


do. 


78-5 


561 


11 9 


do. . 


1831 


William.* 


88 






Thaler . 


1838 


do. 


343 


750 


69 3 



* Not assayed. 
11 



42 BURMAH— CENTRAL AMERICA. 



BURMAH. 

There are no coins struck in the Burman kingdom. Silver is paid by weight ; 
and for the purposes of small change, lead is used, also by weight ; the usual value of 
which is estimated as the ihih part of silver. The silver is melted into small cakes, 
from four to twenty ticals in weight ; and these are cut into bits, as occasion may 
require. The fineness is not well ascertained, and is no doubt very irregular. There 
are, however, three kinds of alloy familiarly known ; the basest is said to be three- 
fourths silver; the next, called huet-nee, or "flower silver," is known by a crystallized 
appearance on the surface, near the centre of the cake; this is rated 15 percent, 
better than rupee silver of Hindustan. A third kind, called dyng, on which the 
crystallization is more spread over the disk, is considered five per cent, better than 
huet-nee. When a customer is making a purchase, the merchant asks to see what 
sort of silver he is going to pay in, and sets his price accordingly. 

Gold is not used as currency ; all that can be obtained is employed in the 
manufacture of jewelry and gilding of temples. 

The late King of Burmah attempted to introduce a coinage of silver, by the aid of 
British machinery ; but such an excessive value was attempted to be set upon the 
coins, that the people could not be prevailed on, even with violent measures, to adopt 
them in trade* 

At Rangoon, the principal seaport, the tical weighs 250 troy grains ; at Pegu, it 
is 13 grains less.t 



CENTRAL AMERICA. 

Republica del Ceniro de America. 

This country, long a colony of Spain, declared itself independent in 1821. It was 
united to Mexico, during the ascendency of Iturbide, but became a distinct govern- 
ment in 1823. The earliest of its coinage, as seen here, is dated 1824. 

* The above is collected from Rev. H. Malcom's Travels in S. E. Asia, a valuable work recently published at 
Boston. We should observe, that as rupee silver of Hindustan is itself near 92 per cent, fine, there is no room for an 
additional 15 per cent. ; this valuation of the huet-nee must therefore be merely commercial. 

f Kelly's Cambist. 



CHILI. 43 

The monetary system continues the same as that of the mother country. (See 
Spain.) The mint is at the capital, New Guatemala, to which the initials N. G. on 
the coin refer. 

The coinage is unimportant, in a commercial view ; specimens rarely appear here. 
The country, however, is productive of the material for coining; the value of one and 
a half millions of dollars, in gold and silver, having been raised in five and a half 
years, ending June 1825* 

The doubloons, as late as 1833, weigh 417 grains, and may be rated at 833 thou- 
sandths fine, which is greatly below their proper standard. They are worth therefore 
only $14 96. 

The dollars, 1824-36, average 415 grains in weight, and 896 thousandths fine ; 
value 1001 cents. 



CHILI. 

Chile. 

This country was a dependency of Spain until 1817, when it became a republic. 
The earliest patriot coinage bears date the same year. 

The system of coinage is the same as that received from Spain. The mint is at 
Santiago ; the mint-mark on the coin being an S, surmounted by a small o. 

Although this country is rich in mines of gold and silver, the coinage is unim- 
portant. Silver is chiefly exported in the shape of bullion, which is an opposite 
policy to that of Mexico. Few of the dollars, and none of the fractional parts, are 
seen here. 

The coinage of gold and silver, previous to 1820, averaged about one million of 
dollars annually ; the gold being about twice as much as the silver. Since that time, 
the average has fallen to #200,000 yearly, only one-fifth of which is in silver. The 
export of silver bullion, in 1836, was about #850,000.t 

The doubloons vary in weight about four grains, but their average is that of 
doubloons generally, say 417 grains. The pieces from 1819 to 1834, with the legend 
" Estado de Chile," are 867 fine, and worth #15 57. Those of 1835 and since, with 
the title " Republica de Chile," are 872 fine, and therefore worth $ 15 66. 

The dollars are tolerably accurate in weight, ranging from 411 to 418 grains, 
averaging 414. The fineness is unusually high, varying from 905 to 911 thou- 

* Thomson's Narrative. f See rurther statistics in the Appendix. 



44 CHINA. 

sandths. They may be averaged at 907, and are therefore worth 101 cents. The 
dates examined here are from 1817 to 1839. A specimen of the latter date, very 
recently received, shows an alteration in the devices of the coinage, but none in the 
standards and value ; the weight of the piece being 412 grains, and the fineness 908 
thousandths; equal to 100.7 cents. 



CHINA* 

While every other nation upon earth regards a distinctive coinage as its sacred 
prerogative, and as one of the clearest assertions of sovereignty, the Celestial 
Empire is content to supply, with its tokens of brass, the meaner purposes of trade, 
and leave to private artisans and "outside barbarians" the nobler duty of furnishing 
a currency for large operations. The only coin which the emperor strikes, is that 
called by the Chinese tsien or tong-tsien, by the Portuguese kaxa, and by the English 
cash. It is a composition of brass,t about an inch in diameter, with a large square 
hole in the centre. By this perforation the pieces are strung in parcels of a hundred, 
for the convenience of counting, as also of carrying. The respective mints, where 
these are coined, are distinguished by an appropriate character on the reverse, in the 
Manchu writing. On the obverse are four Chinese characters, giving the emperor's 
name, or one of his names, and the words tong pao, signifying " current money.":}: 
The older pieces weigh about 44 grains ; the modern ones average 68. Those of 
Kia-king, who reigned from 1795 to 1820, as well as those of Tan-kivang, his son 
and successor, now reigning, have the appearance of being cast in a mould. They 
were formerly reckoned at 1000 to the tale or hang of fine silver ; but of late years, 
probably through over-issue, their value has declined to 1200 or 1300 per tale. This 
last is the integral money of account, being equal to 580 troy grains. In fine silver, 
it is equivalent to 156-2 cents ; in dollar silver, about 140 cents. Hence we may say, 
that about 800 cash are equal to a Spanish dollar. 

The tale is subdivided decimally ; ten candareens make a mace, and ten mace make 
a tale. 

The Chinese freely receive foreign silver coins of established character, especially 

* Chon-ku, or " centre of the world," is the title (says Malte-Brun) by which the Chinese designate their own 
country. 

f According to Bonneville, the alloy is six parts of copper and four of lead. In Marsden's Numismata Orientalia, it 
is stated to be a mixture of copper and zinc. 

J; Marsden, art. China. 



CHINA. 45 

the pillar and Mexican dollars. It has been and probably still is customary for each 
merchant to stamp the piece with his own mark, as it comes into his hands. Some 
of these which have passed through many such operations, have found their way 
here ; they are strangely mangled and disfigured, and scarcely leave a trace of the 
original impressions. The coins are also cut into bits, for the convenience of 
change* 

Merchants usually carry steelyards, called dotchin, for the purpose of weighing 
coins and precious metals. 

There is still a third species of currency, consisting of small bars or ingots, of gold 
or silver, of all sizes, from one half to one hundred tales. These ingots from their 
peculiar shape are called by the English traders a shoe, and by the Dutch, schuit, or 
" boat," as in Japan. They appear to have been melted in an oval crucible, and 
cooled gradually, so that the metal, sinking in the centre, leaves a considerable 
cavity in the upper surface. 

The Chinese are known to be very expert in judging of the fineness of metals, 
especially of silver, merely by handling. Passing a parcel of dollars through his 
fingers, a skilful cambist separates between the good and bad with astonishing 
rapidity and accuracy/)" M. Bonneville affirms that they are no less expert in the 
art of pickling their gold bars, or giving them the appearance of nearly fine gold, by 
plunging in nitric acid. He observes that in his time (1806), nearly all the ingots 
of gold from China and India were thus treated. Some specimens, which appeared 
to be about 980 thousandths fine, proved upon assay to be only 750 to 833. 

Their notation of fineness is centesimal; that is, they represent fine metal (which 
they call sycee) by 100 toques or touch, and alloys are stated proportionally. Old 
Spanish dollars (now seldom seen) are rated at 92 touch; the new, at 90. 

Two of the silver shoes, received here lately, weighed 5i ounces and 60 ounces 
respectively, and were 982 thousandths fine. This would doubtless be considered in 
trade as sycee silver. 

* The same has heen practised in the West Indies, and in our own country. 

f Parcels of condemned dollars have sometimes been brought to this mint from China, to have their precise value 
ascertained. As an example, we may mention a small lot of 22 pieces; one only of these was a good dollar; another 
was worth 80 cents ; twelve pieces were worth about 50 cents each ; the remainder various, but much baser. Some 
of them were well executed, and likely to deceive. 

12 



46 COCHIN CHINA — COLOMBIA. 



COCHIN CHINA. 

A silver coinage is struck in this country, which may easily be mistaken for 
Chinese. On one side are four characters, the same as on some of the Chinese cash, 
and on the other side is displayed the dragon of China. A specimen is shown in 
Plate XVI., No. 15. There are two denominations; one weighing 423 grains, the 
other 214, doubtless meant for half of the former. We have not been able to procure 
pieces for assay. The specific gravity of the larger piece, as tried here, was 9 - 72, 
and of the smaller 9-85 ;* consequently they are about three-fourths fine, and the 
whole piece is worth 85 cents. 

As Spanish dollars are current in this country, it is possible this larger coin is 
meant for a substitute, being a little over the dollar weight. In fineness it is very 
deficient. 



COLOMBIA. 



This country formerly consisted of the vice-royalty of New Granada, and the 
captain-generalship of Venezuela, both under the dominion of Spain. In 1819, the 
two governments, having declared independence, were united under the name of 
Colombia. The nation was freed from royal authority, after a struggle which 
terminated in 1822. In 1831 the union was dissolved, and the country was divided 
into the three republics of Venezuela, New Granada, and Ecuador. As in the 
present work it would be too minute to follow up these subdivisions, the coinage of 
the whole region will be treated under the present head ; especially, as none of the 
coins of Venezuela since that dismemberment, and but a few gold pieces of Ecuador, 
have reached us. Moreover, the title of Colombia has been retained on the coins of 
New Granada up to the year 1836 inclusive. 

The mints of Bogota and Popayan have been long established ; that of Quito 
seems to have been created since the disunion. During the revolution, there was 
also a mint at Caraccas. The coinage is distinguished, in the three former cases, by 

* For an examination of these and other rare specimens of Eastern coinage, we are indebted to W. G. Stearns, Esq. 
of Boston, an amateur collector of coins, whose valued correspondence we are happy to acknowledge in this place. 
This coinage must have originated since 1824, as neither Marsden nor Kelly take notice of it. 



COLOMBIA. 47 

the name of each mint in full, on gold pieces. This distinction is essential, as to the 
character of the coin ; as will be seen by the tables. 

The doubloons and their fractions are more frequently seen in this country, or at 
least at this mint, than any other of the class usually called " patriot." They are 
pretty regular in weight ; the Bogota coinage having a slight preference in this 
respect. In fineness, the doubloons of Popayan are decidedly inferior, as has been 
established by repeated trials, upon large amounts. The divisions of this doubloon, 
especially the escudo, or one-eighth, and its half, are still lower in fineness, and very 
irregular in weight. But the lowest grade of fineness is found in the coins of 
Ecuador. 

Here it may be remarked, that although all doubloons generally command a 
premium in commerce, sufficient to divert them from rccoinage at the mint, yet the 
money market is sometimes in such a state as to send them hither very freely. In 
the first six months of 18,38, there was received here about $300,000. The royal 
doubloons are more in estimation, but, by reason of wear, have really a less intrinsic 
value by tale. (See Spain.) 

The dollars of Colombia are scarce in this quarter ; but their extraordinary 
fluctuations require particular notice. 

Before 1822, the silver coinage presented a confused and anomalous series, unfit to 
be ranked with the same class in other parts of Spanish America. The troubled 
state of the country seems sufficient to account both for the irregularity and debase- 
ment which the coins of that epoch betray. From 1822 to 1834, both dates 
inclusive, no specimens appear; but in 1835 a new dollar with new devices was 
issued, superior in weight and fineness to any other, though evidently meant to be 
modelled after the Spanish standards. Finally, in 1839, a third dollar appears, 
bearing on its face a valuation (like the rest) of eight reals, and a lei of eight 
dineros, or two-thirds fine. 

At Caraccas, down to 1821, there was issued a coin of rude workmanship, marked 
2 reals. This was of course intended to be one-fourth of the dollar, but the con- 
nexion is not well maintained. In the years 1829-30, there were also coined at the 
same place, pieces of one-fourth real, or -jV part of a dollar. 

Colombia has long been known as a gold region ; it has also some silver, but thus 
far of little importance. For a long series of years, prior to 1801, the annual 
produce of gold was two and a half millions of dollars. In later times there has 
been a falling off, but to what extent is not known. A considerable share of its gold- 
dust comes to this mint, and is marked by the presence of platinum. The amount of 
coinage, at the mint of Bogota, from 1810 to 1825, (sixteen years,) was $16,132,000 
in gold, and $275,000 in silver; at Popayan, in three years ending 1825, $2,079,000 



COLOMBIA. 



in gold, and $40,000 in silver.* Probably this will afford some idea of the amount of 
the precious metals raised in the country. The export of specie and bullion, chiefly 
gold, from the port of Carthagena, was #1,700,000 in 1837. (See Plate III.) 



GOLD COINS. 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


STATE. 


WEIGHT. 
GES. 


FINENESS. 
THOUS. 


VALUE. 
D. C. 31. 


Doubloon of 8 Escudos 


1823-36 


Colombia. 


Bogota mint. 


416-8 


870 


15 61 7 


do. . 


1823-36 


do. 


Popayan do. 


416-5 


858 


15 39 


ith do. . 


1823-36 


do. 


Bogota. 


104 


865 


3 87 4 


|th do. . 


1823-36 


do. 


do. 


51 


865 


1 90 


do. do. 


1823-36 


do. 


Popayan.-)" 


51 


852 


] 87 1 


T Vth do. . 


1823-36 


do. 


Bogota. 


25-5 


852 


93 6 


do. do. 


1823-36 


do. 


Popayan. 


25-5 


852 


93 6 


Doubloon 


1837 


New Granada 


Bogota. 


416-8 


870 


15 61 7 


Half do. . 


1836 


Ecuador. 


Quito. 


209 


844 


7 59 6 


ith do. . 


1835 


do. 


do. 


104 


844 


3 78 


^th do. . 


1835 


do. 


do. 


51 


844 


1 85 4 



SILVER COINS. 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


STATE. 


WEIGHT. 
GES. 


FINENESS. 
THOUS. 


VALUE. 
D. C. M. 


Dollar, of 8 reals 


1819-21 


Colombia.^ 


363 


730 


71 4 


do. 


1835-36 


do. Bogota mint.§ 


417 


910 


1 02 2 


do. 


1839 


New Granada. do. 


356 


680 


65 2 


2 reals 


1815-21 


Caraccas & Cundinamarea.|| 


74 


690 


13 8 


i real 


1829-30 


Caraccas. 


8-5 


795 


1 8 



* Jacob's Inquiry, &c. chap. xxv. 

t These vary in fineness from 849 to 854 thousandths, and in weight, from 44A to 61 J grains. Such irregularity in 
weight is almost unparalleled. 

{ This dollar varies from 707 to 770 in fineness ; in weight, 343 to 382 grains. The mint-allowance was truly a la 
Turque. 

} These vary from 907 to 917 in fineness. || Vary from 59 to 82 grains in weight. 



DENMARK. 49 



DENMARK. 

The coinage of this country is somewhat confused by three cotemporary systems 
of money, one for Denmark Proper, a second for the duchy of Holstein, and a third 
for Norway. Holstein is considered a part of Germany, though under the govern- 
ment of the King of Denmark ; and before 1813, had its own suite of coins. 
Norway, formerly connected with Denmark, was assigned to Sweden in the year 
just named. Its coinage will be considered in a separate article. 

The royal succession of late years has been as follows : Frederick V. came to the 
throne in 1746; Christian VII. in 1766; Frederick VI. in 1808, and Christian VIII., 
the reiirnina; sovereign, in 1839. 

The gold coins, previous to the reign of Frederick VI., were the specie ducat, of 
the German standards, the current ducat, seven-eighths fine, and the Christiand'or, at 
21§ carats, or 903 thousandths fine, and 35 pieces to the mark of Cologne, or 103 
troy grains per piece. Since the remodelling of the moneys in 1813, the only gold 
coins are the double and single Frederickd'or, or pieces often and five thalers. Their 
legal fineness is 21£ carats, or 896 thousandths, and the weight at the rate of 17JI 
pieces often thalers to the mark, or 205 troy grains per piece. 

The silver coins may be ranked in two classes ; those prior to, and those since the 
monetary code of 1813. 

First Class. The unit or basis was the old species daler, coined in each section of 
the monarchy. In Denmark it was reckoned at 96 skillings, in Norway at 120 
skillings, and in Holstein at 60 schillings. Its legal standards were, 14 loths or 875 
thousandths fine ; in weight 832 pieces to the mark alloyed, equivalent to 9\ to the 
mark fine ; in our expression, 445-8 grains to the piece* There were also pieces 
of one-half, two-thirds, and one-third, of the same fineness, and proportional weight ; 
the two latter specially for Holstein, and designated as 40 and 20 schillings. The 
one-sixth piece was coined at 1 1 loths, (687 thousandths,) and at a weight of 38/? 
pieces to the alloyed mark ; the one-twelfth piece, 8 loths (500 thousandths) fine, and 
55i to the mark ; lastly, the one-twenty-fourth, at 6 loths (375 thousandths) and 83^ 
to the mark. 

Second Class. By a royal edict of 1813, a new integer for silver money was 
established, called the rigsbanlc daler, or dollar of the national bank, just half the 
weight and value of the species daler. This was equal to 96 new skillings ; hence 

* This rate is of long standing, having been established by Frederick I., who reigned A. D. 1523-33. 

13 



50 



DENMARK. 



the lower denominations of 32, 16, and 8 rigsbank skillings, are equivalent to the Jth, 
rVth, and sVth pieces above named as of the old nomenclature. 

By an edict of 1836, there were added to the coinage, the small pieces of 4, 3, and 
2 skillings, of 250 thousandths fine. These are coined at 21 J rigsbank dalers to the 
mark fine, and therefore yield a government profit of 13J per cent. 

The coinage of the mint at Copenhagen from 1814 to 1838, (twenty-five years,) 
amounted to 5,252,700 rigsbank dalers, equivalent to $2,757,700 in our money ; an 
annual average of $128,100. There was no coinage from 1827 to 1832, and none 
in 1836. The amount executed at the Altona branch has not been ascertained* 
(See Plate X.) 

The coinage struck for the Danish islands in the West Indies, will be noticed 
under that head. 

GOLD COINS. 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


REIGN. 


WEIGHT. 
GRS. 


FINENESS. 
THOUS. 


VALUE. 
D. C. M. 


Species ducat 


1749 


Frederick V. 


53-5 


988 


2 27 6 


do. . 


1795-1802 


Christian VII. 


53-7 


979 


2 26 4 


Current do. . 


1783 


do. 


48 


876 


1 81 1 


Christiand'or 


1775 


do. 


103 


905 


4 01 4 


Double Frederickd'or 


1813-39 


Frederick VI. 


204-5 


895 


7 88 2 


Frederickd'or 


1813-39 


do. 


102 


895 


3 93 2 



SILVER COINS. 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


REIGN. 


WEICHT. 
GRS. 


FINENESS. 
THOUS. 


VALUE. 
D. C. M. 


Species daler . 


1769-77 


Christian VII. 


444 


875 


1 04 6 


60 schillings of Holstein 


1787-94 


do. 


444 


878 


1 05 


40 schillings, or § . 


1787-97 


do. 


295 


878 


69 8 


20 schillings, or -J . 


1788-1808 


do. 


148 


878 


35 


10 schillings, or -J- . 


1787-89 


do. 


93 


670 


16 8 



* In the preparation of this article we are chiefly indebted to the correspondence of C. J. Hambro, Esq., TJ. S. 
Consul at Copenhagen. 



EGYPT. 



51 



SILVER COINS (conttntted). 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


HEIGN. 


WEIGHT. 
GRS. 


FINENESS. 
TIIOUS. 


VALUE. 

d. c. a. 


] S|i. dri l.-r 


1798-1801 


Christian VI 1. 


113 


670 


20 4 


Sp. daler 


1837-39 


Frederick VI. 


445 


877 


1 05 1 


Rigsbank daler 


1813-39 


do. 


222-5 


877 


52 6 


3U shillings . 


1820 


do. 


93-5 


692 


17 4 



EGYPT. 



Misr. 



This country, once a great empire, was reduced to the condition of a Turkish 
province in 1517, and has so remained ever since. At the present day, under the 
vigorous administration of the Pacha Mehemet Ali, its dependence upon the Ottoman 
power is scarcely more than nominal. Egypt has its own system of money, bearing 
no relation to that of Turkey. 

Gold Coins. As long ago as 1 703, in the reign of Achmet III., the sequin fondoukli 
was the same at Constantinople and Cairo, and intended to be equal to the European 
ducat. In 1730, the Cairo sequin fell considerably both in weight and fineness, and, 
as will appear in the annexed tables, continued to grow worse in the latter respect. 
Under the present pacha the coinage is brought to a well adjusted system, contrast- 
ing advantageously with that of the mother country, and of the sister provinces south 
of the Mediterranean. The gold coins are of five denominations, viz. 100, 50, 20, 10, 
and 5 piastres. The last two or three of these seem inconveniently small. The 
principal coin is nearly equal in value to our half-eagle: hence the Egyptian piastre, 
in gold, is worth five cents. 

Silver Coins. In 1801, the piastre of Cairo was worth 20 cents of our money ; less 
than that of Constantinople, which was 26 cents. Under the new system of Mehemet 
Ali, which is based upon the Austrian standards, the real, equivalent to the Austrian 
rixdollar, or 97 cents, is rated at 20 piastres ; making the silver piastre worth 4-85 
cents* There are six denominations of silver coin; 20, 10, 5, 1, J, and J piastre. 



* For duplicate specimens of the new Egyptian coinage, from which the assays are made, as also for information 
concerning them, we are indebted to the attentions of John P. Brown, Esq., late drogoman to the United States lega- 
tion at Constantinople. 



52 



EGYPT. 



The ghersh (piastre) is the integer, or unit, of the moneys ; it is divided nominally 
into 40 paras. (See Plate XV.) 



GOLD COINS. 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


KEIGN. 


WEIGHT. 
GKS. 


FINENESS. 
THOUS. 


VALUE. 
D. C. M. 


Sequin fondoukli . 


1115(1703) 


Achmet III.* 


53 


958 


2 18 7 


do. . 


1143(1730) 


Mahmoud I. 


39 


940 


1 57 9 


do. . 


1143 


do. 


39 


848 


1 42 4 


do. . 


1171 (1757) 


Mustapha III. 


39 


781 


1 31 2 


do. . 


1187(1773) 


Abdul Hamed. 


39 


786 


1 32 


do. . 


1187 


do. 


39 


645 


1 08 3 


do. . 


1203(1789) 


Selim III. 


39 


690 


1 15 9 


Half do. . 


1233(1818) 


Mahmoud II. 


18 


670 


51 9 


Bedidlik, of 100 piastre 


s 1255 (1839) 


Abdul Majeed. 


132-2 


874 


4 97 6 


Nusflik, of 50 piastres 


1255 


do. 


66-1 


875 


2 49 1 


Kairie Hashreen, 20 


1255 


do. 


27 


874 


1 01 7 


Kairie Bashireh, 10 


1255 


do. 


13 


874 


48 9 


Cataa Hamsee, 5 


1255 


do. 


6-7 


874 


25 2 



SILVER COINS. 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


KEIGN. 


WEIGHT. 
GR3. 


FINENESS. 
THOUS. 


VALUE. 
D. C. M. 


Yirmilik, or ^ piastre . 


1216(1801) 


Selim III. 


96 


372 


9 6 


Real, or 20 piastres 


1255(1839) 


Abdul Majeed. 


430 


836 


96 8 


Nusf, or 10 piastres 


1255 


do. 


215 


832 


48 2 


Ruba, or 5 piastres 


1252(1836) 


Mahmoud II. 


107-5 


850 


24 6 


Ghersh, or piastre 


1255(1839) 


Abdul Majeed. 


21 


842 


4 8 


Ashreneah, or 20 paras 


1255 


do. 


10-5 


843 


2 4 


Ashereh, or 10 paras . 


1255 


do.f 


5-2 







* The name of the sultan, not the pacha, appears on the coins. The first date given is that of the Hegira ; the 
corresponding Christian year is in parentheses. 
f Not assayed. 



F R A N C E. 53 



FRANCE. 



In taking a view of the coinage of this empire for the past century, it is seen to 
be marked by three epochs. 

For some years previous to 1726 there was a remarkable confusion in the currency. 
Frequent changes were made in the coin, both as to the standards and valuation ; 
the effect of which was a constant and prodigious depreciation of the livre tournois, 
the integral money of account. For example, the livre of 1689, which in fine gold 
corresponded to a weight of 60-4 centigrammes, and in fine silver to 7-48 grammes, 
was, after a series of reductions, brought down to one third of those quantities, in a 
space of only thirty-one years.* A reform became necessary; and in 1726, under 
Louis XV., a general recoinage took place, both of gold and silver, upon a new basis. 
This standard was steadily maintained for a long course of years. The silver coins 
remained unaltered until the Revolution; but in 1785 it was judged expedient to 
reduce the gold coin in weight, and it was accordingly called in, and recoined at a 
new rate. These therefore are two of the epochs above noted ; and it should be 
added, that when French crowns are now spoken of, they are understood as those 
coined upon the basis of 1726 ; louisd'ors are those issued since 1785. 

The third epoch was the Revolution ; an unlikely occasion, apparently, for the 
developement of a cautiously devised system of coinage/!" Nevertheless, it was in 
1795, the year III. of the Republic, that the present admirable and permanent 
system was begun, although not consummated until eight years after. Its basis was 
no less a standard than the dimensions of the earth. First, the distance from the 
equator to the pole, which was ascertained by certain computations, being divided 
into ten million parts, gave the metre, or standard of long measure, — equal to 39-371 
inches. Next, a cube of pure water, at the temperature of melting ice, measuring 

* From 16S9 to 1726 there were, in the gold coin, nine changes of standard or value ; and as many in the silver 
coin. See Bonneville, art. France. 

f The occasion would be thought peculiarly unfavourable, on remembering that the Ruling Powers of those days 
issued paper money called assignats, to the extent of 36,000 millions of francs, in the short space of five years. 
(See Thiers's French Revolution.} Nevertheless, it is well agreed by considerate men, that any thorough change 
in the standard measures of capacity and value, however judicious and desirable, can hardly be effected at any 
other time than during a grand political convulsion. The public are extremely reluctant to change their pounds and 
bushels, by which they are accustomed not only to measure, but to speak and think. Before our own Revolution, we 
had the cumbrous nomenclature of pounds, shillings, and pence, brought from the mother country ; and although 
advantage was taken of our new political condition to introduce a decimal system of money, it required many years to 
accustom the people to the alteration. It was common to reduce dollars and cents to shillings and pence, before they 
could be well apprehended. 

14 



54 FRANCE. 

each way the hundredth part of this metre (called a centimetre), gave a certain 
weight, which was called the gramme. This was the standard of weight, and is 
equivalent to 15-435 troy grains. From this, finally, the franc was deduced, by a 
simple standard, to be stated presently. All these units of measurement were divided 
or multiplied decimally into other denominations, by which the system possessed 
completeness as well as simplicity. 

The franc was at first equivalent to the livre ; but as the old coinage became worn, 
their relative value was modified by law; first, at 80 francs for 81 livres; afterwards, 
in 1810, 58 francs were reckoned equal to 60 livres. 

The livre was divided, in accounts, into 20 sols, or sous. The franc is divided into 
centimes, or hundredths ; but it is common to rate 20 sous to the franc also. 

The following are the legal standards of weight and fineness, during the period 
embraced in this view. 

Gold Coins. From 1726 to 1784, 30 louisd'ors were to be coined from a French 
mark weight, at 22 carats fine ; with an allowance under, of 15 grains per mark, in 
the weight, and If of a carat in fineness. In our terms, this was 125-9 troy grains to 
the louisd'or, less £ grain for allowance; and 916-7 thousandths in fineness, less 16 
for allowance. The louisd'or was rated at 24 livres, or 4 crowns ; the double and 
half pieces were proportional. 

From 1 785 to 1 793, 32 louisd'ors were coined from a mark ; which was 118 troy 
grains to each piece. The other standards as before. 

From 1794 to 1802, there was no gold coin. 

By the law of March 28, 1803, (7 Germinal, an. XI.,) which remains unchanged, 
155 pieces of 20 francs, called Napoleons during the imperial reign, were coined from 
a kilogramme, or 1000 grammes, nine-tenths fine; with an allowance of two thou- 
sandths above, and the same below, both in weight and fineness. The double 
Napoleon, of 40 francs, was of proportional weight. 

Silver Coins. By edict of 1726, 8 T a ecus, or crowns, were to be coined from a 
mark, at liths fine ; remedy of weight, 36 grains per mark ; remedy of fineness, 
three parts in 288. In our terms, this was 455-1 grains troy to each piece, less 3-5, 
ad libitum; and 916-7 thousandths in fineness, less 10. This piece was rated at six 
livres ; the half-crown in proportion. 

In 1774, smaller denominations of jth, roth, and 2Vth of the crown were added to 
the coinage. 

In 1791, there were also added the pieces of 30 and 15 sols, at two-thirds fine, or 
666-7 thousandths, with an allowance of 7 thousandths ; the larger piece at the rate 
of 24sV to the mark, in weight, less 36 grains per mark, or -roths of a troy grain to 
the piece. 

By decree of August 19, 1795, (28 Thermidor, an. III.,) the five franc piece and its 



FRANCE. 55 

divisions were introduced, at the rate of 200 francs to the kilogramme, nine-tenths 
fine. The allowance of fineness was 7 thousandths above or below the standard ; of 
weight, for the largest coin, 5 thousandths. Only the five franc piece, however, was 
coined until the law of 1803, when the denominations of two, one, one-half, and 
one-quarter franc were added, and the limits of fineness reduced to three thousandths 
above or below the standard of 900 ; so that the coins may not be lower than 897. 
nor higher than 903. 

The improvements in the mint remedy, or system of allowances, deserve particular 
notice. A certain scope of deviation from the standards is necessary, since it is not 
possible to obtain precision, in working upon a large scale ; but this scope should 
be narrowed, in proportion as the art of metallurgy attains greater perfection. 
Formerly the allowed deviation was sixteen thousandths in gold coins ; but by the 
law of 1803, it was reduced to four, and in actual practice three is doubtless found 
sufficient. But there is another amelioration in the new system. The old remedy 
lay entirely below the lawful standard; that is, the coin must not be finer than 916 
thousandths, but it might be as low as 900, and yet be lawful. This offered an 
opportunity for unfair alloying, which experience shows was not slighted. But the 
new remedy lies on each side of the legal standard, above as well as below ; so that 
there is a tendency to maintain, on an average, the just medium. 

These limitations, introduced with the franc* system, have had the effect to give 
great uniformity to the French coinage. To insure their application, there is a rigid 
and complicated system of checks, to which the coins of all the mints are subjected. 

Previous to the year 1772 there were no less than thirty-one mints in the French 
kingdom. At that date the number was reduced to eighteen. Twelve of these have 
since been discontinued, so that at present there remain only the mints of Paris, 
Bordeaux, Lille, Lyons, Rouen, and Strasbourg. The coinage of each mint may be 
known by its mint-mark or letter; that of Paris is the letter A; Bordeaux, K; 
Lille, W ; Lyons, D ; Rouen, B ; and Strasbourg, BB.f Each coin has also another 
small mark or figure, such as an anchor, lion, caduceus, &c. to indicate under whose 
directorship it was issued. 

France is famous for the amount of her specie circulation, especially in silver. 
This is corroborated by the statistical returns of the minting operations. Taking 
Mexico out of view, there is probably no country in the world which compares with 
France in the amount of coinage. From 1726 to 1840, a period of 115 years, the 

* This term was introduced by Henry ITT. in 1575, who ordered a coinage of francs, of the value of 20 sols each. 
The coin was afterwards disused, but the word was long employed in common parlance as a synonyme for livre. 
(Salzade, Recueil des Mommies, 1767.) 

t The marks of some of the former mints are as follows: Rochelle, H; Bayonne, L; Toulouse, M; Perpignan, Q; 
Nantes, T ; Marseilles, an M interlaced with A. 



56 



FRANCE. 



sum may be stated roundly at 8,285 millions of francs, equal to 1558 millions of 
dollars. During the reign of the present sovereign, to the close of 1840, the annual 
average has been 134 millions of francs (25 millions of dollars), of which seven- 
eighths are in silver* French coins, especially of gold, are recoined here in 
considerable quantities. 

There are some silver mines in France. In 1835, the amount raised was 1756 
kilogrammes; in 1836, 1895 kilogrammes.f Perhaps the annual produce might be 
assumed at 400,000 francs, or 75,000 dollars. 

The order of the French government, during the range of the present treatise, has 
been as follows. Louis XV., 1715-1774. Louis XVI., 1774-1793. Republic, 1793- 
1804. Napoleon, (Emperor,) 1804-1814. Louis XVIII., 1814-1824. Charles X., 
1824-1830. Louis Philippe, since 1830, reigning sovereign. (See Plate VII.) 

GOLD COINS. 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


REIGN. 


WEICHT. 
GES. 


FINENESS. 
THOUS. 


VALUE. 
D. C. M. 


Louisd'or 


1726-73 


Louis XV. 


124 


897 


4 79 


Double do. 


1744 


do. 


250 


902 


9 71 1 


do. . 


1786-92 


Louis XVI. 


235 


901 


9 11 9 


Louisd'or 


1786-92 


do. 


116-5 


900 


4 51 6 


Napoleon, of 20 francs 


1803-14 


Napoleon. 


99-2 


899 


3 84 1 


Double do. 


1803-14 


do. 


198-5 


899 


7 68 5 


Forty francs . 


1814-24 


Louis XVIII. 


198-5 


899 


7 68 5 


Twenty francs 


1814-24 


do. 


99-2 


899 


3 84 1 


Forty francs 


1824-30 


Charles X. 


198-6 


899 


7 68 9 


Twenty francs 


1824-30 


do. 


99-3 


899 


3 84 5 


Forty francs . 


1830-39 


Louis Philippe. 


199 


899 


7 70 5 


Twenty francs 


1830-39 


do. 


99-5 


899 


3 85 2 


do. 


1840-41 


do4 


99-5 


900 


3 85 7 



* See Appendix for fuller statistics — procured through the favour of his Excellency Lewis Cass, U. S. Minister 
Plenipotentiary at Paris. 

f Karsten's Archiv., Berlin, 1840. 

J The assay of French gold coins is very regular, varying seldom more than 898A to 899A ; though the most recent 
coinage is fully 900. As for weight, it is found that one thousand twenty franc pieces, taken from the circulation, 
will vary from 41351 to 4141 J dwts. Hence the true average value of the twenty franc piece is $3 84 5. It will 
assist an American memory to note that it is a dollar less than the British sovereign. 



FRANCE. 



57 



SILVER COINS. 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


HEIGN. 


WEIGHT. 
GRS. 


FINENESS. 
TIIOUS. 


VALUE. 
D. C. M. 


Crown . 


1726-73 


Louis XV. 


440 


912 


1 08 1 


Half crown . 


1726-73 


do. 


212 


912 


52 1 


Crown . 


1774-92 


Louis XVI.* 


444 


912 


1 09 1 


Half crown . 


1774-92 


do. 


220 


912 


54 


Thirty sols . 


1791-92 


do. 


153 


667 


27 5 


Fifteen sols . 


1792 


do. 


77 


662 


13 7 


Six livres 


1793 


Louis XVI. — and Republic. 


445 


912 


1 09 3 


Five francs . 


Year IV. 


Republic. 


383 


902 


93 1 


do. 


1803-04 


Bonaparte, First Consul. 


383 


902 


93 1 


do. 


1804-14 


Napoleon, Emperor. 


383-5 


902 


93 2 


do. 


1315-24 


Louis XVIII. 


384 


902 


93 3 


do. 


1825-30 


Charles X. 


384-5 


902 


93 4 


do. 


1831-38 


Louis Philippe.f 


385 


899 


93 2 


Two francs . 


Various. 


Various. 


154-5 


900 


37 5 


One franc 


do. 


do. 


76-5 


900 


18 5 


Half franc 


do. 


do. 


38 


900 


9 2 


Quarter franc 


do. 


do. 


19 


900 


4 6 



* French crowns are now seldom seen. They are occasionally brought from Canada to this mint, for recoinage, 
being so much worn as to be no longer passable. In a parcel of half crowns, ' lately deposited, there were some 
weighing only 202 grains, and worth just 50 cents; others, less worn, averaged 52 cents. The fineness varies from 
909 to 915 thousandths. These coins contain two or three thousandths of gold, which is parted profitably at French 
refineries. Large quantities of crowns have been thus disposed of — reappearing in the form of fine bars. 

f The humid assay, the admirable invention of M. Gay-Lussac, began to be employed in 1831. By the old process, 
from 3 to 5 thousandths of silver were lost, so that silver coins were finer, by that much, than it was intended to make 
them ; unless the assayer allowed for the loss. Consequently, French five franc pieces prior to 1831 are a little better 
than those coined since. The humid assay was introduced here in 1835. It is doubtless destined to become of 
universal use. 

15 



58 GERMANY. 



GERMANY. 

Deutschland. 

Germany is composed of numerous distinct sovereignties, of various grades, each 
possessing the right of coining its own money. The coinage of this country would 
therefore appear as intricate a study as its political geography,* were it not that 
there have been several attempts to simplify and equalize the money, and with a good 
degree of success. To exhibit the general standards of coinage, as well as to notice 
those of a more limited and special authority, will be the object of the present article. 
The coinage of each sovereignty of any importance, will also be treated of under its 
own head. 

Generally it may be observed, the northern statest reckon by the thaler, divided into 
groschen; the southern, by the florin or gulden, divided into kreutzers. Yet in the 
actual coinage there are both thalers and florins, of various values, all over Germany. 
Another general remark is, that since the diet of 1559, the conventions for equalizing 
the coin have confined their attention to the silver, as the more important currency ; 
taking no notice of the gold. Nevertheless they have copied after each other very 
much in this respect, maintaining the above distinction of north and south. It is 
from the upper states only, that the ten-thalers issue ; the lower countries coin ducats 
chiefly. 

We shall first give some details of the gold coinage, and explain afterwards the 
provisions of the three conventions for adjusting the silver moneys. 

Gold Coins. At the diet of Augsburg, in 1559, two standards were recognised 
for gold coins of the empire. The first was 18£ carats fine, at which 12 florins, 36 
maximilians, or 24 carolins, were coined from a mark weight. This coinage was 
discontinued about a century ago, and will not be noticed further. The other 
standard was 23§ carats, or 986 thousandths fine ; and from a mark of such gold, 67 
ducats were to be coined — equal to 53-87 troy grains per ducat.J This coinage is 
continued in Austria and other southern states. Having also been adopted by many 

* Dr. Becher sums up the states actually coining money at the date of 1771, as follows : besides the Emperor, there 
were seven electors, thirteen spiritual princes, twenty-five temporal princes, sixteen barons, and six free cities ; in all 
sixty-eight. (Oeslerreich. Munzw., Vienna, 1838, vol. i.) 

f The fiftieth degree of latitude affords a pretty correct line of demarcation. 

I According to Kelly, the Cologne mark is equal to 3608 troy grains at Hamburg, and 3609 in Germany generally. 
Bonneville rates the mark at 233'864 grammes. The mint convention of 1838 declared its equivalent to be 233855 
grammes. This would correspond to 3609-5 troy grains. 



GERMAN Y. 



59 



other nations, the ducat may be considered as one of the universal coins. Its nominal 
value, in the north of Germany, is 2| rixdollars of account ; in the south, it is equal 
to 2 crowns, or 51 florins ; in Austria, 4J florins. All gold coins however are at a 
premium against silver. 

A third standard originated about the year 1740, in Brunswick, and is now in 
general use in the northern states. The fineness was at first 21 § carats (903 
thousandths), but afterwards was reduced to 2U carats (896 thousandths); at which 
rate there are coined from a mark weight, 17i pieces of ten-thalers, 35 pistoles, or 
five-thaler pieces, and 70 half-pistoles. This is equal to 206-26 troy grains to the 
ten-thaler piece; but the best specimens do not actually weigh more than 205 
grains. 

Since 1819, gold pieces of ten and five gulden, nine-tenths fine, have been coined 
in Baden. 

Silver Coins. These have been the subject of regulation at three conventions, 
held within the past century and a half. The first was at Leipsic, in 1690, and the 
standards then adopted are usually distinguished as the Leipziger-fuss, or basis of 
Leipsic. This convention was influential only in the northern states. The second 
was held in 1753, and although only Austria and Bavaria were represented, the stan- 
dards were gradually adopted by almost the whole confederation. They are commonly 
known as the convention basis. The third was a partial convention, held in 1837, 
the articles of which were adopted, with others superadded, at a general convention 
in 1838, held at Dresden. At this last meeting there were envoys present from all 
the states except Austria, Hanover, Brunswick, and a few of less note. 

The following schedule exhibits the various denominations of money, and their 
legal standards, as adopted at the respective conventions ; together with the kronen- 
thaler or crown dollar, and florin of the southern states, coined since the beginning of 
the present century. It may be here stated, that the standards of the recent 
convention were to take effect from January, 1839, and to be established as the sole 
standards within two years thereafter. The agreement is binding until 1858; after 
which it may be prolonged by terms of five years, unless a notice to the contrary has 
been given, two years previously, by any of the parties. The coinage under this 
convention has already become extensive, and the system bears the marks of per- 
manency. 



60 



GERMANY. 





DENOMINATION. 


WEIGHT. 


FINENESS. 
THOUS. 


VALUE, AT 




riECES TO A 
COL. MAES 


TROY WT. OF 
EACH PIECE. 


FULL WEIGHT 

AND FINENESS. 

D. C M. 






FINE. 


GKS. 






Leipsic 


" Specie thaler 


9 


451-1 


889 


1 08 


rate, < 


Sp. florin, zweydritielstUck* 


18 


Various. 


Various. 


54 


1690. 


- Thaler of account (not a coin) 


12 






81 




- Specie thaler 


10 


433-2 


833 


97 2 


Convention 


Specie florin 


20 


216-6 


833 


48 6 


rate, 


Thaler of account 


13* 




. . . 


72 9 


1753. 


Half florin .... 


40 


108-3 


833 


24 3 




- Twenty kreutzers 


60 


103-2 


583 


16 2 




Crown of southern states 


Q 8 


456 


872 


1 07 4 




Florin do. . 


24 


200-6 


750 


40 5 




r Two thaler, or 3| florin piece 


7 


572-9 


900 


1 38 9 




Thaler .... 


14 


343-8 


750 


69 4 


Convention 


Two-third thaler 


21 


229-2 


750 


46 3 




One-third thaler . 


42 


114-6 


750 


23 1 


rate, 


One-sixth thaler . 


96 


72-2 


521 


10 1 




Florin .... 


24J 


163-7 


900 


39 7 


1837-38. 


Half florin .... 


49 


81-8 


900 


19 8 




One-tenth florin (6 kr.) 


270 


40 


333 


3 6 




- One-twentieth florin (3 kr.) . 


540 


20 


333 


1 8 



* Called zweydrittel, or two-third piece, because it was two-thirds of the dollar of arccount, though only half of the 
specie dollar. This piece was sometimes coined of fine silver, sometimes only three-fourths fine ; the weight being 
varied accordingly. 

In respect to this whole table, it will be understood that these are the legal, not the actual weight, fineness, and 
value ; which last are to be sought under the respective countries. 



GREECE. 



61 



GREECE. 



Hellas. 



After a revolutionary struggle of nine years, this country was emancipated from 
Turkish rule, and became (1829) an independent nation. Its form of government 
was not settled until 1833, when Otho of Bavaria was called to the throne, which he 
still occupies. A system of coinage was decreed in the same year, and coins were, 
in accordance therewith, immediately issued. 

The gold coins are the pieces of 40 and 20 drachmai, or drachms ; but as yet, only 
the latter has been struck. The legal fineness is nine-tenths ; the weight of the 20 
dr. piece is 5 - 776 grammes, or 89 troy grains. 

The silver coins are the pieces of five, one, one-half, and one-fourth drachme. 
The fineness is nine-tenths ; the weight, 4-477 grammes, or 69 troy grains to the 
single drachme — the others proportional. The drachme* is the unit of accounts, 
and is divided into 100 lepta. It is evidently founded upon the ancient coin of the 
same name, being of about the same value. Probably some reference was had also 
to the Spanish dollar, which by the tariff is made current at six drachmai. 

Various foreign coins are legalized at certain rates, such as the five franc piece of 
France, at 5-58 dr., the Austrian rixdollar at 5-78, the Holland ducat at 13, &ct 

GOLD AND SILVER COINS. 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


KEIGN. 


WEIGHT. 
GRS. 


FINENESS. 
THOES. 


VALUE. 
D. C. M. 


20 drachm 


1833 


Otho. 


89 


900 


3 45 


5 do. 


1833 


do. 


345 


900 


83 6 


Drachme 


1832-33 


do. 


68-5 


902 


16 6 


Half do. 


1833 


do. 


33-5 


902 


8 


Quarter do. 


1834 


do. 


17 


902 


4 1 



* Dr. Arbuthnot deduces S(*xn>> from ipay/ni, a handful; "or as you would say, a handful of six oboli." {Ancient 
Coins.) 

t Specimens of the coinage, with details concerning them, were obligingly furnished by our Consul at Vienna, Mr. 
Schwarz. 

16 



62 



GUIANA. 



GUIANA. 

This region of country, lying on the northern coast of South America, is at present 
divided into three colonies, belonging to Great Britain, Netherlands, and France, 
respectively. 

British Guiana, or Demerary. The basis of moneys in this colony was, until 
recently, the guilder, divided into 20 stivers. But by an ordinance of February, 1839, 
it was "deemed advisable to establish dollars and cents, as the denomination of 
moneys of account of British Guiana, in the place of guilders and stivers." Three 
guilders were declared equal to the dollar. 

Silver coins have been struck at various times by the British government, for this 
colony. The denominations are of three, two, one, one-half, one-quarter, and one- 
eighth guilder. 

SILVER COINS.* 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


EEIGN. 


WEIGHT. 
GE3. 


FINENESS. 
THOUS. 


VALUE. 
D. C. M. 


Doll, of 3 guilders . 


1809 


George III. 


359 


824 


79 7 


2 guilders 


1809 


do. 


238 


825 


52 9 


3 do. . 


1816 


do. 


359 


825 


79 8 


1 do. . 


1816 


do. 


119 


825 


26 4 


do. . 


1832 


William IV. 


119-5 


819 


26 4 


Half-guilder 


1836 


do. 


59-5 


819 


13 1 


Quarter-guilder 


1836 


do. 


30 


819 


6 6 



In Dutch Guiana, (Surinam,) there was formerly a currency of small silver coins, 
but these have been displaced by notes of the West India Bank, for ten, fifteen, and 
twenty-five cents. These are received for colonial dues, but are much below the par 
value. Thus, in September, 1839, good bills on Holland at ninety days, were from 
ten to fifteen per cent, advance, and specie from twelve to seventeen per cent.t 

* For specimen coins, with statements, we are indebted to Moses Benjamin, Esq., U. S. Consul for British Guiana, 
t This information is due to the U. S. Consul at Surinam, Thomas Trask, Esq. 






HANOVER. 63 

We can give no satisfactory information as to the currency of French Guiana. 
.Some small colonial coins are used there, but apparently none of recent emission. 
Between this and the adjoining colony, the commercial restrictions are so great that 
it is scarcely known, in the one, what is the currency of the other. 



HANOVER. 



The dominions of Brunswick were divided, in 1559, into the two branches of 
Wolfcubuttcl and Hanover. They have ever since been separate governments, with 
dillerent systems of coinage ; but the title of Duke of Brunswick and Luneburg has 
been, until recently, maintained by the reigning princes of both sides ; which makes 
some confusion in the study of their coins. It was not until the reign of George IV. 
that the name of Hanover appeared on the coins at all. It was then joined to the 
old title ; but on the accession of William IV., the simple legend King of Hanover 
was adopted, and has so remained. Any difficulty, however, will be removed by 
considering, that the Elector or King of Hanover has also filled the throne of Great 
Britain, from George I. to AVilliam IV. — 1714 to 1838. The names of the Bruns- 
wick princes are diflerent from those of the English monarchs. (See Brunswick?) 

Gold Colns. Hanover was one of the last states which disused the old gold 
gulden, of 72 to the mark. (See Germany?) None, however, appear to have been 
coined since 1755. 

The ducat, coined at the usual standards of the German empire, seems to have 
been disused since 1776. 

The present gold coins are the 10, 5, and 2| thaler pieces ; formerly coined at 35, 
but now at 35^ pieces of 5 thalers to the mark, 21^ carats fine. There is no perma- 
nent value of these coins, as compared with the silver; but the minister of finance 
has power to fix, from time to time, the value at which the government will receive 
the same in lieu of silver. 

It will be seen by the ensuing tables, that the coinage of George III. and George 
IV. falls below the usual fineness, by one-half per cent. This deficiency was ascer- 
tained here by repeated assays ; it was known also at Hamburg, from whence the 
bullion was chiefly derived, and had the effect to divert the supply to the mints of 
Brunswick and Denmark. It is through the constant intermixing of these inferior 
pieces of Hanover, that the reports upon German gold are kept low, as well as 
unsteady, at this mint. Since the accession of William IV., or at least since 1835, 
the evil has been remedied. 



64 



HANOVER. 



Silver Coins. This country did not adopt the basis of the German convention of 
1753. As late as 1766, specie-thalers of the Leipsic rate were coined. Since that 
date, there have been coined florins, or tivo-thirds pieces,* of 24 marien-groschen, 
equal in value to half the Leipsic dollar, and usually of fine silver, nearly ; though at 
one time the fineness was reduced to three-fourths (750 thousandths), and the weight 
, increased proportionally. Pieces of four marien-groschen were also coined from fine 
silver. Since 1834, Hanover has adopted the Prussian standard, of 14 thalers to the 
fine mark ; the thaler being divided into 24 good-groschen. They are, however, of 
fine silver, and not three-fourths, as in Prussia/!" The Leipsic florin is still continued ; 
and there are, besides, pieces of 4 groschen, or one-sixth thaler, 2 groschen, 1 
groschen, 6 and 4 pfennig. 

The mines of the Hartz mountains are stated to produce, on an average of ten 
years past, about 10 marks of gold, and 50,000 marks of silver annually. The 
Rumelsberg mine, which is the joint property of Hanover and Brunswick, yields 
annually 10 marks of gold, and 4000 marks of silver.^ 

GOLD COINS. 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


KEIGN. 


WEIGHT. 
GES. 


FINENESS. 
THOUS. 


VALUE. 
D. C. 31. 


Ducat 


1776 


George III. 


53-5 


993 


2 28 8 


Pistole, or 5 thaler . 


1303 


do. 


102 


896 


3 93 6 


10 thaler 


1813-14 


do. 


204-5 


890 


7 83 8 


5 thaler . 


1813-14 


do. 


102 


890 


3 91 


10 thaler 


1822-30 


George IV. 


204-7 


890 


7 84 6 


do. . 


1835-36 


William IV. 


204-7 


895 


7 89 


do. . 


1839 


Ernest Augustus. 


205 


895 


7 90 2 



* That is, two-thirds of the thaler of account, as settled by the Leipsic convention of 3690. (See Germany.} 
t Silver without alloy is commonly thought unfit for the purposes of coinage; but as it is brought in that state direct 
from the Hartz mines, it seems to be considered expedient to work it up in its original purity. 
I We are indebted to John Cuthbert, Est*., U. S. Consul at Hamburg, for materials in framing the present article. 



HANSE TOWNS. 



65 



SILVER COINS. 



DENOMINATION". 


DATE. 


KEIGN. 


WEIGHT. 
GRS. 


FINENESS. 
TIIOUS. 


VALUE. 
D. 0. JI. 


Speeie-thaler 




1766 


George III. 


449 


896 


1 08 3 


Florin 




1783-97 


do. 


201 


995 


53 8 


do. . 




1801 


do. 


266 


753 


54 


do. . 




1807-14 


do. 


201 


995 


53 9 


4 mar. gros. 




1776 


do. 


34 


995 


9 


Florin 




1825 


George IV. 


202 


996 


54 2 


Thaler . 




1834 


William IV. 


259 


997 


69 6 


do. . 




1838 


Ernest Augustus. 


259 


996 


69 5 


Florin 




1839 


do. 


204 


996 


54 7 



HANSE TOWNS. 

Of this ancient league of free cities, three are still using their right to coin money. 
These are Bremen, Frankfort, and Hamburg. 

Bremen reckons by dollars of 72 grote ; the groten being subdivided into 5 schwaren. 
In 1753, the principal coin was a silver piece of 48 grote, weighing 269 troy grains 
at 750 thousandths fine, and therefore worth 54-3 cents. Since that date, until 1840, 
it does not appear that there has been any coinage. In 1840 new pieces were 
issued, of 36 gr. at 15 loths 14 grains, or 986 thousandths fine; 12 and 6 gr. 
at 11 loths 15 grains, or 740 thousandths fine; and 1 groten, at 4^ loths, or 281 
thousandths fine. The piece of 36 grote weighs 134i grains troy, and being of full 
standard fineness, is worth 35-7 cents. Hence the new groten is of less value than 
the old one, and is almost interchangeable with our cent* (See Plate XIII.) 

Frankfort reckons, with the southern German states, in florins or gulden of 60 
kreutzers. 

As late as 1796, ducats were coined, of the usual weight and fineness; but no 
gold coinage seems to have been executed since that date. 



* Letter of Marcus Derkhiem, Esq., late U. S. Consul at Bremen. 
17 



66 



HANSE TOWNS. 



Of silver coins, the convention-dollar was the principal, of which, from 1763 to 
1796, there are six different impressions. These, as usual, express on their face the 
rate of coinage, " Ten to the fine mark." Their value in our money is 97 cents. 

Frankfort was a party to the southern convention of 1837, at which the rate of 
24£ florins to the fine mark was agreed upon. (See Germany?) Consequently, since 
1838 there has been a new coinage of pieces of one gulden, one-half, six kreutzers, 
three, and one kreutzer. The gulden weighs 164 grains, and is 900 thousandths 
fine ; value, 39 - 7 cents. The six kr. piece, 39 grains, and 333 fine ; value 3-4 cents* 
(Plate XIII.) 

Hamburg. Accounts are kept in marks banco, but the coinage is in marks current. 
Both are divided into 16 schillings. 

The gold coinage consists of ducats, at the German rates, and valued at six marks 
banco. A ducat of 1825 weighed 53-5 grains, and yielded 980 thousandths fine; 
value, $2 25 7. The gold coins are rare, and intended rather for show (schaumiinze) 
than for circulation. 

In the silver coinage, the specie dollar of the Leipsic basis (see Germany) was 
formerly the principal piece, but it has been discontinued since 1764. It was 
reckoned at 3 marks banco, or 3| marks current. Since that date, and until 1808, 
there have been pieces of two marks current, one mark, eight and four schillings. 
Since 1833 there are new pieces of one schilling, half-schilling or sechsling, and 
quarter, or dreiling. 

The following are the legal weights and fineness, of silver coins :t 



DENOMINATION. 


PIECES TO A MARK. 


FINENESS. 
THOUS. 


TROY GRS. TO 
EACH PIECE. 


Double mark, 32 schilling 


12f 


750 


283 


Single mark, 16 schilling 


25J 


750 


141'5 


8 schilling .... 


42> 


625 


85 


4 schilling .... 


™* 


562 


47 


2 schilling .... 


119 


437 


30-3 


Schilling .... 


216 


375 


16-6 


Sechsling .... 


304 


250 


11-8 



The weights and fineness, as far as tried here, conform very nearly to those rates. 



* Letter of Ernest Schwendler, Esq.., U. S. Consul at Frankfort. 

t For specimen coins, with statements, we are indebted to the correspondence of John Cothbert, Esq., U. S. 
Consul at Hamburg. 



HESS E. 



67 



Hence the mark current is worth 28i cents. This would make the par of the mark 
banco, in our money, 35-6 cents. The ducat valuation gives a result of 37-6 cents. 
I in? as at present bar silver is sold at 27;| marks banco, for a Cologne mark tine, 
the true par may be estimated at 35 cents, precisely. 



HESSE. 

Tins ancient principality was divided in the sixteenth century, and subsequently a 
third branch was set off. These divisions are usually specified by annexing the name 
of the capital town ; as, Hesse-Cassel, Hesse-Darmstadt, and Hesse-Homburg. The 
coins however are only to be distinguished by the titles of the sovereigns ; the first 
being Elector (Kwrfursf), the second Grand Duke (Grosherzog), and the third 
Landgrave (Landgrqf), of Hesse. This distinction does not date farther back than 
1803, the year in which Hesse-Cassel was erected into an electorate ; but the 
coinage of the other two states, before that date, will not require any notice in the 
present work. 

Hesse-Cassel. The gold coins of the electorate are pieces of 10 and 5 thalers, 
coined at the usual rate of those denominations. (See Germany.) 

In the silver coinage, the convention-thaler and its divisions were adopted ; but in 
1778, a new thaler appeared, three-fourths fine, and equal to the thaler of account in 
value ; in 1789, this was displaced by another thaler, of finer metal, but reduced in 
weight, so as to make it equivalent to the Prussian thaler, and somewhat less 
valuable than the former ; finally, in 1819, the Prussian standards were adopted, 
and there has since been no alteration. 

This state was a party to the general mint-convention of 1838. 

GOLD COINS. 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


REIGN. 


WEIGHT. 
GES. 


FINENESS. 
THOCS. 


VALUE. 
D. C. M. 


Ten thaler 


1773-85 


Frederick II. 


202 


890 


7 74 2 


Five thaler 


1771-84 


do. 


101 


893 


3 88 4 


do. . 


1788-99 


William IX. 


101-5 


892 


3 89 9 


do. . 


1815-17 


William I. 


101-5 


894 


3 90 8 



68 



HESSE. 



SILVER COINS. 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


REIGN. 


WEIGHT. 
GKS. 


FINENESS. 
THOUS. 


VALUE. 
D. C. M. 


Specie-thaler . 


1766 


Frederic II. 


430 


836 


96 8 


Half do. . 


1760-61 


do. 


215 


836 


48 4 


Thaler . 


1778 


do. 


360 


750 


72 7 


do. . 


1789 


William IX. 


291 


885 


69 4 


do. . . 


1819 


William I. 


340 


750 


68 7 


Half thaler 


1819 


do. 


170 


750 


34 3 


One-third thaler 


1824-27 


William II. 


130-5 


660 


23 2 


One-sixth thaler 


1823-30 


do. 


81 


505 


11 


Thaler . 


1832-37 


William II. and Fred. Will. 


341-5 


748 


68 8 


One-sixth thaler 


1833-36 


do. 


82 


525 


11 6 



Hesse-Darmstadt, being one of the southern states, reckons by florins. There 
appears to have been no gold coin since 1753, nor silver, earlier than 1809. At that 
date convention-thalers were coined, and afterwards crowns (kronen-thaler'), at the 
usual rates. Since the conventions of 1837-8, pieces of 2 thalers or 3 J gulden, and 



of one and one-half gulden have been issued. 



SILVER COINS. 



DENOMINATION. 



Specie-thaler 
Crown 

do. 
Gulden . 
Half gulden 
Two-thalers 



1809 
1825 
1836 
1838-39 
1838 
1839 



REIGN. 



Louis I. 

do. 
Louis II. 

do. 

do. 

do. 



WEIGHT. 


FINENESS. 


GRS. 


THODS. 


432 


833 


455 


875 


456 


875 


164 


900 


82 


900 


574 


900 



VALUE. 
D. C. 31. 



96 9 

1 07 2 

1 07 5 

39 8 

19 9 

1 39 1 



Hesse-Hombtjrg is the smallest branch of the Hessian dominions. Only a single 
specimen of its coinage has appeared here, a gulden of 1838, coined at the new 
standards, and equal to the same piece of Darmstadt. 



HINDUSTAN. 69 



HINDUSTAN. 



The monetary unit of the old Mogul Empire was the sicca rupee, a silver coin of a 
high fineness, and nearly equal in value to our half-dollar. Its origin is not known, 
but it has been traced back with trivial variation, to the thirteenth century* The 
prefix of sicca signifies a certain weight, used for precious metals, equal to 7i dwts., 
or more strictly 179| troy grains. The gold rupee, or mohur, was of the same 
weight. Since the decline and fall of the empire, the commencement of which may 
be dated at the invasion of Nadir Shah from Persia, in 1739, various other kinds 
of rupees have appeared, The native viceroys, learning from that event how 
weak was the power to which they professed allegiance, soon threw off the yoke, 
and the whole territory was broken up into numerous petty sovereignties. The 
native princes coined their own money, and in general maintained an adherence 
to the sicca weight ; but there was no rule for fineness, and the debasement in many 
cases was considerable. Hence arose the extensive and diversified catalogue of local 
coins.t But without farther notice of these, it becomes necessary to explain how 
there originated three kinds of currency in the British possessions ; which will 
best be attained by treating separately of the three presidencies of Bengal, Madras, 
and Bombay. The uniform system adopted in 1835 will also be noticed. 

Bengal, or Calcutta. It does not appear that there was any coinage by the 
Company in this region, earlier than 1762. Two years before that date, Shah 
Alum, the last of the Moguls, was placed in the imperial throne at Delhi, which had 
then become almost an empty honour. He was soon obliged to succumb to the 
Company's protection, and receive a pension to support his nominal rank. But 
during his life, and what may seem strange, long after his death,:): the coins of the 
Company, struck at Morshedabad and Calcutta, punctiliously affirmed that " He who 
is the shadow of divine favour, the defender of the religion of Mahomed, the Emperor 
Shah Alum, coins money for the seven climates."§ This is the only presidency in 
which the sicca rupee continued to be coined; and it is only since 1835, that the 

* See the whole train of coinage, well displayed, in Marsden's Numismala Orientalia. 

t By tables of assays made at the Bombay mint in 1826, it appears there were then current twenty-five varieties 
of gold pagodas, and seventy of silver rupees, besides foreign coins. Kelly, Oriental Metrol. 1832. 

| This occurred in 1806. 

} " The seven climates" is meant for the whole world. This inscription is in the usual lofty style of Eastern 
potentates. 

18 



70 HINDUSTAN. 

Bengal rupee has been lowered, to make it uniform with those of Madras and 
Bombay. Properly speaking, there is now no sicca rupee coined. 

In 1793, the mint proportions were fixed for Bengal at the following rates: 

The gold mohur to be 992-5 thousandths fine, and to weigh 190-9 troy grains. 

The sicca rupee to be 979-2 thousandths fine, and to weigh 179-7 grains. 

The parts of these coins were to be in proportion. 

These are called the coins of the nineteenth sun, as if struck in the nineteenth 
year of Shah Alum's reign; and the figures 19 are conspicuous on their face. 
However, it is well known that the East India mints paid no attention to dates, 
inasmuch as the issues of many years still bore the same figures ; indeed, the object 
was to establish the idea of uniformity, which was thought to be better conveyed by 
an unchangeable device. 

In 1818 there was a change of standards, though not of value ; the object simply 
being to render the coinage more fit for its purposes, by hardening it with an 
increased alloy. The rates then established were as follows : 

The gold mohur to be eleven-twelfths (916-7 thousandths) fine, and to weigh 
204-7 grains. 

The sicca rupee to be of the same fineness, and to weigh 191-9 grains. 

At the mints of Furruckabad and Benares, in the same presidency, rupees were 
struck at sundry times previous to 1820, for local currency; they were nearly of the 
same value as the rupee of the present coinage* 

The last change in the Bengal standards, and one by which the moneys of all 
British India are rendered uniform, was by the act of August 1835.t This law 
provides that the weight and fineness of the gold mohur and silver rupee shall be the 
same, viz. 180 grains in weight, \Hhs fine. The gold piece is equivalent to fifteen of 
the silver. The smaller coins are, in gold, a ten rupee piece, or § mohur, and a five 
rupee piece. A few double mohurs have also been struck. The silver coins, besides 
the rupee, are the double, half, and quarter rupee. All the pieces are of the same 
fineness, and proportional in weight. By this standard, which is likely to be 
permanent, the Bengal rupee was reduced from 47-3 cents, to 44-3 cents, of our 
money. 

In stating accounts, the rupee, at Calcutta and Madras, is divided into 16 annas, 
and the anna into 12 pice.% For more minute subdivisions, the natives use sea- 

* Kelly's Cambist. 

f The facts in relation to the new coinage, with some other particulars, have been obligingly communicated by 
Dr. Thomas Horsfield, librarian at the East India House, London ; who procured them from H. H. Wilson, Esq., late 
assay master of the mint at Calcutta. Specimens of the same for assay, were furnished by W. G. Stearns, Esq of 
Boston, whose attentions we have before had occasion to notice. 

\ The singular is pie, an Anglicism of peisah. It is a very small copper coin. 



HINDUSTAN. 71 

shells, called coicries; of which 160 arc reckoned equal to one anna. But at 
Bombay, unless there has been a recent change, the rupee is divided into quarters, 
and each quarter into 100 reus* 

Until the reign of William IV., the old Persian inscriptions and dates were kept on 
the coins ; but the new currency exhibits the heads of William and of Victoria, with 
legends in English, and the date of the Christian era. 

Madras. In 1620, the British Company obtained a settlement at Fort St. George, 
on the Coromandel coast, with certain commercial privileges, and amongst them, the 
authority to coin money. This settlement has now grown to the presidency of 
Madras ; and besides other tracts of country, includes the former dominions of 
Tippoo, Sultan of Mysore. 

The coins of Madras bear the designation of Arcot, a neighbouring city where 
there was an imperial mint ; and no doubt the early standards were based upon those 
of that city. In the old system, the coinage consisted of the star pagoda in gold, with 
rupees and fanams in silver. The pagoda was of ducat weight (52:} grains), and 
eight-tenths fine. The rupee was of sicca weight (179§ grains), though it after- 
wards declined to 176-4 grains, at a fineness of 940 thousandths. The fanam was a 
very small thick silver coin, of which 12 were reckoned to the rupee, and 42 to the 
pagoda. 

In 1811 a coinage from Spanish dollars took place, consisting of double and single 
rupees, halves and quarters, and pieces of 1, 2, 3, and 5 fanams. This rupee 
contained the same amount of fine metal, but with an addition of 10 grains of alloy 
to the weight. Pieces of half and quarter pagodas, in silver, were also then coined. 
The half piece weighed 326-7 grains troy, and was equal in value to half the star 
pagoda.t 

In 1818 new mint regulations were adopted, by which the star pagoda was 
displaced, and the gold mohur substituted ; and both the mohur and rupee were 
fixed at 180 grains in weight, and Tsths fine. This is the proportion of the new 
coinage of 1835, above mentioned. 

Various other kinds of coins have been current in this presidency, especially the 
pagodas of Pondicherry and Porto Novo, which will be further noticed in the tables. 

* It will be useful to add, that in India, when large sums are expressed by figures, the form is different from ours. 
There, 100,000 rupees are called one lac, and 100 lacs make one crore. Therefore, while we would write Rs. 
112,644,300, they divide it thus: Rs. 11,26,44,300; that is, eleven crores, twenty-six lacs, forty-four thousand, and 
three hundred. 

t Kelly's Cambist. Marsden takes no notice of the rupees of 1811, but merely notices the pagoda and its divisions, 
which, he says, were struck for Ceylon. They bear English characters, and have the representation of a pagoda or 
temple. 



72 HINDUSTAN. 

Bombay. The British Company obtained this settlement by cession from the 
Portuguese, in 1661 ; and in 1716 began to coin money. An agreement was made 
with the neighbouring Nabob of Surat, (at what date we know not,) that the rupees 
of that city and of Bombay, should be the same in value. Hence the Company's 
coinage, in this presidency, has borne the imprint of Surat, with the usual inscriptions 
in the Persian character, until within a few years. It is stated that the nabob, in 
violation of his engagement, soon began to debase his coin ; the effect of which was 
to draw away the Bombay coins to Surat, where they were recoined at a reduced 
rate. The Company's mint was thus compelled to suspend operations for about 
twenty years ; but in 1800, new mint regulations were established, conformable to 
those of Surat, by which the gold mohur and silver rupee were to be of the weight of 
179 grains, and 920 thousandths fine. No alteration was made in this standard until 
1824, when to conform to the Madras rates, the weight was increased to 180 grains, 
and the fineness reduced to 916| thousandths. This was an addition to the rupee of 
about one-third of a cent in our money. 

It appears then, that the standard, now uniform, for all British India, originated at 
Madras in 1818, and was adopted at Bombay in 1824, and by Calcutta in 1835. 
Since the disuse of native characters on the coins, there is no designation by 
which to distinguish between the issues of these three mints* 

It is understood that the mints of some of the native princes are still in operation. 
The most important are those of Lucknow, Hyderabad, and Nagpore ; but even of 
these, the coinage is of limited circulation. The amount of coinage of British India 
and the states in connexion with it, for many years prior to 1 8,34, is stated to have 
been three crores (thirty millions) of rupees annually. There are no returns at hand 
of a later date. 

Gold dust is obtained by washing the soil of some of the feeders of the Indus, in 
the Himalaya mountains ; but the amount is trifling, and the business is very 
irregularly prosecuted, as it affords little profit. The chief supply of gold, in India, 
is from South America, and from Sumatra and other parts of the Malayan Archi- 
pelago. (See Plate XVI.) 

* The operations of the Madras mint have been suspended for some eight years past, though they are now about to 
be resumed. 



HINDUSTAN. 



73 



GOLD COINS. 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


WHERE COINED. 


WEIGHT. 
GRS. 


FINENESS. 
THOUS. 


VALUE. 
D. C. M. 


Muhur . 


1184(1770) 


Bengal. 


190 


982 


8 03 5 


do. 




1202 (1787) 


do. 


191 


989 


8 13 4 


Half mohur 




1202 


do. 


95 


984 


4 02 6 


Moliur . 




(1793) 


do. 


191 


993 


8 16 8 


do. 




(1818) 


do. 


204-7 


917 


8 08 4 


do. 




(1818) 


Madras. 


180 


917 


7 10 9 


do. 




(1818) 


Bombay. 


179 


920 


7 09 2 


do. 




(1835) 


British India ; William IV. 


180 


917* 


7 10 9 


Star pagoda 




None. 


Madras. 


52-5 


800 


1 80 9 


Pondicherry pagoda 


None. 


Pondicherry. 


52-5 


708 


1 60 1 


Porto Novo pagoda . 


None. 


Portuguese Company. 


52-5 


740 


1 67 3 



SILVER COINS. 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


WHERE COINED. 


WEICHT. 
GRS. 


FINENESS. 
THOUS. 


VALUE. 
D. C M. 


Sicca rupee . 


None. 


Mogul Empire ; Shah Alum. 


177 


938 


44 7 


do. 






1197(1782) 


do. struck at Arcot. 


177 


958 


45 7 


do. 






None. 


Bengal ; 1 9th sun. 


179 


980 


47 2 


do. 






(1818) 


do. 


192 


920 


47 6 


Rupee . 






(1818) 


Bombay. 


179 


920 


44 4 


do. 






(1824) 


do. 


180 


917 


44 5 


do. 






(1818) 


Madras. 


180 


917 


44 5 


New rupee 






1835 


British India ; William IV. 


180 


917 


44 5 


Half do. 






1835 


do. 


90 


917 


22 3 


Quarter do. 






1835 


do. 


45 


917 


11 1 



* Fineness assumed. 
19 



74 



JAPAN — MALAY ARCHIPELAGO. 



SILVER COINS (continued). 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


WEEKS COINED. 


WEIGHT. 
GES. 


FINENESS. 
THOUS. 


VALUE. 
D. C. 31. 


New rupee 


1840 


British India ; Victoria. 


180 


917 


44 5 


Quarter pagoda 


1811 


Madras. 


164 


900 


39 8 


Double fanara 


None. 


Southern India. 


28 


909 


6 9 


Fanam . 


None. 


do. 


14 


920 


3 5 


Rixdollar 


1821 


Ceylon ; George IV.* 


140 







JAPAN. 

The coins of this empire are rarely seen here. They are of peculiar shapes, some 
being oval plates, with a few characters stamped on them, others being in the form of 
a parallelogram, of which a specimen is shown in Plate XVI. The gold piece called 
itzebo, weighing from 51 to 69 grains, is reckoned to be worth two dollars. The 
nandio-guin, of silver, weighs 160 grains, about 92 per cent, fine, and therefore worth 
forty cents. Most payments are made in silver ingots, of seven ounces or less, and 
eleven-twelfths fine. There are also brass cash, similar to the Chinese, from which 
they cannot easily be distinguished. 

A Spanish dollar is valued at 70 to 74 candareens, of which 100 go to a silver tale. 



MALAY ARCHIPELAGO. 

Of this extensive group of islands, Java and Sumatra are to a considerable extent 
under the dominion of the Netherlands, and the Philippines under that of Spain. 
On some of the other islands there are Dutch settlements. 

The currency consists chiefly of Spanish or Mexican dollars, Dutch ducatoons, and 
rupees of Hindustan. There appears to be no native coinage of recent date. Since 
1783, there have been gold and silver coins struck by the European companies, for 
Java. The first series was of the Holland Company, and was continued until their 



* Not assayed. 



M A LAV A R C II I P E L A G O. 



75 



possessions were captured, in 1811, by the English. A second series then appeared; 
bearing, like the former, inscriptions in Oriental characters. In 1816 the island was 
restored to the Dutch ; and since that date there has been a third system of coinage, 
dillbring from the preceding in the denominations and standards, as also in the im- 
pressions, which are in the Dutch language, and Roman character. 

There seems to be a coinage of dollars specially for the Philippine Islands. A spe- 
cimen tried here, bearing the word Manila, and date of 182.5, weighed 402 grains; 
but from its specific gravity was judged to be not more than seven-eighths, or 833 
thousandths fine, which is greatly below the Spanish standard. This piece was worth 
about 90 cents. 

The Philippines were the entrepot of Spanish trade between Acapulco and Eastern 
Asia ; it is stated that 400 millions of dollars in specie have reached there, during an 
intercourse of 250 years* 

The island of Sumatra is productive of gold, but to what extent is not known. The 
export from Singapore to England, in one year ending in 1838, of gold dust evidently 
derived from Ophir, was eight peculs, or 15,600 troy ounces ; probably worth 270,000 
dollars.t (See Plate XVI.) 

GOLD AND SILVER COINS. 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


BY WHOM COINED. 


WEIGHT. 
GES. 


FINENESS. 
THOUS. 


VALUE. 
D. C. M. 


Gold rupee 


1783 


Dutch government of Java. 


240 


758 


7 83 5 


do. 


1796 


do.t 


239 


706 


7 26 7 


Half do. 


1801 


do. 


123 


779 


4 12 7 


Gold rupee 


1814 


English E. I. Company. 


118 






Silver rupee . 


1783 


Dutch government of Java. 


200 


833 


45 


do. 


1796 


do. 


200 


663 


35 7 


do. 


1814 


English E. I. Company. 


208 






Guilder 


1820 


Dutch government. 


166 


898 


40 2 


Ducatoon 


1766-1804 


do.§ 


500 


938 


1 26 3 


Guilder 


1839 


do.|| 


155 


944 


39 4 


Half do. 


1826 


do. 


83 


898 


20 1 


Quarter do. . 


1840 


do. 


62-5 


569 


9 6 



* Britisli Col. Mag., 1840. t Jocelyn's Chinese Expedition, 1841. 

X There was much variation in the weight and fineness of these issues. 
{ Coined for the East India trade generally. 

|| This is according to the new standards. (See Netherlands.) We are indebted for specimens, &c. to J. W. Vanden- 
buoek, Esq., U. S. Consul at Amsterdam. 



76 MAURITIUS — MECKLENBURG. 



MAURITIUS. 

This island, an important entrepot of trade in the Indian Ocean, was under French 
dominion for nearly a century previous to 1810. In that year it was taken by the 
British, and has since remained in their possession. 

In 1810 a silver coinage of ten-livre pieces was struck by the French authorities 
for this island and the neighbouring one of Bourbon. A specimen weighing 414 
grains, proved 833 thousandths fine, and was therefore worth 92£ cents ; making the 
colonial livre 9J cents, or one-half of the national. The legend on the coin was 
lies de France et Bonaparte. A coinage has since been executed at London for this 
island, said to consist of silver pieces of the same weight and fineness as the Spanish 
dollar and its divisions. 

Accounts are kept in sterling money by the colonial government, and in dollars 
and cents by the merchants. Formerly the dollar of ten livres* above noticed was 
the unit, and was divided into 200 sols. From the tariff of moneys it would seem 
that the coins of Hindustan, England, France, Spain, Austria, and the United States 
are familiarly known there, and constitute the bulk of the circulation. 



MECKLENBURG. 



This country, situated in the north of Germany, is divided into the two branches 
of Schwerin and Strelitz. The former is the most considerable, and it is only of this 
division that we have seen specimens of coinage. 

The gold coins of Mecklenburg-Schwerin consist of the ten and five thaler pieces, 
coined at the usual rate of those denominations. (See Germany.) 

This grand duchy appears to have had no part in either of the German conven- 
tions of 1753 and 1838, for the equalization of silver coins. The Grand Duke has 
adhered to the old Leipsic footing, and continues to coin florins, or two-third pieces, 
either of fine silver or three-fourths fine, but equal in value. The smaller coins are 
pieces of 8, 4, and 1 schilling. The money of account is the thaler, divided into 3 
marks, or 48 schillings. 

* In Kelly's Cambist, this piece is called a dollar of ten livres, and it is said to be equal to the Spanish dollar, in 
currency. Probably its fineness is supposed to be of Spanish standard. 



M E X I C O. 



77 



GOLD AND SILVER COINS. 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


REIGN. 


WEIGHT. 
GRS. 


FINENESS. 
TUOOS. 


VALUE. 
D. C. M. 


Ten thaler 


1831 


Frederick Francis. 


204-5 


896 


7 89 1 


Florin 


1790-1808 


do. 


265 


753 


53 7 


do. . 


1839-40 


Paul Frederick. 


203-5 


988 


54 1 


Eight schilling 


1827 


Frederick Francis. 


103 


440 


12 2 



MEXICO. 



The coinage of Mexico may be said to possess a more general interest than that 
of any other country, emanating as it does from the great mining region which 
chiefly supplies the world with silver. This circumstance would, indeed, add no 
importance to the coinage, if it were the national policy to export unwrought 
bullion ; but, on the contrary, a large share of this is immediately made into coin, 
and finds its way abroad in that shape.* 

During the long period that this country was held by Spain, it contributed, more 
than all the other Spanish possessions, to the supply of the famous pillar dollar, so 
well known in the four quarters of the globe. Twenty years ago this coinage ceased, 
and the dollars of independent Mexico, Peru, and Bolivia, maintaining the same 
character, have supplied its place in commerce. The pillar dollars have become 
scarce ; and those that remain, being much worn, are of less value by tale than the 
new coinage, though they may be more esteemed in trade. The great bulk of the 
coinage, bearing the insignia of the King of Spain, was in fact American ; and the 
particular colonies from which it issued, may be known by the mint-marks on 
the coins. But being stamped with the royal name and effigy, it is properly to be 
noticed under the head of Spain, up to the time of the separation of the old country 
from the new. In the case of Mexico, this is the year 1822. 

* Formerly the exportation of unwrought gold and silver was prohibited ; but of late years the restriction has been 
removed. 

20 



78 MEXICO. 

There is, indeed, a hiatus between the true Spanish and Mexican emissions, nearly 
coextensive with the duration of the revolutionary war. It was in this transition 
period, reaching from 1810 to 1820, that the well known hammered and cast dollars, 
as well as the now forgotten Vargas and Morelos pieces were issued. Of these 
irregular coinages some notice will be taken presently. 

It was not until 1822, however, upon the accession of Iturbide as Emperor, that 
the devices on the coin were so permanently and authoritatively changed, as to mark 
the boundary line between the Spanish and the Mexican dollar or doubloon. 

The reign of Iturbide lasted but one year, and only the mint at the capital issued 
coins in his name. In 1824 the provinces were united into a federal republic, and 
the legend Republica Mexicana has ever since appeared on the coins of all the mints. 

The minting system of Mexico differs from that of other countries employing more 
than one establishment. The national mint is at the city of Mexico ; but each 
mining province has its own institution, subject to the general laws of the coinage, 
but not to any supervision or control, out of itself. Such a system does not neces- 
sarily lead to a difference in the value of the coins, nor is any difference made, in 
commerce ; the issues of all the mints being current interchangeably, under the 
general name of Mexican. However, a want of surveillance, or mutual understand- 
ing, leaves an open door for departure from uniformity ; and upon numerous assays 
of the dollars of the respective mints, it is ascertained that there are, or have been, 
well-marked and characteristic variations. Where these lie, and what is the extent 
of them, seems not to have been made public* It will be one object of the present 
article, to state all our information upon that point. 

The following are the locations of the Mexican mints, with the date of their 
establishment, so far as known ; together with the distinguishing mint-mark of each, 
which always appears in the legend, immediately before the date. 

Mint of the city of Mexico, established in 1535. Mint-mark, M°. 

Mint of Zacatecas ; appears to have commenced in 1810 ; mark, Z s . 

Mint of Durango, 1811 ; mark, D°. 

Mint of Guanaxuato, 1812; mark, G°. 

Mint of Chihuahua, 1811 to 1814; recommenced in 1832; mark, C A . 

Mint of Guadalaxara, 1814; mark, G A . 

Mint of San Luis Potosi, 1829; mark, P 1 . 

Mint of the state of Mexico, at Tlalpan ; the mint-mark of which is ME. Many 
of the Spanish dollars bear this mark, but the mint appears to have been discontinued 

* The works of Bonneville, Darier, and Kelly, were published before the Mexican coinage commenced ; and the 
recent works of Andreits and Becher take no notice of the subject. 



MEXICO. 79 

for some years, and revived again in 1829; it is doubtful whether it has been in 
operation since 1831. 

in the gold coinage there is considerable irregularity as to fineness; thus a 
specimen of Guanaxuato resulted 860 thousandths fine, and one of Durango 882. 
But the general range of fineness is from 864 to 871, and 866 is found to be 
the proper computation for a mixed parcel. This last is the usual report upon 
doubloons of the mint of the city of Mexico, where most of the gold is coined. As 
the gold coins are not often received here, and are of small circulation in comparison 
with the silver, no further remark is necessary than to refer to the tables for various 
assays. 

The silver coinage, as already intimated, presents much irregularity both in weight 
and fineness ; which will best be exhibited by remarks upon each mint. 

Mint of Mexico. These dollars have always been among the best, though not 
uniform in fineness. The ensuing tables show that from 1830 to 1834 the fineness 
was 901 to 902 thousandths ; for a few years after, it rose to 903 and 906 ; but in 
1840 fell to 900. The weight is usually full. As to the amount of coinage executed, 
this mint, though at the capital, holds only the fourth place. 

Zacatecas. The coinage of silver at this mint is nearly as great as that of all the 
others combined. Consequently, this issue gives a controlling character to mixed 
Mexican dollars ; in every parcel, not assorted, a large proportion of the pieces are 
of Zacatecas. The fineness is inferior, ranging from 894 to 897. The weight is of 
late exceedingly irregular ; dollars of 1840 have been found to vary from 392 to 440 
grains, making a dilference of nearly 12 cents, or 1 real, between one piece and 
another. 

Durango. These dollars, though irregular, are of the best sort as to average 
value. New pieces vary nearly a pennyweight from each other. The mint ranks 
fifth as to the amount of coinage ; so that the pieces are not abundant. 

Guanaxuato. The dollars of this mint occupy a medium rank as to value by 
count. The weight is not well adjusted, though a quantity will give a good average. 
The pieces occur very frequently in a promiscuous parcel, as the annual coinage 
ranks second in amount. 

Chihuahua. The dollars of 1832-34 were of good weight and fineness. From 
that date to 1839 inclusive, we have seen no specimens. Those of 1840-41 are still 
better than before, and are in fact the most valuable dollars in the market, yielding 
nearly 103 cents each. But the amount of annual emission is the lowest in the list. 

Guadalaxara. The coinage at this mint has been by far the most irregular of all. 
Various assays of 1832 and 1835 yielded only 840, 870, 884 thousandths; making a 
fluctuating value of 94 to 99 cents, at the usual weight of 416 grains, which they 



80 MEXICO. 

maintained. The presence of these dollars in deposits at the mint, tended very much 
to depress the returns, and to make them unsteady. But from the year 1836 to 1840, 
a remarkable change has taken place in them ; the weight is full and well adjusted, 
and the fineness has been increasing from 893 to 904 thousandths ; so that now they 
are among the best. We are not aware of the cause of this improvement, but the 
effect of it upon the general character of Mexican coin has been beneficial. The 
coinage at this mint is less in amount than that of any other, except Chihuahua. 

Potosi* is the last mint to be mentioned; the coinage of which has been repeatedly 
assayed here in distinct parcels, of the dates of 1835 to 1839. It has always been in 
the first rank as to value, and is now in the third as to the amount coined. 

From numerous returns of deposits made here for recoinage, it appears that a sum 
of one thousand dollars, taken from ordinary circulation, and therefore depreciated 
by wear, will yield about lOOli dollars in our money. The same amount, scarcely 
worn, will be worth from 1003 to 1008 dollars. This estimate is without respect to 
assortments of the different mints ; where this is done, the return may be forced to a 
higher amount. It might be supposed, from the results in our tables, that the 
average product would be greater than as above stated, and that one per cent, would 
be a common gain. It would be so, were it not that the dollars of Zacatecas and 
Guanaxuato are so much more abundant than the rest, and that occasionally an old 
Guadalaxara piece, or a counterfeit, reduces the general result.t 

Mexican dollars began to be recoined here immediately after their first appearance. 
In 1823 the amount of $200,000 was deposited; in 1830 near two millions of 
dollars; and the same in 1838. In fact, they form the larger part of our coining 
material in silver. 

The four classes of revolutionary dollars, already spoken of, require some further 
notice ; the first two of them being still in the currency, though gradually disappear- 
ing. The hammered and cast dollars bear the royal head ; the Vargas and Morelos 
were coins of republican generals. 

1. Hammered dollars. About the close of 1810, the communication between the 
capital and the interior having been cut off by the revolutionary movements, it was 
found necessary to establish mints at some of the chief provincial towns. These 
could not be furnished with the requisite apparatus ; and consequently the coins were 
shaped as well as they might be, and received their impressions with a hammer.:}: 

* This must not be confounded with the famous mint of Potosi, in Bolivia, which has a different mint-mark, and has 
been much longer in operation. 

f Counterfeit Mexican dollars, many of them well executed, are but too abundant. They are noticed in Chapter IV. 
on Counterfeit Coins. 

J; Letter of Hon. Bernardo Gonsalez, Superintendent of the Mint of Mexico. 



MEXICO. 81 

It is from this circumstance that their name is derived; and they are recognised by 
their beaten surface, and by the half-revealed legends and royal head. These pieces 
arc often received along with the true Spanish dollars, by persons not skilled in them. 
Nevertheless they are decidedly inferior, as well as irregular. The weight varies from 
370 to 440 grains, making the enormous difference of 70 grains. The fineness 
varies from 065 to 885 thousandths. Any individual piece may be worth from 86 to 
105 cents; but the great majority are nearer 95 cents, which is the average. In 
Mexico they are said to be current at six reals, or three-quarters of a dollar. Towards 
the close of the war, these mints seem to have procured better machinery, and more 
skilful managers ; at least, we find Spanish dollars of Zacatecas and Guadalaxara of 
1821, of full weight and fineness, and well executed. 

Hammered dollars were formerly received at this mint in considerable quantities, 
but they are becoming scarce. 

2. Cast dollars. These also are a revolutionary coinage, but in every respect 
different from the kind just noticed. They are said to have been minted at 
Chihuahua, in the years 1811 to 1813,* though some of them bear the mint-mark 
M ., and the dates of 1804 to 1813. But these dates and marks are no proof of the 
true time and place of their emission ; for it is evident that they are casts, and that 
the moulds were made from any Spanish dollars at hand, whether they bore the head 
of Carolus or Ferdinand. They are called cast or sand dollars from this circum- 
stance ; and the impressions, though quite distinct, have a blurred and coarse 
appearance, wanting the smoothness and sharpness of a stamped coin.t 

The cast dollars differ excessively in weight ; we have observed the extremes of 
364 and 496 grains. Their fineness is not so uncertain, and may be averaged at 916 
thousandths, which is much above that of the best Spanish dollars. Their value, 
therefore, ranges from 90 to 122 cents; the mean rate is 103 cents. These pieces 
occasionally appear here in mixed deposits. An unpractised person would be likely 
to reject them as spurious ; but as they are better than any other sort, a knowledge 
of them is of some use. It is difficult to understand how the mistake occurred, of 
making them so much finer than they ought to be, especially in a time of revolution, 
when depreciation is more likely to be practised. 

3. Vargas dollars. These are pieces coined at Sombrerete, by the republican 
general Vargas, whose name is in the impression. They are of the dates of 1811 
and 1812, and are struck with a hammer. Very few specimens are now met with. 
Their weight and fineness will appear in the tables. 

4. The Morelos dollars are the last variety to be mentioned. These were coined 

* Letter of Mr. Gonsalez. 

t Some metals, particularly iron, will receive a fine and sharp impression from casting; but silver and gold contract 
while chilling in the mould, and therefore present an obtuse, imperfect appearance. 

21 



82 



MEXICO. 



by General Morelos, a patriot chief of the revolution. The pieces were cast in 
moulds, and are sufficiently uncouth to be mistaken for Mexican antiquities, were it 
not for the Christian date upon them. On one side is represented a bow, with the 
single word Sud, indicating " the army of the south ;" on the other side only the 
letters M ., 8 R., and the date 1812 or 1813. There was a complete series of these, 
from the dollar down to the sixteenth. Their value is shown in the table ; but they 
are now important only as curiosities. 

The standards of Mexican coin are the same as those of Spain since 1 772 ; and 
the legal fineness is always stamped on the piece. There are four denominations of 
gold : the doubloon of sixteen dollars, the half, the quarter or pistole, and the eighth 
or escudo. These should be 21 carats or 875 thousandths fine ; the weight should be 
8£ doubloons to the mark of Castile* or 418 troy grains to the doubloon. 

Of silver there are five denominations ; the dollar or peso, which is the piece of 
eight reals; the pieces of four, two, one, and one-half real, the last being also called 
a medio. Before the revolution there was also a half-medio, or Ad of the dollar. 
These should be 10 dineros 20 granos, or 903 thousandths fine, and the dollar 
should weigh the same as the doubloon. 

In regard to the production of Mexican mines, there are some statistics and many 
conjectures ; whatever we have to observe on this point must be deferred.f The 
amount of coinage, for many years prior to the revolution, averaged nearly twenty- 
three millions of dollars annually ; about one-twentieth being in gold. The annual 
average is now only twelve millions.^ 

GOLD COINS. 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


WHERE COINED. 


WEIGHT. 
GRS. 


FINENESS. 
THOUS. 


VALUE. 
D. C. M. 


Doubloon 


1822 


Mint of Mexico. Augustin, 
Emperor. 


416-5 


864 


15 49 8 


do. . 


1824-30 


do. Mexican Republic. 


416-5 


865 


15 51 6 


do. . 


Promiscuous 


do. 


417 


867 


15 57 


do. . 


do. 


do. 


417 


868 


15 58 8 


do. . 


do. 


do. 


417 


869 


15 60 6 


do. . 


do. 


Guanaxuato. 


417 


861 


15 46 2 


do. . 


do. 


do. 


417 


860 


15 44 4 



* The Castilian mark is variously rated from 3550 to 3554 troy grains. The medium of 3552 is assumed, 
t See Appendix. t See Appendix for full statistics. 



MEXICO. 



GOLD COINS (continued). 



DEN OMI NATION. 


DATE. 


WHERE COINED. 


WEIGHT. 
GR3. 


FINENESS. 
THOUS. 


VALUE. 
D. C M. 


Doubloon 


Promiscuous 


Mint of Guanaxuato. 


417 


867 


15 57 


do. . 


do. 


Durango. 


417 


868 


15 58 8 


do. . 


do. 


do. 


417 


865 


15 53 4 


do. . 


1833-30 


do. 


417-5 


872 


15 67 9 


do. . 


Promiscuous 


Guadalaxara. 


416 


865 


15 49 7 


do. . 


do. 


Average, promiscuous mints. 


416-5* 


866 


15 53 4 



SILVER COINS. 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


WHERE COINED. 


WEIGHT. 
GKS. 


FINENESS. 
THOUS. 


VALUE. 
D. C M. 


Dollar . 


1822-23 


Mint of Mexico. 


416 


898 


1 00 6 












Augustin, Emperor. 








do. 








1830-34 


do. Mexican Republic. 


416 


901 


1 01 


do. 








1835 


do. 


416 


906 


1 01 5 


do. 








1836 


do. 


416-5 


904 


1 01 4 


do. 








1837 


do. 


416-5 


903 


1 01 3 


do. 








1840-41 


do. 


416-5 


902 


1 01 2 


do. 








1834-35 


Zacatecas. 


415-5 


896 


1 00 3 


do. 








1836 


do. 


416-5 


898 


1 00 7 


do. 








1837 


do. 


408 


895 


98 4 


do. 








1840 


do. 


414 


895 


99 8 


do. 








1841 


do. 


414 


897 


1 00 


do. 








1833-35 


Guanaxuato. 


416 


894 


1 00 2 


do. 








1837 


do. 


412-5 


900 


1 00 


do. 








1838 


do. 


417 


901 


1 01 2 


do. 








1840-41 


do. 


417 


896 


1 00 7 



* Single pieces vary a grain or two from this weight. One grain makes a difference of 35 cents in the value, 



84 



MEXICO. 



SILVER COINS (continued). 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


WHERE COINED. 


WEIGHT. 
GHS. 


FINENESS. 
THOUS. 


VALUE. 
D. C. M. 


Dollar . 


1833-34 


Mint of Durango. 


415 


904 


1 01 1 


do. . 


1837-39 


do. 


417 


902 


1 01 3 


do. . 


1835 


Potosi. 


417 


902 


1 01 3 


do. . 


1837-41 


do. 


416-5 


901 


1 01 1 


do. . 


1833 


Chihuahua. 


417 


899 


1 01 1 


do. . 


1840-41 


do. 


420 


907 


1 02 6 


do. . 


1832 


Guadalaxara. 


416-5 


883 


99 1 


do. . 


1835 


do. 


416 


840 


94 2 


do. . 


1835 


do. 


416 


870 


97 5 


do. . 


1835 


do. 


416-5 


884 


99 2 


do. . 


1836 


do. 


416-5 


895 


1 00 4 


do. . 


1840 


do. 


417 


904 


1 01 5 


do. . 


1824-35 


Av. of all mints, in parcels. 


415 


896 


1 00 2 


do. . 


1836-41 


do. 


416-5 


898 


1 00 6 


Half dollar, or 4 reals 


1827 


Mexico.* 


207 


905 


50 4 


do. 


1831-36 


Zacatecas. 


206 


898 


49 8 


do. 


1835-38 


Guanaxuato. 


206 


901 


50 


Quarter dollar, or 2 reals 


1825-28 


Mexico. 


102-5 


902 


25 


do. . 


1824 


do. (agacliado.)^ 


101 


898 


24 4 


do. . 


1824 


Guanaxuato. 


100 


900 


24 2 


do. . 


1832-34 


do. 


103 


893 


24 6 


do. . 


1825-30 


Zacatecas. 


103 


897 


24 7 


do. . 


1832-35 


do. 


105 


898 


25 4 



* Half-dollars are not often struck ; the quarters are much more abundant, and frequently appear in our circulation. 

t In 1824 there were dollars and parts coined at Mexico and Durango, on which the head of the eagle is turned 
downward. These were called agachados, or " hooked ;" and an impression prevailed that they were of less value 
than other pieces. The late W. H. Keating, Esq., in a letter to the Director of the Mint, observed that " A miner, to 
whom any such were offered, would be sure to ask to have them changed ; still they were not refused." Our assays 
prove that they are not deficient. 



MILAN. 



85 



SILVER COINS (continued). 



DENO MINATION. 


DATE. 


WHERE COINED. 


WEIGHT. 
GItS. 


FINENESS. 
TUOUS. 


VA1TJE. 
D. O. M. 


Hammered dollar 


1811-18 


Zacatecas and other mints. 


404 


880 


95 4 


Cast dollar 


Various. 


Various. 


417 


910 


1 03 


Vargas dollar . 


1811-12 


Somljrcrete. 


405 


890 


97 1 


Morelos dollar 


1812-13 


Not known. 


407 


880 


96 4 



M I L A N. 



The region of country lying in the northern part of Italy, of which Milan is the 
capital, has so often changed its name as to leave some doubt where it is to be 
placed, in an alphabetical arrangement. Within half a century it has successively 
been known as the Duchy of Milan, the Cisalpine Republic, the Italian Republic, the 
Kingdom of Italy, and the Lombardo- Venetian kingdom. 

Before 1797 the Duchy of Milan was an appendage of the Austrian empire, but 
with a distinct system of coinage. In that year the territory was overrun by the 
French army, under Bonaparte, and was erected into a separate government, called 
the Cisalpine Republic ; and silver coins of an appropriate type were issued. Rapid 
changes, however, passed over this country, which in those times was the battle- 
ground in which the fate of all Europe was involved. In 1800 it reverted to Francis 
of Austria; two years after, it became the Italian Republic, with Napoleon Bonaparte 
as its President ; and in 1805 was changed to the Kingdom of Italy, under the same 
domination. From time to time it was enlarged by the annexation of Venice, 
Ragusa, and some of the Papal territories. 

Amidst the reorganizations, or rather reversions, which took place upon the 
overthrow of Napoleon in 1814-15, Lombardy was restored to the Emperor of 
Austria ; in whose hands, being now consolidated with Venice into the Lombardo- 
Venetian kingdom, it has since remained. 

The monetary unit of this country is the lira, or livre, divided into 20 soldi. This 
has been repeatedly changed in value; the tables will show that before 1797 it was 
14-2 cents, under Napoleon 18-6 cents, and now 16 cents, of our money. 

The system of coinage from 1804 to 1815 was the same as that of France, the 

22 



86 



MILAN. 



lira and franc being interchangeable. Since that date the coinage is on a different 
basis, being blended with that of Austria. (For the legal regulations, see articles 
France and Austria?) 



GOLD COINS. 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


EEIGN. 


WEIGHT. 
GKS. 


FINENESS. 
THOUS. 


VALUE. 
D. C. M. 


Zecchino, or sequin . 


1770 


Maria Theresa. 


53-5 


990 


2 28 1 


do. 


1784 


Joseph II. 


53-5 


990 


2 28 1 


Doppia, or pistole 


1783 


do. 


97-5 


908 


3 81 3 


Forty lire 


1805-14 


Napoleon. 


199 


899 


7 70 5 


Twenty lire 


1805-14 


do. 


99-5 


899 


3 85 2 


Sovereign 


1831 


Francis I. 


174-5 


898 


6 74 8 


do. 


1838 


Ferdinand I. 


174-5 


901 


6 77 1 


Half sovereign 


1839 


do. 


87 


902 


3 38 



SILVER COINS. 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


EEIGN. 


WEICHT. 
GES. 


FINENESS. 
THOUS. 


VALUE. 
D. C. M. 


Seudo of six lii 


e 


1778 


Maria Theresa. 


352 


898 


85 1 


Lira 






1780 


do. 


95 


550 


14 1 


Scudo 






1798 


Cisalpine Republic. 


354 


898 


85 6 


Five lire 






1805-14 


Napoleon. 


384 


902 


93 3 


Two lire 






1805-14 


do. 


154 


902 


37 4 


Lira 






1805-14 


do. 


76 


902 


18 5 


Ten soldi 






1805-14 


do. 


38 


902 


9 2 


Five soldi 






1805-14 


do. 


19 


902 


4 6 


Half lira 






1822 


Francis 1. 


33 


900 


8 


Quarter lira 






1822 


do. 


24-5 


590 


3 9 


Scudo 






1839 


Ferdinand I. 


401-5 


902 


97 6 


Half scudo 






1839 


do. 


201 


902 


48 8 


Lira 






1839 


do. 


67 


900 


16 2 


Half lira 






1839 


do. 


33-5 


900 


8 1 


Quarter lira 






1839 


do. 


25 


606 


4 1 



MOROCCO— NAPLES AND SICILY. 87 



MOROCCO. 

This country is one of the Barbary states in the north of Africa, and by courtesy 
rather than by claim, is usually ranked as an empire. 

The coins of the neighbouring country of Spain are current here, but Morocco has 
also a coinage of her own, executed in a truly barbarian style. The monetary system 
is as follows: six filse (copper) are equal to one blanked, formerly a coin, but now 
imaginary ; four blankecls make one silver ounce, ukiah, or dirhem ; and ten of these 
are equal to one miscal, a money of account. A Spanish dollar of the Peninsula 
passes for 15 ounces; a pillar or Spanish-American dollar is held at 16. (This is 
purelv a commercial distinction ; intrinsically, one dollar is as good as the other.) 
A Peninsular dollar is also equal to li miscals. There was formerly a dollar or real* 
coined in Morocco, of full value; but it is now almost out of circulation. The only 
gold coin is the buntagui, equal to two dollars.t 

Many years ago, a service of gold plate was sent by the King of Spain as a 
present to the Sultan. His religion did not permit him to accept it ; but not 
willing altogether to decline the courtesy, he sent it back with a request that it 
might be made into coin. The Spanish monarch accordingly converted it into half- 
doubloons, or eight dollar pieces, impressed with Moorish characters, but with the 
designation " Struck at Madrid." These are now very scarce, having generally been 
carried away to other countries, as curiosities. 



NAPLES AND SICILY. 

A proper understanding of the coinage of the Two Sicilies will require a slight 
review of the recent history of the nation. Its former entanglement with Spain, and 
the legend Hispaniarum Infans, still impressed on the coins, causes some perplexity in 
discriminating between the moneys of the two countries. Unskilful persons some- 
times pronounce a Neapolitan piece to be Spanish. 

* On page 10 this piece is erroneously named a miscal. It is engraved in Plate XV., No. 10. 
t For information upon these moneys we are indebted to J. F. Mullowney, Esq,, long a resident, and now U. S. 
Consul in Morocco. 



88 NAPLES AND SICILY. 

After a protracted strife between the houses of Bourbon and Austria, Charles VII., 
second son of the King of Spain, ascended the throne of Naples and Sicily, in the 
year 1735. In 1759 he was called to rule over Spain, as Charles III.; being 
succeeded at Naples by his son Ferdinand. This monarch was Ferdinand IV. of 
Naples, and III. of the island of Sicily* until his second deposal by Napoleon ; but 
upon his reaccession, assumed the title of Ferdinand I. both of Naples and Sicily. 
Much confusion will be avoided by bearing in mind these distinctions, and that 
Ferdinand I., III., and IV. are all the same person. In this reign, various changes 
took place in the silver coinage; a new standard was decreed in 1784, and another 
in 1795. Having joined in the alliance against the French Republic, Ferdinand 
was overcome by the invading army of that nation, and in 1799 his kingdom was 
converted into the Neapolitan or Parthenopian Republic. Silver coins, of a single 
denomination, were issued under this government. After various successes and 
defeats, Ferdinand regained his throne by treaty, in 1801. The currency was now so 
perplexed that it was judged necessary to call in the silver for recoinage, upon a 
uniform and simple system ; which took place in 1805. Little more than a year 
elapsed, however, before the Napoleon dynasty was established in Naples, in the 
person of Joseph ; Ferdinand retiring to Sicily, where he maintained a precarious 
dominion. In 1803 Joseph was called away to supplant another Ferdinand of the 
Spanish line in Spain. He had made no alteration in the Neapolitan coins, except 
as to their devices. Joachim, Prince Murat, succeeded to the throne. The system 
of coinage remained unaltered until the year 1813, when the French standards were 
introduced ; the new lira, corresponding to the franc. Two years after, the face of 
affairs having been entirely changed throughout Europe, by the fall of Napoleon, 
Joachim forfeited his crown, and with it his life, and Ferdinand returned from the 
island, to reassume the dominion of the Two Sicilies. The French system of coinage 
fell with its patron. A new monetary code was promulged in 1818, restoring the 
former standards, with some modifications as to the gold. No alterations have since 
been made. In 1826 Francis I. succeeded to the throne; and in 1830 Ferdinand II., 
the reigning sovereign. 

To avoid too much detail upon a coinage somewhat intricate and not generally 
important, it will be sufficient here to state the legal standards of 1818, referring to 
the ensuing tables for actual assays prior to that date. The money of account is the 
silver ducat, (ducato di regno,) which was formerly an actual coin, but has not been 
so for half a century past. This is divided into 10 carlini, of 10 grani, or grains. 
On the island, the money of account is the onzia, of 30 tari; the laro being equal to 
the carlino, of Naples. 

* On Sicilian coins, before 1800, he is styled Ferdinand, simply. A piece of 1810 designates him as Ferdinand III. 
The subsecpjent title, Ferdinand I., was doubtless assumed with a view to consolidate the two branches of the realm. 



NAPLES AND SICILY. 



89 



The gold coin of the law of 1818 is of four denominations; the decuple of 30 
ducats, the half-decuple, the double ounce {onzia) of 6 ducats, and the ounce of 3 
ducats. The legal fineness is 996 thousandths ; the weight of the decuple, 42§ 
trapped, or 574 troy grains ;* the others in proportion. No gold was coined for four 
or five years previous to 1839; preparations were then making for a new emission, 
but no specimens have been seen here. 

The silver coin is of five denominations ; the scudo of 12 carlini (equal to H 
ducati), the half-scudo, and the pieces of two, one, and one-half carlin. These are 
all five-sixths fine (833 thousandths), and the largest piece should weigh 31 J trappesi, 
or 425-4 troy grains ; the others in proportion. 

The Spanish dollar is made current by law at 125 grani. 

GOLD COINS. 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


REIGN. 


WEIGHT. 
GKS. 


FINENESS. 
TIIOL'S. 


VALUE. 
D. C. M. 


Two onzie, or six ducats 


1783 


Ferdinand IV. 


135 


893 


5 19 2 


Onzia of" Sicily 


1T51 


Charles. 


68 


859 


2 51 6 


Twenty lire 


1813 


Joachim Napoleon. 


99 


900| 


3 84 8 


Onzia 


1818 


Ferdinand I. 


58 


995 


2 48 5 



SILVER COINS. 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


REIGN. 


WEIGIIT. 
GRS. 


FINENESS. 
THOUS. 


VALUE. 
D. C. M. 


Scudo, of twelve carlini 


1783 


Ferdinand IV. 


390 


900 


94 5 


Silver ducat, often do. 


1784-85 


do. 


348 


842 


78 9 


Scudo, of twelve do. 


1786-98 


do. 


422 


835 


94 9 


do. . 


1791 


Ferd. IV. and Mary Caroline. 


422 


842 


95 7 



* Letter of Alexander Hammett, Esq., U. S. Consul at Naples. Mr. Hammett states that the pound of Naples 
is divided into 12 ounces, the ounce into 30 trappesi, and the trappeso into 20 acini, making 7200 acini to the pound, 
and is equivalent to -84417 of the troy pound, or 4862-4 troy grains. Kelly (apparently relying on Bonneville) makes 
4950 grains the equivalent. The difference is large, and we have no means of deciding which is correct; but Mr. 
Hammett's basis is taken, as being the latest and most direct authority ; and especially as he appears skilled in these 
subjects. 

t This fineness is assumed. 

23 



90 



NASSAU — NETHERLANDS. 



SILVER COINS (continued). 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


REIGN. 


WEIGHT. 
GES. 


FINENESS. 
THOUS. 


VALUE. 
D. C. M. 


Carlin . 


1791-95 


Ferdinand IV. 


34 


835 


7 6 


Scudo of Sicily 


1785-99 


Ferdinand. 


419 


830 


93 7 


Scudo . 


1799 


Republic. 


422 


835 


94 9 


do. . 


1805 


Ferdinand IV. 


422 


835 


94 9 


do. . 


1808 


Joseph Napoleon. 


423 


835 


95 1 


do. . 


1810 


Joachim Napoleon. 


421 


835 


94 7 


Lira 


1813 


do. 


76 


900* 


18 5 


Scudo of Sicily 


1810 


Ferdinand III. 


420 


835 


94 5 


Scudo . 


1818 


Ferdinand I. 


424 


835 


95 4 


do. . 


1831-33 


Ferdinand II. 


425 


830 


95 



NASSAU. 

This duchy, being one of the southern states of Germany, keeps accounts in florins. 
The coinage consists of the ducat, in gold, and the convention-dollar, crown, and 
new florin, besides smaller pieces, in silver. These are found to be of the same 
value as the coins of Bavaria, which see. 



NETHERLANDS. 

This title is now appropriated to the territory which at different times has been 
designated as The United Provinces, Holland, and Batavian Republic. Eormerly it 
included the Austrian or Belgic Netherlands, now known as the kingdom of Belgium. 
(For the coinage proper to this latter region, see article Belgium.) 



* This fineness is assumed. 



NETHERLANDS. 91 

The political changes in Holland have been frequent within the last century. By 
the treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, in 1748, the Dutch and Belgic provinces were 
sundered, and assigned to different rulers. William V. reigned as stadtholder over 
the former division, from 1766 until his expulsion in 1795, when the Batavian 
Republic was established. After undergoing various and rapid modifications, this 
form of government was changed to a monarchy, with Louis Bonaparte as its king. 
His reign extended from 1806 to 1810; after which Holland was formally incor- 
porated into the French empire. Its nationality was restored in part some three 
years after; but it was not until 1815 that the government was settled, on which 
occasion Holland and Belgium were united as the kingdom of Netherlands, under 
the dominion of William I. This union was again sundered in 1830, since which 
time the two countries have remained distinct. 

The coinage of the Netherlands displays something of the intricacy of its political 
history. Several series of coins were minted cotemporarily, for many years previous 
to the revolution ; and at this day there are circulating about twenty different 
denominations of silver coin. Each of the seven provinces had its own mint, but the 
variety in the coinage is not materially due to this fact, since, in most cases, they 
conformed to a common standard, making only a difference in the legend.* 

Gold Coins. The ryder, of 14 florins or gulden, was legally of the weight of 6 
engels 15 as, (153i troy grains,) at 22 carats fine. This coinage seems to have 
ceased about eighty years since. The ducat is of the established rate of 53-8 troy 
grains, and the fineness 23tj carats, or 983 thousandths. No value is fixed by law to 
this coin ; it is intended as an article of commerce, and is variously reckoned at 5| 
to 5s florins. Ducats are largely exported to Russia, Turkey, and other countries. 

The present gold coinage consists of pieces of 10 and 5 gulden, or guilders, the 
former weighing 6-729 grammes, and both of the fineness of nine-tenths. This 
coinage was instituted by the law of 1816. 

Silver Coins. For many years previous to the settlement of 1815, there were 
three series of silver coins ; the rixdollar or " leg-dollar,"t the guilder, and the 
ducaton. The first class may be known by the figure of a knight in armour, with 
one leg hidden by a shield ;£ the second class bears a female figure, leaning on a 
pedestal ; the third class is distinguished by the figure of a warrior on horseback, the 

* The coins of Holland proper may be known by the word Hull, or Holland, in the device ; those of Utrecht by 
Trri. or Truject.; of Zealand by Zel. or Zeelandia; of West Friesland, by West/. ; of Overyssel by Tran., TransisaL, 
or Transisnlania ; of Gueldre by Geldria, and of Groningen by Gron. These distinctions have disappeared since the 
close of the last century. 

j So called in Sir Isaac Newton's Tables. The device on the coin must have suggested the name. It is also called 
patagon and daelder. 

\ The old ten-schilling piece of Zeeland has this figure also, but with the motto " Emergo Luctor." This piece is 
of higher value than the rixdollar, being equal to three guilders. 



92 NETHERLANDS. 

horse being in a salient posture. The observance of these distinctions is the readiest 
way that we know of, to avoid confusion in these coins, which are of very different 
qualities of fineness. 

The rixdollar, by legal regulation, weighed 8 engels 8? as, (433£ troy grains,) at 
10 deniers 10J grains, or 870 thousandths fine. This piece is reckoned at 2 J 
guilders, or 50 stivers ; the half and quarter rixdollar in proportion. This coinage 
was continued by Louis Bonaparte, but ceased with his reign. 

The guilder or florin weighed 6 engels 27 J as, (163 grains,) at 10 deniers 23 
grains, or 913 thousandths fine. There are also pieces of 3 florins, and a half-florin, 
of the same fineness and proportional weight. The guilder is the money of account, 
being divided into 20 stivers, or in more recent style, into 100 centimes. The stiver 
is equal to two cents of our money, as nearly as may be. 

By the law of 1816 the guilder series (which was continued, to the exclusion of 
the other two,) was modified in its standards of weight and fineness, without 
altering the actual value. The weight of the guilder was fixed at 10-766 grammes, 
(166-2 troy grains,) and the triple and half-guilder in proportion; all of the fineness 
of 893 thousandths. Besides these, provision was made for pieces of i, tV, and 2V 
guilder, or 25, 10, and 5 centimes ; the 25c. piece to weigh 4-23 grammes (65-2 
grains), and the others proportionally — all of the fineness of 569 thousandths. 

An entire change in the silver coins was decreed in 1839. The guilder, by that 
law, is to weigh ten grammes precisely, (154-3 grains,) at a fineness of 945 thou- 
sandths. The three-guilder piece gives place to one of 2£ guilders, as the largest 
coin : this, as well as the fractional divisions of the guilder, are to be of the same 
fineness, and proportional in weight* 

The allowed deviations from the standards by the law of 1839, are small, beyond 
precedent. Thus the fineness of the gold coin must not vary more than from 899i to 
900J thousandths ; and the silver must be kept within 943§ to 946J. 

The ducaton, or ducatoon series, was coined chiefly for the foreign trade in the 
East Indies ; although this would not appear from the devices. Its standards were 
21 engels 5| as (502-3 grains) in weight, and 11| deniers, or 938 thousandths in 
fineness. Its current value, in 1833, was 3-15 guilders. The latest date we have 
seen, is of 1804. The more modern coinage for the Dutch East Indies, is noticed 
under the head of Malay Archipelago. 

* None of these pieces have been received here as yet; in fact, as late as July 1841 they were not yet circulating 
at home, as we learn from J. W. Vandenbroek, Esq., U. S. Consul at Amsterdam. It is to this gentleman we owe 
the legal regulations of 1816 and 1839, together with specimens for assay. 



NETHERLANDS. 



GOLD COINS. 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


GOVERNMENT. 


WEIGHT. 
GRS. 


fineness, 
tiious. 


VALUE. 
D. C. M. 


Ducat . 


1770-1805 


Various. 


53-5 


980 


2 25 8 


do. . 


1810 


Louis Napoleon. 


53-5 


980 


2 25 8 


do. . 


1816-31 


William I. 


53-7 


980 


2 26 6 


do. . 


1833-39 


do. 


53-7 


981 


2 26 9 


Ten guilders 


1816-39 


do.* 


103-5 


899 


4 00 7 


Five guilders 


1816-39 


do. 


51-5 


899 


1 99 4 



SILVER COINS.f 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


GOVERNMENT. 


WEIGHT. 
GRS. 


FINENESS. 
TIIOUS. 


VALUE. 
D. C M. 


Ducatoon 


1766-95 


William V., Stadtholder. 


500 


938 


1 26 3 


Half do. 


1766-95 


do. 


250 


938 


63 2 


Rixdollar 


1766-95 


do. 


428 


872 


1 00 5 


do. . 


1806 


Louis Napoleon. 


436 


881 


1 03 5 


do. . 


1808 


do. 


408 


912 


1 00 2 


Three guilders 


1766-95 


William V. 


476 


912 


1 17 


Guilder 


1766-95 


do. 


161 


912 


39 5 


do. . 


1796-1805 


Bataviau Republic. 


157 


904 


38 2 


Three guilders 


1816-38 


William I. 


498 


896 


1 20 2 


Guilder 


1816-38 


do. 


166 


896 


40 1 


Half do. 


1816-38 


do. 


82-5 


896 


19 9 


25 cent. 


1824-30 


do. 


65 


569 


10 


10 cent. 


1824-30 


do. 


26 


569 


4 



* One thousand ten-guilder pieces, as found in the circulation, will vary in weight from 4320 to 4324 dwts. This is 
a remarkable uniformity. The fineness, in parcels, never exceeds 899. 

+ There are still circulating in Holland many pieces of more than a century old, on which the figures 28, 30, 60, &c. 
may be seen, indicating so many stivers. The stiver being worth two cents of our money, their value is readily 
ascertained. 

24 



94 NORWAY. 



NORWAY. 



Norge. 



This country was formerly a part of the dominions of the King of Denmark, but in 
1813 was transferred to Sweden. It has always preserved a separate national 
character, and has a distinct system of coinage. 

There appears to be no gold coin peculiar to Norway. The silver coins consist of 
the rigsdaler-species, of 120 shillings, the half, of 60 skillings, the fifth, or 24 skillings, 
and the fifteenth, or 8 skillings, all coined at the rate of 9;^ dalers to the Cologne 
mark of fine silver. The standard fineness is 14 lods (875 thousandths), at which 
proportion, 83% dalers weigh a Cologne mark ; equal to 445-8 grains to each piece. 
There are smaller pieces of four and two skillings, coined at the rate of 101 dalers to 
the fine mark.* 

These are the old-established standards ; no change was made at the time of the 
alterations of Swedish coinage, in 1830. However, the dalers of Norway, Sweden, 
and Denmark are interchangeable as to intrinsic value. 

The daler of Norway may be distinguished from that of Sweden by the legend on 
the obverse ; in the former, the word Norges comes before Sveriges; in the latter, this 
order is reversed. Before the separation from Denmark, the Norwegian coins were 
not to be distinguished from the Danish by the legend, but by the shield containing 
a lion rampant, and underneath, two hammers crossed, probably referring to the silver 
mines of Norway. 

The silver mines at Kongsberg yielded 17,000 marks in the first half year of 
1834 ;t and about the same amount in the whole of 1835.:}: 

* Letter of Helmich Janson, Ess., U. S. Consul at Bergen, to the Treasury Department, Aug. 1834. 
| Consul's letter. 

t Karsten's Archiv. The Norwegian mark equals 3857 - 7 troy grains ; and a mark of fine silver would be worth 
$10 39, in our money. 



PERSIA. 95 



PERSIA. 

Previous to the reign of Fatha Ali, which commenced in 1797, the most usual 
coins of Persia were the gold rupee, or mohur, and the silver rupee, or ten-shahee. 
These corresponded pretty nearly with the India coinage, of the same era. There 
were other pieces, of which the ducat or ashrafi was the most important, and of 
which there is a notice as early as 1724. This was of the European ducat or sequin 
weight, being three-fourths of a miscal, which is the normal money-weight of Persia.* 
Amidst the various changes in the coinage, it has retained its place and character, 
though now known by the name of toman. In the long reign of this monarch, 
extending to 1834, there were some changes in the monetary system. During the 
earlier years the toman was issued weighing 94 troy grains. From 1814 to 1824 
the toman seems to have been reduced to 71^ grains, or about one miscal in weight. 
The ducat was then a distinct coin. 

Of the silver coinage in his reign, the sahib-koran, or real, until 1807 inclusive, 
weighed 159 grains. In the next year it was reduced to 143 grains or two miscals; 
and so continued, probably, to the close of his government. 

In 1834 the present monarch, Mahomed Shah, grandson of Fatha Ali, succeeded 
to the throne. Under his reign the toman has been further reduced to 53| grains, 
so that it corresponds with the former ducat. The toman and its half are now the 
only gold coins. Of silver, the sahib-koran now weighs 83 grains, and its half, the 
penebad, in proportion. The copper coins are the shahee and its half. 

The present relations of the coins are as follows : ten shahees equal one penebad ; 
two of these, one sahib-koran ; ten of these last, one toman.t 

The coins of earlier date than the present century must be rare, as it is stated that 
the present monarch recoins the money of his predecessor, and even his own issues, 
of some years' standing ; not so much to refresh their appearance, as to derive a 
revenue by making them of less weight. 

The Persian mints (of which there are eight) are said to be supplied with gold 
and silver from the mines of Affghanistan ; but to what extent is not known. 

* The miscal is variously rated at 71 to 754 troy grains. Probably it is accurate enough to assume 72, which is 
exactly three dvvts. 

f For specimens of coins, with accompanying information, we are indebted to John P. Brown, Esq.., late drogoman 
to the U. S. Embassy at Constantinople. It is needless to add that a Persian coin seldom if ever strays in this 
direction. 



96 



PERSIA. 



GOLD COINS. 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


REIGN. 


WEIGHT. 
GES. 


FINENESS. 
THOUS. 


VALUE. 
D. C. M. 


Toman . 


1214(1799) 


Fatha Ali Shah, Kajar.* 


94 






do. . 


1230-40 
(1814-24) 


do.f 


71-2 


991 


3 04 2 


Ducat 


Not dated. 


do.t 


53-5 






Toman . 


1255(1839) 


Mahomed Shah, Shahinshah.§ 


53-7 


965 


2 23 3 


Half do. . 


1252(1837) 


do. 


27 


968 


1 12 1 



SILVER COINS. 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


REIGN. 


WEIGHT. 
GRS. 


FINENESS. 
THOUS. 


VALUE. 
D. C. M. 


Huzar-dinar 




Fatha Ali.H 


106 


952 


27 1 


Sahib-koran 


1222 (1807) 


do.1T 


159 


945 


40 4 


do. . 


1223(1808) 


do. 


143 


944 


28 8 


do. . 


1255 (1839) 


Mahomed. 


83 


963 


21 5 


Penebad 


1250(1835) 


do. 


43-5 



















This coin 



Our assay 



* The title Kajar was his family surname, or rather the name of the tribe to which his family belonged, 
is from Marsden, who gives no fineness. Supposing it to be 990, the value would be just four dollars. 

f The tables of Mr. Noton, Assayer at Bombay, give 69 to 73i grains in weight ; the fineness only 972. 
is from a single piece ; the weight is from two pieces, which were alike. 

J Not assayed, but evidently near fine gold ; probable value $2 28. 

5 Shah-in-shah, signifies "king of kings." 

|| From Noton's tables. We have no other knowledge of this coin. 

IT The sahib-koran seems to be identical with the abbasi of Kelly, and the penebad corresponds to the mahrnnrli. 
This assay is Noton's. Several pieces sent by Mr. Brown, of 1231 (1815), had small brass loops or eyes soldered 
to them. These are for the convenience of the Persian ladies, who string the coins by the loops, and hang them in 
festoons about their heads, as ornaments. Sometimes a hole is bored in the coin itself, for the insertion of the string. 
This latter practice is not exclusively Oriental. 



PERU. 97 



PERU. 

This country declared its independence of Spain in 1821, but that dominion was 
not entirely shaken off until the close of 1824. The earliest specimens of patriot 
coinage noticed here, bear the date of 1822* 

The republic was divided in 1836 into the two distinct nations of North Peru and 
South Peru. This event is of course exhibited by the coinage. The most recent 
specimens, however, omit this distinction, and probably it is not destined to be a 
permanent one. 

The system of coinage in Peru is the same as in Spain. Peruvian doubloons are 
somewhat scarce here, but the dollars are frequently recoined at this mint, and are 
occasionally met with in ordinary circulation. 

There are at present three mints in the country ; that of Lima is in North Peru, 
and has been long in operation ; the mints of Cuzco and Arequipa are in South Peru. 
The mint-mark of the first is M, an involution of the letters LIMA; the next 
has Cuzco in full, and the last is distinguished by the abbreviation Areq. These 
distinctions, besides their interest to the coin-collector, have a bearing upon the value 
of the various coins. 

As in the case of Bolivia, the half and quarter dollars of South Peru of recent 
dates, struck at Cuzco and Arequipa, are greatly below the fineness of the dollars. 
This debasement, which was authorized by law, commenced in June 1835, and 
continued until February 1838. The pieces are generally about two-thirds fine, 
though by no means regular, and have a good appearance. The amount issued to 
June 1837 (two years) was 729,000 dollars, the real value of which was 533,000, 
yielding a profit to government of 196,000. They were therefore passed off for one- 
third more than they were worth.t But by a law of 1838 the half and quarter 
dollar were restored to their proper fineness, and thereafter were to be issued in the 
proportion of one-sixth in amount, of the annual silver coinage. 

It is understood that there was no debasement of the Lima small coinage ; we have 
had no specimens of later date than 1832. 

* The state of the country in those times is curiously illustrated by some of the coins, which, after their issue by the 
republican party, have been restamped by the royalists, without obliterating the former impressions ; as, for example, 
patriot dollars of 1822 are sometimes impressed with a crown and the date of 1824; so that both dates appear on the 
coin, and render its nativity, at first sight, ambiguous. 

f British Statistical Tables for 1837. This was an operation in which private coiners would be very glad, and very 
likely, to participate. 

25 



98 



POLAND. 



Peru yields a large share of precious metals. The amount cannot be ascertained, 
as a considerable proportion leaves the country uncoined, and some of it in a 
contraband way. The annual coinage is about 120,000 dollars in gold, and two 
millions in silver. 



GOLD AND SILVER COIiNS. 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


MINT AND OOVEENMENT. 


WEIGHT. 
GRS. 


FINENESS. 
THOUS. 


VALUE. 
D. C. M. 


Doubloon 


1826-33 


Lima. 


Peruvian Republic. 


416-5 


867 


15 55 1 


do. . 


1826-33 


Cuzco. 


do. 


416-5 


871 


15 62 3 


do. . 


1837 


do. 


South Peru. 


416-5 


866 


15 53 4 


Dollar . 


1822-35 


Lima. 


Peruvian Republic.* 


416 


901 


1 01 


Quarter dollar 


1827 


Cuzco. 


do. 


105 


902 


25 5 


do. . 


1828-32 


Lima. 


do. 


105 


900 


25 4 


Dollar . 


1837-38 


do. 


North Peru.f 


415 


904 


1 01 


do. . 


1837-38 


Cuzco. 


South Peru. 


414 


904 


1 00 8 


Half dollar . 


1835 


do. 


Peruvian Republic.:): 


208 


650 


36 4 


do. . 


1836 


do. 


South Peru. 


207 


667 


37 2 


Quarter dollar 


1835 


do. 


Peruvian Republic. 


102 


654 


18 


Half dollar . 


1838 


Arequip 


a. South Peru. 


206 


660 


36 6 


Dollar . 


1841 


Lima. 


Peruvian Republic. 


415 


899 


1 00 5 



POLAND. 

Polske. 



The political vicissitudes of this country form a conspicuous portion of European 
history. Once an extensive and powerful dominion, it now scarcely maintains a 
place in the list of nations. By various acts of partition, commenced in 1772 and 

* The Lima dollars vary in weight from 388 to 437 grains, making a difference of 12 cents between one piece and 
another. The fineness varies from 899 to 905. The above is a fair average of weight and fineness. The Cuzco 
dollars are less irregular, varying from 409 to 418 grains. They are comparatively rare. 

-f The quarter dollars of Lima vary from 91 to 113 grains — or 22 to 27 cents. 

t Vary in weight from 195 to 210 grains ; in fineness, 642 to 663. 



POLAND. 



99 



finished in 1795, it was divided amongst the neighbouring powers of Russia, Prussia, 
and Austria. A portion of the territory was afterwards erected, by Napoleon, into 
the Duchy of Warsaw. In 1815, the new Kingdom of Poland was created, as a 
dependency of Russia, comprising only a small part of the ancient Polish nation. 
The remainder is incorporated with the respective countries above mentioned, and is 
known by the three divisions of Russian, Prussian, and Austrian Poland. 

The integral money of account is the zloty, divided into 30 groszy. 

The coins issued by King Stanislaus Augustus before the partition, were, the ducat 
at the usual rates of Germany, and then valued at 18 zlotych, but more recently at 19 
to 20 ; the convention-thaler, at the German rate of " ten to the fine mark," current 
at 8 zl., and its half at 4 zl. ; the crown or thaler of 14tV to the fine mark, valued at 
6 zl. ; besides lower denominations. From 1795 to 1815 the coinage received little 
attention. In the latter year, by an ukase of the Emperor Alexander, a new series of 
gold and silver coins was ordered, viz.: in gold, the zloty krolewski (royal zloty), equal 
to 25 silver zl. or 3§ roubles of Russia ; the fineness to be 88 sololniks* or 917 thou- 
sandths ; also, the double of this coin, at the same proportions.t In silver, the pieces 
of five, two, and one zloty, of 83£ solotniks (868 thousandths) fine ; in weight, at the 
rate of 17£H pieces of five zl. to the fine mark of silver; also, for small coins, the 
pieces of ten and five groszy, at 18i solot. (193 thousandths) fine ; the mark of fine 
silver to make 414 pieces often, or 828 pieces of five gr. In 1820 the denomination 
of 10 zlot. was added; this is the largest silver coin.:): By an ukase of 1834, the 
gold piece of three roubles was made current in Poland at twenty zlot. ; and pieces 
of ten and five zlot. in silver were coined, respectively equal to 1 J and \ roubles of 
Russia, and designed for circulation in both countries. 

GOLD AND SILVER COINS. 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


GOVERNMENT. 


WEIGHT. 
GES. 


FINENESS. 
THOUS. 


VALUE. 
D. C. M. 


Ducat 


1791 


Stanislaus Augustus. 


53-5 


984 


2 26 6 


Convention-thaler 


1784 


do. 


430 


833 


96 5 


Thaler 


1794 


do. 


370 


688 


68 6 


Five zlotych . 


1831 


Independent Poland.^ 


240-5 


872 


56 4 


One zloty 


1832 


Nicholas I. 


69 






do. . 


1838 


do. 


48 


872 


11 3 



* In Russia absolute fineness is expressed by 96 solotniksy each subdivided into sixth parts, 
f It is not known here, whether these were actually issued. J Becher, art. Russland. 



Fineness assumed. 



100 PORTUGAL. 



PORTUGAL. 

The chronology of Portugal is closely connected with that of Brazil, and the 
reader is referred to that article for a statement of the royal succession, until the 
separation of the two countries. In 1826 Dona Maria, then aged only seven years, 
was proclaimed Regent of Portugal on the behalf of her father, Don Pedro, the 
Emperor of Brazil ; but a vigorous contest for the throne was maintained by her 
uncle, Don Miguel, and it was not until 1833 that the queen was established in 
undisputed possession. 

The silver coinage of Portugal was never of any great importance, out of its own 
territory ; but the gold has long been familiar in the currency of the West Indies and 
of the United States, and at the principal commercial ports of the world. Few 
names in the money-vocabulary are better known than moidore and half-joe. Since 
Portugal has lost its command of the Brazilian gold mines, the importance of this 
coinage has dwindled away, not being sustained by fresh issues ; in fact, a half-joe of 
later date than 1807, the era of the removal of the Portuguese Court to Rio 
Janeiro, is scarcely seen. Pieces of earlier dates are still presented here occa- 
sionally. The new gold coinage, established in 1835, is of small importance, even 
at home ; and is considered rather as merchandise than as money, being always at a 
premium. 

The moneys of Brazil, with some similarity in the devices and denominations, 
are essentially different from those of Portugal, and have therefore been separately 
treated. 

To obtain a proper view of Portuguese currency, it is necessary to commence with 
the year 1688. At that date the gold coinage consisted of six denominations ; the 
dobrao of 20,000 reis, the half-dobrao, the moeda d'ouro (moidore) of 4000, the half, 
quarter, and tenth of the moidore ; the last being also called the cruzado of 400 reis. 
The legal fineness of all these was 22 carats (917 thousandths) ; the weight of the 
dobrao was equivalent to 830 grains troy ; of the moidore, 1 66 grains ; and the 
others in proportion. At the date just mentioned, the valuation of these pieces was 
enhanced by one-fifth ; so that although the dobrao, for example, continued to bear 
on its face the figures 20,000, its lawful value was 24,000 reis ; and so of the rest. 

This moidore series (so called because that coin is the best known of the class) 
continued to be struck until the year 1732; but ten years earlier (1722) a new 
series was instituted, with entirely different devices, familiarly known as the Joannese 
or joe coinage. This consisted of seven denominations ; the Joannese or dobra of 



PORTUGAL. 101 

12,800 reis;* the half, of 6400; the quarter, of 3200; the escudo of 16 tosloes or 
1600 reis; the quartinho at quarter moidore of 1200; the half escudo of 800, and 
the cruzado of 400. These also were of 22 carats fine, and the weight of the 
largest piece, one ounce of Portugal, equal to 442-8 grains troy ;t the others in 
proportion. 

The Joannese series seems not to have been displaced until 1835 ; but its valuation 
was altered by an edict of 1821, which provided that all the lesser gold coins should 
be called in, to be recoined into pieces of 6400 and 3200 reis ; at the same time 
increasing the value of these to 7500 and 3750 reis respectively. Notwithstanding 
this advance, the gold coins bore a premium in market, so that in 1834 a piece of 
7500 reis cost 7680 in currency.:]: 

Until 1797 the currency of Portugal was purely metallic; but in that year the 
government issued a large amount of paper money, in notes of 1200 to 20,000 reis 
each, bearing interest ; and made it a legal tender in all transactions to pay half in 
specie and half in paper. The interest on these was paid for a few years, but 
eventually was withheld, and the paper fell, by successive stages of depreciation, 
until it reached to 35 per cent, below par. 

In 1835, by a decree of the reigning queen, a new monetary system was esta- 
blished; the old names and divisions being abolished, and only the former rates of 
fineness retained. In this system the gold coins are the coroa de oaro (gold crown) of 
5000 reis, and its half, of 22 carats fine ; the coroa to weigh 2| oitavas, or 147-6 
troy grains ; the half in proportion. These rates are conformable to the valuation 
of the former piece of 7,500 reis, which weighs the same as the crown and half 
crown together. 

The silver coinage prior to 1 835 consisted of six denominations ; the cruzado 
stamped 400 reis, but valued at 480, the half cruzado of twelve vintens, the piece of 
six vint., the lostao or testoon of 100 reis, and the half testoon. These were formerly 
of the legal fineness of eleven dinheiros (917 thousandths), but for many years they 
have been minted at 899 thousandths. The lawful weight of the cruzado was 
equivalent to 226-6 troy grains, and the smaller pieces in proportion. The decree of 
1835 instituted a new series, consisting of the coroa of 1000 reis, the half, of 500, 

* There is some confusion in these terms, since the piece of 6400 reis, which has received, in English, the name of 
half-joe, seems properly to be the whole Joannese. But by affixing the number of reis, we shall avoid misunderstand- 
ing, if not mistake. 

t The mark (8 ozs.) of Lisbon, according to Kelly, is equal to 3541 J troy grains. 

I Letter of J. P. Hutchinson, Esq., U. S. Consul at Lisbon, to the Treasury Department, January 1834. From this 
letter we derive also some other statements. 

The dealer in coins must be warned that there are spurious half-joes, not greatly inferior in fineness to the genuine 
coin, but very deficient in weight ; some of these (by what authority is not known) bear the stamp of 20. Further 
reference will be made to these pieces in the chapter on Counterfeits. Many half-joes are also greatly reduced by 
filing and clipping, so that they can hardly be taken by tale. 

26 



102 



PORTUGAL. 



and the pieces of 200 and 100 reis. The legal fineness is 917 thousandths, and the 
weight of the largest piece, 8 oitavas 18-58 graos; or at the rate of 7750 reis to the 
mark. The proportion of gold to silver is as 15-483 to 1. 

The new coins, both of gold and silver, until a very recent date, were scarce in 
their own country, and could only be obtained by paying a premium on their nominal 
value. Thus in 1839 the gold crown cost 5300, and the silver crown 1040 reis; the 
Spanish dollar being held at 900 reis* It is remarkable that copper coins form a 
large part of the currency, as in Brazil. In 1834 any debt could be lawfully 
discharged by paying one-half in government paper, one-third in silver, and one- 
sixth in copper. But the finances are now so much improved, that the legal tender is 
(as we learn verbally) three-fourths silver and one-fourth copper. 

Accounts are kept in reis and milreis ; and in stating a sum in figures, a division is 
made between the two, by inserting the cifrao or cipher $ ; thus, 12 $ 800 expresses 
" twelve mil. eight," or 12,800 reis. 

There are gold mines in Portugal, but the produce is so small in comparison with 
the expense of working them, that the government has paid no attention to them 
since 1820. 

GOLD COINS. 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


REIGN. 


WEICHT. 
GES. 


FINENESS. 
THOUS. 


VALUE. 
D. C. M, 


Moidore . 


1689 


Peter II. 


165 


908 


6 45 2 


do. . 


1705 


do. 


165 


928 


6 59 4 


do. . 


1714-26 


John V.f 


165 


913 


6 48 8 


Half-joe, of 6400 reis 


1727-46 


do4 


217 


914 


8 54 1 


Joannese 


1730 


do. 


439 


912 


17 24 2 


Half-joe . 


1753-77 


Joseph I.§ 


219 


914 


8 62 


do. . 


1778-85 


Maria I. and Peter III. 


220 


913 


8 65 


do. . 


1787-1804 


Maria I. 


221 


914 


8 69 9 


do. . 


1822-24 


John VI. 


221 


909 


8 65 2 


Crown 


1838 


Maria II. 


148 


912 


5 81 3 


Half do. 


1838 


do. 


74 


912 


2 90 6 



* Two sets of coins, with accompanying statements, were obligingly furnished by A. T. Donnet, Esq,, acting Consul 
of the U. S. at Lisbon. 

f Vary in fineness from 911 to 920. A moidore, clipped to the edge of the letters in the legend, weighed only 
127 grains. 

t Weight varied from 213 to 220 grains. 5 Weight, 214 to 223 grains. 



PRUSSIA. 



103 



SILVER COINS. 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


HEIGN. 


WEIGHT. 
GES. 


FINENESS. 
TIIOCS. 


VALUE. 
D. C. M. 


Cruzado 


1795-1826 


Maria I. and John VI. 


222 


900 


53 8 


do. . 


1833 


Maria II. 


226 


908 


55 3 


Six vintens 


1833 


do. 


55 


898 


13 3 


Crown of 1000 r. . 


1838 


do. 


456 


912 


1 12 


Half do. 


1838 


do. 


228 


912 


56 


Piece of 200 r. 


1838 


do. 


91 


920 


22 6 


Piece of 100 r. 


1838 


do. 


46 


920 


11 4 


12 macutas 


1789 


Maria I.* 


271 


896 


65 4 



PRUSSIA. 

Preussen. 

In 1701 this country changed its rank from a duchy to a kingdom. It has since 
been steadily increasing in territory, wealth, and political importance, so that it is 
now classed among the five great powers of Europe. The royal succession since 
1701 has been as follows: Frederick I., 1701 to 1713. Frederick William I. to 1740. 
Frederick II. (the Great) to 1786. Frederick William II. to 1797. Frederick 
William III. to 1840. Frederick William IV. since June 1840, reigning sovereign. 

The money of account is the dollar (thaler), which before 1821 was divided into 
24 good (gute) groschen, but now into 30 silver (silber) groschen; subdivided into 12 
pfennige each. 

The most important statutes, regulating the coinage of Prussia, are those of 1750, 
1821, and of the German Convention of 1838. 

* The Portuguese have settlements, and claim dominion, in various parts of Africa. On the eastern coast they exert 
a limited authority over the strip of territory called Mozambique ; and on the opposite shore, the kingdoms of Congo, 
Angola, and Benguela, in Lower Guinea. Gold and silver coins have heen minted at different times for these colonies; 
as for example, the milreis, in gold, of the year 1755, worth about 79 cents ; and the pieces of 12, 8, 6, 4 and 2 
macutas, in silver ; of which the largest is in the table. The series of macuta coins at Sierra Leone bears no relation 
to this. (See Sierra Leone.) 



104 PRUSSIA. 

Gold Coins. By the Miinzpatent of July 1750, provision was made for the coinage 
of gold pieces, of 10, 5, and 2£ thalers, (called also the double, single, and half 
Frederickd'or,) at the rate of 35 pieces of 5 thalers to the Cologne mark of gold, 
alloyed to.21| carats, or 261 loth-grains,* equivalent to 906 thousandths. The 
weight of the single Frederickd'or should be 103-13 troy grains. This rate of 
coinage originated in Brunswick ; and was in fact employed in Prussia, a few years 
previous to the formal edict of 1750. The standard was not closely adhered to, 
towards the close of the last century ; though of later years the ten and five-thaler 
pieces of Prussia are somewhat better than those of the other states in North 
Germany. By the law of 1821 the fineness was reduced to 260 loth-grains, or 903 
thousandths ; but no other change was made. Ducats were formerly coined, at the 
German rates, but apparently none since 1787. 

Silver Coins. In 1750 the rate of 21 florins or 10£ thalers to the fine mark, was 
established as the Prussian money of account ;t but in the coinage the thaler was 
at the rate of 14 pieces to the fine mark. This rate has continued ever since ; and 
until the German convention of 1838 the specie thaler of Prussia was entirely 
different from that of other German states ; except that in latter years it had been 
adopted by a few of the northern powers. By the convention just referred to, it was 
fully incorporated into the German mint-system, and bears a precise relation to the 
new florin of the southern states. The terms of this convention are explained at 
large under the head of Germany. 

The Prussian thaler is of unusually low standard, being only three-fourths 
(750 thousandths) fine. The lesser denominations are, the one-third thaler, of 
two-thirds (667 thousandths), the one-sixth, of 8 loths 6 grains (521 thousandths), 
and the one-twelfth, or two good groschen, of 6 loths (375 thousandths). The 
weight of the thaler should be 343-76 grains troy, and its value, at the full standards, 
would be 69-4 cents ; but as they are found in currency, the average scarcely exceeds 
68i cents. The statute of 1821 provided for an additional coinage of whole and half 
silber-groschen, at the rate of 30 gros. to the thaler, and of such weight that 106| 
pieces shall be equal to one mark. The fineness is 64 loth-grains, or 222 thou- 
sandths. 

The King of Prussia, as Elector of Brandeburg, coined convention-thalers as well 
as florins or two-third pieces, at the German rates, in the years 1794 to 1797. 
There is also a special coinage for Neufchatel, in Switzerland, of which he is the 
sovereign. 

By the convention of 1838 the large piece of 2 thalers or 3i florins, was 

* That is, 261 parts in 288. 

t This rate, having been proposed by M. Graumann, then Director of the Mint, was commonly called the 
Graumannic basis (Graumannisclien Milnzfuss.) Becher, i. 30. 



PRUSSIA. 



105 



introduced into the Prussian coinage. The fineness of this coin is nine-tenths, and 
6rV pieces are to weigh a mark ; making 572-9 troy grains to each piece. This 
coinage, at the close of 1340, had already amounted to near one million of pieces. 

The whole amount of coinage of gold and silver, during twenty years ending with 
1840, was a fraction over fifty millions of thalers ; equal to thirty-six millions of 
dollars in our money. Of this sum, the silver constituted about three-fourths* 

There are two mints in the Prussian dominions, viz. : at Berlin and Dusseldorf. At 
Breslau there is an office for the assay of jewelry and plate. 

Prussia produces annually about 23,000 marks of silver ;t which (if fine) is equal 
to 230,000 dollars, in our money. (See Plate XI.) 

GOLD COINS. 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


REIGN. 


WEIGHT. 
GES. 


FINENESS. 
THODS. 


VALUE. 
D. C. M. 


Frederickd'or . 


1752-82 


Frederick II. 


102 


901 


3 95 8 


do. . 


1795-96 


Frederick William II. 


102 


897 


3 94 


Ducat 


1787 


do. 


535 


979 


2 25 6 


Frederickd'or . 


1799-1812 


Frederick William III4 


102 


901 


3 95 8 


Double do. 


1800-11 


do. 


205 


898 


7 92 8 


do. . 


1831 


do. 


205 


903 


7 97 2 



SILVER COINS. 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


REIGN. 


WEIGHT. 
GKS. 


FINENESS. 
THOUS. 


VALUE. 
D. C. M. 


Thaler . 


1750 


Frederick II. 


338 


754 


68 6 


do. 


1764-86 


do. 


340 


750 


68 7 


One-third 


1768-86 


do. 


126 


668 


22 7 


One-sixth 


1764-73 


do. 


78 


519 


10 9 


Thaler . 


1789-96 


Frederick William II. 


340 


749 


68 6 



* The statistics of coinage are shown more at large in the Appendix. 

For these and other valuable items of information, the Mint is indebted to his Excellency Henry Wheaton, U. S. 
Envoy at Berlin. 

t Karsten and Von Dechen's Archiv. 

f Bonneville reports some pieces, early in this reign, as low as 893 and 892. 

27 



106 



ROME. 



SILVER COINS (continued). 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


EEIGN. 


WEIGHT. 
GES. 


FINENESS. 
THOUS. 


VALUE. 
D. C. M. 


One-third thaler 


1786-97 


Frederick William II. 


126 


670 


22 7 


One-sixth 


1796-97 


do. 


80 


515 


11 1 


Convention-thaler 


1795 


do. (for Brandeburg.) 


430 


830 


96 1 


Two-third piece 


1797 


do. do. 


265 


750 


53 5 


Thaler . 


1798-1803 


Frederick William III. 


340-5 


745 


68 3 


do. . 


1813-19 


do. 


341 


748 


68 7 


do. . 


1823-31 


do. 


343 


750 


69 3 


One-third 


1809 


do. 


126 


667 


22 6 


One-sixth 


1801-18 


do. 


80-5 


517 


11 2 


do. . 


1822-28 


do. 


81-5 


526 


11 5 



ROME. 



The moneys of the papal states will be considered from the year 1 754, fifteenth of 
the pontificate of Benedict XIV., that being an era in the coinage. The succession 
of Popes since that date has been as follows: Benedict XIV., 1740 to 1758. 
Clement XIII., to 1769. Clement XIV., to 1775. Pius VI., to 1800. This Pope 
took an active part in opposing the French revolutionists ; in return for which, his 
territory was invaded in 1797, and himself made prisoner in the year following. 
Rome was made a republic, and coins were struck, both gold and silver, bearing new 
devices, with the legend Republica Romano. But in 1800 the papal government was 
reinstated in the person of Pius VII. This sovereign held a precarious sway until 
1809, when the territory was wrested from him and annexed to the empire of 
Napoleon. This condition of things lasted until the downfal of the Emperor in 
1814, when Pius was restored to his chair, of which he held peaceable possession 
until his death in 1823. He was succeeded by Leo XII., 1823 to 1829. From this 
date there was an interregnum until 1831, when Gregory XVI., the reigning Pope, 
was elected. In this reign an important change has been made in the coinage. 



ROME. 107 

We shall notice first the order of the coins from the year 1754, which, with a brief 
interruption at the time of the republican establishment, lasted until 1835. 

The gold coins were, the zecckino or sequin, professedly coined of fine gold, at the 
rate of 99 pieces to the libbra or pound weight,* and of the legal value of 2-15 scudi; 
also the doppia d'oro, its double, and half, of 22 carats fine, (917 thousandths,) and at 
the rate of 62 doppia to the pound; the piece being valued at 3-15 scudi. Of late 
years, these coins were at a premium of two per cent, upon their lawful value. 

The silver coins were of six denominations ; the scudo, which is also the integral 
money of account, and is divided into ten paoli (pauls) or 100 bajocchi (cents) ; the 
half-scudo, the testone or testoon of three pauls, the quinto of two pauls, the paul of 
ten bajocchi, and the half-paul. These were by law eleven-twelfths fine, except the 
smallest piece, which was lOii parts in 12. The weight was at the rate of 12-83 
scudi to the pound.t 

The coins of the republic were, a large gold piece, weighing near 59 grammes, or 910 
troy grains, and five-sixths (833 thousandths) fine, called the scudo d'oro ; and a silver 
scudo, of the same weight as the papal coinage, but reduced to the French standard 
of fineness. This coinage, as it was short-lived, is doubtless extremely scarce, even 
where it belonged. 

In 1835, under the present Pope, the coinage was thoroughly remodelled, and 
placed upon a decimal system, both as to its divisions and fineness. The gold 
coins are the pieces of ten and five scudi, the larger piece weighing by law 
17-356 grammes (267-7 troy grains), the smaller in proportion, and both nine-tenths 
fine. The silver coins are of the same denominations as before ; the scudo being of 
the weight of 26-898 grammes (415 troy grains), and the smaller pieces in propor- 
tion ; the fineness is nine-tenths.^: Hence, at the full rates, the gold piece of ten 
scudi would be worth #10 37 6 in our money ; the silver scudo, 100-6 cents. It will 
thus be seen that the Romish coins assimilate in many respects with those of 
the United States, the scudo and bajocco corresponding closely with our dollar and 
cent ; but the ten-scudi is somewhat better than our eagle, owing to the higher 
relative valuation of gold in the United States. 

The city and district of Bologna constitute a sort of republic within and under the 
papal jurisdiction, and possessing a distinct right of coinage. The gold and silver 
coins of Bologna are of the same denominations and value as those of Rome, except 
that from 1795 to 1797 (perhaps later) a scudo was coined by the "people and 
senate of Bologna" of different alloy from the ordinary scudo of ten pauls, and of 

* The libbra, according to Kelly, is equal to 5234 troy grains. 

t Letter of the U. S. Consul at Rome to the Treasury Department, March 1834, with a statement from the 
papal mint. 
I Becher's Ost. Munz., ii. 192. This author mentions also the leonine, of 4-40 scudi, a gold piece, coined since 1825, 



108 



ROME. 



somewhat greater value. The coins of Bologna are distinguished by the abbrevia- 
tions Bon. or Bonon., and sometimes by the Latin name Bononia, in full. We are 
not sure that this coinage has been renewed since the revolutionary times at the close 
of the last century. (See Plate XIV.) 



GOLD COINS. 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


EEI6N. 


WEIGHT. 
GRS. 


FINENESS. 
THOUS. 


VALUE. 
D. C. M. 


Sequin . 


1775-83 


Pius VI. 


52-5 


996 


2 25 2 


Doppia . 


1777-86 


do. 


84 


906 


3 27 8 


do. . 


1800* 


Pius VII. 


84-5 


901 


3 27 9 


Gold scudo 


1799 


Republic.! 


910 


833 


32 64 6 


Ten scudi 


1836 


Gregory XVI. 


267-5 


900 


10 36 8 


Five scudi 


1835 


do. 


134 


900 


5 19 4 



SILVER COINS. 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


REIGN. 


WEIGHT. 
GES. 


FINENESS. 
THOUS. 


VALUE. 
D. C. M. 


Scudo 


178Q 


Pius VI. 


408 


913 


1 00 4 


Half scudo 






1775-85 


do. 


203 


913 


49 9 


Testoon 






1796 


do. 


120-5 


913 


29 6 


Paul 






1775 


do. 


40 


913 


9 8 


Scudo 






1799 


Republic. 


408 


899 


98 8 


do. 






1800-02 


Pius VII. 


408 


913 


1 00 4 


do. 






1815 


do. 


408-5 


925 


1 01 8 


Testoon 






1830 


Sede vacante. 


122 


925 


30 4 


Scudo 






1831-34 


Gregory XVI. 


408 


925 


1 01 7 


do. 






1835 


do. 


415 


900 


1 00 6 


Scudo 






1782 


Pius VI. for Bologna. 


408 


913 


1 00 4 


do. . 






1797 


Senate of Bologna. 


456 


842 


1 03 4 



* This coin bears no date ; we assume 1800. 

t From Bonneville. Kelly gives the gold scudo of the republic, as weighing 408 grains, (same as the silver scudo,) 
and 900 thousandths fine; which would make $15 81 in value. 






RUSSIA. 



109 



RUSSIA. 

During seven reigns, from Peter the Great to Peter III. (1685-1762), the coins of 
Russia, both gold and silver, seem to have been in a fluctuating state as to their 
composition and intrinsic value. In the second year of the Empress Catharine II. 
(1763), a settled system was adopted, which remained in force until 1799, the third 
year of her immediate successor, Paul I. The alterations made by him were only in 
the silver, and those merely increasing the fineness and reducing the weight, without 
changing the intrinsic value. This alteration was confirmed by the ukase of 
Alexander I. in 1801. But by another monetary edict of the same Emperor, in 1810, 
the small silver coins were changed back to the old rates, so that while the rouble 
and its half were of the better alloy, the smaller pieces were of a worse, though of 
due weight to keep up their intrinsic value. In 1813 the small coins were restored 
to their former rates, and made uniform with the larger pieces. The ukase of 1817 
seems to have been only confirmatory of former provisions. 

In 1828 (third year of Nicholas, reigning Emperor,) a decree was promulgated for 
the coinage of platinum, in pieces of three roubles ; in the following year, the 
denomination of six roubles, and in 1830 the piece of twelve roubles, were further 
ordered* 

In 1832 a silver coinage was projected, which was calculated to make a stronger 
bond of union between Russia and its dependency, Poland. The Russian rouble 
and the Polish zloty are in such a relation that one and a half of the former are 
equal to ten of the latter ; a relation not forced, but of long standing. To facilitate 
the intercourse of the two nations, therefore, a series of coins was decreed, suitable 
for the currency of each, bearing Russian and Polish inscriptions ; of which the ten- 
zlotych piece is the principal. 

By ukase of 1834 the gold piece of three roubles or twenty zlotych was added to 
the coinage, to serve both for Russian and Polish currency. 

The following are the existing legal standards of weight and fineness of the 
various denominations of gold, platinum, and silver coin. 

* This metal was discovered by Wood, an assayer in Jamaica, in the year 1741. Its chief localities are Brazil, 
Colombia, St. Domingo, and Russia ; the produce of the latter country greatly exceeds that of all the others, amounting 
to 1800 kilogrammes annually. (Chaudet— Ure.) It has all the properties which should classify it as a precious 
metal, but as it cannot be melted by furnace heat, and can only be wrought by welding, it is scarcely fit for the 
purposes of coinage, and therefore the example of Russia in this matter has been nowhere followed. We have seen 
no Russian piece of later date than 1837. 

28 



HO RUSSIA. 

Of gold there are three denominations ; the imperial, of ten roubles, the half- 
imperial, and the three-rouble piece. Of the first, none have been coined since the 
reign of Catharine II.; and the last was introduced in 1834. The legal weight of 
the imperial, since 1763, is 3A solotniks (201-75 troy grains), and the smaller pieces 
in proportion* The legal fineness is 88 sol. or 917 thousandths.f 

Ducats were coined as late as the reign of Paul I., of a variable weight, and 
fineness somewhat inferior to the German rate. There were also in the last 
century, some very small gold pieces of the imperial standard. 

Of platinum there are three denominations, of twelve, six, and three roubles. 
The largest should weigh 9 sol. 68 dol. (638 grains), and the others in proportion. 
They are professedly of " pure Oural platinum," the truth of which is confirmed by 
their specific gravity, which is 21. As this metal is scarce and of unsteady price, it 
is interesting to know what valuation has been found most expedient for it in 
Russia. The equivalent of one rouble in pure gold, in that country, is 18-5 grains; 
of the same in pure platinum, 53-16 grains; of the same in pure silver, 277-4 
grains. Consequently platinum is there held to be worth S\ times as much as silver, 
and gold three times as much as platinum. In actual weight, the pieces of six and 
three roubles correspond with the legal rate. 

Of silver there are ten denominations, of which six are Russian proper, and four 
Russian-Polish. The Russian are, the rouble of 100 copecks, its half, quarter, fifth, 
tenth, and twentieth; otherwise called the pieces of 50, 25, 20, 10, and 5 copecks. 
The Russian-Polish are, the 10 zlotych or 1£ roubles, the 5 zl. or § roub., the piece 
of 2 zl. or 30 cop., and the zloty, or 15 cop. piece. The standard fineness is 83£ sol. 
(868 thousandths), and the weight of the rouble 4fJ sol. or 319-6 grains, the others 
in proportion. The mint-price of gold, whether in bars or in coin, as established in 
1817, is 355 silver copecks for one solotnik fine; of silver, 22| cop. for one pound 
fine. 

The amount of coinage in late years cannot be ascertained. In the time of 
Alexander I., from 1801 to 1811, the gold coinage is stated at nine millions of 
roubles. The platinum coinage from April 1828 to May 1832 amounted to 1500 
pieces of 12 r., 11,600 pieces of 6 r., and 203,700 pieces of 3 r.% 

Russia is rich in mines of the precious metals. The whole product of gold, for ten 

* The Russian pound contains 96 solotniks; the sol. contains 96 dolie. There is some difficulty in determining the 
equivalent of this pound. By the ukase of Alexander, in 1815, it was declared that a Cologne mark is equal to 54|- 
sol , (see Becher, art. Russland,) which makes the pound answer to 6319*4 troy grains. According to Baron Humboldt, 
in a late essay, (Karsten's Archiv. for 1839,) the pound is deduced to be 6312-5 grains, and this is the equivalent given 
by the U. S. Consul at St. Petersburg, A. P. Gibson, Esq., in a letter to the Treasury Department of July 1839. We 
feel justified in taking the basis of the Consul and of Baron H., as the more recent and direct. We are indebted to 
Mr. Gibson for specimens of coin. 

t Absolute fineness is expressed by 96 solotniks ; the sol. is divided into sixths. { Becher's Oest. Munz. 



RUSSIA. 



Ill 



years ending with 1838, was at an annual average of 375 poods, or about four 
millions of dollars in our money. The product of silver has not been ascertained 
here later than 1828; for five years previous it had averaged 3000 poods annually, 
which is about two millions of dollars. The amount of platinum in 1836 was 118 
poods, or 62,180 troy ounces, but the annual average is stated to be 57,900 ounces, 
which, at $6 80 the ounce, makes a yearly return of near $400,000* 

Until very recently, accounts were stated in Russia in the paper rouble, worth a 
little over twenty cents in our money. When this paper money was created (reign of 
Catharine II.) it was equivalent to silver ; the repayment being guaranteed by a 
pledge of the crown property, which is very extensive. The issues however were 
carried to so vast an amount, that at the era of the invasion of Napoleon, the paper 
rouble had fallen to less than one franc. It recovered somewhat from that extreme 
depression ; but by a late ukase of Nicholas I., the effect of which was to terminate 
on the first day of January 1840, 3 \ roubles in paper were valued at one of silver. 
It was also decreed, that from the same date all accounts and contracts should be 
stated in the silver valuation, and foreign exchanges were henceforth to be quoted on 
that basis only. Gold coins were to be received and paid in all government offices 
with an agio of three per cent. ; that is, the imperial will be reckoned as equal to 
10-30 silver roubles.t 






GOLD COINS. 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


REIGN. 


WEIGHT. 
GRS. 


FINENESS. 
THOUS. 


VALUE. 
D. C. M. 


Imperial 


1756 


Elizabeth. 


253 


915 


9 97 


Double rouble 




1756 


do. 


50 


915 


1 97 


Imperial 




1762 


Catharine II. 


253 


915 


9 97 


do. . 






1766-81 


do. 


199 


915 


7 84 2 


Rouble . 






1779 


do. 


19 


915 


74 9 


Half do. . 






1777 


do. 


9-5 


915 


37 5 


Ducat 






1798 


Paul I. 


66 


969 


2 75 4 


Half-imperial 






1839 


Nicholas I. 


100-5 


917 


3 96 9 


Three roubles 






1838 


do. 


60-5 


917 


2 38 9 



+ See Appendix. 



f London Courier, July 1830. 



112 



SARDINIA. 



SILVER COINS. 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


REIGN. 


WEIGHT. 
GES. 


FINENESS. 
TIIOUS. 


VALUE. 
D. C. M. 


Rouble 


1724 


Peter the Great. 


432 


729 


84 8 


do. . 


1725 


Catharine I. 


418 


736 


82 9 


do. . 


1750 


Elizabeth. 


398 


792 


84 9 


do. . 


1775 


Catharine II. 


360 


757 


73 4 


do. . 


1799 


Paul I. 


323 


870 


75 7 


do. . 


1801-14 


Alexander I.* 


318 


875 


75 


Half do. 


1811-19 


do. 


158 


875 


37 2 


Twenty copecks 


1802 


do. 


62 


875 


14 6 


do. 


1810 


do. 


72 


760 


14 7 


do. 


1813 


do. 


63 


877 


14 9 


Rouble 


1837-38 


Nicholas I. 


320 


875 


75 4 


Ten zlot. 


1835 


do. 


486 


871 


1 14 


Five zlot. 


1838 


do. 


236 


871 


55 4 


Half rouble . 


1837 


do. 


160-5 


875 


37 8 


Quarter do. . 


18.36 


do. 


80 


880 


19 


Thirty cop. . 


1838 


do. 


94 


872 


22 1 


Twenty cop. 


1837-39 


do. 


65 


875 


15 3 


Ten cop. 


1839 


do. 


32-5 


875 


7 7 


Five cop. 


1834-38 


do. 


16 


875 


3 8 



SARDINIA. 



Previous to the French invasion in 1792, the Sardinian monarchy comprised the 
states of Piedmont, Savoy and Nice, and the island of Sardinia. In 1 796, by the 
treaty of Paris, Savoy and Nice were annexed to the French Republic, and Piedmont 

* The silver coins botli of Alexander and Nicholas are very unsteady in weight. The roubles of the former vary 
from 309 to 323 grains; the 10 zl. of the latter are from 482 to 492 grains. The fineness runs from 871 to 882 thou- 
sandths ; the Russian coin seems slightly better than the Polish-Russian. 



SARDINIA. 



113 



became the Sub-Alpine Republic, or Eridania. The King took refuge in the island. 
which alone was left to him. In 1802 this prince was succeeded by Victor Emanuel ; 
and in the same year the Sub-Alpine Republic was suppressed, and the territories 
united to France. Affairs remained in this condition until the deposal of Napoleon 
in 1314, when the King recovered his continental states, with the addition of the 
City and Duchy of Genoa. Since that date the political order of Sardinia has not 
been changed. 

The following is the order of succession. Charles Emanuel III. reigned from 1730 
to 1773; Victor Amadeus III. to 1796; Charles Emanuel IV. to 1802; Victor 
Emanuel to 1821 ; Charles Felix to 1831 ; Charles Albert, reigning sovereign. 

The obsolete standards need no notice ; the corresponding coins are given in the 
tables. The French system was adopted for Eridania in 1800, and since the restora- 
tion in 1814 has been continued ; the coins being of 80, 40, and 20 lire or francs, in 
gold, and 5, 2, 1, 4, and ^ lira, in silver. The larger pieces are frequently found 
among French coins, and are considered interchangeable with them ; but the gold is 
scarcely equal in fineness. 

The ancient Duchy of Genoa now constitutes a part of the Sardinian monarchy. 
This state coined its own money for centuries before the French invasion. In 1798, 
having been converted into the Ligurian Republic, it issued gold and silver coins, 
bearing the new title ; the gold pieces were the Genovine of 96 lire, and its half; 
the silver were the scudo of 8 1. and its half, with smaller denominations. Assays of 
these will be given in the tables. Genoa retained its right of coinage after the 
annexation to Sardinia in 1814 ; but we have seen only the small piece of 10 soldi or 
half-lira, in silver, of that year ; whether there has been any more recent coinage has 
not been ascertained here. 

GOLD COINS. 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


GOVERNMENT. 


WEICHT. 
GES. 


FINENESS. 
THOUS. 


VALUE. 
D. C. M. 


Pistole 


1773 


Victor Amadeus. 


148 


905 


5 76 8 


Carlino (island) 


1773 


do. 


247 


890 


9 46 7 


Pistole . 


1786 


do. 


139 


905 


5 41 8 


do. . 


1797 


Charles Emanuel IV. 


139 


905 


5 41 8 


Marengo 


1800 


Republic. 


98 


898 


3 79 


Twenty lire 


1815-21 


Victor Emanuel. 


99 


898 


3 82 9 


Eighty lire 


1821-31 


Charles Felix. 


398 


898 


15 39 2 



29 



114 



SAXONY. 



GOLD COINS (continued). 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


GOVERNMENT. 


WEIGHT. 
GKS. 


FINENESS. 
THOUS. 


VALUE. 
D. C. M. 


Forty lire 


1821-31 


Charles Felix. 


198 


898 


7 65 7 


Twenty lire 


1831-36 


Charles Albert. 


99-5 


898 


3 84 8 


Genovine 


1798 


Ligurian Republic (Genoa). 


388 


908 


15 17 2 


Half do. 


1798 


do. 


193 


908 


7 54 7 



SILVER COINS. 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


OOVEKNMENT. 


WEIGHT. 
GKS. 


FINENESS. 
THOUS. 


VALUE. 
D. C. M. 


Scudo 


1773 


Victor Amadeus. 


540 


906 


1 31 8 


do. (island) 






1773 


do. 


361 


896 


87 1 


Five francs 






1800 


Republic. 


384 


892 


92 3 


Five lire 






1815-21 


Victor Emanuel. 


385 


902 


93 5 


do. . 






1821-31 


Charles Felix. 


385 


902 


93 5 


do. . 






1831-36 


Charles Albert. 


385 


902 


93 5 


Scudo 






1796 


Republic of Genoa. 


512 


889 


1 22 6 


Lira 






1794 


do. 


62 


889 


14 8 


Scudo 






1798 


Ligurian Republic. 


512 


885 


1 22 



SAXONY. 

Sachsen. 

This country, one of the principal states of Germany, was an electorate until 
1807, in which year it was advanced to the rank of a kingdom. The chain of 
monarchical succession of late years has been as follows : Frederick Augustus I., 
Elector of Saxony and King of Poland, reigned from 1694 to 1733. Frederick 



SAXONY. 



115 



Augustus II. to 1763. Frederick Christian succeeded in 1763, and died in the same 
year, after a reign of a few months. Coins were, however, struck with his effigy. 
Frederick Augustus III. became Elector at the age of thirteen years, maintained his 
place during the eventful period of French ascendancy, and terminated his career 
in 1827, after a reign of sixty-four years. Having espoused the cause of Napoleon, 
he was, in 1807, advanced to the royal rank in his own dominion, and made chief of 
the newly-created Duchy of Warsaw. Upon the Emperor's downfal in 1814, the 
Polish territory was restored to Russia, and the Saxon dominions curtailed by cessions 
to Prussia. Anthony, brother of the last monarch, reigned from 1827 to 1836. 
Frederick Augustus IV., nephew of Anthony, was made co-regent in 1830, succeeded 
to the throne in 1836, and is the reigning sovereign. 

Saxony, being one of the northern states, keeps accounts in thalers and groschen. 
Until very recently, this thaler of account (called also the thaler current) was 
reckoned at 13J pieces to the Cologne mark fine, equivalent to 72-9 cents in our 
money, and was divided into 24 good groschen ; but it is now at the Prussian or new 
convention-rate of 14 to the mark, which reduces the value to 694 cents, and is 
divided into 30 new or silver groschen, as in Prussia. The thaler of account is now 
represented in the coinage. 

The gold coins consist of two classes : the ducat, and the Augustd'or of five 
thalers, with its double and half. The silver coins may also be divided into two 
classes : the first consisting of the species-thaler and its divisions, upon the basis of 
the convention of 1 753, which was adopted in Saxony ten years after ; the second 
consisting of the thaler and parts thereof, according to the convention of 1838. 
For the legal standards of all these, see Germany. 

The annual coinage at Dresden is near half a million of thalers, equal to $340,000 
of our money ; only one-thirteenth of this is in gold. The silver mines of Saxony 
produce a steady average of 65,500 marks annually, or more than $600,000 of our 
money.* 

The independent dukedoms of Saxony rely for the most part on the coins of 
Prussia for their currency, except in small denominations, or scheide-miinze, which 
each prince coins for his own territory. However, there were convention-dollars 
struck in 1813 and 1815, by Charles Augustus, late Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar ;t 
and the same in 1829, by Ernest, reigning Duke of Saxe-Coburg. 

* See Appendix. We are indebted to the attentions of Dr. John G. Flugel, U. S. Consul at Leipsic, for specimen 
coins, with ample details concerning them. 

t The coin of 1815 bears no head, nor name of the sovereign, but only the legend Grosherzagthum Sachsen — 
"Grand-duchy of Saxony;" so that it requires some extraneous information to decide whence it emanated. Its 
standards are different from the usual rates, but they result in the same value. 



116 



SAXONY. 



GOLD COINS. 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


REIGN. 


WEIGHT. 
GKS. 


FINENESS. 
THOUS. 


VALUE. 
D. C. M. 


Double Augustd'or . 


1784-1800 


Fred. Augustus III. (Elector). 


204-5 


896 


7 89 1 


do. 


1808-17 


do. (Iving.) 


204-5 


896 


7 89 1 


do. 


1826 


do. 


205 


898 


7 92 8 


Double Antond'or 


1830-36 


Anthony. 


205 


900 


7 94 6 


Ducat 


1830 


do. 


53-7 


979 


2 26 4 


Double Augustd'or . 


1837 


Frederick Augustus IV. 


205 


900 


7 94 6 



SILVER COINS. 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


REIGN. 


WEIGHT. 
GHS. 


FINENESS. 
THOUS. 


VALUE. 
D. C. M. 


Species-thaler . 


1763 


Frederick Augustus II. 


428 


842 


97 1 


do. . 






1763 


Frederick Christian. 


430 


839 


97 2 


do. . 






1764-1806 


Frederick Augustus III. 


431 


835 


96 9 


do. . 






1808-16 


do. 


432 


835 


97 1 


do. . 






1815 


Grosherz. Sachsen (Weimar). 


477 


755 


97 


do. . 






1818-26 


Frederick Augustus III. 


430 


834 


96 6 


Half do. . 






1813-26 


do. 


214 


833 


48 


Quarter do. 






1800-02 


do. 


107 


838 


24 2 


Sixth do.* 






1803-10 


do. 


83 


537 


12 


Species-thaler 






1828-36 


Anthony. 


432 


834 


97 


Quarter do. 






1830 


do.f 


126 






New thaler 






1839 


Frederick Augustus IV. 


344 


750t 


69 5 


Piece of two new groschen 


1841 


do. 


46 


310 


3 8 


Piece of one new groschen 


1841 


do. 


32 


230 


2 



* " VI. einen Thaler" means six to the dollar current, not to the specie or convention-dollar, of which it is only the 
eighth part. 

f Not assayed. From the increase of weight it seems the standard fineness of the quarter (Achtzig einefeina march), 
was reduced in the reign of Anthony. 

J Fineness assumed. 



SIERRA LEONE — SPAIN. ]] 7 



SIERRA LEONE. 

This colony was founded in 1787, on the western coast of Africa, by a company 
under charter of the British government. Silver coins were struck for it in 1791, and 
again in 1796; probably none of later date. The denominations were, the dollar of 
ten macutas, the half-dollar, the twenty cent, and the ten cent piece or one macuta. 
In weight, these correspond pretty nearly with the usual dollar standard, but the 
fineness is greatly below. A half-dollar, tried here, was found to weigh 204 grains, 
and to be 834 thousandths fine ; value 46 cents. This coinage bears no relation to 
the series of macuta coins struck for the Portuguese colonies in West Africa. (See 
Portugal, note.) 



SPAIN. 

Espana. 

Thirty years ago, an exposition of Spanish moneys would have occupied the 
principal place in a work like the present. The Spanish dollar and doubloon were 
familiarly known at the ports of every continent, and every where formed the bulk 
of the material for minting. But this famous coinage has sunk into insignificance 
since the loss of the American colonies, whence the pillar dollars and most of the 
doubloons emanated. The Spanish-American coinage began to decline in the year 
1810; about 1822 it entirely ceased, or rather underwent a transition from royal to 
republican. (See Mexico, Peru, &c.) The Peninsular coinage is of course continued, 
but is not often seen in this region. 

The Spanish system of moneys is still important to an American reader. It is 
from the Spanish dollar that the unit of our national coinage is derived; and its 
divisions, though greatly depreciated by wear, continue to circulate largely in this 
country, and exercise a greater influence upon prices than our own small coins* 

To obtain a satisfactory view of Spanish moneys, the succession of monarchs 

* The prices of small things, and even postages, are adjusted to the awkward sums of 12{ and 6.J cents, rather than 
the easy decimals 10 and 5. The mints are fast supplying the country with dimes and half-dimes, but the exigency 
continues so great, that in the southern and western States these are interchangeable with the real and medio, or 
eighth and sixteenth of .the Spanish dollar. 

30 



118 SPAIN. 

should be kept in view. Upon the death of Charles II., the country was torn by the 
strife of various princes for the throne. The chief competitors were Philip V. (who 
was eventually successful) and Charles III. of Austria, afterwards the Emperor 
Charles VI. of Germany ; and their contest is celebrated in history as the War of 
the Spanish Succession. From 1707 to 1712 there were cotemporary sets of 
pistareens and halves, of the respective claimants. After 1712, and until 1746, the 
name of Philip appears on the coin, with the exception of the single year of 1724, 
when a break occurred of a nature well suited to embarrass coin-collectors. In that 
year the monarch abdicated in favour of his son Louis, but before its expiration this 
prince died, and Philip resumed the reins of government. There are coins of that 
single date, bearing the name of Ludovicus. The successor of Philip was his son 
Ferdinand VI., who reigned until 1759. Charles III., hitherto VII. of Naples, and 
brother of Ferdinand, reigned until 1788, and was then succeeded by Charles IV., 
who abdicated in 1808 on behalf of his son Ferdinand VII. In this reign the 
coinage is again embarrassed by simultaneous suites with different devices, in 
consequence of the attempt to establish the Napoleon dynasty in Spain. The 
coins of Joseph bear date from 1809 to 1813. Ferdinand was fully re-established 
in 1814. His reign extended to 1833, after surviving a revolution at home (1820) 
and a series of reverses in America, by which the colonies were totally lost to his 
crown. Maria Isabella II. succeeded in 1833, at the age of three years, and with the 
aid of a regency is the reigning sovereign. 

The Spanish money of account, in which exchanges are quoted, consists of an 
imaginary dollar, (about three-fourths of the real dollar,) divided into 8 reals, of 16 
quartos or 34 maravedis each. 

In the coinage, the integral money is the real of 34 maravedis. There are three 
sorts of reals ; 1, the Mexican or Spanish- American, of which eight make a silver 
dollar; 2, the real of new plate (de plata nueva), of which ten are equal to a dollar; 
3, the real vellon, of twenty to the dollar. The recent coinage bears this last rate. 

In the gold coinage both of Spain and the colonies, there were the denominations 
of the doblon or doubloon, the half, the quarter or pistole, and the eighth or escudo. 
In Spain there was also a sixteenth, called veinten, coronilla, or gold dollar. The 
doubloon is valued at sixteen dollars. The following are the legal standards of this 
coin and its divisions. 

Before 1772, 22 carats or 917 thousandths fine ; 8| doubloons to a Castilian mark, 
or 418 troy grains to the dollar* 

From 1772 to 1785, 21 J carats or 896 thousandths ; same weight. 

Since 1785, 21 carats or 875 thousandths; same weight. 

* By referring to a note under Mexico, it will be seen that the Castilian mark is estimated at 3552 grains troy. 



SPAIN. 119 

In the silver coinage of Spanish America, the denominations were, the^eso duro, or 
hard dollar of eight reals, (commonly known as the pillar dollar,)* its half, quarter, 
eighth, sixteenth, and thirty-second parts. In the Peninsula, the coins were the 
dollar, formerly of ten reals, but now of twenty reals vellon, the half, the peseta or 
pistareen, which is one-fifth of the dollar, or four reals vellon, and the half and 
quarter pistareen. The legal fineness of all of these except the pistareen and its 
parts was, prior to 1772, 11 dineros, or 917 thousandths; since that date, 10 din. 20 
grains, or 903 thousandths ; the weight of the dollar to be the same as that of the 
doubloon. The standards of the pistareen and its parts are not so well ascertained, 
but it is believed that the full weight and fineness were as follows : Of the first class, 
1707 to 1712, (issued by the pseudo Charles III.,) the pistareen should weigh 83-6 
troy grains, at 11 din. or 917 thousandths fine. Of the second class, 1715 to 1771, 
commonly called the cross pistareen, weight 92-3 grains, fineness 10 din. or 833 
thousandths. Of the third class, since 1772, usually called the head pistareen, 92-3 
grains weight, and 9J| din. or 813 thousandths fineness. These last are distinguish- 
able from the preceding class, by having the head of the sovereign on the obverse. 

The gold coins, both of Spain and Spanish America, have the same devices, and 
are only to be separated by the initials of the mints, found in the legend. The silver 
coins are more obviously distinguished ; those of the Peninsula have on the reverse 
the national arms, inclosed in a shield, with the legend Hispaniarum Rex, or Rey de 
Espana ; while those of the colonies have the addition of two columns, and in the 
legend the King is styled Hisp. et Ind. Rex. 

The mints, with their respective marks, are (or have been) the following : in Spain, 
Madrid, designated by the letter M, crowned, and Seville, known by the letter S ; 
in America, Mexico, marked M°. ; Potosi, IP ; Santiago, S°. ; New Guatemala, NG. ; 
Lima, M. There were other mints of less note, especially in Mexican provinces, 
after the breaking out of the Revolution. (See Mexico.) 

In the colonies there have been several sorts of irregular coinage, especially those 
of the Mexican Revolution, which under the names of hammered and cast dollars, have 
been noticed under the head of Mexico. But there are some other kinds to be spoken 
of in this place. 

1. The first is the clumsy, shapeless coinage, both of gold and silver, called in 
Mexico muquina de papalote y cruz;']; and in this country by the briefer appellation of 
" cobs." These were of the lawful standards, or nearly so, but scarcely deserved the 
name of coin, being rather lumps of bullion flattened and impressed by a hammer ; 

* So called from the pillars on the reverse of the coin, which represent the pillars of Hercules, or the Straits of 
Gibraltar. In Morocco (across the Straits) they are called cannon dollars, from a pardonable misapprehension of the 
device and its meaning. 

f That is, "windmill and cross money;" the cross being of an unusual form, and not unlike the fan of a windmill. 



120 



SPAIN. 



the edge presenting every variety of form except that of a circle, and affording 
ample scope for the practice of clipping, Notwithstanding, they are generally 
found, even to this day, within a few grains of lawful weight. They are generally 
about a century old, but some are dated as late as 1770. They are distinguished by 
a large cross, of which the four arms are equal in length, and loaded at the ends ; 
the date generally omits the thousandth place, so that 736 (for example) is to be read 
1736. The letters plvsvltra (plus ultra) are crowded in, without attention to 
order. These coins were formerly brought here in large quantities for recoinage, 
but have now become scarce. 

2. Another rude coinage was issued at Caraccas, consisting of pesetas of two reals, 
or quarter dollars, of which, under the Spanish authority, we have observed the dates 
of 1781 to 1821 ; while from 1815 to 1821, like pieces were also issued by the 
patriots. They were of very reduced weight and fineness, as the tables will show ; 
as to workmanship, they are but a single grade beyond the cobs. 

3. During the troubles in the Peninsula, coins of one and five pesetas or pistareens 
were struck at Barcelona, bearing date 1809 to 1812. They bore the simple 
designation En Barcelona, and the value," without acknowledging any monarch. 
See a further notice in the table. 

4. In 1821 pieces of ten reals or half a dollar appeared, bearing the title of 
Ferdinand VII., and the word Resellado ("recoined") conspicuously in the reverse. 
The coin is entirely out of the regular series, both as to its devices and fineness. 

The amount of coinage at the Mint of Madrid for twenty years ending with 1841, 
was three and a half millions of dollars in gold, and two millions in silver ; making 
an average of both kinds of $275,000 annually. There is however a great variation 
in the yearly amounts of coinage* (See Plate VIII.) 



GOLD COINS. 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


REIGN. 


WEIGHT. 
GES. 


FINENESS. 
TIIOUS. 


VALUE. 
D. C. M. 


Cob doubloon . 


1733-44 


Philip V.f 


American. 


416 


895 


16 03 4 


Pistole 


1745 


do. 


Spanish. 


103 


909 


4 03 2 


Doubloon 


1751 


Ferdinand VI. 


American. 


416 


908 


16 26 5 


do. . 


1772-84 


Charles III4 


do. 


416 


893 


16 00 



* Statement from the mint, procured by Hon. A. Vail, U. S. Charge d'Affaires at Madrid. This does not include 
Seville. See Appendix, 
f Some of these weigh only 408 grains, and the fineness varies from S93 to 898. 
\ Fineness varies from 895 to 883 ; the oldest pieces being the best. 



SPAIN. 



121 



GOLD COINS (continued). 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


BEIGN. 


WEIGHT. 
GES. 


FINENESS. 

TIIOUS. 


VALUE. 
D. C. M. 


Half-doubloon 


1780-82 


Charles III. 


Spanish. 


206 


896 


7 95 


Pistole . 




1774-82 


do. 


American. 


103 


895 


3 97 


Doubloon 






1786-88 


do. 


Spanish. 


416 


870 


15 58 7 


Escudo . 






1786-88 


do. 


American. 


52 


874 


1 95 7 


Doubloon 






1789-1808 


Charles IV. 


American.* 


416-5 


868 


15 57 


Half do. 






1789-1808 


do. 


do. 


208 


870 


7 79 3 


Escudo . 






1789-1808 


do. 


Various. 


52 


868 


1 94 4 


Doubloon 






1811-21 


Ferdinand VII. 


American.! 


416-5 


868 


15 57 


Half do. 






1810-24 


do. 


Spanish. 


208 


865 


7 74 8 


Pistole . 






1813-22 


do. 


do. 


104 


872 


3 90 6 


Escudo . 






1809-20 


do. 


American. 


52 


851 


1 90 6 



SILVER COINS. 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


EEIGN. 


WEIGHT. 
GBS. 


FINENESS. 
THOUS. 


VALUE. 
D. C. M. 


Cob dollar 


1736-70 


Philip V. ; Charles III. Amer4 


410 


915 


1 01 


Dollar . 






1731-32 


Philip V. Spanish. 


410 


910 


1 00 6 


Pistareen 






1707-12 


Charles, Pretender. 


70 


900 


17 


do. . 






1715-37 


Philip V. 


81 


833 


18 2 


do. . 






1724 


Louis. 


75 


833 


16 8 


Globe dollar 






1736-46 


Philip V. American. 


411 


910 


1 00 8 


do. . 






1746-59 


Ferdinand VI. do. 


411 


910 


1 00 8 


Quarter do. 






1746-59 


do. do. 


100 


910 


24 5 


Globe dollar 






1759-71 


Charles III. do. 


411 


910 


1 00 8 


Pistareen 






1759-71 


do. 


85 


826 


18 9 



* Weight varies (in pieces little worn) from 414 to 418 grains, 
f Weight varies ftom 412 to 419 grains. One grain makes a difference of 33 cents. 
{ Fineness varies from 913 to 922 grains. 

31 



122 



SPAIN. 



SILVER COINS (continued). 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


EEIGN. 


WEIGnT. 
GRS. 


FINENESS. 
THOUS. 


VALUE. 
D. C. JI. 


Dollar . 


1772-88 


Charles III. Spanish. 


412 


900 


99 8 


Half do. 






1772-88 


do. do. 


205 


900 


49 7 


Pillar dollar 






1772-1808 


Charles III. and IV. Amer.* 


413 


898 


99 8 


Half do. 






1772-1808 


do. do. 


204 


898 


49 3 


Pistareen 






1772-1808 


do.t 


85 


813 


18 6 


Half do. 






1772-1808 


do. 


41 


813 


9 


Pillar dollar 






1808-25 


Ferdinand VII. American.^ 


414 


898 


1 00 1 


Dollar . 






1808-21 


do. Spanish. 


414 


900 


1 00 4 


do. 






1809-13 


Joseph Napoleon. do. 


415 


900 


1 00 6 


Pistareen 






1808-33 


Ferdinand VII. 


87 


S13 


19 1 


1 






1835-37 


Isabella II. 


90-5 


810 


19 7 


Quarter dollar 




1772-1821 


Various; from our circulation. 


97 


898 


23 5 


Eighth, or real 




1772-1821 


do. do. 


46 


898 


11 1 


Sixteenth, or medio 




1772-1821 


do. do. 


21 


898 


5 1 


Quarter real . 




1796-1816 


do. American. 


12 


898 


2 9 


Two reals 




1781-1821 


do. Caraccas. 


74 


690 


13 8 


Five pesetas 




1809-11 


Barcelona coinage. 


404 


896 


97 5 


Ten reals 




1821 


Resellado. 


208 


920 


51 5 



* Fineness from 897 to 903. Parcels may average 900. 

f Pistareens were formerly abundant in our circulation, passing for 20 cents. In consequence of a report upon them, 
made by the Director of the Mint in 1827, they fell to 17 cents, but have now quite disappeared. The head pistareens 
were apt to be mistaken for quarters of a dollar. 

{ After the Peninsular Revolution of 1821, pillar dollars were struck for a short time at Madrid. They are easily 
distinguishable from the true pillar dollar. In fineness, Madrid pieces are occasionally found as high as 905. 



SWEDEN. ]23 



SWEDEN. 

Sverige. 



■to"- 



The currency of Sweden consists almost wholly of paper money, although there is 
a fair proportion of specie coined at the mint. 

The unit of metallic money is the species-daler of 48 schillings. Previous to 1830, 
it was coined at the rate of 71 pieces to the mark, (451-7 troy grains to the daler,) 
and 14 loths 1 grain (878 thousandths) fine. Its divisions were, the two-third and 
one-third, or plott, at the same fineness ; and pieces of one-sixth, one-twelfth, and 
one-twenty-fourth, of lower quality. By the law of 1830, the daler is now coined at 
Tilths of the pound, or 525 grains troy, and 750 thousandths fine, so that its value is 
not altered. Its present divisions are the one-half, one-quarter, one-eighth, and one- 
sixteenth, at the same fineness. 

The only gold coin is the ducat, of the usual weight, and 976 thousandths fine ; 
125 pieces being coined from a pound of fine gold. 

The amount of annual coinage is variable. In 1838 it was 850,000 specie dalers 
in silver, and 20,000 ducats in gold ; in the preceding year it was only half this 
sum* 

The silver mines at Sahla and Stora yield annually about 30,000 specie dalers. 

There are two sorts of paper money, Banco and Riksgald; the former issued by 
the National Bank, the latter by the Riksgald or Government Bank. The Banco is 
reckoned to be fifty per cent, better than the other.f Since 1829, the established 
rate has been 2jf riksdalers banco to one specie daler,:}: which would make the former 
equal to 40 cents of our money ; but it is sometimes not more than 35 cents, owing 
to fluctuations in exchange. The riksgald daler may therefore be estimated at 25 
cents, or one-fourth of our dollar. 

* Letter (with specimen coins) from C. F. Arpwedson, Esa., U. S. Consul at Stockholm, 
t Baird's Northern Europe. \ Becher, art. Schweden. 



124 



SWITZERLAND. 



GOLD AND SILVER COINS. 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


KEIGN. 


WEIGHT. 

GliS. 


FINENESS. 
THOUS. 


VALUE. 
D. C. M. 


Ducat 


1777 


Gustavus III. 


53 


977 


2 23 


do. , 


1799-1800 


Gustavus IV. Adolphus. 


53 


977 


2 23 


do. . 


1838 


Charles John XIV. 


54 


975 


2 26 7 


Specie daler 


1771-91 


Gustavus III. 


448 


880 


1 06 2 


One-third do. (plott) 


1784 


do. 


147 


875 


34 6 


Specie -daler 


1795-1801 


Gustavus IV. Adolphus. 


450 


880 


1 06 7 


One-sixth do. . 


1803-07 


do. 


95 


686 


17 6 


Specie daler 


1830-38 


Charles John XIV. 


525 


751 


1 06 2 


Half do. 


1831-32 


do. 


261 


751 


52 8 


One-quarter do. (12 schil.) 


1830-32 


do. 


131 


750 


26 5 


One-eighth do. (6 schil.) 


1832 


do. 


63 


750 


12 7 


One-sixteenth do. (3 schil.] 


1835-36 


do. 


31 


750 


6 3 



SWITZERLAND. 



Schweiz. 



Until near the close of the last century, this ancient republic consisted of a 
confederacy (Eidsgenossenschafi) of states or cantons, nineteen in number. In 1798, 
through the influence or power of the French Republic, the cantons were consoli- 
dated into one government, called the Helvetian Republic (Republik Helvetische) ; 
but after five years' duration, this constitution was dissolved, and the former system 
re-established. Subsequently, three new cantons were added to the confederacy ; so 
that the present number consists of twenty-two* 

* We annex the names of these in English and Swiss, and in some cases Latin also, as they appear on the coins ; an 
aid which the collector of coins will appreciate. 

1. Berne — Bern, Sw. — Respublica Bernensis, Lat. This is one of the central cantons, and is by far the most 
considerable, both as to size and population. 2. Zurich — Zurich, Sw. — Resp. Tigurina, or Turicensis, Lat. 
3. Vaud — Waadt, Sw. (The legend on the coins is in French.) 4. Lucerne — Luzern, Sw. — Resp. Lucernensis, 
Lat. 5. St. Gall — St. Gallen, Sw. 6. Ticino — Tessin, Sw. (Legend in Italian.) 7. Basle— Basel, Sw. — 



SWITZERLAND. 125 

Each of the cantons enjoyed, and used, the right of coinage, prior to the union of 
1798; from that date until 1803, coins were issued only in the name of the Helvetian 
Republic; but since 1803, the prerogative has reverted to the various cantons. 
Considering that the population of the entire confederacy does not exceed two 
millions, it could not be expected that the present work should detail the monied 
system of each district. This is the less called for, as, for more than ten years past, 
the cantons have stamped only the lowest denominations, (batzen and half-batzen ;) 
and as to gold, or large silver pieces, none have been issued for upwards of twenty- 
five years* Switzerland depends for its larger metallic currency upon France and 
Germany, the five franc piece and the crown-dollar being most usual. As to small 
pieces (scheidemiinze), the cantons are overrun with their mutual issues, as well as by 
an influx of billon money from the adjoining countries.t 

Previous to the revolution of 1798, the gold coins of the Swiss cantons were the 
ducat and pistole, with occasional issues of doubles of each. The ducats were very 
various as to value, though approaching to the imperial standard. (See Germany.) 
The pistole was coined upon the basis of the louisd'or of France, ordained in 1785. 
(See Fiance.) 

The principal silver coin was the ecu or crown, of 4 Swiss francs (franken), also 
divided into 40 batzen, or 400 rappen. The smaller pieces were the half-crown, the 
franc of 10 batzen, and the pieces of five and one batz. The ecu was of diflerent 
standards, but that of Berne, which was the most known, was 14J loths, or 905 
thousandths fine, and contained 26-5 grammes fine gold. Its full value in our money 
was 110 cents, making the Swiss franc 27-5 cents, or about 1^ francs of France. 

When the Helvetian Republic was established, the coinage of Berne was adopted 
as the basis for the new moneys, except that the fineness of the silver was reduced to 
the French standard of nine-tenths, and the weight increased proportionally. The 
gold pistole was already at that alloy in actual coinage. Upon the dissolution of this 
government in 1803, and the return to a confederacy, a law was enacted providing 
for a uniform system of moneys. The Swiss franc was declared to be equal to 8/<r 

Resp. Basileensis, Lat. 8. Friburg — Freyburg, Sw. 9. Soleure — Solothurn, Sw. — Resp. Solndorensis, Lat. 
10. Uri— same in Sw. — Resp. Urania, Lat. 11. Schweitz — Schwyz, Sw. — Resp. Suitensis, Lat. 12. Grisons — 
Graubundten, Sw. 13. Aaroau. 14. Unterwalden. 15. Glarus. 16. Thhrgau. 17. Schaffhausen. 18. 
Appenzell. 19. Zug. (These seven are named alike in Swiss and in English.) 20. Geneva — Genf, Sw.— Geneve, 
Fr. This was formerly a separate republic, but by the treaty of Vienna, in 1815, became one of the Swiss cantons; 
as also the two following: 21. Valais— Wallis, Sw. 22. Neufchatel— Neuenburg, Sw. This canton is under 
the dominion of the King of Prussia, without constituting a part of that nation. 

* Letter of J. G. Sghwarz, Esq., U. S. Consul at Vienna, June 1841. 

t Two tracts have recently appeared at Zurich, from the pen of M. Peslalozzi, bearing the significant titles, Vebtr 
die Landplage der fremden Scheidemiinze, &c— " On that scourge of the country, foreign small coins,"— and Die 
Mimzwirren der Westlichen Schioeiz—" The confusion of currency in West Switzerland." 1838-39. See also his 
Beytrage zur Schv. Munz., &c. Zurich, 1833. 

32 



126 SWITZERLAND. 

French grains of fine gold, or 12711 grains of fine silver. In the coinage, the pieces 
of one, two, and four francs were to be nine-tenths fine, and 32-58 francs to weigh a 
mark. For lower denominations, there were the five-batzen, two-thirds (667 thou- 
sandths) fine, and 54 pieces to the mark; the batzen, one-sixth (167 thousandths) 
fine, and 90 to the mark ; besides smaller pieces of still baser alloy. In 1818 another 
system was established ; the franc was reduced to 8tV French grains in fine gold, 
or 125-25 grains in fine silver* A tariff of foreign coins was added, by which the 
French five franc piece was made current at 35-75 batzen; the twenty franc at. 
135 batzen ; German crowns at 33-5 batzen. 

As it respects the monetary system, it would hence appear that there is sufficient 
uniformity and simplicity ; in the manufacture of the coin there is greater latitude. 
But it is in the moneys of account that the greatest diversity consists ; and this is so 
great as to deter any one but a Swiss from studying the subject. The Swiss florins 
and livres are as multifarious as the imaginary pounds of our own States before their 
independence. It is sufficient to state that the German cantons (which compose the 
great body of the union) reckon, 1, in the Swiss franc or livre, divided into 10 batzen, 
or 100 rappen ; this livre being worth at present 1-47 French francs, or 27-34 
cents of the United States — 2, in gulden, or florins, divided into 40 schillings or 60 
kreutzers — otherwise into 15 batzen of 4 kreutzers. These florins are very various, 
being from 20 to 27 pieces to the Cologne mark fine.t At Berne, the principal 
canton, the florin is at 23-375 to the fine mark, or 41-4 cents per florin in our 
money.J At Zurich, the florin corresponds!* to 2-35 French francs, or 43-7 cents of 
the United States.§ In the French cantons, (Geneva, Vaud, Neufchatel,) accounts 
are kept in livres, divided into 20 sols or sous, and subdivided into 240 deniers. But 
the uniformity proceeds no further than the nomenclature. Thus in Geneva, (by law 
of 1826,) the livre is at the rate of 32^ to the Cologne mark of fine silver; and 
there is also a mode of accounting by florins of 12 sous, or 144 deniers. One livre 
is equal to 3J florins. In Vaud, the livre is at 35 to the fine mark. In Neufchatel, 
the livre is at 35^ ; but there is also a livre faible, of which 2£ are equal to the 
former. In the Italian canton, Ticino, 79J lire are equal to a mark of fine silver.|| 

* Becher, i. 218. In our terms, this makes 6-64 troy grains of fine gold, equal to 28'58 cents ; or 102-67 grains fine 
silver, equal to 27-64 cents. 
f Andreits. I Becher. 5 Note from Zurich, 1841. 

|| A Cologne mark of fine silver is worth $9 72 12 in United States' money. 



SWITZERLAND. 



127 



GOLD COINS. 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


GOVERNMENT. 


WEIGHT. 
GES. 


FINENESS. 
TUOUS. 


VALUE. 
D. C. M. 


Double Pistole 


1793 


' Berne. 


234 


900 


9 07 


Pistole 


1796 


do. 


116 


901 


4 50 1 


Ducat 


1794 


do. 


52-5 


974 


2 20 2 


do. 


No date. 


Basle. 


53 


943 


2 15 2 


Pistole . 


1795 


do. 


118 


891 


4 52 8 


do. 


1798 


Soleure. 


116 


898 


4 48 6 


do. 


1800 


Helvetian Republic. 


116 


897 


4 48 1 



SILVER COINS. 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


GOVERNMENT. 


WEIGHT. 
GRS. 


FINENESS. 
THOUS. 


VALUE. 
D. C. M. 


Ecu 


1790-94 


Zurich. 


390 


844 


88 7 


Eight batzen . 


1810 


do. 


113 






Ecu, forty batzen 


1795-98 


Berne. 


452 


903 


1 10 


Franken 


1797 


do. 


122 


833 


27 4 


do. . 


1811 


do. 


114' 






Five batzen 


1826 


do. 


67 


760 


13 7 


Two and a half do. 


1826 


do. 


31-5 


766 


6 5 


Batzen . 


1826 


do. 


31 


254 


2 1 


Four franken . 


1814 


Lucerne. 


453 






Ten batzen 


1812 


do. 


110 


904 


26 8 


Four franken . 


1801 


Helvetian Republic. 


452 


900 


1 09 6 


Genevoise, or ecu of 3 liv. 


1796 


Geneva. 


464 


868 


1 08 5 


Twenty-five cent. 


1839 


do. 


62 


252 


4 2 


Ten do. . 


1839 


do. 


49 


126 


1 7 


Ten batzen 


1823 


Vaud. 


112 


900 


27 1 


Five do. 


1813 


do. 


63 


666 


11 3 


Batzen . 


1831 


do. 


39 


164 


1 7 



128 



TRIPOLI. 



SILVER COINS (continued). 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


GOVERNMENT. 


WEIGHT. 
GES. 


FINENESS. 
THOCS. 


VALUE. 
D. C. M. 


Batzen . 


1828 


Freyburg. 


40 


167 


1 8 


Thaler . 


1763 


Basle. 


356 


833 


80 


Crown 


1795 


do. 


412 


840 


93 2 


Small piece 


No date. 


do* 


7-2 


53 


1 



TRIPOLI. 



Trabolus. 



This country, one of the Barbary Powers on the southern coast of the Mediter- 
ranean, is nominally a regency of the ,Ottoman Empire. It has its distinctive 
coinage, in no respect assimilated to that of the Sultan, except that it bears his 
name and titles in the impression, to the exclusion of those of the reigning Bashaw. 
The coins are unimportant in a commercial view, and of still less value as specimens 
of the art of minting ; but being extremely scarce on this side of the ocean, they are 
proportionably curious, and the few details we have to offer in relation to them may 
gratify amateur collectors. 

The mint law, or rather the instruction of the Bashaw to his coiners, as to the 
alloy and composition of the moneys, is, as in most Turkish countries, a state secret. 
The issue of coin is as often an expedient to raise money for the government, as to 
provide a currency for the people. A considerable parcel of coin having been struck 
at the mint, public criers proclaim the value at which it must be received, particu- 
larly as compared with some foreign coin, such as the Spanish or Austrian dollar. 
The people are compelled under severe penalties to accept the coin at its arbitrary 
valuation, until the issue in the possession of the Bashaw is expended, when the 
money is suffered to fall to its intrinsic value. 



* This coin bears only the letters Mori. Basil, (Moneta Basileensis.) It is the lowest alloy of silver, of any coin in 
the world. 



TRIPOLI. 129 

A notable instance of this policy was that of a pretended gold coin, issued by the 
late Youssuf Bashaw. In 1827, pieces called adlea, having a golden exterior, and 
weighing about forty grains troy, were forced upon the people as the equivalent of a 
dollar. In a few days they declined to the one-thirtieth of that amount, which was 
considered to be their real value. Having had an opportunity of testing their propor- 
tions here, we find the content to be 154 thousandths in silver, 9 in gold, and the 
remainder (837 thousandths) base metal. The gold was merely a thick gilding. 
After deducting expenses of parting, and obtaining therefrom merchantable gold and 
silver, one ounce (troy) of such coins would yield 34£ cents ; and a single piece 
would be worth nearly three cents. These oppressive measures of Youssuf were the 
principal cause of the revolution which led to his overthrow and abdication in 1832. 

The gold coin of Tripoli has for a long time disappeared, even from its own 
capital city. The latest date is A. H. 1233 (A. D. 1820), though the dies with this 
date were said to have been continued in use until 1829, with a view to impose an 
inferior coin into circulation. 

Of the silver or billon coin, there are two series of modern date. The first is that 
of Youssuf Bashaw, of the twenty-fifth year of Sultan Mahmoud II. (1832), consisting 
of the ghersh or piastre, and its divisions. The weight of the ghersh was 2£ meticals;* 
the alleged fineness was one-third, but our assays prove an habitual endeavour at 
one-fourth. The second series is that of Nedgib, his successor, consisting of the 
utchlilc of 1J piastres, or 120 paras, and its divisions. The utchlik weighs 3 J 
meticals, and its fineness is about the same as the ghersh. It therefore appears that 
the value of the piastre has been increased ; Youssuf 's was worth ten cents in our 
money, that of Nedgib is 12^ cents; nearly the same as in Tunis. Hence the 
Spanish dollar finds its equivalent at 800 paras, or aspers. This rate was, three 
years ago, fixed by authority ; but the edict became obsolete in a few weeks, and the 
coins were left to find their level in trade. 

In the Addenda to Kelly's Cambist, there is an assay of three silver coins of 
Tripoli dated in 1808, which were of considerably higher value, the piastre being 
then equal to eighteen cents. These specimens are given in the annexed table. 

Accounts are kept in Tripoli in piastres or ghersh, of 100 paras. (See Plate XV.) 

* The U. S. Consul at Tripoli, D. Smith M'Cauley, Esq., has taken pains to compare the onzia, a weight of 
Tripoli, with our troy weight; the result, together with specimens of coinage, were obligingly sent to this Mint, in 
October 1839. lie finds the onzia to be equal to 471 grains troy. The melical, or money weight, is equal to 6? parts 
of the onzia, or ounce, and is divided into 24 harooba; making the metical equivalent to 70'65 grains, and the haroob 
2-94 grains. Kelly's Cambist gives 72 grains as the weight of the metical, and states that there is a smaller weight of 
the same name, equal to 63 grains, used for bartering in gold dust. The metical appears to be the same as the Persian 
miscal. (See Persia.) 

33 



130 



TUNIS. 



SILVER COINS. 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


REIGN. 


WEIGHT. 
GRS. 


FINENESS. 
THOUS. 


VALUE. 
D. C. M. 


Ghersh, of 100 par. 


1223(1808) 


Mahmoud II. 


188 


354 


17 9 


Half do. . 


1223 


do. 


98 


306 


8 1 


Quarter do. 


1223 


do.* 


47 


308 


3 9 


Ghersh . 


1248(1832) 


do. (Youssuf, Bashaw.) 


153 


244 


10 


Half do. . 


1248 


do. do. 


78 


241 


5 1 


Quarter do. 


1248 


do. do. 


39 


246 


2 6 


Eighth do. 


1248 


do. do. 


20 


249 


1 3 


Utchlik, of 120 p. . 


1251 (1835) 


do. (Nedgib, Bashaw.) 


227 


245 


15 


Altmich, of 60 


1251 


do. do. 


116 


262 


8 2 


Boutleteen, of 30 


1251 


do. do. 


57 


241 


3 7 


Bouhamstash, of 15 


1251 


do. do. 


28-5 


245 


1 9 


Bousebbatash, of 7i 


1251 


do. do. 


13-5 


250 


9 



TUNIS. 



This country is nominally a dependency of Turkey, and allegiance is acknowledged, 
as in Egypt and Tripoli, by the inscription of the Sultan's name and titles upon the 
coin, without mention of the reigning Bey. The system of money is entirely distinct 
from that of the mother country. 

While this regency is reported to have made considerable advances in civilization, 
it must be owned that the coinage is an exception ; its fluctuations of value, and 
baseness of composition, show that it belongs to Barbary. The coins are scarcely 
seen in our part of the world, and are but slightly noticed in standard treatises.t 

The old piastre of Tunis (say of Selim III.) was of the intrinsic value of 25 cents, 

* These three pieces from Kelly were assayed in 1822, and probably were coined about that time. The date of 
A. H. 1223 only indicates the Sultan's accession ; the year of his reign is found on another part of the coin, and is to 
be added. See page 17, note. 

t We are indebted to S. D. Heap, Ess., late U. S. Consul at Tunis, for specimen coins, with accompanying- details. 



TUNIS. 



131 



or one-fourth of a Spanish dollar. In 1828 the Bey ordered a new coinage, of which 
the piastre was to pass for one-fifth of a dollar ; but its real value was not more than 
14 cents. The coins have since declined somewhat, so that at present the piastre is 
scarcely worth 13 cents. In fact, the coinage is regulated by no declared standard, 
but varies according to the secret instructions of the government. 

The arbitrary value set upon the piastre of 1828 gave rise, as might have been 
expected, to a profitable speculation for private coiners beyond the Mediterranean, as 
well as for the Bey himself. Quantities of counterfeit Tunisian piastres — if it be right 
to stigmatize them as such, since they were fully equal to the Bey's in value — were 
coined in Europe, and introduced into Tunis ; where, being exchanged at the rate of 
five to the dollar, they had the effect of driving good foreign coins out of circulation, 
and obliged the government to annul its decree. The piastres then fell to their true 
valuation, and so continue, except that the course of trade sometimes attaches to 
them a variable rate in commerce. For example, a failure in the crops of corn, oil, 
&c. will reduce the piastre to 70 or 80 French centimes, or 13 to 15 cents of the 
United States ; but when the harvests are abundant, the value (against foreign 
money) rises to 17 cents. 

Gold does not seem to have been coined for half a century past. 

Accounts are kept in piastres, divided into 52 aspers or burba, which are subdivided 
into 12 burbine. (See Plate XV.) 

GOLD AND SILVER COINS. 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


KEIGN. 


WEIGHT. 
GES. 


FINENESS. 
THOUS. 


VALUE. 
D. C. M. 


Half-sequin 


1187 (1773) 


Abdul Hamid, Sultan. 


19 


885 


72 4 


Piastre 


1202 (1787) 


do. 


238 


408 


26 1 


Double piastre 


1245 (1829) 


Mahmoud IT.* 


358 


270 


26 


Piastre . 


(1838-39) 


do. 


176 


263 


12 8 


Half do. 


(1828-29) 


do. 


90 


273 


6 5 


Quarter do. 


(1834-35) 


do. 


45 


270 


3 2 


Eighth do. 


(1824-26) 


do. 


21 


296 


1 7 


Sixteenth do. . 


(1837-39) 


do. 


11 


270 


8 



* There is a. great want of adjustment in the weight of these coins. Two double piastres, of A. H. 1245, differ 9 
grains from each other. The fineness of the coins, as shown by the table, varies from 263 to 296 thousandths. 
Probably three parts fine in ten, is the standard given by the Bey to his coiner. 



132 TURKEY. 



TURKEY. 

There is no monetary system so uncertain and fluctuating as that of Turkey. 
This may be seen by tracing the value of the ghersh* or piastre (the unit of Turkish 
money) for less than one century past. From the best data at command, it appears 
that in 1764 (reign of Mustapha III.) the piastre was worth sixty cents of our 
money ; in the next reign (Abdul Hamid), from 1774 to 1789, it was at forty cents ; 
in the reign of Selim III., which extended to 1807, it was farther reduced to twenty- 
six cents ; during the government of Mahmoud II. it fell, in 1818, to eighteen, in 
1823 to twelve, the next year to eight, in 1827 to six, and in 1832 to three cents 
intrinsically, although in commerce it was at 18 to the Spanish dollar, or a fraction 
over five cents to the piastre. In the present reign (Abdul Medjid), its intrinsic 
value is 3-8 cents in the silver coin, and 4-4 in the gold, or 26 to 23 per dollar ; 
commercially it is rated at 23 to the dollar, more or less. 

In consequence of this rapid depreciation of the currency, the coinage presents an 
intricate study, and one, to any except a Turk,t scarcely worth the pains. There is 
great irregularity in the weight and fineness ; and the latter is, in the silver coin 
especially, exceedingly low ; so that it fairly falls within the class of billon. 

The piastre, ghersh or kirk-paralik, is in actual money divided into 40 paras, of 3 
akcheh or aspers each ; but in moneys of account it is variously divided into 80 or 
100 aspers. 

Gold Coins. In 1764, the sequin fundouk was established as an equivalent to the 
Venetian sequin, then much used in Turkey, and in countries farther east. It soon 
became debased, however, both in weight and fineness, and was gradually superseded 
by the sequin zermahboub, at first equal to three-fourths of the fundouk. Its parts 
were the half, or nisf, and quarter, or rubieh. Under the reign of Mahmoud II. the 
gold coins were the pieces of 40, 20, and 10 piastres, of 21 carats or 875 thousandths 
fine; the largest weighing 56 grains troy. Also the onikilik, of 12 piastres, and its 
half, at 20 carats fine, or 833 thousandths.^ Since the accession of Abdul Medjid 
(July 1839), the gold coins are the yirmilik of 20 piastres, the onlik of 10, and the 
altunli beshlik of 5, at the fineness of 20 carats or 833 thousandths ; the largest 
weighing 24J grains troy. 

* Otherwise spelt grouch. Marsden derives it from the German groschen. 

f We should also except the fraternity of collectors, who seldom make any account of trouble or difficulty in their 
researches. 

I Becher, art. Turk. Reich. 



TURKEY. 



133 



Silver Coins. Under Mahmoud II. these were the beshlik of 5 piastres, the half or 
yuzparalik, the kirkparalik or piastre, the yirmiparalik or half-piastre, and the onparalik 
or quarter-piastre of 10 paras. These contained about 22 per cent, of silver. There 
was also the altilik of 6 piastres, towards the close of his reign, about 44 per cent, 
fine. 

Under the present Sultan, the coins are the altilik of 6 piastres, the utchlik of 3, 
the allmicldik of H, the yirmiparalik of a half-piastre, and the onparalik, or quarter, 
besides the single para.* The pieces of li p. and upward, are 43 per cent, of silver; 
the others are much lower. 

GOLD COINS. 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE.f 


BEIGN. 


WEIGHT. 
GKS. 


FINENESS. 
THOUS. 


VALUE. 
D. C. 51. 


Sequin fundouk 


1789 


Selim III. 


52-5 


800 


1 80 9 


do. zermahboub 


1789 


do. 


36 


800 


1 24 


Onikilik, of 12 p. . 


1822-24 


Mahmoud II. 


25 


833 


89 7 


Piece of 20 piastres 


1827 


do. 


27-5 


875 


1 03 7 


do. of 10 p. . 


1827 


do. 


13-5 


875 


50 9 


Yirmilik, of 20 p. 


1840 


Abdul Medjid. 


24-5 


832 


87 7 


Onlik, of 10 p. 


1840 


do. 


12-5 


832 


44 8 


Altunli beshlik, or 5 p. 


1840 


do. 


6-5 


832 


23 3 



SILVER COINS. 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


EEIGN. 


WEIGHT. 
GKS. 


FINENESS. 
THOUS. 


VALUE. 
D. C. M. 


Ghersh, or piastre . 


1773 


Abdul Hamid. 


294 


500 


39 6 


do. 


1783 


do. 


284 


550 


42 1 


Altmichlik, or 1£ p. 


1784 


do. 


410 


550 


60 7 


Yuzparalik, or 2£ p. 


1793-1802 


Selim III4 


500 


470 


63 3 


Ghersh . 


1794-1801 


do. 


200 


486 


26 2 



* We are indebted to the attention of John P. Brown, Esq., late dragoman to the U. S. Embassy at Constantinople, 
for specimens of coinage of the present and past reigns, with additional information, 
f The Mahomedan date is here omitted, and the Christian substituted. 
I These vary in weight from 486 to 508 grains. 

34 



134 



TUSCANY. 



SILVER COINS (continued). 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


EEIGN. 


WEIGHT. 
GES. 


FINENESS. 
THOUS. 


VALUE. 
D. C. 31. 


Para 


1794 


Selim 111.* 


5 


500 


7 


Ghersh . 


1823 


Mahmoud II. 


94 


470 


11 9 


Yirmilik, or 5 p. 


1827 


do. 


23 


470 


2 9 


Beshlik, or 5 p. 


1830-32 


do. 


250 


215 


14 5 


Yuzlik, or 2| p. 


1831-32 


do. 


120 


215 


7 


Ghersh . 


1831-32 


do. 


44 


220 


2 6 


Yirmilik 


1835-38 


do. 


21 


150 


8 


Altilik, or 6 p. 


1835 


do. 


200 


442 


23 8 


do. 


1840 


Abdul Medjid. 


197 


442 


23 6 


Utchlik, or 3 p. 


1840 


do. 


94 


432 


10 9 


Altmichlik, or 1§ p. 


1840 


do. 


48 


425 


5 5 


Yirmilik, or i p. 


1840 


do. 


23-5 


165 


1 


Onlik, or 10 paras . 


1840 


do. 


12 






Para 


1840 


do.f 


2 


77 





TUSCANY. 

Toscana. 

The monarchical succession of this country, for the past century, is closely linked 
with that of the German empire. 

The family of Medicis, which bore the rule for several centuries, became extinct in 
1737, by the death of John Gaston. The grand-dukedom was thereupon claimed by 
the Emperor Charles VI. ; by whom it was conferred upon his son-in-law, Francis of 
Lorraine. In 1740, upon the decease of Charles, Francis became nominally, and 
five years after, actually, Emperor of Germany ; yet retaining the sovereignty of 
Tuscany, and adding his new titles to the legend upon the Tuscan coins. The first 



* These vary from 2k to 7 grains. 



f Value, one-thirtieth of a cent. 



TUSCANY. 135 

coinage which will be noticed here, will date from the Lorraine dynasty ; coins of an 
earlier period being now "so rare that they cannot be found even for the gratification 
of the curious."* 

Upon the death of Francis (who was I. of Germany, but III. of Tuscany), in 1765, 
the grand-duchy devolved upon his second son, Leopold. In 1790 this prince was 
called to the imperial throne, but continued to reign over Tuscany also, until his 
decease in 1792. His second son, Ferdinand III., succeeded to the grand-duchy in 
the same year. The great revolution, at first French, but eventually European, 
which had its commencement about the same time, was destined to exercise a 
powerful, though not enduring influence upon the fortunes of this prince, and of 
Tuscany. In 1801, by virtue of the treaty of Luneville, the Grand Duke was 
deposed, the state erected into a kingdom under the name of Etruria, and Louis, 
son of the Duke of Parma, placed on the throne. This prince dying in 1803, his 
infant son, Charles Louis, succeeded, under the regency of the Queen-mother, Maria 
Louisa. (The heads of both were impressed on the coinage, and their manner of 
arrangement served to distinguish between the old class of coins and a new series 
then introduced ; on the former, they were placed vis-a-vis, or facing each other ; on 
the latter, side by side, the infant being in front.) 

In 1808 the Kingdom of Etruria was dissolved, and the territory annexed to the 
French empire, though subject to the nominal rule of Eliza, the sister of Napoleon. 
In this condition it continued until the overthrow of that personage in 1814, when 
the ancient title of Tuscany was restored, with the former rank of a grand-duchy, 
and Ferdinand III. recovered the throne of which he had been deprived for thirteen 
years. His reign extended to 1824, when he was succeeded by Leopold II., his son, 
present Grand Duke. 

During the period thus briefly reviewed, there have been three systems of silver 
coinage, and but one of gold. 

Gold Coins. These are the ruspone, and the zecchino gigliato, or sequin. They 
are both meant to be of fine gold, without allowance ; and the latter is the one-third 
of the former, in weight and value. The ruspone should weigh 8 den. 21 grains, or 
at the rate of 324 pieces to the libbra, or pound ;t making in our terms 161-5 troy 
grains for the ruspone, and 53-8 grains (which is the usual ducat or sequin weight) 
for the zecchino. 

The nominal value of the ruspone is 40 Tuscan lire or livres, but there is usually a 
premium upon gold (against silver) of 7 to 8 per cent. ; so that the real value is 
about 43 lire for the ruspone, and 14 lire 10 soldi for the sequin. 

* Letter of J. Ombrosi, Esq., late U. S. Consul at Florence, to the Treasury Department, February 1834. Various 
items of information are derived from this source, 
t According to Kelly, the Tuscan libbra weighs 5210 grains troy. We deduce the same basis from Becher. 



136 



TUSCANY. 



Silver Coins. These are somewhat intricate, on account of their having three 
different units or starting points ; which, however, bear a certain relation to each 
other. The first series is based upon the paolo or paul, the second upon the lira, and 
the third upon the fiorino or florin ; and all of these are current. It will be useful to 
observe that the paul is equal to two-thirds of the livre, and that the paul and livre 
together are equal to the florin. Thus in our money the paul is worth 10-4 cents, 
the livre 15-6 cents, and the florin 26 cents. 

The first series originated in 1738, and consisted of five pieces. The largest was 
the piece of ten pauls, (died paoli,) and was called (after the Grand Duke's name) 
first francescone, afterwards leopoldone. The smaller coins were of five, two, one, 
and one-half paul. The paul was subdivided into 40 quaitrini. The legal fineness 
of these coins was \h, or 917 thousandths ; and the weight, at the rate of 23} deniers, 
or 27-3 grammes, or 424-7 grains troy for the piece of ten pauls. 

The second series was that introduced by the new dynasty in 1803. It consisted of 
the ten livre {died lire), five, one, and one-half livre. They were at the fineness of 
11£ parts in 12, or 958 thousandths; the weight of the ten livre piece was 803 grains 
Tuscan, or 608-8 grains troy. These coins are now very rare. 

The third series originated in 1826. It consists of the fiorino or florin, with its half 
and quarter; the fineness H, or 917 thousandths, and the weight, 106-2 troy grains 
per florin. This piece is in effect the quarter of a leopoldone ; and it is subdivided 
into 100 quattrini. Besides these, there are sundry pieces of billon, such as the crazia 
or ^ paul, the piece of 10 quattrini or tV florin, &c. 

The silver coins of Tuscany, especially of the more recent dates, are found to be of 
better fineness than the legal standard, and are in fact almost equal to British sterling. 

Accounts are kept in livres or lire of 20 sous or soldi, subdivided into 12 deniers or 
denari. Fifteen leopoldones are equal to 100 I. 

A large part of the gold dust raised in Guinea, is brought to Leghorn. It is there 
cast into bars, and after a mint-assay at Florence, finds its way, for the most part, to 
Geneva and the French dominions. 

GOLD COINS. 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


EEI6N. 


WEIGHT. 
GES. 


FINENESS. 
THOUS. 


VALUE. 
D. C. M. 


Ruspone 


1738-65 


Francis III. 


160 


997 


6 87 


do. . 


1765-92 


Leopold. 


160 


997 


6 87 


Sequin . 


1765-79 


do. 


53 


997 


2 27 6 


Ruspone 


1795-1800 


Ferdinand III. 


160-5 


997 


6 89 1 



TUSCANY. 



137 



GOLD COINS (continued). 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


REIGN. 


WEIGnT. 
GRS. 


FINENESS. 
THOUS. 


VALUE. 
D. C. M. 


Ruspone 


1801-03 


Louis I. 


161 


998 


6 91 9 


do. . 


1803-07 


Charles I. and Maria Louisa. 


161 


998 


6 91 9 


do. . 


1824-34 


Leopold II. 


161 


999 


6 92 5 


Sequin . 


1824-34 


do. 


53-5 


999 


2 30 1 


Eighty florin piece . 


1827 


do.* 


506 


993 


21 76 8 



SILVER COINS. 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


REIGN. 


WEIGHT. 
GRS. 


FINENESS. 
THOUS. 


VALUE. 
D. C. M. 


Francescone . 


1740-65 


Francis III. 


419 


920 


1 03 8 


Half do. 






1740-65 


do. 


198 


919 


49 


Leopoldone 






1765-91 


Leopold. 


421 


920 


1 04 3 


Half do. 






1779-87 


do. 


205 


917 


50 6 


Ten pauls 






1791-1801 


Ferdinand III. 


419 


920 


1 03 8 


do. . 






1803 


Louis I. 


419-5 


918 


1 03 7 


do. . 






1803-07 


Charles I. and Maria Louisa. 


420 


917 


1 03 7 


Ten livres 






1803-07 


do. 


607 


962 


1 57 3 


Five livres 






1803-07 


do. 


303 


962 


78 5 


One livre 






1803 


do. 


59 


959 


15 2 


Half do. 






1821 


Ferdinand III. 


28-5 


960 


7 4 


Ten pauls 






1814-24 


do. 


421 


920 


1 04 3 


Five pauls 






1820 


do. 


209 


920 


51 8 


Leopoldone 






1830-34 


Leopold II. 


422 


925 


1 05 1 


Half paul 






1832 


do. 


21 


922 


5 2 


Florin 






1826-28 


do. 


] 05-5 


925 


26 3 


Half do. 






1827 


do. 


52 


925 


13 



* This piece (noticed by Mr. Ombrosi) was probably not coined after 1827, when it was introduced. It is not now 
current. 

35 



138 UNITED STATES. 



UNITED STATES. 

The coinage and monetary system of our own country, may properly claim in this 
treatise a somewhat extended notice. 

The territory which now bears the name of The United States, was in the posses- 
sion of savage tribes until the seventeenth century. In 1607 the first company of 
emigrants arrived from Europe, and established the colony of Virginia. At intervals 
of a few years, new settlements were made in various other quarters ; and before the 
close of that century, the foundations were laid for twelve of the thirteen colonies, 
which eventually became a Union of free States. 

The earliest metallic currency of each colony consisted chiefly of the coins of its 
mother country. In Massachusetts, however, (and doubtless in all the settlements,) 
specie was so scarce, that for many years it was common to pay taxes, and to carry 
on internal trade, by transferring, at certain rates, cattle, skins, and the products of 
the soil.* Various considerations, enhanced by the inconvenience and uncertainty of 
such a medium, induced the Massachusetts colony in 1652 to establish a mint. The 
law enacted for that purpose, provided for the coinage of shillings, sixpences, and 
threepences, to be of the fineness of sterling silver (925 thousandths), and by a 
reduction of weight, to be " two-pence in the shilling of less valew than the English 
coyne."f The mint met with much opposition from the British crown, whose 
prerogative was invaded by its operations, but continued in existence more than 
thirty years, during which time a considerable amount of coin was issued. These 
coins are now extremely scarce, and indeed are not to be found except in the 
cabinets of the curious. Only the shilling has been seen at this mint, the best 
specimens of which, at this day, weigh from 64 to 67 grains, and by a recent assay 
prove to be 926 thousandths fine; the intrinsic value, therefore, is about 16| cents. 
They are a rude coinage, very thin, and of various diameters ; and there is some 
variety in the impressions ; but the date of 1652 appears on all of them. The 
device of a pine tree on one side, has given to the series the common designation of 
the " pine tree coinage." They were taken in England at a discount of one-fourth 
of their home value. 

* See Felt's " Historical Account of the Massachusetts Currency," 1839. This work contains much interesting and 
valuable information. 

f The mint indenture or contract required that the shilling should weigh 72 grains, and the smaller pieces in 
proportion. As the English shilling of those days weighed 93 grains, there appears an unaccountable miscalculation. 
An abatement of one-sixth of the value would have made 77J grains. 



UNITED STATES. 



139 



The example of Massachusetts was followed by Maryland, where silver and copper 
coins were issued in 1662. These pieces were to be equivalent to the British, but 
in reality were not much heavier than the like denominations coined at Boston. 

These were the only issues of silver coin previous to the independence of the 
States. There were, however, various pieces of copper struck at different periods ; 
as, in 1694, the half-penny for the Carolinas, a two-penny piece and penny in 1723, 
another penny in 1733, and a half-penny for Virginia in 1773. After the revolu- 
tionary struggle of 1776-82, and before the establishment of the National Mint, 
there were various emissions of silver and copper by States and individuals, which 
will be noticed farther on. 

As the population and trade of the colonies increased, foreign gold and silver 
coins found their way into the country, and became a part of the circulating medium. 
These were chiefly the guinea, the joe and its half, the doubloon and pistole, in gold ; 
the dollar and its parts, the pistareen and its parts, and the British shilling and six- 
pence, in silver. French crowns were not known until the Revolution, when they 
became common. But of the specie currency, no piece was so well known as the 
Spanish-American dollar ; insomuch that, about the epoch just referred to, it became 
the effective standard or unit of our moneys. 

The pound of the colonies was at first the same as the pound sterling of England, 
being simply a money of account. This relation, in process of time, became greatly 
altered, in consequence of excessive issues of paper by the colonial authorities ; but 
as these issues were greater in some of the colonies than in others, the proportion 
was very unequal and complicated. The following were the rates of the colonial 
pounds, in sterling pounds and Spanish dollars, after the Revolution. 



Pound sterling 
Spanish dollar 



NEW ENGLAND 
AND VIRGINIA. 



£ S. d. 

16 8 

6 



NEW YORK AND 
NORTH CAROLINA. 



£ 5. d. 

1 15 64 







MIDDLE STATES. 



£ S. d. 
1 13 4 

7 6 



SODTH CAROLINA 
AND GEORGIA. 



£ S. d. 
1 8| 

4 8 



Peace was scarcely concluded, before the preliminary step was taken towards a 
national coinage. Congress directed the Financier of the confederation, Robert 
Morris, to lay before them his views upon the subject of coins and currency. The 
report was presented early in 1782, and is stated by Mr. Jefferson to have been the 
work of the Assistant Financier, Gouverneur Morris. It will be interesting to trace 



140 UNITED STATES. 

the steps by which three grand benefits have been secured to this country ; the 
establishment of a uniform national currency — the rejection of mere moneys of 
account, or rather, making them the same with real moneys — and the adoption of a 
decimal notation. 

All these objects were in the eye of the Assistant Financier. He first laboured to 
harmonize the moneys of the States ; and found that the nVsth part of a dollar 
(Spanish) was a common divisor for the various currencies. Starting with this 
fraction as his unit, he proposed the following table of moneys : 

Ten units to be equal to one penny. 

Ten pence one bill. 

Ten bills one dollar, (about two-thirds of the Spanish dollar.) 

Ten dollars one crown* 

The report contains this observation : " Although it is not absolutely necessary, yet 
it is very desirable, that money should be increased in a decimal ratio ; because by 
that means, all calculations of interest, exchange, insurance and the like, are 
rendered much more simple and accurate, and of course more within the power of 
the great mass of the people." 

The subject was discussed repeatedly in Congress, but no further step was taken 
until 1784, when Mr. Jefferson, on behalf of a committee appointed for the purpose, 
brought in a report, disagreeing with that of the Financier, except as to the decimal 
system. The following remarks occur in this document : " The most easy ratio of 
multiplication and division, is that of ten. Every one knows the facility of decimal 
arithmetic. Every one remembers, that when learning money arithmetic, he used to 
be puzzled with adding the farthings, taking out the fours, and carrying them on ; 
adding the pence, taking out the twelves, and carrying them on ; adding the shillings, 
taking out the twenties, and carrying them on ; but when he came to the pounds, 
where he had only tens to carry forward, it was easy and free from error. The bulk 
of mankind are schoolboys through life. Certainly, in all cases, where we are free to 
choose between easy and difficult modes of operation, it is most rational to choose 
the easy. The Financier, therefore, in his report, well proposes that our coins should 
be in decimal proportions to one another." 

He found fault with the unit of Mr. Morris, first, on account of its diminutive size : 
" A horse or bullock of eighty dollars value would require a notation of six figures, to 
wit, 115,200 units;" secondly, because of its want of correspondence in value, with 
any known coins. In lieu of this the Spanish dollar was proposed, as being of 

* This last coin was to be of gold. He apologized for introducing the name of crown, in a country where that 
emblem had lost favour, by stating that his project was to have on the coin the representation of an Indian, with a bow 
in his left hand, and thirteen arrows in the right, with his right foot on a crown. (Sparks's Life of Gouverneur 
Morris, i. 273.) 



DNITED STATES. 141 

convenient size, capable of easy actual division, and familiar to the minds of the 
people. It was added, that the course of our commerce would bring us more of this 
than of any other foreign coin ; and besides, the dollar was already as much referred 
to as a measure of value, as the respective provincial pounds. Upon this basis, it 
was proposed to strike four coins, viz. : 

A golden piece, of the value of ten dollars. 

A dollar in silver. 

A tenth of a dollar, also in silver. 

A hundredth of a dollar, in copper. 

The Assistant Financier conceded something to Mr. Jefferson's views, but adhered 
to the main principles of his own scheme. It would be out of place to enter into the 
arguments oilered on behalf of each proposition; it is sufficient to say, that Congress 
in 1785 adopted Mr. Jefferson's report, and in the following year made legal provision 
for a coinage upon that basis* 

All these proceedings were, of course, under the Confederation, which lasted from 
1778 to 1787. An article in that compact provided as follows: "The United States, 
in Congress assembled, shall have the sole and exclusive right and power of regulating 
the alloy and value of coin struck by their own authority, or by that of the respective 
States." Some of the States issued copper coins during that period. How long they 
continued current cannot be stated ; but at this day, those of them that remain, are 
in the custody of coin-collectors. The cent of Massachusetts varies in weight from 
148 to 164 grains; the New Jersey piece, 128 to 154 grains; the Connecticut coin 
is the most irregular, varying from 96 to 144 grains. The Vermont cent of 1786, 
weighs about 110 grains. There are also other varieties, particularly the "Nova 
Constellatio," of thirteen stars, and another piece with the same significant number 
of rings, conjoined, both of which were coined in Massachusetts^ 

The Constitution of 1787 arrested all these local issues, and vested the right of 

* The interest taken in this subject by General Washington, and his approval of Mr. Jefferson's plan, appear by the 
following passage in a letter to Mr. Grayson, Member of Congress. 

" I thank you for the several articles of intelligence contained in your letter, and for the propositions respecting a 
coinage of gold, silver, and copper; a measure which, in my opinion, has become indispensably necessary. Mr. 
Jefferson's ideas upon this subject are plain and simple ; well adapted, I think, to the nature of the case, as he has 
exemplified it by the plan. Without a coinage, or unless some stop can be put to the cutting and clipping of money, 
our dollars, pistareens, &c. will be converted, as Teague says, into Jive quarters; and a man must travel with a pair of 
scales in his pocket, or run the risk of receiving gold at one-fourth less by weight than it counts." (Writings of 
Washington, edited by Sparks, ix. 125.) 

The illustrious Father of his Country took a lively interest in the national coinage. The mint was repeatedly 
noticed in his messages to Congress. (See Sparks, xii. 25, 32, 53, 63.) It was his practice, whilst President, to visit 
the institution frequently ; the seat of government being then at Philadelphia. 

f In this place it may be proper to notice a coinage of silver, bearing the name of "J. Chalmers, Annapolis," and 
dated 1783. The specimens reserved in the collection at the mint, are a shilling, sixpence, and threepence, weighing 
57, 27, and 10 grains respectively ; of course, very carelessly proportioned. 

36 



142 UNITED STATES. 

coinage solely in the general government. The establishment of a mint was, 
however-, still delayed. In the well known report on moneys, weights and measures, 
made to Congress in 1790 by Mr. Jefferson, then Secretary of State, it was remarked: 
"The experiment made by Congress, in 1786, by declaring that there should be one 
money of account and payment through the United States, and that its parts and 
multiples should be in a decimal ratio, has obtained such general approbation, both 
at home and abroad, that nothing seems wanting but the actual coinage, to banish 
the discordant pounds, shillings, pence, and farthings of the different States, and to 
establish in their stead the new denominations." 

On the 2d April, 1792, a code of laws was enacted for the establishment and 
regulation of the mint, under which, with slight amendments, the coinage was 
executed for forty-two years. 

The denominations of coin, with their rates, were as follows : 

Gold. The eagle of ten dollars, to weigh 270 grains, the half and quarter in 
proportion ; all of the fineness of 22 carats, or 917 thousandths. 

Silver. The dollar of 100 cents, to weigh 416 grains; the half, quarter, tenth or 
dime, and twentieth or half-dime, in proportion ; the fineness to be 1485 parts in 
1664* or 892-4 thousandths. 

Copper. The cent, to weigh 264 grains ; the half-cent in proportion. 

Since the act of 1792, the following alterations in the standards have been made : 

On the 14th January, 1793, the weight of the cent was reduced to 208 grains ; the 
half-cent in proportion/]" 

January 26th, 1796. President Washington issued a proclamation (as he had 
been empowered to do by law), that "on account of the increased price of copper, 
and the expense of coinage," the cent would be reduced to 7 dwts. or 168 grains, 
and the half-cent in proportion. The copper coins have since remained at this 
standard. 

June 28th, 1834. An act was passed, changing the weight and fineness of the 
gold coins, and the relative value of gold to silver. Before stating the alterations, it 
may be proper to observe, that the estimate of gold as being worth fifteen times as 
much as silver, which was the original basis, was found too low at the market value ; 
which, although always fluctuating, was nearer sixteen to one, upon a general 

* This was an arithmetical nicety, deduced from a weight of 416 grains, of which 371:1 grains must he fine metal; 
this being considered the average content of a Spanish dollar. The estimate was slightly erroneous, and makes our 
dollar of a little less value; the effect of which has been beneficial to our national coinage, as the difference, though 
not appreciable in ordinary currency, makes a considerable gain upon recoinage in large sums. See letter of Dr. 
Moore, late Director of the Mint, to a select committee of Congress, in 1832. 

t The mint was not fully in operation until January 1795. Before that time it was rather engaged in experiment- 
ing; hence the variety of specimens, in silver and copper, anterior to that date, which are now so much in request 
among the virtuosi. The most noted of these is the Washington Cent, of which some mention has been made at page 15. 



UNITED STATES. 143 

average. The effect of our legal proportions was to reduce the coinage of gold, and 
to restrain its circulation ; being always at a premium, the coin was immediately 
exported to Europe, in the course of trade, and there quickly wrought into other 
shapes. 

To provide a remedy for this evil, engaged the attention of some of our most 
eminent statesmen for a series of fifteen years* At length, in June 1834, the 
weight of the eagle was reduced by law to 258 grains (the parts in proportion), of 
which 232 grains must be fine gold, making the fineness 21 carats 2if car. grains, 
or 899i s bW thousandths. This was an increase of GtVVV per cent, on the former value 
of gold. The silver coinage was not changed. 

The disadvantages of the complex standards of fineness, both in gold and silver, 
which were difficult to be expressed or remembered, and very inconvenient in regard 
to the frequent calculations which were based upon them, early determined the 
present Director to endeavour to effect an improvement. The standard of nine- 
tenths fine, as adopted in France and some other countries, was obviously the most 
simple, and, upon every consideration, the most suitable. To bring our silver coins 
to that proportion, without changing the amount of fine silver in them, it was only 
necessary to put less copper, by 3i grains, in the dollar, reducing its weight to 412J 
grains. The weight of the gold was not to be changed, but the fineness increased 
about three-fourths of one thousandth, a difference far within the scope of the legal 
allowance, and of course hardly appreciable. These proportions were incorporated 
in a carefully digested and consolidated code of Mint Laws, which was enacted by 
Congress in January 1837. By that act, the eagle is to be 900 thousandths fine, 
and to weigh 258 grains ; the half and quarter in proportion ; and the dollar, at the 
same fineness, to weigh 412i grains; the parts in proportion.f The allowed devia- 
tion in fineness, for gold, is from 898 to 902 ; for silver, 897 to 9034 

* The first movement appears to have been made in 1819, by Mr. Lowndes, as chairman of a committee in Congress, 
who proposed to raise the value of gold to 15-6 against one of silver. Mr. Gallatin, Mr. Ingham, and Mr. C. P. White 
proposed very nearly the same proportion, at different times. Dr. Moore, then Director of the Mint, offered a choice 
of 15-777 with a fineness of eleven-twelfths, or 15-865 with a fineness of nine-tenths. Mr. Sanford's proportion was 
15-9. Eventually, the rate of 16 to 1, which was favoured by the existing administration (Gen. Jackson's), was adopted. 
It was feared at the time that the habitual state of the market of precious metals would not justify so high a valua- 
tion. It is a remarkable fact, however, that our gold and silver coins have ever since that date passed concurrently, 
without premiums either way. How long this even pace is to continue will depend upon many contingencies, but 
especially upon the mining operations. The effect of this valuation upon the labours at the mint, has been very 
decided. During the eight years which have succeeded the change of ratio, (1834—41,) the coinage of gold at the 
mint and its branches, has been sixteen millions of dollars, exclusive of the recoinage of pieces of old standard ; while, 
in the eight years immediately preceding (1826-33), the amount was less than four millions. The coinage of silver, 
from 1826 to 1833, was nineteen and a half millions ; from 1834 to 1841, twenty millions. 

f The relative value, therefore, of silver to gold, is 15-9884 to 1. 

X The practical limits here, are, for gold 899 to 901 ; silver, 898 to 902. 



144 



VENICE. 



The following is a recapitulation of the various standards, of the gold and silver 
coins. 





GOLD EAGLE. 


SILVER DOLLAR. 




WEIGHT. 

GES. 


FINENESS. 
THOUS. 


WEIGHT. 
GES. 


FINENESS. 
THOUS. 


Act of April 2, 1792 

Act of June 28, 1834 

Act of January 18,1837 . 


270 
258 
258 


916-7 
899-2 
900 


416 

412-5 


892-4 
900 



It will be proper, in concluding this article, to explain briefly the organization of 
the Mint of the United States. Until the year 1835 there was but one institution, 
which was located at Philadelphia. In that year three branches of the mint were 
created by Act of Congress. Two of these were for the coinage of gold only, and 
were to be situated at the towns of Charlotte in North Carolina, and Dahlonega in 
Georgia — central points of the gold mining region. The third branch was for both 
gold and silver, and located at New Orleans, the commercial emporium of the 
southwest. These three institutions, which, in the view of the law are not distinct 
mints, but rather branches of the mint, are respectively managed by Superintendents, 
who are under the control of the Director of the parent mint. The branches went 
into operation in the year 1838. Their coinage is uniform with that of the 
establishment at Philadelphia, being systematically tested there for approval. 

The whole mint establishment, thus constituted, is itself a bureau or branch of the 
Treasury Department of the general government, and is under the supervision of the 
Secretary of the Treasury. Its operations are annually reported through the Presi- 
dent to Congress, and are laid open to the public through that body. 



VENICE. 

Venezia. 



This ancient city and republic, so long renowned for its wealth, power, and 
commercial enterprise, but now in comparative decay, would have been prominent 
in a work like the present, a century ago. The sequin (zecchino) of Venice was 



WEST INDIES. ]45 

formerly a current coin in three continents, and seemed to occupy the place which in 
later times has fallen to the Spanish and Mexican dollar. This coinage declined at 
the close of the last century, and there appears to be no coin of gold or silver properly 
Venetian' (except some small pieces issued by Austrian authority) since the French 
invasion of 1797. Having fallen into collision with that republic, it became, in that 
year, a prey to Bonaparte's army, and has never regained its independence. By the 
treaty of Campo-Formio it was ceded to Austria, in 1807 it was annexed to the 
Milanese kingdom of Italy, and in 1815 became a part of the Lombardo-Venetian 
kingdom, subject to Austria. 

The most important coins of Venice were the sequin above noticed, which was 
equal in all respects to the same coin of Tuscany (which see), and the tallaro or 
dollar, weighing about 438 grains, at 833 thousandths fine, and worth 98 cents* 
For the present coins of Venice, see Austria and Milan. 



WEST INDIES. 

All of the West India islands, except Hayti or San Domingo, are dependencies of 
European nations. Without giving a minute table of them, it will be sufficient to 
state the following general divisions: 

To Great Britain belong Jamaica, Bahamas, Barbadoes, Trinidad, and numerous 
smaller islands. To Spain, Cuba and Porto Rico. To France, Guadcdoupe, Mar- 
tinique, and a few others. To Netherlands, Curacao. To Sweden, St. Bartholomew. 
To Denmark, St. Croix, St. Thomas, and St. John. Hayti, the second island in size, 
and perhaps the first in population, formerly a possession of France and Spain, is 
an independent republic. 

There appears to have been no gold coin struck by any of the governments for the 
West Indies especially. Of silver coins there are a few varieties. 

British Possessions. In 1822, coins were struck in England for the colonies, 
consisting of the quarter dollar, the eighth, and the sixteenth. They are of the 
average weight and fineness of the Spanish coin, of like denominations. 

Danish Possessions. From 1763 to 1767, pieces were coined of 24 and 12 skillings, 
in 1816, 20 and 10 sk. pieces, and in 1837 a piece of 2 sk. 

Hayti. On the breaking out of the French Revolution in 1791, this island was 
thrown into a commotion which lasted for many years. In 1806 the French part of it 

* On Venetian coins the name of the Doge appeared, but usually there was no date. We may add therefore that 
Aloise Mocenigo was in the chair from 1763 to 1779 ; Paul Reiner to 1788 ; and Louis Manin to the end of the republic. 

37 



146 



WEST INDIES. 



became a kingdom, or military despotism, consisting entirely of negro citizens, who 
had previously been slaves, with Dessalines, a black man, for its monarch. He was 
succeeded by Christophe, or Henry 1., who put an end to his own life in 1820. In 
another part of the island a republic had already been established, under the 
presidency of Petion. He was succeeded by J. P. Boyer, who in 1822 became 
master of the whole island, and is still at the head of the so-called republic. 

The coins of Hayti, so far as we have seen, consist of four denominations, viz. : 
50, 25, 12, and 6 centimes. The subdivision is not mathematically correct, but there 
is more precision in that particular, than in weight and fineness. 

The West India islands generally depend upon the coins of Great Britain and 
Spanish America for their metallic currency. Sovereigns, shillings, doubloons, and 
dollars, seem to be every where familiarly known. The Portuguese half-joes, and a 
counterfeit of them, not greatly inferior in fineness, said to have been manufactured 
in the United States, were formerly current, but are now becoming rare. It has also 
been customary to cut up Spanish dollars into fragments for change, putting a stamp 
of authority upon each section. In Trinidad, to prevent the exportation of dollars, 
the expedient was resorted to (as it is said) of cutting a piece out of the centre, 
equal to a real, or one-eighth of a dollar, more or less. Thus the dollar was kept at 
home, and made to yield nine reals. Such pieces were called cut dollars; the whole 
pieces were named round dollars. 

The specie currency of British West India is at present regulated by an Order in 
Council, of September 1838. The following table will exhibit the regulations, with 
other statistics* 





VALUE, BY ORDER IN COUNCIL. 


COST FOR EXPORT. 




IN DOLLARS. 


BRITISH 
STERLING. 


JAMAICA 
CURRENCY. 


IN DOLLARS. 


JAMAICA 
CURRENCY. 






£ s. d. 


£ s. d. 




£ s. d. 


Royal doubloons of Spain, parts at > 
the same rate ... \ 


§16 00 


3 4 


5 6 8 


$17 12 


5 14 2 


Patriot doubloons of all the Spanish- } 












American republics, and parts at > 


16 00 


3 4 


5 6 8 


16 80 


5 12 


the same rate ... j 












Silver dollar, royal or patriot 




. 


. 


1 05 


7 










5 00 


1 13 4 


British shilling — the other denomi- ) 
nations in proportion . . $ 


• 


• 


■ 


26^ 


1 9 



* For this table, with other details, we are indebted to R. Monroe Harrison, Esq., U. S. Consul at Kingston, 
Jamaica. We have also the advantage of a letter from David Rogers, Esq., U. S. Consul at St. Croix. 






\V E S T P II A L I A. 



147 



The nominal or par value of the silver dollar is 6s. 8d., of the British sovereign 
33s. Id., and of the shilling Is. 8d., in Jamaica currency. 



SILVER COINS.* 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


GOVERNMENT. 


WEIGHT. 
GES. 


FINENESS. 
TIIOUS. 


VALUE. 
D. C. M. 


Quarter dollar 


1822 


George IV. of Great Britain. 


102-5 


895 


24 7 


Eighth do. 


1822 


do. 


50 


895 


12 1 


Twenty-four skilling 


1763-65 


Danish-American. 


96 






Twenty do. 


1816 


do. 


73-5 


630 


12 5 


Ten do. . 


1816 


do. 


36 


630 


6 1 


Two do. 


1837 


do. 


18 






Twenty-five centimes 


Year 14 


Potion, President of Hayti. J 


38 


824 


8 4 


Twelve do. 


Year 14 


do. 


22 


710 


4 2 


Twelve do. 


Year 11 


Republic of Hayti. 


13-5 


590 


2 1 


Fifty do. 


Year 25 


Boyer, President. 


86-5 






Twenty-five do. 


Year 15 


do. 


35-5 






Twelve do. 


Year 24 


do. 


21 






Six do. . 


Year 15 


do. 


8-5 







WESTPHALIA. 

Westphalen. 

This was a kingdom created by Napoleon in 1807, for his brother Jerome, 
consisting mainly of territories in the north and west of Germany, which are now a 
part of Prussia. Both gold and silver coins were issued for this brief monarchy, and 
are occasionally met with in miscellaneous parcels of German money. The gold 



* There are some pieces of West India currency, which we cannot place in the table, because they are worn 
perfectly smooth, and their original cannot be determined. They are higher in quality than Spanish or French coin, 
and lower than British, being 918 thousandths fine. They are stamped with the figures 7, 10, 14, &e. and are 
worth about so many cents of our money. 

t Another piece was 890 fine, showing a gross irregularity. These pieces are said to have been extensively 
counterfeited in this country, for export to Hayti. 



148 



WURTEMBBRG. 



coins were ten-thaler pieces, of several dies, but uniform in weight and fineness, 
and upon a level with those of Brunswick, Saxony, &c. (which see.) The silver 
coins were florins, or two-third pieces of nearly fine silver, as in Brunswick and 
Hanover ; convention-dollars, of ten to the fine mark, and pieces of 2 franken or 
francs, of the French standard. 



WURTEMBERG. 

This country, one of the most considerable states of Germany, was of the grade of 
a duchy until 1803, when it was raised to an electorate, and in 1806 was made a 
kingdom, through the influences of the French Emperor. 

The Duke Charles Eugene reigned from 1737 to 1793. Louis Eugene succeeded, 
and reigned less than two years. Frederick Eugene enjoyed the sovereignty but 
little longer. In 1797 he was succeeded by Frederick William, who as already 
stated, passed through two gradations of title, to that of King. His son William, 
present monarch, ascended the throne in 1816. 

Gold Coins. The carolin ceased to be coined about a century ago. The only 
gold piece is the ducat, of the standards of the empire. (See Germany.) 

Silver Coins. These are the convention-thaler, of ten to the fine mark, discon- 
tinued of late years ; the kronen-thaler, or crown, the gulden and double gulden, and 
the new gulden or florin coined under the mint-conventions of 1837-38, besides the 
scheidemiinze or small coins. 

The coins of Wurtemberg are scarcer in this part of the world, than those of most 
other German states. The new gulden has not been seen as yet at this mint. 



GOLD AND SILVER COINS. 



DENOMINATION. 


DATE. 


REIGN. 


WEIGHT. 
GKS. 


FINENESS. 
TUOUS. 


VALUE. 
D. C. 51. 


Ducat 


1790 


Charles. 


53 


980 


2 23 7 


do. 


1818 


William. 


53 


980 


2 23 7 


Convention-thaler 


1760-84 


Charles. 


428 


836 


96 4 


do. 


1806 


Frederick. 


430 


833 


96 5 


Crown 


1818-33 


William. 


454 


875 


1 07 


Double gulden 


1824 


do. 


392 


750 


79 2 


Gulden . 


1824 


do. 


195 


750 


39 4 



CHAPTER HI. 

GOLD AND SILVER BULLION. 

The term bullion* is commonly applied to gold or silver, reduced from the ore, but 
not manufactured. At the mint it is taken in a wider sense, and includes all gold 
and silver suitable for coining operations, with the exception only of our own coin. 
In this sense the term will be understood in the remarks which follow. 

The precious metals come to the mint in a great variety of forms, from the first 
reductions at the mines to the most delicate and elaborate plate and ornaments. 
Indeed, nothing but ores, and very base alloys,t are rejected as unsuitable for minting 
operations. It is presumed that some details upon the various kinds of bullion (of 
which we have seen no methodical treatise) will be interesting to the general reader, 
and especially useful to dealers. The information proposed to be given, respects the 
physical characters of the various sorts of bullion, the countries whence derived, 
and the usual fineness ; with precautions against fraud, in cases where it is found to 
occur. 

The two metals will be treated of separately, and a third division will be given to 
those metals in a combined state. 

GOLD BULLION. 

This is to be considered as of two kinds : I. Unwrought. II. Manufactured. 

1. Of the first sort, are the various forms in which the metal comes from the 
mining regions, and which may be comprised within the four following: 1. Washed 
grains, or gold dust. 2. Amalgamated cakes and balls. 3. Laminations. 4. Melted 
bars, and cakes. 

* Our standard dictionaries concur in deriving this word from the French billon, which signifies base coin. (See 
a note at page 9.) Other authorities have more carefully traced it to the Latin bulla, applied to ornamental balls of 
gold or silver, anciently worn on certain occasions. 

f Such as counterfeit coins, containing a small proportion of good metal ; also bars and lumps, melted down from the 
sweepings of jewellers' shops, and holding a doubtful rank between bullion and solder. 

38 



150 GOLD GRAINS. 



1. WASHED GRAINS. 

These are shapeless particles or masses, in the state in which they remain after 
the simple process of washing from the rich alluvial sands. They are of all sizes, 
from the massive lump to the minutest spangle. The latter form is by far the most 
usual, insomuch that it is aptly enough called gold dust. There are, however, 
remarkable exceptions on record, and nearly every mining region can boast of its 
large lumps of gold. Some of these are deserving of special notice. 

In Cabarrus County, North Carolina, a lump was found which weighed, in the 
crude state, 28 pounds avoirdupois. It lay near the surface of the ground, and was 
dug up by a negro. This happened at the commencement of the mining operations* 
The lump was melted, and cast into bars ; and is believed to have been the same 
parcel which was brought to the mint in May 1804, and which constituted the first 
deposit of United States gold. Its value was $4850. Many heavy masses have 
since been found, but none equal to this. The largest native lump received from 
Georgia, weighed 35£ ounces troy, and was worth $700. 

In South America, the largest pepita found in Peru weighed 26i pounds.t Ano- 
ther occurred in New Grenada, of 27i pounds.^ A lump in the possession of the 
French Academy, weighs about 37| pounds troy, and being 992 thousandths fine, is 
worth over $9200 ; the French valuation is 48,000 francs.§ Baron Humboldt, in a 
recent essay, || states that the largest lump (goldgeschiebe) found in the Russian mines, 
weighs 24|f Russian pounds, (equal to 27 pounds troy,) and is preserved in a 
collection of minerals at St. Petersburg. Thus the lottery of gold mining, in every 
country, relieves its blanks by occasional brilliant prizes. 

In most forms of bullion not improved by art, a practised eye can judge with 
tolerable accuracy of the quality of the metal. There is much uncertainty, however, 
in pronouncing upon gold dust, which is commonly soiled and dimmed with earthy 
matter. Still, if there is a large alloy of silver, the paleness of colour will be manifest. 

Gold in its native state is invariably alloyed with silver, in a greater or less 
proportion. In some locations, particularly the Brazilian mines, palladium^ is found 
mixed with the gold ; and in New Grenada platinum is often present.** Other baser 

* Silliman's Journal, vol. ix. f Mentioned by Baron Humboldt. f Ure's Dictionary of Mines, &.C. 

5 Ann. de Chimie, vol. Ixxii. 52. || Karsten's Arcliiv., Berlin, 1839. 

IT Tins valuable metal was discovered by Wollaston in 1803, accompanying platinum. It was first found in combi- 
nation with gold, a few years later, by Joseph Cloud, formerly Melter and Refiner in the United States Mint. It is 
now principally obtained from Brazil gold, and is very useful in some of the arts, as in dentistry and the construction of 
delicate machinery. Our assay-balances are chiefly made of this metal. 

** On one occasion, a parcel of gold dust from the latter country, weighing 356 ounces troy, was melted at this 
mint, and found to contain 7J ounces of platinum. Being too stubborn to yield to furnace-heat, it remained as a cake 
in the bottom of the crucible, and was found to contain nearly J of one per cent, of gold. 



GOLD GRAINS. 151 

metals, such as tin, lead, &c. are contained in native gold, in very small proportion, 
but often sufficient to render the texture brittle. 

There certainly is room for fraudulent practices in the traffic of gold dust, but our 
experience does not prove that it is much to be apprehended. It has been said that 
the Africans intermix small particles of base metals in the gold resulting from their 
washings, but the fact is not borne out by trials at this mint. 

It is not unusual for the miners, especially in our own country, to melt down the 
grains, and cast the metal into bars or cakes, preliminary to transmission for coinage. 
This form is the most advantageous for all parties. Owing to the presence of dirt 
and moisture, a considerable loss (varying from li to 10 per cent, of the weight, but 
ordinarily about 3 per cent.) invariably accrues in the fluxing of native dust, and it is 
desirable that this should fall within the personal cognizance, as well as responsi- 
bility, of the owner. Grains are also less convenient and secure in transportation, 
and too much exposed to diminution by accident or otherwise. 

The sources whence the gold dust is derived which is brought to the Mint of the 
United States, are, the mines of our southern States, of Mexico, Central America, 
various parts of South America, and the western coast of Africa. 

Before entering into a detail of these localities, it may be remarked, that from the 
mines of our own country gold is brought to the mint in the three forms of dust, amal- 
gam, and bars ; but (except in certain instances of fraud, as will hereafter be noticed,) 
there is, as to fineness, no marked preference for either of these forms ; so that what 
is said of one sort is so far applicable to the rest. Here also it should be observed, 
that the classifying of gold by countries, or even by districts, is vague and unsatis- 
factory. Mines in the same region, though tolerably uniform within themselves 
as to the customary fineness of their product, are widely different from each other. 
Thus in Georgia, one mine yields habitually gold of 980 to 990 thousandths 
fine, while another, not many miles distant, produces the inferior fineness of 830. 
The variation is still more striking in North Carolina, where the gold is from 580 
to 980 fine. 

Virginia gold is seldom brought to the mint in the form of dust, and will therefore 
be more properly considered under a future head. 

The average of North Carolina gold, taking the estimate from all the deposits at 
the Charlotte Branch Mint, was, in 1839, 841 thousandths, and in 1840, 844 thou- 
sandths. Depositors often receive both silver and gold as the avails of their bullion, 
in consequence of the large proportion of silver present. 

The gold of South Carolina, as compared with that just mentioned, is much less in 
amount, more limited in its range of fineness, and of a higher average. It, is seldom 
below 900, and varies from that limit to 990 ; the mean fineness being about 925. 

Georgia gold is very variable, but in the aggregate its quality is superior to any yet 



152 GOLD GRAINS. 

mentioned. It has been found as low as 820, and occasionally reaches as high as 
995 ; the nearest approach to absolute purity of any gold ever discovered. The 
mean of the whole production may be set down at 950. Most of the gold deposited 
for coinage at the Branch Mint of Dahlonega, in Georgia, is in the form of grains 
from washings ; but it reaches this mint as often in bars, and occasionally in 
amalgam. 

Gold is occasionally found in Alabama and Tennessee, and the quality is as good 
in the average as that of Georgia. 

Passing from our gold region, which is comprised within the six States already 
named, the gold dust received from Mexico comes next in view. The quarters from 
which it is quoted are California and Santa Fe. Of the former we can say nothing 
decisive. Santa Fe is an entrepot for overland traders, situated near the head waters 
of the Rio del Norte, and eastward of our Indian reservations. The gold from this 
region is of a high standard, but its most remarkable feature is its uniformity in 
fineness ; insomuch that the coin of the country from which it emanates does not lie 
within closer bounds. The compass is from 941 to 952 thousandths, but it is safely 
rateable at 950. 

Neiv Granada, long famed for the production of grain-gold, sends a considerable 
proportion to this mint. Its fineness varies from 825 to 875, and averages 850* It 
is usually marked by the presence of platinum, in a minute proportion. 

The gold of Brazil is chiefly carried to England, and is very variable in fineness. 

A considerable quantity of gold dust is brought here from other parts of South 
America, doubtless from the ports on the Pacific side, but the information is too 
vague to allow of specifications. Some of it is as low as 780 fine, and requires 
parting from its silver alloy ; in other cases it yields a fineness of 920. 

The small island of Oruba, situated at the outlet of the Gulf of Maracaybo, on the 
coast of Venezuela, but subject to the Netherlands, has repeatedly contributed to our 
stock of gold bullion, during some fifteen years past, and always in the shape of 
native grains, some of which have been remarkable for size. The fineness of this 
gold is from 870 to 920. 

Africa formerly supplied our mint with a considerable quantity of bullion, in the 
shape of dust and manufactured rings ; but of late years, the deposits have been less 
frequent. The gold regions of that continent are Kordofan and Sofala, on the 
eastern side, and Senegambia and Guinea in the west. It is only from the two latter 
that gold is imported into the United States, and there is reason to believe that our 
share is insignificant, compared with that which falls to the lot of England and 
France. Jt is obtained by the natives from the sands of the rivers. No scientific 

* Dr. Ure mentions three localities, in which the gold is of a uniform fineness; at Antioquia, 833; Choco, 875; and 
at Giron, 990. Diet, of Mines, &c. 1839. 



GOLD AMALGAM. ]53 

exploration, it is understood, has yet been made of these auriferous regions. The 
ordinary range of gold dust derived from thence, is from 900 to 925 fine ; in rare 
instances it will allbrd 970. 
The rings, as manufactured gold, claim a notice further on. 

2. AMALGAMATED GOLD. 

Owing to the strong affinity which quicksilver possesses for gold and silver, it is 
highly useful in collecting the particles of those metals from their ores. Being 
intimately mixed with the golden sands, or with the pulverized gangues of either 
metal, it gathers up the scattered grains into a pasty mass. The mercury is then 
pressed out, as far as it can be, and what remains is driven off by heat, until the 
metal is left in the state commonly called amalgam; or, in the case of silver, plata 
pina. Its substance is porous, granular, and brittle, easily broken by the hand, unless 
in the heating it has been slightly fused on the outside. 

Gold in this form is brought to the mint from our own States, from Western Mexico, 
and New Granada. 

The gold of Virginia is in a great degree collected by amalgamation. Its fineness 
varies from 670 to 970, but finds its average at 920. Descending to particular 
locations, the gold of the Greenwood Company has yielded here 943 to 947 ; that of 
the United States Company, 930 to 954; the Exploring and Franklin Companies, 
920 ; the Richmond, 895 to 901. 

Amalgamated gold from other regions, presents the same varieties as already 
noticed in speaking of the grains. 

Bullion in this form, whether gold or silver, is liable to a very variable, and often 
considerable loss in melting. It can scarcely be less than two per cent., and in a few 
cases has amounted to ten ; but the more usual compass of loss is from three to six 
per cent.* To account for this it is only necessary to consider, that besides some 
portions of earth and quicksilver which remain scattered through the mass, there is 
a strong attraction for moisture, and abundant room for concealing it. Experiments 
have been made, to ascertain how much water could be contained in good specimens 
of silver amalgam or plata pina ; the results of which will be more properly stated 
under that head. Whenever this article is a matter of trade, the party purchasing 
ought to be satisfied that it has been thoroughly dried ; and after that, experience 
proves it necessary to count upon a loss of two or three per cent, in fluxing. 

* During twenty months commencing from January 1837, there was received at the mint in amalgam upwards of 
3500 ounces. The average loss on melting was 4i per cent. 

39 



154 GOLD BARS. 



3. LAMINATED GOLD. 

In those mining regions where the gold is found largely alloyed with silver, it is not 
unusual to part the metals before they are sent into the market. To effect this, silver 
is still further added, and in such amount that the gold shall form about one-fourth of 
the mass ;* the whole is then rolled or beaten into thin sheets, and exposed to the 
action of nitric or sulphuric acid, which in such a proportion is able to remove nearly 
all the silver, without destroying the cohesion of the gold. When washed and 
annealed, it appears in the form of small leaves or sheets, but. porous and brittle. It 
must be expected that the treatment will not be uniform, and that in many cases a 
considerable amount of silver will be protected from the action of the acid, and so 
remain in the mass. It is owing to this fact, that laminated gold, which in a 
successful operation should result as high as 990 fine, commonly yields less than 980, 
and has been found as low as 910. Gold in this form comes from Central America, 
and from various parts of South America. From the former, the range of fineness is 
from 910 to 990 ; the latter varies only from 950 to 990 ; and from either, the result 
of 970 may usually be expected. There is a loss in melting such gold, varying from 
one to ten ounces per thousand ; the average of experiments lies midway between 
those extremes. 

As the action of the acid leaves a dull but fine gold surface, the silver present is 
concealed, so that the eye cannot judge as to its quality. 

4. BARS AND CAKES. 

It has already been observed, that the miners frequently melt and cast the metal, 
before sending it for coinage. In our mining region, the usual form employed is that 
of a neat ingot, about six inches long, and one-half to one inch in breadth and thick- 
ness. From the general result of the assays of such bars, it is evident that they are 
fluxed down from the grains or amalgamations without any addition of alloy, or any 
attempt to improve them in purity or ductility. 

Here, however, it is necessary to state some facts, which may warn dealers against 
imposture. 

It is well known, that by a certain course of treatment called pickling, (plunging 
in acid,) a bar of gold, even if so base as scarcely to deserve the name, may be made 
to appear externally of a high grade of purity ; the other metals in the mass being 
dissolved and removed from the surface, and the gold alone remaining visible. 

* Hence the process is technically styled quartation. 






GOLD OARS. 155 

Within three years, eleven parcels of such bars, all from Georgia,* have been brought 
to the mint. The value of these at the apparent fineness would have amounted to 
61,001) dollars ; the actual produce was only 38,000. To the eye, they exhibited the 
rich yellow which indicates an approach to absolute purity ; but an interior view, by 
chipping olf an assay-piece, or a remelt of the whole mass, showed the metal in its 
true colour. From a comparison of all the cases, there seems to have been some 
method in this artifice. The prevailing proportion of gold was 600 thousandths; of 
silver 350, and of copper 50. The two extremes are subjoined, to show how far it is 
thought expedient by the operators to maintain a nicety of adjustment. The best 
contained, of gold 652, silver 308, and copper 40 parts, in a thousand ; the worst, 
569 gold, 359 silver, and 72 copper. 

The cheat can be detected by removing a portion of the surface, or if this be 
inadmissible, by specific gravity. But those who are skilled in the appearances of 
gold, are able to decide at sight, whether the colour is natural or forced. Pickled 
gold has a coarseness, and want of brilliancy, and partakes of that rich, dull hue, 
which is called dead gold. It is seldom burnished, and if it were, the imposition 
would still be perceptible/]" 

Pickling is practised in South America, and no doubt in other parts of the world. 
Cakes of gold from Valparaiso, apparently nearly fine, sometimes result as low as 
600 to 700, the alloy being some ten per cent, copper, and the remainder silver. 

Gold in melted cakes (tejos) comes from the mines of Western Mexico, Peru, and 
Chili. These are of all sizes and frequently bear an assayer's stamp, of the fineness in 
quilates or carats, as also of the proportion of silver if it be considerable. They are, 
in a few cases, from 875 to 900 fine, but generally from 700 downward, in endless 
variety ; the most common rate being near 570. 

The most important class of gold bars, is that produced from refineries in 
Europe ; which are received here, partly from London, but chiefly from Paris. They 
are prepared at private establishments, for commercial purposes, and always bear a 
stamp, indicating their weight and fineness, by which their value is ascertained. 
They are thus rendered available for currency, and eminently subserve those trans- 

* An intelligent correspondent informs us that " the practice of pickling gold, and alloying it with silver, with a view 
to defraud, is very common." Those who do it, make no secret of the matter, but justify themselves on the ground 
that as a manufacturer of broadcloth puts the best finish on his fabrics, so a gold-miner has a right to make his 
bullion appear to the best possible advantage ! 

f Another sort of fraud, far more elaborate, was lately detected here, and in its way was one of the greatest 
curiosities of roguery. From the composition of the metal, the procedure may easily be guessed. A mixture was 
first made of gold, silver, and copper, nearly in the proportion of the worst alloy above specified. A bar of iron was 
then suspended in a mould, and the mixed metal, in a state of fusion, was poured all around, so as to conceal the iron, 
and make it a part of the gold bar issuing from the mould. The gold was about three-eighths of an inch deep, so that 
a large cutting would be necessary to reach the iron. For such a synthesis, the finish of pickling seemed a neces- 
sary consummation. 



156 GOLD JEWELRY. 

actions which require large specie payments. The assays of English bars are made 
by a government officer ; those of France by private assayers, who are nevertheless 
accredited by diplomas from the mint. After very many trials here, it is found that 
these bars (like the coin of those countries) fall short, on an average, one thousandth 
part in fineness. The extremes are from 980 to 998, and the average is 995 ; so that 
they are properly enough styled, in commerce, fine gold. As to size, the British bars 
are about 180 ounces each, while those of France vary from 25 to 650, the average 
being near 300. An opportunity is thus given to pay, in a solid and single piece, 
any amount from 500 to 13,000 dollars* 

The shape of these bars is an oblong solid, or parallelopipedon, a little tapering at 
the sides, and in such dimensions that the length is twice the breadth, and the breadth 
twice the thickness.t The metal is homogeneous, and no attempt at deception has 
been discovered. 

Having thus noticed the various forms of unwrought gold, it remains to speak of 
that metal in its manufactured state ; which will comprehend jewelry and coin. 

1. JEWELRY. 

It is obvious that the value of trinkets is to be estimated by the skill and labour 
expended upon them, as well as by the intrinsic worth of the metal of which they are 
composed. Consequently, it can only be in the event of their becoming damaged, or 
growing out of fashion, or in some such rigorous emergency of the times as the 
community is now enduring, that the sacrifice can be borne of sending them to the 
mint as mere bullion. 

To enumerate the various articles of use and fancy which are brought to the mint, 
often in grotesque confusion, would almost be to give an inventory of a jeweller's 
stock. Thus from American or European shops, there are all the equipments of a 
watch, from the case to the key ; pins, buttons, rings, pendants, cups, and chains. 
From South America, the ornaments are principally chains for the neck ; from Africa, 
twisted rings, of native manufacture. 

Our attention must first be given to the home manufacture. After many assays, 
both of parcels and of individual pieces, it is manifest that there is a great diversity of 
fineness. Taking the range of parcels, the assay varies from 400 to 800 thousandths ; 
or 9i to 19 carats ; but the more usual scope is from 500 to 600 thousandths, say 12 

* A considerable part of the French indemnity was paid in this form. The first bars were received in September 
1834, directly after the law was passed reducing our gold coin. From that date to September 1839, four years, there 
were upwards of six hundred bars deposited at the mint, the aggregate value of which was about $3,500,000. None 
have since been received. 

f A bar of fine gold, measuring six inches long, three wide, and one and a half thick, would weigh 275 ounces, 
which is near the medium size. Such a bar would be worth about 5900 dollars. 



GOLD JEWELRY. 



157 



to 14 carats. The variation is about the same in individual articles; but for better 
satisfaction, the following table is given as a fair specimen. 

ASSAY OF SUNDRY ARTICLES OF AMERICAN JEWELRY. 





RANGE OF 


FINENESS. 




np-fcnTPTinv 






VALUE 


JJtiJL UlL 1 lU.ii 






PER DWT. 




IN THOUS. 


IN CARATS. 




Ladies' neck chains, very elaborate; from 50 to 52") 






CTS. 


inches long, and weighing from 16 to 50 dwts.; of a L 


500 to 562 


12 to 13| 


51 to 58 


fine gold colour, and ductile .... J 








One gentleman's chain, small bars and links, elegant ) 
pattern ; 51 inches ; 17 dwts. ; good colour . $ 


580 


13*1 


60 


One ditto, curb-chain style, 12 dwts. ; pale 


646 


154 


67 


Gentlemen's watch-chains, for the fob, about 9 inches ) 
long; 12J to 24 dwts. ; highly wrought ; good col'r $ 


310 to 502 


7tV to 12 


32 to 51 


Finger-rings, 12 to 24 grains ; rather coppery colour . 


296 to 550 


71- to 13 T V 


31 to 57 


Ear-pendants, highly wrought, and fine gold colour ; ) 
weighing 4j to 6 dwts. per pair ... $ 


560 to 588 


13& to 14§ 


58 to 61 


Scissors-holders, 3 to 4 dwts. each ; good colour . 


555 


">A 


58 


Pencil-case, chased ; thickness of the metal in the cylin- } 
der, -j-^j- of an inch ;* imperfect ... $ 


400 


94 


41 


Breast-pins, and buttons for the bosoms and sleeves 


595 to 613 


Ui to 14$ 


61 to 64 


Case of a gentleman's watch ; chased, and thick 


754 


18| 


78 


Case of a lady's watch, very thin .... 


747 


171 


77 


Small locket, with enamel work .... 


761 


18$ 


78 


Thimble, much worn, and coppery colour . 


302 


71 


31 


Masonic trinket, 2| dwts. ...... 


486 


Hi? 


49 


Old-fashioned watch-sea! ; 3 dwts. ; reddish 


621 


1*1# 


63 


Old-fashioned watch-chain ; 28 dwts. ; reddish 


674 


ie* 


70 


Old-fashioned watch-key, square plate, chasedf . 


642 


ISA 


66 



* This is the thickness of common letter-paper. 

f Besides the foregoing articles, there were some, found in the same parcels, which we cannot insert in the table as 
" fair specimens." For example, there were six watch-seals, of new style, variegated gold, and highly wrought, 
weighing (without the stones) 5 to 7 dwts. each ; they were found to consist chiefly of solder overlaid with gold, the 
proportion of the latter being only 38 thousandths, or less than one carat. There was also a watch-key, of good 
exterior, which resulted only 58 thousandths of gold, or l.J carats. Also, a lady's neck-chain, 51 inches long, and 
weighing 36 dwts., the assay of which was less than 3 carats. 

40 



158 GOLD JEWELRY. 

It has not been decided, (that we know of,) how far gold may be alloyed, and 
yet retain its honourable name. In coinage, it is seldom reduced below seven- 
eighths, or 21 carats. In jewelry, which is to be exposed to incessant wear, such 
as a watch-case or pencil-case, 18 carats is considered a good proportion, though 
it is probable that 16 carats will keep in colour well enough. For ornamental 
articles, not meant to be much handled, 14 carats seems to be sufficient, if the 
alloy be both silver and copper, in judicious proportion. But below this, it is hardly 
possible that trinkets can endure for any length of time, without becoming tarnished. 

In some countries the quality of wrought gold is controlled by law, and it is 
necessary to submit the articles to an assay, under the authority of government* 
For example : 

In Great Britain, the standards are 22 and 18 carats, or 916-7 and 750 thou- 
sandths ; the latter being chiefly used. 

In France, 920, 840, and 750 thousandths; or 22 T V, 20i, and 18 carats; the latter 
almost entirely used. 

In Austria, 18A, 13tV, and 7U carats. The last is about to be disallowed. 

In Mexico, 20 carats. But lower proportions may be used, in which case there is 
no official guarantee or stamp. 

In the United States there are no legal provisions, nor, we believe, any standards 
agreed upon amongst manufacturers. 

Jewelry undergoes a prodigious, though unsteady, loss in melting. This is partly 
owing to the many exterior cavities, in which dirt collects, but much more to the 
presence of solder, which, besides its use as a cement, often serves as an interior 
support for the gold. In some articles there is little occasion for the use of solder ; 
in others it abounds. Consequently, while one parcel may not lose more than one 
per cent, in the crucible, another will lose fifty per cent., or half its weight.t These 
extremes have repeatedly been observed here. The usual loss is from 4 to 16 per 
cent. 

The trinkets sent from Spanish America do not essentially differ from our own in 
purity. An ear-ring, lately assayed, was 513 thousandths (12£ carats) fine; a chain, 
handsomely wrought, and weighing 42J dwts., proved only 468 thousandths (11^ 
carats) fine. In general, the variation is from 500 to 750 ; or 12 to 18 carats. 

The richest ornaments, so far as the quality of the gold is concerned, are those 
worn by the negroes of Western Africa. Considerable quantities of twisted rings, 
which are doubtless meant for personal decoration, find their way to this mint, as 
bullion. These rings are apparently thus made ; the gold is beaten into a square 
rod, two or three inches long, which is twisted until it forms a screw ; the ends are 

* The same is the case with silver plate, as will be shown farther on. 
f This great loss is partly owing to the necessity of refining with nitre. 



COINED GOLD. 159 

then smoothed, tapered to a point, and brought together, forming a ring. The 
ductility of the metal readily admits of" these contortions. It is evident that these are 
wrought from native gold, without artificial mixture ; silver, the natural alloy, being 
always and only present. There is much difference in the fineness, the range being 
from 845 to 960 thousandths (20.}- to 23 carats), although the usual scope is narrower, 
and the average may be safely set down at 930 thousandths, or 22^ carats. The 
rings of inferior quality may be known by being somewhat brittle, and not allowing 
so fine a twist as the better sort. In weight, they are adapted to the means of all 
classes of wearers: we have noticed the extremes of 6£ grains and 26 dwts. ; which, 
in cash, would be from 26 cents to 26 dollars. About 5 to 10 dwts. is a common size. 
Solder is not used in these articles, and consequently the loss in melting is very 
trifling. 

2. COINED GOLD. 

In the former part of this work, the character of individual species of coin has been 
stated at large. When foreign coins are brought in masses to be converted into our 
currency, they are considered only as bullion, and are received by weight. 

The kinds of gold coin received at the mint, in a large way, are those of England, 
France, Netherlands, the northern parts of Germany, and the republics of Mexico 
and Colombia. All others come in small quantities, or rather are found here and 
there, in mixed parcels. 

Coined metal is (unless perfectly new) encumbered with an accretion of dirt and 
dust, which of course disappears in melting. By experimenting in a large way, it is 
found that an allowance of three-tenths of an ounce per thousand ounces must be 
made on this account, for gold coin. 

This branch of the subject should not be dismissed without noticing emissions 
of coin by individuals, not in the way of counterfeiting, but without authority of law. 

In our own country, the only private coinage worth stating, consists of gold pieces, 
emanating from the gold region. The establishments for this purpose have been, 
that of Templeton Reid, in Georgia, now discontinued ; and that of Christopher 
Bechtler, in North Carolina, still in operation. 

In the year 1830, when gold began to be extensively raised in Georgia, the project 
was set on foot of coining it, so to speak, " at the pit's mouth." Three denominations 
of coin, ten, five, and two and a half dollars, were struck, bearing the name of 
" Templeton Reid, Assayer," and the designation " Georgia Gold." On two occasions 
they were brought to this mint in quantities, but not since 1831. They were soon 
discontinued, and probably by this time are nearly forgotten, even at home. The 
following is the weight, assay, and value of two kinds ; the five dollar piece has not 
been tried. 



160 



COINED GOLD. 




VALUE. 
D. C. 



Piece of ten dollars* 

Piece of two and a half dollars 



10 06 
2 43 



Mr. Bechtler's mint, which is located at Rutherfordton, North Carolina, is of much 
greater importance. Its operations were commenced in 1831, and are still carried 
on,t although there is a Branch Mint of the United States less than eighty miles 
distant. The coins circulate freely at the South and West, but are scarcely known 
north of Washington. They are frequently deposited here for recoinage. 

To obtain a proper understanding of them will require some attention. There are 
two series; the first bearing no date, but issued earlier than 1834, of the three 
denominations of five, two and a half, and one dollar, professedly 20 carats fine, and 
150 grains to the piece of five dollars. These are now scarce. The second series is 
that which bears the date of 1834. In that year there was an important reduction 
of standards in the national gold coins, to which Mr. Bechtler conformed, and by way 
of distinction has used the uniform date of that year. The denominations are as 
before, but there are three grades of fineness and weight ; thus at 20 carats, the five 
dollar piece is to weigh 140 grains, the same at 21 carats, to weigh 134 grains, and 
at 22 carats, to weigh 128 grains.^ The pieces of 20 carats are stamped "North 
Carolina gold," those of 21 "Carolina gold," and those of 22 "Georgia gold." It 
is probable that all of the gold is raised in North Carolina, and that these stamps are 
only to assist in indicating the different qualities, as they are generally understood in 
that region ; Georgia gold being usually the best, and North Carolina the poorest. 

The coins bear no emblematical device, but simply the name and residence of the 
manufacturer, the weight and fineness, and the designation just stated. 

The following is the result of numerous trials of these coins at this mint. 

* It is to be observed that our eagle of that date would now be worth $10 66. It then commanded a premium of 5 
per cent. ; that is, it was worth $10 50 in silver. If Mr. Reid's ten dollar piece was current without premium, his 
gain was about 44 cents, or near 4A per cent. It may have brought more in market. 

t Mr. Bechtler has stated the amount of his coinage to February 1840 (nine years), at $2,241,840. 

t The calculations are not strict. These three pieces, at their rates, would be worth, by the law of 1834, $5 02J, 
5 04 A, and 5 05, respectively. 



SILVER BULLION. 



16J 





Profcss'd 
weight. 

Grs. 


Professed fineness. 


Average 

weight. 

Grs. 


Average 
fineness. 

Thous. 


Average 
value. 

D. C. M. 


Value 
per dwt. 

c. M. 


Variations in 
fineness. 

Thous. 


Variations 


DENOMINATION. 


In 
Carats. 


In 

Thous. 


in 
value. 


Five dollar piece, i 
before 1834 $ 


150 


20 


833 


148 


838 


5 34 


86 6 


829 to 846 


$5 28 to $5 39 


Do. since 1834, > 
"N. a gold" \ 


140 


20 


833 


139-8 


815 


4 90 7 


84 2 


813 to 819 


4 89 to 4 93 


Do. " Carolina gold" 


134 


21 


875 


134-4 


845 


4 89 


87 3 


833 to 852 


4 82 to 4 93 


Do. " Georgia gold" 


128 


22 


917 


127-6 


882 


4 84 6 


91 2 


856 to 899 


4 70 to 4 94 


2h "N. C. gold" 


70 


20 


833 


70 


819 


2 47 


84 6 






Do. " Georgia gold" 


64 


22 


917 


63-6 


872 


2 39 


90 1 






One doll. « N. C." 


28 


20 


833 


27-6 


810 


96 2 


83 7 


804 to 816 


95'- to 97 cts. 



There is not much variation in the weight, but the fineness (as shown above) is 
exceedingly irregular and inferior, causing an average loss of 2J per cent, on the 
nominal value* A safe estimate of the value of single five dollar pieces, taken "as 
they come," would be #4 84.t 

The present Director of the Mint, in his report to Congress for the year 1840, 
after a brief statement in relation to Mr. Bechtler's coinage, observed : " It seems 
strange that the privilege of coining copper should be carefully confined by law to 
the general government, while that of coining gold and silver, though withheld from 
the States, is freely permitted to individuals, with the single restriction, that they 
must not imitate the coinage established by law." 

SILVER BULLION. 

This branch of the subject will require fewer subdivisions than the preceding. In 
an unwrought state, silver is brought to the mint either in amalgam, or melted bars 
and cakes ; in a manufactured form, it appears as plate or coin. These four items 
will sufficiently distinguish all the varieties of silver bullion. 



* It is stated that Mr. Bechtler charges 2J to 3 per cent, for the manufacture. This agrees very well with the 
average deficiency. 

f Same as the British sovereign. 

41 



162 AMALGAMATED SILVER, ETC. 



1. AMALGAMATED SILVER, OR PLATAPINA. 



This form of bullion, which is common to both the metals, has been accounted for 
in describing gold amalgam. Silver in such a state is usually designated by the 
Spanish term plata pina, or cone-shaped silver. Most of it bears that configuration 
pretty nearly, and might, at a distance, be mistaken for loaf-sugar. Sometimes it is 
compressed into the form of a wedge, cylinder, or globe ; more rarely, it is fancifully 
shaped into diminutive towers, images, and the like. 

Bullion of this kind comes from the western ports of North and South America, 
and forms a considerable share of our coining material. 

The most remarkable difference between the platapina of Mexico, and that of 
Peru and Chili, is, that the former invariably contains a minute proportion of gold, 
sometimes enough to extract ; while the latter is not only free from gold, but usually 
is accompanied with a small portion of the native sulphuret of silver.* The same 
fact is observed of bars and cakes from the same countries, the sulphuret not being 
reduced to metal at the first melting. 

Experiments have been made here to ascertain how much water may be concealed 
in platapina, owing to its sponge-like texture. Pieces of various dimensions were 
heated to redness, to free them from moisture, and their dry weight taken ; they were 
then soaked in water two or three days, and reweighed ; from which it was found, 
that in one case the absorption was 11 per cent., in another 15, and in a third 20 
per cent, of the weight of the mass. Here there is great room for unfair dealing, 
since a pretty well-soaked lump may appear dry on the outside, and if it is sold by 
weight, a good deal of water will be estimated as silver. The specific gravity of 
platapina is from 4 to 5 ; consequently, it is about 2i times more bulky than when 
melted. The usual range of purity, and of loss in melting, will be shown in a table. 

2. MELTED BARS AND CAKES. 

Silver bullion which has been melted, appears in a variety of shapes. If it has 
been cast in a large oblong mould, and weighs several hundred ounces, (from 800 to 
1600 is the usual scope,) it is called a bar or pig; if it is from a small slender mould, 
and weighs 30 to 50 ounces, it is called an ingot; if it has not been cast, but allowed 
to cool in the test-dish of the refinery, it is a test-bottom; if it has cooled in the 
crucible, it is called a king, or if very small a button. Silver in these various forms is 

* This is insoluble in nitric acid, and therefore presents an embarrassment in the humid assay ; indeed, the only one 
we have had to encounter. M. Gay-Lussac, the inventor of this admirable process, mentions other obstructions, but 
appears not to have experienced this one. When it occurs, we rely mainly on cupellation. 






SILVER PLATE. 163 

sometimes of an inferior standard, especially if it be a melting of plate ; but generally, 
bars and cakes are of a high grade of fineness. They are chiefly imported here from 
the same regions which send amalgam. They frequently bear the Spanish stamps of 
weight and fineness. 

A silver bar or cake ought to be of uniform fineness throughout its mass. But this 
is not always the case ; and where the melting has been rudely done, a remelt is 
made here before the assay is taken. 

There are some frauds to be guarded against, in this sort of bullion. Pickling 
(already spoken of) is scarcely available ; but sometimes an iron bar is detected in 
the bowels of a silver one ; and in one instance, pigs of silver were brought to the 
mint, in each of which there were two very different qualities of metal, the better sort 
of course being on the outside* 



3. SILVER PLATE. 

The plate received at this mint is partly from Spanish America, and partly from 
our own workshops ; on rare occasions, there are articles presented of English, 
French, and German fabrication. 

In many countries there are legal standards for the fineness of plate, some of which 
will be noticed before any detail is given of actual assays. 

In England wrought silver is 925 thousandths, the same as the coin. Articles 
capable of bearing a stamp are marked with a lion, the initials of the maker's name, 
the mark of the assay office, and a letter for the date. The mark of the Goldsmiths' 
Office is a leopard's head ; the office at Dublin, a harp ; at Edinburgh, a thistle ; at 
Sheffield, a crown ; at Birmingham, an anchor ; at Newcastle, three castles. The 
letter used by the Goldsmiths' Company shows the date by beginning the alphabet 
with 1817, and reckoning on to twenty letters progressively; thus 1820 is known by 
the letter D. When the duty is paid, the article is further marked with the King's 
head.f 

In France there are two standards : 950 and 800 thousandths.^ The former is 
probably most used. 

* The particulars of this case are worth stating. The deposit consisted of two bars, or pigs. Being too heavy for 
the beam then in use, they were cut in two. The cut surface showed that the metal was of considerably lower quality 
at the centre than at the outside ; and the layers were so distinct as to prove that the dissimilarity was not accidental. 
Before they were melted, assays were taken from the interior and exterior of each bar, and the result was as follows: 
First bar ("2012 ounces), exterior, 964 thousandths — interior, 881. Second bar (2200 ounces), exterior, 970 — interior, 
920. After a thorough melting and mixing, the first bar resulted 949, the second 962. If the two had been as pure 
throughout as they were on the outside, they would have been worth $5268 ; as it was, they yielded $5206, which was 
a loss of 12 per cent, to the buyer, though but a small profit to the knavish melter for his pains. 

f Kelly's Cambist. \ Ibid. 



164 



COINED SILVER. 



In Austria the two standards are 15 and 13 loths, or 938 and 813 thousandths. A 
change is about to be made, substituting the single standard of 900 thousandths* 

In Prussia there is no legal regulation, but the manufacture of plate is controlled 
by the Corporation of Goldsmiths, so as to insure some conformity to the standard of 
750 thousandths fine.t This proportion is also used in other parts of Germany, 
particularly at Hamburg. 

In Mexico the legal fineness is 11 dineros, or 917 thousandths. This proportion is 
not compulsory, and manufacturers may make whatever alloy they please ; but in 
such case there is a distinction in the mode of stamping. The mark called diezmo 
(tenth) consists of an eagle, and the initial letter of the place where the duty is paid, 
which only proves that payment has been made. The stamp of the quinto (fifth) has, 
in addition to the marks of the diezmo, those of the assayer and the manufacturer, 
and indicates that the metal is of lawful standard.^ 

In the United States there exists no legal provision ; but it is generally understood 
that plate is of the same fineness as our coin, as it is probably made therefrom, in a 
great measure. 

Actual assays of plate, the loss in melting, and the value per ounce, will be stated 
in the ensuing table. 

4. COINED SILVER. 



This branch of the subject having already been discussed, we shall only remark, 
that foreign coins constitute the larger part of the material used in minting opera- 
tions here. The kinds most frequently presented are those of Mexico, Peru, Bolivia, 
France, Prussia, and the old crowns of the Austrian Low Countries. The coins of 
other countries appear in much smaller amount, and usually in miscellaneous parcels. 

Silver coins are generally much more soiled by circulation than the gold. The 
usual loss in melting is 17 dwts. upon a thousand ounces, which is three-fourths of an 
ounce upon a thousand Mexican dollars. 

* Letter of J. G. Schwarz, Esq., U. S. Consul at Vienna. 

f Letter of his Excellency Henry Wheaton, U. S. Envoy at Berlin. 

| Letter of Don Bernardo Gonsalez, Superintendent of the Mint of Mexico. 



MIXED BULLION. 



165 



TABLE OF THE FINENESS OF THE PRECEDING DESCRIPTIONS OF BULLION, LOSS IN 
MELTING, AND VALUE PER OUNCE. 





RANGE OF 


AVERAGE 


LOSS IN 


VAL.rERTROYOZ. 


AV. VAL. PER 0Z. 


DESCRIPTION. 


FINENESS. 


FINENESS. 


MELTING, 


BEFORE MELTING. 


AFTER MELTING. 




THOTJS. 


THOUS. 


PERCENT. 


CENTS. 


CENTS. 


Plata ]iina .... 


970 to 999 


990 


2 to 5 


120 to 125 


125 to 129 


Pigs and test-bottoms 


930 to 995 


985 


A t0 A 


119 to 127 


120 to 128 


Plate:* English . 


924 to 936 


925 


T 2 o to 2 


119 


119-5 


French 


945 to 950 


946 


do. 


121-5 


122-2 


German (Hamburg, &c.) 


738 to 760 


750 


do. 


96-5 


97 


Romish 


(one parcel) 


890 


do. 


114-5 


115 


Mexicanf . 


600 to 920 


830 


do. 


106 


107 


South American, generally, 


670 to 900 


830 


do. 


106 


107 


Chilian 


840 to 960 


880 


do. 


113 


114 


United States 


875 to 900 


890 


do. 


112 to 115 


113 to 116 



MIXED BULLION. 

In the native state, gold is invariably accompanied with a proportion of silver, and 
silver, in most cases, contains more or less gold. These metals are not difficult to 
separate, though the operation requires skill and labour, and is attended with some 
expense. Whenever the cost of parting is greater than the metal to be extracted 
will repay, it is allowed to remain, especially in the case of silver containing gold. 
Until within a few years it was rare to find a silver coin which did not contain from 
one-half to two thousandths, but since the recent improvements in parting, it has 
been an extensive and profitable business in France to dissolve the old crowns and 
other coins, for the sake of the modicum of gold contained in them.J French silver 
coins are now commonly free from gold. 

* We have deducted one-half to one cent per ounce from plate before melting. If the articles contain much solder, 
as coffee-urns, cups, &c, this deduction is necessary, but spoons, forks, and the like may be rated at the valuation in 
the last column. 

f A satisfactory average of Mexican and South American plate can hardly be stated. The working of silver is well 
understood in those countries, and plate of a low fineness is made to look very well. 

I The method referred to is the parting by sulphuric acid, introduced in Paris in 1826, after plans proposed by 
M. D'Arcet, Director of Assays at the mint. The principal refinery is that of M. Poizat. The tariff of charges under 
this process is complicated, being adjusted to various stages of alloy, but the cheapness of the operation may be judged 

42 



166 MIXED BULLION. 

Mixed bullion is technically of two sorts ; goldish silver, where the silver predomi- 
nates, and silvery gold, in the opposite case. 

1. Goldish Silver is chiefly received from the west of Mexico, and in cakes 
bearing the stamp of an assay. The proportions are very various, but often the 
mixture is nearly in equal parts. Silver bullion is always assayed for gold here, and 
depositors sometimes receive a return in the latter metal without expecting it. The 
charge for parting is four cents per ounce of metal operated on. 

The silver derived from the mine recently opened in Davidson County, North 
Carolina, contains about two-thirds of one per cent, of gold, a proportion which well 
repays the cost of separating. Deposits from this mine were first received in the 
autumn of 1841, and the enterprise, which is one of much interest to this country, 
gives promise of ultimate success* 

2. Silvery Gold, such as will admit of parting, is chiefly brought to this mint 
from North Carolina, Western Mexico, and Colombia. The charge for separating is 
twelve cents per ounce of the bullion treated. Generally, bullion containing less than 
15 per cent, of silver is not parted for the depositor, unless brought in considerable 
amount, say of a hundred ounces or upwards ; in any case, the result must yield five 
dollars after all expenses, or else it is not reported. 

of from the fact that one millieme or thousandth of gold, in a silver coin, will pay for its extraction. But the erection 
of a refinery upon this plan is so expensive, and so much material is required to keep it profitably employed, that it has 
not been established in the United States. At the mint the old process by nitric acid is used, but the charges are so 
narrowed down to the bare cost of labour and materials, that no importer would find it worth his while to send mixed 
bullion across the ocean to be parted. The lowest proportion of gold parted from silver here is 21 thousandths, or one- 
fourth of one per cent. (See D'Arcet's Instruction, 1827, and other pamphlets published in Paris; also report of Dr. 
Patterson, Director of the Mint, to the Senate, April 27, 1842.) 

* The ore from this mine is an argentiferous carbonate of lead, yielding about one-third its weight in pure metal, 
from which is afterwards extracted from 100 to 400 ounces of silver per ton. The amount brought to the mint thus 
far, is about $5000. 






CHAPTER IV. 



COUNTERFEIT COINS. 



A coin is genuine which has been issued under the regulation and authority of 
law ; a counterfeit coin is an imitation of the genuine, struck without legal authority. 

Counterfeit coins are almost always of inferior composition and value, and are 
fabricated for the purpose of imposing them upon the public as genuine, and gaining 
the difference. We say almost universally, for there have been instances in which 
the false money was fully equal in value to the true. How this could happen may 
be illustrated by a case which occurred in 1828 in Tunis. A coinage of new piastres 
was effected under the direction of the Bey, and on account of his government. 
Their real value was about fourteen cents, but the decree made them current at five 
piastres to the Spanish dollar; at which rate the Bey reaped the enormous profit of 
more than forty per cent. Such a speculation would naturally create competition ; 
and accordingly, piastres of similar impressions, weight, and value were fabricated in 
Europe, and found their way to Tunis, where they entered into the circulation, and 
procured for their makers a division of the spoil. The enterprise, both on the part 
of the Bey and of the counterfeiters, was necessarily soon at an end, and the piastres 
fell to their intrinsic value. — Some years ago the base silver money of Hayti was 
imitated by artists in this country, for a speculation similar to that upon Tunisian 
currency. This is not the place to discuss the question of the morality of issuing a 
counterfeit which is in all respects equal to the genuine coin : but the absurdity and 
impolicy of affixing an enhanced value upon a piece of money by mere force of law, 
is sufficiently shown by the foregoing incidents. 

It is not so easy as one would suppose, to make the distinction between that which 
is, and that which is not, to be stigmatized as counterfeiting. What are we to think, 
when the sovereign power in a state suddenly and secretly debases the coinage? Such 
a thing could not happen where the laws are openly promulgated, as in our own 
country, and most others. But there are realms where the operations of the mint are 
state secrets ; in one of these, the coins might be issued in December at nine-tenths 
fine, and in January of the new year it might all at once be reduced to seven-eighths. 
None would be the wiser, until, perhaps, some mint-assayer in another land (who will 



168 COUNTERFEIT COINS. 

take nothing for granted) finds out the fraud. In the meantime, the government, 
setting itself as an antagonist to its own people, reaps an enormous gain, of which 
the future reaction is no dissuasive against the present temptation* 

Once more it is to be remarked, that a coin may be struck without legal authority, 
and below legal value, and yet be no counterfeit. Such is the case with the gold 
pieces of Mr. Bechtler, now and for some years past coined in North Carolina. 
They are slightly under value, and are recognised by no law ; yet they are no 
imitations of the national currency, and therefore not to be classed with spurious 
money. Their issue is not, though it might be made, unlawful. 

Counterfeiting the lawful coin has ever been regarded as a highly criminal offence, 
and been forbidden by the severest penalties. Among the ancient Egyptians the 
punishment was cutting off both the hands. By the Roman civil law, counterfeiters 
were thrown to wild beasts. The Emperor Tacitus made it a capital crime, with 
forfeiture of property ; and Constantine declared it to be treason.t In Great Britain 
the forgery of coin is a felony, punishable with death ; but the penalty is usually 
commuted for transportation, or long imprisonment. In the United States the Act of 
Congress provides, that if any person shall counterfeit any coin in the resemblance of 
the gold or silver coin struck at the mint, or in the resemblance of any foreign coin 
made current by law, or shall pass the same, or shall import it with such intention, 
he shall be deemed guilty of felony, and shall be punished with fine not exceeding five 
thousand dollars, and imprisonment at hard labour not exceeding ten years. For 
the like offences against our copper coin, the penalty is limited to one thousand 
dollars fine, and three years' imprisonment.^ 

As for the antiquity of this practice, we venture little in assuming that it is nearly 

* The case has recently happened in Bolivia and South Peru, where halves and quarters of a dollar have been coined 
at one-fourth less value than their face purports. (See those articles.) But besides this instance, it will be curious to 
cite some facts which occurred in France in the thirteenth century. Philip of Valois, who reigned from 1328 to 1350, 
in his last year ordered a coinage of double-lournois, at the reduced and very base proportion of 185 thousandths fine. 
In his mandate to the officers of the mint, this precautionary passage occurs : " On the oath which you have made to 
the King, keep the thing as secret as possible. Take care that the workmen shall neither know nor suspect any 
thing of it ; for if it transpires through your means, you shall be punished in such a manner as will be an example to 
all others." His successor, John II., in the very next year, issued a coinage of silver blancs, which were to be 375, 
instead of 500 thousandths fine. His direction ran thus: "Keep the thing secret; and if any one ask what is the alloy 
of the blancs, pretend that they are of six deniers." At the same time the gold royals were secretly reduced from 20 
to 18 carats, with this injunction : " Cause all the former royals to be remelted ; and tell the melters (lest they might 
suspect all was not right) that the chief-melter had neglected to alloy them previously, and therefore it was necessary 
to remelt." In reciting these facts, the historian observes that these monarchs only followed the example of their 
predecessor, Philip le Bel, who, for his pains in this business, acquired the additional surname of le-faux-monnoyeur. 
Thus Philip the Fair, with an alias of Philip the Counterfeiter, if not the originator, may be considered the patron of 
Iris profession. Mongez, Memoire, &c. 

f Arbuthnot on Ancient Coins, &c. p. 8. | Act of March 3, 1825. 



COUNTERFEIT COINS. I59 

coeval with the art of coining. What has just been stated, as to the penalties 
affixed to the crime in ancient countries, will throw some light upon this point; in 
addition to which, a passage may be cited from St. Jerome (of the fourth century), 
who observes that certain grottoes in Egypt had been discovered, containing some 
rusty anvils and hammers, and that Egyptian writers speak of them as having 
been the haunts of counterfeiters, about the time of Mark Anthony's visit to Cleo- 
patra * 

The crime is in some countries very prevalent. The statistical tables of Great 
Britain show that in four years ending with 1837, there were 1130 convictions in 
England and Wales for counterfeiting and passing counterfeits, of metallic money 
only. In the year last named, the whole number of convictions in the realm was 
431 ; namely, in England 315, in Scotland 36, and in Ireland 80.f 

There are no means of ascertaining the extent of this manufacture and traffic in 
the United States. Prosecutions in this part of the country are not frequent, nor are 
spurious coins abundant ; but in the Southern and Western States the case is 
different. We read continually of organized hordes of depredators upon the cur- 
rency, and of the diffusion of " bogus money" throughout the Great Valley of the 
Mississippi. 

The principal object of this chapter is to enable persons to discriminate between 
true and false coins. The need of such information is felt in various circumstances 
in life, but the most important are these three : 

1. When a doubtful piece of money is offered in some such place as the market, 
or at a counter, and consequently very little time is afforded to decide upon taking it ; 
in which case, the simplest tests only can be resorted to. 

2. Where the piece in question is of a large denomination, and much interest is 
felt in ascertaining its true character ; in such case, more time and pains can be 
taken. 

3. When a person is under suspicion or arrest for the wilful forging or uttering of 
counterfeit money ; or when evidence is to be given on a trial for that crime, before 
a court. In such case, the common tests may not be sufficient, and resort is to be 
had to the severest scrutiny. 

These three cases will bring under review all the appliances for deciding whether 
a coin is good or bad. These are easily divisible into three classes, which (for want 
of a better nomenclature) shall be designated as, I. The sensible tests; II. The 
mechanical tests ; and III. The chemical tests. 

Before entering upon these topics, a single remark must be made, though it be a 
very obvious one, that to be able to use these tests, one must have an acquaintance 

* Life of Paul the Hermit, quoted by M. Mongez. t Tables of Revenue, Population, &c, London, 1839. 

43 



170 SENSIBLE TESTS. 

with the genuine coin. Any American is familiar enough with the money of his 
own country and of Spanish America, and he may possess a sufficient knowledge of 
British and French coin. But how shall he decide upon a Prussian thaler, or an 
Austrian zwanziger, of which he seldom sees either the true or the false, and which, 
though genuine, are of as low a fineness as many counterfeit dollars of Mexico and 
Peru? In such cases the details of weight and fineness, with the aid of the 
engravings, in the present work, will be of use, though a sight of the real coin is 
nearly indispensable. The aim of the ensuing remarks must therefore be, to assist 
any reader, whether American or European, in detecting the counterfeits of those 
coins with which he is most familiar, and especially those of superior alloys. 

I. SENSIBLE TESTS. 

The senses of sight, smell, hearing, and feeling, are familiar tests of the genuineness 
of money, and have been relied upon in all ages and countries* Some particulars 
will be stated upon these tests individually. 

The Sight. This is the most to be depended upon, of the sensible tests. It takes 
cognizance of three things ; the colour of the metal, the workmanship of the coin, 
and the dimensions, in diameter or thickness. 

1. To speak first of gold coin. If the examiner is familiar with the true colour of 
gold, both pure and alloyed, he will not easily be deceived by any composition which 
contains no gold, and is not gilded. 

But such a counterfeit of gold coin rarely if ever is attempted. A true gold 
surface must be attained, and this is arrived at in three ways. The first is by 
introducing a considerable proportion of gold into the alloy, varying from one-fourth 
to two-thirds, and bringing out the colour by pickling. The second is by gilding. 
The last is by sawing out the interior of a good coin, and leaving two very thin, but 
genuine outside disks, to be soldered upon a baser body. 

In the first of these cases, the colour will be that of fine gold, and if new, rather 
too good. If the piece is a little worn, the baser metal will discover itself, in 
prominent places. A doubloon lately fell under suspicion here, partly from that fact ; 
it proved to be only 670, instead of 870 thousandths fine, and therefore a counterfeit, 
though containing a remarkably generous share of good metal. Genuine gold 
coins lose their colour somewhat by wear, especially if they are alloyed with copper 

* In the writings of Epictetus (who flourished under Nero) the following passage occurs, upon this subject. "As it 
respects moneys, the banker employs four means of ascertaining their quality; the sight, the touch, the smell, and the 
sound. He throws down the coin, and observes what sound it gives; and this he repeats several times." The Chinese, 
who have no gold or silver coins of their own, but deal extensively in foreign money, especially Spanish dollars, are 
famous for their skill in the use of these tests. Travellers assure us, that an expert money-changer will separate good 
from bad dollars nearly as fast as he can pass them through his hands. 



SENSIBLE TESTS. 171 

only, or with silver only ; but the change will not be so manifest as in the case of a 
counterfeit. 

In the next case (gilding) the trick has been effective. A parcel of coins was sent 
here by a bank, in which a specimen of this kind was detected. It was a half-dollar 
of 1810, which had been coated with gold, and the "50 C." scraped off, to make it 
pass for an eagle, for which it was received by the teller of the bank. In another 
case, a half-dollar of 1801, the reverse of which, as to the impressions, was similar to 
the eagle, and was gilded ; on the other side, the coin was smoothed off to receive a 
thin obverse disk from a real eagle, by soldering. It may be censurable to recite 
such facts, but the danger of indoctrinating others in these laborious and unpro- 
fitable rogueries, is less than that of allowing them to go unexposed. Besides, every 
one who is in the receipt of coin, especially in gold, must habituate himself to give 
it some examination. 

But the cheat of gilding can no longer be practised with effect. Gold and silver 
coins are now in every country made so palpably different, in the devices or 
diameters, that such a conversion will, with a little care, necessarily be detected. 

In the last of these three instances, the imposture is still more subtle than the 
preceding. A forty-franc piece was lately brought here, which was faultless to the 
eye in every respect ; in fact, its outside was genuine, the interior being filled up 
with a base metal. In this instance, the trials by sound and weight were necessary to 
detect the fraud. Sometimes, it is stated, the disks of gold are soldered upon a plate 
of platinum, to maintain a proper weight and specific gravity, without increasing the 
thickness* In this case, not only the sight, but some other tests also, would be 
unavailable ; still the means of detection would remain. There is little ground, 
however, to fear a method of counterfeiting which requires great skill and expe- 
rience, and no small trouble and expense, to make it effectual. 

To conclude this point, it is to be remarked, that because a gold coin looks rather 
too pale, or too red, it is not therefore to be condemned as below standard. The 
recent French coins are wholly alloyed with copper, and the beautiful colour of gold 
is thus nearly lost ; still, the hue cannot be mistaken by a practised eye for any thing 
else than standard gold. On the other hand, those who are familiar with Bechtler's 
coins, of North Carolina, are aware that some of them are so pale as to be almost 
brassy ; nevertheless, they are of good quality. 

We proceed to the judgment of silver coins, by colour. The remarks already made, 
have here a general application. Most persons know what the colour of a silver coin 
ought to be, and can upon slight examination decide between the real metal (even 
though dimmed by wear and dirt) and the shabby imitations in pewter, tin, and 

* Chaudet, Art de VEssayeur, p. 287. His valuable chapter De VExamen des Fausses Monnaies Frangaises, has 
furnished us with some of the facts and suggestions contained in this article. 



172 SENSIBLE TESTS. 

German silver. Further, if there be a proportion of silver in the coin, and it be 
somewhat worn, the dark or brown tint will here and there betray itself. But the 
sight alone cannot detect coins which have been plated, or which, being partly silver, 
are nearly new. 

2. Inspection of the workmanship is a test so severe, that most counterfeits cannot 
endure it. It is a happy circumstance that the finest artists are generally men of 
integrity, and cannot be seduced into the illicit arts of forgery. In consequence of 
this, a counterfeit coin may usually be known by some awkwardness or straggling in 
the letters, some ugliness about the face of Liberty, or at least, some curl or fold out 
of place. The very best imitation seen here of American half-dollars, such as would 
deceive the most wary, may still be known, upon a comparison, by the iviry locks of 
hair. Sometimes an egregious blunder is committed : thus there are spurious dollars 
of Carolus IIII., dated some years after the termination of his reign. The gilded 
eagle of 1810, already spoken of, also bore an anachronism on its face, as no eagles 
were coined from 1805 to 1837. 

After all, this test cannot stand alone, since some imitations are exceedingly well 
executed, and some pieces (as already explained) are genuine on the face, but base 
at the heart. 

3. The dimensions, in diameter and thickness, are to be looked to. Here coun- 
terfeiters are placed in a dilemma, as will be seen from the following facts. The 
specific gravity of our gold coin is about 17-3; of the silver, 10-3. Suppose an 
imitation is made of the half-eagle, one-half gold, one-fourth silver, and one-fourth 
copper ; which would be liberal, if the forger is to make money by his business. 
The specific gravity of this mixture would be only 12-8 ; that is, it would be so much 
lighter than standard gold, that if the counterfeit were no larger than the genuine 
coin, it could only weigh 95 grains, less by 34 grains than the true weight, and would 
therefore be exposed to detection, even without a balance. But let us assume that 
the alloy has been three-fourths gold, and the remainder silver and copper ; even 
this would be (at the proper size) too light by 14 grains. A deficiency of three 
grains, if the piece were unworn, would render it suspicious ; any thing beyond 
would condemn it. 

As the difference in gravity between silver and the inferior metals is much less 
than between them and gold, the variation, as to counterfeits of silver, is less 
conspicuous. A forged Mexican dollar, of so high a fineness as 770, would be of the 
specific gravity of 9-94; and if of the proper size, would weigh 402, instead of 416 
grains. A far less deficiency than this would condemn a silver piece, purporting to 
be of almost any country, except certain states of Spanish America. The irregu- 
larity, at some of the mints in Mexico, Peru, Bolivia, and the Argentine Bepublic 
is so great, that silver coins, professing to be issued thence, cannot be condemned, 






SENSIBLE TESTS. 173 

from the single fact of their being several grains too light or too heavy. (See those 
articles.) 

Counterfeit coins are not likely to be too large in diameter ; the thickness is more 
to be suspected. Some of the best counterfeits of our half-eagles are made so thick 
as to cause suspicion from that fact ; notwithstanding, they fall short in weight. 
Specimens of a recent date, containing a proportion of gold, varied in weight from 
108 to 123 grains. 

The measurements of our coin are detailed in another place ;* but the readiest 
guage is a comparison with a genuine piece. 

The Smell is to be noticed as the next test. It applies only to counterfeits of 
silver, and is even then of limited use. The smell of pure copper, or silvery copper, 
when warmed by rubbing, is very perceptible; while standard silver gives out no 
odour. This is always stated among the tests of coin, but is of no great value. 

The Sound is a more certain criterion. To apply it, the coin should be poised on 
the tip of the finger, and its edge lightly struck by another coin. (Dropping it upon 
a stone is not a good method.) The tone of standard gold or silver is sonorous, full, 
and agreeable. That of baser metal is sometimes shrill and short, sometimes flat and 
leaden. In this experiment, a genuine coin should always be used for a comparison. 

After all, this proof is not greatly to be relied upon. It would be more so, if the 
practice were universal which is said to be pursued at the London mint, of trying 
every coin by its ring, and allowing none of uncertain sound to go into the circu- 
lation.t As it is, pieces occasionally escape from other mints, and our own too, with 
a slight and often imperceptible flaw, which obstructs the vibration, and deadens the 
sound. But even a good sonorous piece may be so maltreated, after it leaves the 
mint, as to become unmusical. 

The Touch is the last of the sensible tests. Like that of the smell, it applies only 
to imitations of silver, and is not much to be depended on. The counterfeits made of 
pewter, tin, and German silver, have a greasy smoothness to the touch, which real 
silver (if it be washed clean) has not. Persons whose sense of feeling, as applied to 
this investigation, has become refined by much practice, may use this test with effect, 
but not otherwise. 

In fine, it is well not to depend upon any one of the foregoing ordeals by the 
senses. The suspected coin should be tried by all of them : let it be eyed, and 
handled, and smelt, and rung. From a combination of these testimonies, a just 
conclusion may in many cases be reached. 

* See Appendix. 

t Chaudet, p. 280. This and other processes, maintained solely to guard against counterfeiting, are stated to cost 
the government £7000 annually, in addition to the ordinary mint expenditure. 

44 



174 MECHANICAL TESTS. 



II. MECHANICAL TESTS. 

The instances are not rare, in which a counterfeit is so specious, that all the senses 
combined can detect nothing amiss, or at furthest, can only raise a suspicion. In 
such cases some mechanical helps must be called in ; those that are commonly 
relied upon are the six following. 1. Paring, with a knife. 2. Filing into the edge. 
3. The touchstone. 4. The balance. 5. The hammer and chisel. 6. Specific 
gravity. Some observations will be made on these respectively. 

1. Paring, or Cutting. Standard gold or silver has a certain consistency, which 
baser alloys or metals have not ; some being harder, others softer. To one who has 
experience in these diiferences, the knife is a good test. Moreover, by removing a 
little of the surface, some inferior metal may be disclosed underneath. But this mode 
of trial defaces and reduces a coin. 

2. Filing. This experiment is in favour with the banks ; it consists in making a 
narrow and rather deep incision, with a small file, in the edge of the coin. Like the 
preceding, it both tests the hardness and exposes the inside. In cases where the 
counterfeit has a good proportion of precious metal, it is not satisfactory. Besides, it 
so disfigures the piece, as to render it suspicious ever after. 

3. Touchstone. This metallic test, practised in ancient Rome, and perfected in 
modern France, is famous every where. Unskilled persons would presume that it 
must be the perfection of assaying ; since the very term has by a figure of speech 
been adopted into ordinary converse, and every thing has its touchstone. Notwith- 
standing, this test requires a vast deal of skill and practice, and some array of 
apparatus, and after all, is only approximate in its results. It is hardly available 
for silver, since a difference in fineness of 100 thousandths, or ten per cent., can 
scarcely be perceived. It is much more in use for gold, and is resorted to for 
determining the fineness of articles of jewelry, where very little of the metal can be 
spared, and where much accuracy is not required. 

The touchstone, called also Lydian stone, from having been first brought from 
Lydia, in Asia Minor, is now chiefly procured from Austria and Saxony. It is a 
basaltic stone, nearly black, and of a gritty surface when polished. Its constituent 
parts are chiefly silex, alumine, and oxide of iron. 

This test, it is evident, is not an expedient one for the detection of counterfeits. It 
is enough to state, that its use is by a comparison with known alloys, of various 
proportions, prepared for the purpose. These alloys are for convenience joined 
together, pointing outwards from a common centre, something like the rays of a 
star, and are called points or needles; the fineness (in carats) being marked on each. 
These points are rubbed on the touchstone, and the metal under examination 



MECHANICAL TESTS. 175 

likewise ; upon comparing the colour of the particles lodged upon the stone, the 
fineness is ascertained. An improved method (invented by Vauquelin) is to prepare 
an acid, composed of 98 parts nitric at 37 degrees of Baume, and 2 parts muriatic 
at 21 degrees; the metal is to be rubbed in several places on the stone, and the 
needles opposite to each ; the mixed acid is then to be dropped on all these 
markings, and the experimenter must observe where there is the most similarity of 
effect, and judge accordingly. This improvement properly carries the test into the 
chemical class; but it is thought best to dispose of the subject in one place.* 

4. The Balance. If the reader will recur to what has been said under the item 
of Dimension, as to the embarrassments of counterfeiters in harmonizing true size 
with true weight, he will perceive the value of the test now proposed. Indeed, for 
quickness, ease, and certainty, the balance has the preference over any test yet 
named. Counterfeits of gold coin are always, and of silver almost always, too light ; 
the deficiency being, in large pieces, from five to sixty grains. It is true that the 
error, especially in imitations of Spanish-American dollars, is sometimes the other 
way, a few having been noticed of six to twelve grains heavy. It would seem that 
the apparatus of counterfeiters is not suitable for nice adjustments, or that they 
cannot afford to take so much pains. Consequently, if any piece under trial (except 
some of Spanish America, as already stated!) should be light or heavy as much as 
five grains, in comparison with a genuine coin, and both being unworn, such piece 
may justly be brought under suspicion ; and if other tests seem to concur, it is to be 
rejected as a forgery. 

The trial is very simple. It only requires a beam capable of turning with a grain 
or two, and some small weights. For want of these latter, the operator may take a 
slip of lead, and counterpoise it against a new half-dime, which is about 20£ grains ; 
by dividing this slip into quarters, a sufficiently accurate weight of five grains is 
obtained, which will answer for the purpose in hand. 

5. The Hammer and Chisel. If there is no objection to spoiling the coin, a very 
good test is to divide it, through the centre, by cutting half through, and then 
breaking it. A fractured edge shows the composition much better than a smooth 
cut. If the coin is of standard silver, it will be rather tough in dividing, and the 
fracture will be a clear white. If it is of base silver, the fracture will be short and 
brittle, and the colour gray or brown. If the material be of plated copper, tin, or 
German silver, it will show for itself. This test may also be applied to counterfeits 
of gold, but not always so satisfactorily. 

* More satisfactory details may be found in Chaudet's Essayeur, Chapter XIIT. 

\ In some other countries, the mints are careless in adjusting their coins. The instances are pointed out, under the 
respective heads. 



176 CHEMICAL TESTS. 

6. Specific Gravity. As this subject is discussed in another place, it is only to 
be remarked that the process is a sure test of the genuineness of a coin, and 
deserves to be better understood than it usually is. Any apothecary or watchmaker 
in town or country can qualify himself, and prepare his balance, to take the specific 
gravity of solids, and thus be competent to decide in any controversy, in market or 
at court, upon a piece of money. 

III. CHEMICAL TESTS. 

The chemical tests are systematic assays, by cupellation, for gold, and either by 
that method or by solution and precipitation, for silver. These processes not only 
decide whether a coin is good, but what is the actual amount of good metal 
contained in it. And if it is desired to carry the investigation farther, there are 
means of ascertaining the entire composition of the piece ; what metals enter into 
it, and in what proportion. This latter treatment is called an analysis. 

To do justice to this subject, would require a treatise on assaying, which would be 
out of place, and unnecessary. Whenever a coin has been subjected to the tests 
already stated, and there is still a doubt, to be cleared up before a court and jury, 
(and a rare case it will be,)* a sample of the suspected money should be referred to a 
practical chemist, and sufficient time given to make satisfactory experiments. 

There is a process, however, for silver coin, which is easy enough for any ingenious 
person, and offers an interesting train of experiments. All the apparatus and mate- 
rials required would be, a balance sensible to half a grain, with correct weights ; a 
few eight-ounce glass phials ; aqua fortis, or nitric acid ; common salt ; and some 
coarse unsized paper for filtering.t 

* The following curious case, which occurred at Nashville, Tennessee, early in 1829, is worth preserving. A 
Kentuckian, named Banton, was brought before the committing magistrates, on a charge of passing counterfeit Spanish 
and Mexican dollars. The pieces had been cut at the bank, and pronounced by the teller to be forgeries ; in which 
judgment several silversmiths concurred. On the examination, the same artisans testified that they had tried the 
dollars by pickling and rolling, and agreed that they were of good silver. They were sent out, however, to try 
another experiment, and returned with the decision that the pieces were spurious, but contained some silver. A 
gentleman of science (as the newspaper states) was next called on, to test the coins in presence of the magistrates, 
"by the most approved processes used by chemists," and determined them to be as pure as the Spanish dollar. The 
counsel for the prisoner now moved for his discharge ; but the judges, not free from doubt, resolved upon one more 
trial. They adjourned for a few days, and in the mean time sent some specimens to Dr. Troost, Professor of Chemistry 
in the University of Nashville. At the next hearing, that gentleman presented the results of eight experiments, by 
solution and precipitation. The coins were found to contain various proportions of silver, from 22 to 63 per cent; 
while a genuine piece, assayed in their company, gave 89 per cent. The accused was then bound over for trial. 
(Nashville Republican, January 1829.) 

f It will be understood that we are not writing for the scientific, but for the general reader. The former would 
expect us to be more technical and exact. 



CHEMICAL TESTS. 177 

Two objects are supposed to be in view ; first, to know if the coin is genuine, and 
secondly, how much silver it contains. 

For these purposes, have the suspected piece, or a sufficient portion of it, cut into 
bits, by the aid of a smith's tools, and weigh therefrom fifty grains. In like manner, 
obtain the same quantity of a genuine coin. Put these doses into separate bottles ; 
pour into each about 400 grains of weak nitric acid ;* place each bottle in a cup, 
containing water, and expose them to moderate heat. The genuine specimen will 
dissolve, not quickly, but completely ; the other, if base, will be more violently 
attacked, but perhaps not entirely dissolved, without the addition of more acid. 
The process of solution, will, in most cases, of itself decide the character of the 
suspected coin. When this operation is finished, the liquid should be transparent ; if 
it is not, and a milky precipitate floats in it, this is an indication that tin is present,t 
which is never found in a good coin ; and as the further search for silver will be 
somewhat intricate, and generally useless,^ the experiment may here be arrested. 
But if the liquid is clear, pour in a strong solution of common salt, about as much in 
bulk as the acid used, and add water until the bottles are half full ; then shake them 
briskly for two or three minutes, which will cause the precipitate to subside. Hold 
the bottles up to the light, and observe the colour of the fluids. Both will be blue, 
from the presence of copper ; but if one of the samples is counterfeit, it will be 
decidedly darker than the genuine. 

Proceeding now to ascertain how much silver is in the coin, prepare two other 
bottles, with funnels, and place a double fold of filtering paper (previously weighed) 
in each funnel. Pour on these filters the whole of the respective liquors, with their 
precipitated silver. When the liquid has entirely passed through, take off the filters, 
on which will be lodged all the silver, in a state of chloride. Having thoroughly 
dried them, finish the operation by weighing. After deducting the weight of the 
paper, the genuine specimen should give 60 grains, if it was of our standard silver; a 
grain or two, more or less, must be allowed for want of accuracy. Deduct one-fourth 
for chlorine, and the remainder, of 45 grains, will be the amount of pure silver; that 
is, nine-tenths of the original weight. As for the other specimen, if it be a 
counterfeit, the weight (deducting the filter) cannot exceed 50 grains ; and ordinarily 
it will not be more than 25. In any case, deduct, as above, one-fourth, and the 
residue is the metallic silver present. 

Annexed is a table of counterfeits, selected from about 150 varieties. 

* One hundred and fifty grains of nitric acid at 25° Baume, would be just sufficient to dissolve fifty grains of a 
standard coin, if brought to boiling heat. It is thought better for beginners to use more acid, and less heat. 

t Or it may indicate that the acid is impure, containing muriatic, which has precipitated some silver; to ascertain 
this, observe whether the genuine specimen is clear or not. If it is not, the acid is unfit for the experiment. 

} A tin counterfeit seldom contains silver. 

45 



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CHAPTER V. 

SPECIFIC GRAVITY OF GOLD AND SILVER. 

For the sake of such readers as have given no attention to the subject of specific 
gravities, a prefatory remark or two may be offered. They are reminded that there is 
a great diiference in the weighliness of different substances ; that a solid inch of gold 
is heavier than the same bulk of silver, and still heavier than iron, and so forth. 
This relation of gravity may be ascertained, so as to be expressed by figures, 
minutely and accurately. The usual measure of comparison for solids is pure water, 
at a temperature of 60° to 65° Fahrenheit ; this being estimated as 1, pure silver is 
found to be 10-J- times as heavy, that is, its specific gravity is 10-50, as that of pure 
gold is 19-30. 

This comparison of gravities is of so much importance that it goes very far 
towards identifying any particular substance ; and in respect to the precious metals 
is of this further use, that it will decide, with considerable accuracy, their degree of 
purity. It is, indeed, a far less delicate test than the assay, and would be inadmissible 
for minting operations ; but it possesses these advantages, that it does not injure or 
diminish the article to be tried,* and requires very little time for the examination. 

The whole operation is simply this. The coin, bar, or other matter to be tested, is 
to be weighed, first in air, and then in water. Taking the difference as a divisor, 
and the first weight as a dividend, the quotient will be the specific gravity of the 
article. Suppose the weight in air to be 5000 grains, and the weight in water 
4727-5, the difference will be 272-5 ; 5000 divided by this will give the quotient, 

* This condition is believed to have given origin to the operation, which was discovered by the celebrated geome- 
trician Archimedes of Syracuse, (who flourished about the year 250 B. C.,) on the following occasion. The King, 
who had entrusted a quantity of pure gold with an artist, to be wrought into a crown, suspected that the article had 
been alloyed with silver in the making, and gave it as a problem to his philosophers to decide the matter, without 
injuring the fabric. Archimedes, going to bathe, observed that as he got into the full tub, the water ran over; and the 
idea was suggested that the amount of "water thus spilt must be equal in bulk to his own body, and if it were weighed 
against himself, would show the comparative gravity, bulk for bulk. Applying this to the King's case, he perceived 
that, the weight of the crown being determined, its bulk ought to be no greater than a certain dimension; if it 
exceeded, there was proof that silver had been added. By plunging the diadem in water, he ascertained its bulk, and 
without the least injury to the delicate workmanship, detected the fraud of the manufacturer. His method of finding 
the gravity has been improved upon, as is shown above. 



SPECIFIC GRAVITY OF GOLD AND SILVER. 181 

or specific gravity of 18-36. This operation is founded on the hydrostatic fact, that 
the apparent loss of weight of the solid examined, is equal to the weight of its own 
volume of water. 

No one need be deterred from this experiment by the fear of being lost in an intri- 
cate maze. It is entirely within the reach of every miner, broker, jeweller, or other 
dealer in precious metals, and should be familiar to them all. All that is necessary, 
is so to arrange an ordinary balance, that one stirrup with its dish can be taken off, 
and a human or horsehair suspended in its place, having one or more loops at the 
lower end in which to secure the bar, coin or trinket to be tried. One horsehair will 
bear three or four ounces ; if a larger weight is required, a stout silk thread may be 
used. Dealers should have beams of sizes suited to their business ; for example, a 
miner in our gold region, who has cast his bullion into a small ingot, will need a 
balance which will bear a weight of two pounds or more ; a broker or jeweller will 
require one which would be loaded at one ounce. Nor need these be very delicate ; 
if the former turns with three grains, and the latter with one-quarter of a grain, it 
will suffice for the purpose in hand. The operator therefore, having removed one of 
the stirrups, and substituted a hair, must equipoise the beam by placing something, 
say a piece of sheet-lead, on that arm which has been lightened. Having washed the 
article with soap and water, he is to place it in the loops securely, and weigh it in 
the air ; let it then hang in a vessel of rain-water, so that it shall be entirely sub- 
merged, and shall not touch the vessel. The weight will now be found less than it was 
before ; the difference, whatever it may be, will be the divisor, as already explained. 
The whole operation need not consume more than five minutes.* 

The specific gravity of any given alloy of gold or silver having thus been obtained, 
an important point remains, to know what degree of fineness it indicates. This 
cannot be ascertained by any calculation, based upon the known gravities of the pure 
metals. For example, fine gold has a gravity of 19-30, and fine silver 10-50 ; but the 
gravity of a mixture containing half gold and half silver would be 13-60, and not 
14-90, the result by arithmetic. The reason of this is that the metals expand in the 
process of combination, and so reduce the specific gravity. 

It follows then, that there must be a series of experiments upon known alloys, the 
results of which are to be referred to as a standard of comparison. We have never 
yet been able to meet with such results, except of a few stages of alloy, and those not 
always satisfactory. To supply this manifest deficiency, has been not the least 
arduous labour connected with the present publication. The ensuing tables are 

* An excellent instrument for taking specific gravities of solids was invented some years ago by Dr. Isaac Hays of 
this city, but was never brought into common use. It is upon the steelyard principle, and the gravity is ascertained 
by a graduation on the beam. Mr. Saxton has recently made a beautiful instrument of this kind. It shortens the pro- 
cess, and is very simple. 

46 



182 



SPECIFIC GRAVITY OF GOLD. 



the fruit of numerous and careful trials,* and we believe may be depended upon. 
The apparatus used, consisted of two beams, one of which bears a weight of two 
pounds troy in each dish, and is sensible to the one-hundredth of a grain ; for the 
other, the largest weight was ten grammes (154 grains), and the smallest, one-tenth 
of a milligramme, or T hs of a grain. The alloys were carefully prepared from pure 
gold, silver, and copper, of the weight of five to ten grammes, though in some cases 
the amount was much larger. The temperature was about 65° Fahrenheit. In all 
the cases except that of gold alloyed with silver and copper, there are two columns of 
specific gravities, first from casting, and next from hammering ; in the excepted case, 
the difference was found so small, as not to be worth noting. 

TABLE OF THE SPECIFIC GRAVITY OF GOLD, AT DIFFERENT GRADES OF FINENESS, 

AND VARIOUSLY ALLOYED. 













ALLOYED WITH 




ALLOYED WITH SILVER. 


ALLOYED WITH COPPER. 


SILVER AND COPPER 


FINENESS. 










IN EQUAL PARTS. 


THOUS. 














Cast. 


Hammered. 


Cast. 


Hammered. 


Cast or hammered. 


500 


13-60 


13-68 


12-05 


12-10 


12.84 


510 


13-68 


13-77 


12-15 


12-20 


12-92 


520 


13-76 


13-86 


12-25 


12-30 


13-00 


530 


13-84 


13-95 


12-35 


12-41 


13-08 


540 


13-92 


14-03 


12-44 


12-51 


13-16 


550 


14-00 


14-11 


12-54 


12-62 


13-25 


560 


14-09 


14-20 


12-64 


12-70 


13-33 


570 


14-18 


14-28 


12-73 


12-80 


13.43 


580 


14-27 


J 4-36 


12-83 


12-90 


13-54 


590 


14-36 


14-45 


12-92 


13-00 


13-64 


600 


14-45 


14-54 


13-00 


13-12 


13-75 


610 


14-54 


14-63 


13-11 


13-24 


13.85 


620 


14-64 


14-72 


13.22 


13-36 


13-95 


630 


14-74 


14-81 


13-34 


13-46 


14-06 


640 


14-84 


14-90 


13-46 


13-58 


14-17 


650 


14-94 


15-00 


13-60 


13-70 


14-28 



* About two hundred and thirty experiments were made, and wholly from synthetic alloys, many of which were 
afterwards assayed for confirmation of their correctness. 



SPECIFIC GRAVITY OF GOLD. 



183 



TABLE OF THE SPECIFIC GRAVITY OF GOLD (continued). 













ALLOYED WITH 




ALLOYED WITU SILVER. 


ALLOYED WITU COPPER. 


SILVER AND COPPER 


FINENESS. 










IK EQUAL PARTS. 


TUOUS. 














Cast. 


Hammered. 


Cast. 


Hammered. 


Cast or hammered. 


660 


15-04 


15-08 


13-70 


13-80 


14-38 


670 


15-15 


15-18 


13-80 


13-90 


14-49 


680 


15-26 


15-29 


13-90 


14-00 


14-60 


690 


15-37 


15-41 


14-00 


14-11 


14-70 


700 


15-48 


15-53 


14-10 


14-21 


14-80 


710 


15-59 


15-64 


14-20 


14-33 


14-91 


720 


15-70 


15-75 


14-40 


14.47 


15-02 


730 


15-81 


15-85 


14-50 


14-60 


15-13 


740 


15-91 


15-96 


14-66 


14-74 


15-25 


750 


16-02 


16-08 


14-78 


14-88 


15-37 


760 


16-12 


16-18 


14-90 


15-02 


15-50 


770 


16-25 


16-29 


15-00 


15-16 


15-64 


7S0 


16-36 


16-40 


15-10 


15-21 


15.78 


790 


16-51 


16-53 


15-20 


15-36 


15-92 


800 


16-63 


16-65 


15-40 


15-52 


16-05 


810 


16-78 


16-78 


15-47 


15-67 


16-18 


820 


16-88 


10-90 


15-56 


15-82 


16-31 


830 


17-00 


17-02 


15-76 


15-97 


16-44 


810 


17-11 


17-12 


15-96 


16-13 


16-58 


850 


17-23 


17-25 


16-10 


16-29 


16-72 


860 


17-34 


17-38 


16-25 


16-45 


16-86 


870 


17-48 


17-51 


16-47 


16-62 


17-01 


880 


17-60 


17-64 


16-55 


16-79 


17-16 


890 


17-74 


17-78 


16-92 


16-98 


17-32 


900 


17-90 


17-92 


17-20 


17-20 


17-48 


910 


18-03 


18-06 


17-32 


17-35 


17-64 


920 


18-13 


18-20 


17-46 


17-54 


17-80 


930 


18-30 


18-34 


17-61 


17-73 


17-97 



SPECIFIC GRAVITY OF GOLD. 





TABLE OF THE SPECIFIC GRAVITY OF GOLD (continued). 








ALLOYED WITH 




ALLOYED WITH SILVER. 


ALLOYED WITH COPPER. 


SILVER AND COPPER 


FINENESS. 






IN EQUAL PARTS. 


THOUS. 










Cast. 


Hammered. 


Cast 


Hammered. 


Cast or hammered. 


940 


18-43 


18-46 


17-79 


17-93 


18-14 


950 


18-57 


18-66 


18-14 


18-13 


18-32 


960 


18-72 


18-76 


18-35 


18-34 


18-51 


970 


18-87 


18-90 


18-56 


18-65 


18-70 


980 


19-00 


19-08 


18-68 


18-86 


1S-90 


990 


19-14 


19-21 


19-06 


19-08 


19-10 


1000 


19-30 


19-30 


19-30 


19-30 


19-30 



To use this table effectively, the operator must carefully observe what his gold is 
alloyed with ; since an article 750 thousandths (18 carats) fine, may show the specific 
gravities of 14-78 to 16-08; or on the other hand, an article whose specific gravity is 
14-78, may be from 632 to 750 thousandths fine, which is a prodigious variation, and 
depends entirely upon the alloy. A miner of our gold region, who has cast native 
metal into a bar, is to be guided by the first column, as he will not be embarrassed 
by copper alloy. There is this caution to be observed, however, with gold from our 
southern states ; that if it contains tin, as it often does, the metal will be crystallized 
or brittle, and the fineness will be about 20 thousandths higher than the table indicates. 
For example, if the specific gravity of a bar has been found to be 17-74, and a little 
piece of it has proved very fragile in cutting or hammering, the fineness will be, not 
890, but about 910. 

But suppose the articles consist of coin, or jewelry ; they are almost certain to be 
alloyed both with silver and copper, and in very variable proportion. The specific 
gravity of such an article is to be sought under the head of hammered. Take for 
example a twenty-franc piece of France, of late date, and its specific gravity will be 
found very near 17-20 ; but take another of the type of Napoleon (in whose time silver 
was used in the alloy) and it will vary from 17-30 to 17-70; so that, if the fineness 
were to be judged only from specific gravity, there would be the large scope of 855 to 
930 thousandths. In such cases, the eye must aid in the determination. A person of 
some experience can tell from the colour, whether the coin is wholly alloyed with 
silver or with copper, or whether it has about one-half, or one-third, of either of those 
metals. To give some instances. The operator has three ten-thaler pieces of Bruns- 
wick, the fineness of which is known to be about 896. Their specific gravities we 



SPECIFIC GRAVITY OF SILVER. 



185 



will suppose, have resulted 17-12, 17-28, and 17-40. Now upon inspection of their 
colour, he will see such a manifest difference in the shade, as to account for these 
considerable variations ; and if he would avoid serious error, he must always take 
this into the account. In the first instance, the mixture would be about 896 eold, 14 
silver, and 90 copper ; in the second, 896 gold, 34 silver, 70 copper ; in the third 
896 gold, 50 silver, and 50 copper. 

After all, it is evident that only an approximate result can be obtained, though in 
general, the error will not be greater than one per cent., or a quarter of a carat. But 
even this will be of signal use to commercial dealers, and perhaps as accurate as they 
would wish. It offers a sure means of detecting counterfeits, and pickled bars. 

We proceed to offer a table of silver, alloyed with copper. Here the difference 
between fine and half-fine is so much less than in the former table, that it is imprac- 
ticable to come to a closer gradation than by 50 thousandths, or five per cent. 

TABLE OF THE SPECIFIC GRAVITY OF SILVER AT DIFFERENT GRADES OF FINENESS, 

ALLOYED WITH COPPER. 



FINENESS. 
THOUS. 


CAST. 


HAMMERED. 


FINENESS. 
THOUS. 


CAST. 


HAMMERED. 


500 


9-50 


9-64 


800 


10-08 


10-14 


550 


9-62 


9-71 


850 


10-08 


10-20 


600 


9-SO 


9-80 


900 


10-24 


10-30 


650 


9-85 


9-88 


950 


10-31 


10-40 


700 


9-96 


9-96 


1000 


10-50 


10-55 


750 


10-05 


10-05 









Some general observations may properly be offered, upon the results in the fore- 
going tables. 

1. The specific gravities are in a certain progression ; and if it were not for inci- 
dental and unavoidable variations in the experiments, it is probable they would be 
found to follow an exact mathematical law. 

2. The specific gravity of cast metal is never so uniform as that of hammered, since 
the former may contain minute cavities, external or internal. This is especially 
obvious in the silver table, where there appears little difference, in a fineness of 750 
to 850. 

3. Notwithstanding all the pains that can be taken, the same alloy will often pro- 
duce varying results, to the extent of five or six, in the second place of decimals. To 
carry results to the third decimal is an idle refinement. 

47 



CHAPTER VI. 



DESCRIPTION OF THE PLATES. 



The original plan of this work did not include illustrations by engravings. This 
was felt as a serious deficiency, since a treatise on coins, which does not present a 
picture of them, is but half fitted for its purposes. There was, however, no choice 
left ; for, not to speak of the difficulty of procuring an artist willing to undertake the 
task,* the expenses of engravings executed by the usual methods, whether on metal or 
wood, would have made the price of the book three times as much as that which is to 
be put upon it, and would therefore have lifted it out of the reach of most purchasers. 
Under such circumstances, the authors proceeded with their labours, hoping in some 
measure to supply the want of engraved copies by descriptions of the coins. 

Much progress had not been made, before a turn was given to the enterprise, by 
which the object, before so hopeless, was placed within reach. There was a process 
of engraving, yet new to the world, by which coins, medals, and other bas-reliefs could 
be copied, with comparatively little labour and expense, and so accurately as to pre- 
sent a fac-simile. What is more remarkable, this was a process by machinery; and of 
so great ingenuity, that it is gratifying to affirm that it was invented and perfected 
by Americans, and (if we may be allowed to show some esprit de corps) artists connected 
with this institution. Upon referring the matter to one of these gentlemen, he kindly 
undertook the serious task of preparing a suite of engravings, which, as will be 
seen, comprises a front view of the Mint of the United States in the title page, and 
sixteen plates (which find their place in this chapter) comprising about two hundred 
specimens of coin. By the aid of these, the reader will be able to identify almost 
any coin now current in the world. He will doubtless also be gratified with the faith- 
fulness, and the striking effect of these pictures ; but it will add to his interest in 
them, to understand something of the principles of the mechanism by which they have 
been accomplished. 

It is not difficult to imagine an arrangement of machinery such that while one point 
is tracing a line across the face of a medal, rising and falling according to the eleva- 



* There is something about this sort of work which makes engravers particularly repugnant to it. A very able 
artist declared to us that he would not have undertaken it on any consideration. 



DESCRIPTION OF THE PLATES. 187 

tions and depressions over which it passes, another point shall draw, on a flat surface, 
a profile of this line. If now the tracer be made to move successively in a series of 
parallel and equidistant planes, over the whole surface of the medal, there will be thus 
drawn a series of profiles corresponding to the sections of these planes with the sur- 
face of the medal, and these lines will together form a drawing or engraving of the 
medal itself. 

Such an instrument was invented and executed, in 1817, by Mr. Christian Gobrecht, 
a native of Pennsylvania, now engraver of the Mint of the United States. In this 
instrument the " tracing-point" moved across the medal in parallel planes perpendi- 
cular to the flat surface or " table" of the medal, and the profile lines were drawn on 
an etching ground laid on copper or steel, by the " etching-point." The first en- 
graving made was of a head of the Emperor Alexander, and the effect was very striking, 
and excited great attention. An instrument constructed chiefly on Mr. Gobrecht's 
plan by Mr. Asa Spencer, of this city, was put in operation by him in London, in 
1819 ; and thus this art may be justly said to have been first introduced into Europe. 
It is true that the general principle of the medal-ruling machine is included in that 
ancient invention the rose-lathe, and that an imperfect attempt was made by M. Ber- 
geron, in Paris, in 1816, to engrave on copper by this lathe, and by a corresponding 
instrument which he calls the " machine carre." But the whole history of the art of 
medal-ruling, as now practised, shows that it had its origin in the invention of Mr. 
Gobrecht. 

In this instrument, each of the parallel sections, in which the tracing-point succes- 
sively moves, would, if continued, cross the flat table of the medal in a straight line, 
which may be called the base-line of that section. Now if the tracing-point describe 
this base-line itself, the etching-point will describe a corresponding cross-line, also 
straight. But when the tracing-point rises, as in practice, above the base, the 
etching-point will deviate from the cross-line by a distance either equal or propor- 
tional to this elevation. Two consequences follow from this arrangement. The first 
is that when the profiles of two consecutive lines passed over by the tracer are drawn, 
the more the second traced line rises above the first, the closer will the second etched 
line approach to the first, and vice versa. Hence the etching of the side of the medal, 
along which the tracing-point ascends in its successive passages, will have its lines 
closer together, and that of the side along which the tracing-point descends will have 
its lines farther apart ; and these distances will be greater or less according as the 
ascents or descents are more or less steep. It is this circumstance that produces the 
shading, and makes the series of profile lines exhibit a representation of the medal. 
But a second consequence of the arrangement of the instrument is, that points which 
are in the same cross-section of the medal are not represented in the corresponding 
cross-line of the engraving, but deviate more from it as the points of the medal are 



188 DESCRIPTION OF THE PLATES. 

higher. This gives rise to a distortion of the features, not, indeed, very perceptible in 
copies from medals in low relief, but from those in high relief quite offensive. 

This defect, which is inherent in Mr. Gobrecht's instrument, and glaringly apparent 
in the engraved plate of M. Bergeron, requires, for its removal, an essential modifica- 
tion in the process of medal-ruling. The change consists, first, in causing the tracing- 
point to describe the intersections of the surface of the medal in planes, not, as before, 
perpendicular to the table, but forming an oblique angle with it, — and the angle here- 
tofore chosen is one of 45°. It will follow that, on the ascending side of the medal, 
these intersections will be near to one another, and more near the steeper the ascent, — 
while on the descending side, the reverse will occur ; so that the lines in question 
would themselves, if marked, form a shading on the surface of the medal. 

Now a little reflection will show that if these lines were projected, by perpendicu- 
lars drawn from them at every point, upon the flat table of the medal supposed to be 
continued across it, there would be drawn upon this plane a representation of the 
medal itself, properly defined and shaded, and without the least distortion. But in 
order that the ruling-machine may etch out a true copy of this imaginary drawing, 
it is only necessary that a mechanical arrangement be adopted, such that the etching- 
point shall always move forward and backward over a distance equal to the horizontal 
projection of the distance described by the tracing-point in its diagonal movements 
over the face of the medal. For this purpose, the oblique movement of the tracing- 
point must be to the horizontal movement of the etching-point, as the hypotenuse of 
a right-angled triangle is to its base, when the angle at the base is equal to that 
which the tracing planes make with the table of the medal. It has been supposed 
and asserted that, to avoid distortion, this angle must be one of 45° ; but this is 
evidently not a necessary condition. The less the angle in question, the greater will 
be the contrast between the lights and shadows of the engraving ; but it must not be 
so small as that of the slopes of the medal on the side along which the tracing sec- 
tions descend, or these slopes will not be touched by the tracing-point. 

The ingenious device described above, — the originality of which cannot be con- 
tested, — is due to Mr. Joseph Saxton, a native of Pennsylvania, now attached to the 
Mint, who first executed it, in London, in 1829. 

The last ruling-machine of Mr. Saxton's construction (made for the purpose of 
effecting these engravings) has the steam engine for its motive power. In conse- 
quence of this difficult and admirable arrangement, not only the irksome manual 
labour, heretofore necessary, but even personal attendance, is dispensed with ; so that 
the machine, once set in motion, will do all its work, and stop when it is done, 
though its master should be at other business, or abroad. The quickness of its execu- 
tion is another striking feature of this apparatus; one disk of a coin, an inch in 
diameter, requires about half an hour, which, considering that the number of lines 



FMTEB STATES 

GOLD. 



JPl.I. 





















■ 












. 









DESCRIPTION OF THE PLATES. 



189 



traced is two hundred to the inch, must be owned as a rapidity quite in keeping with 
the age. 

But the reader is not yet apprised of the whole array of modern art which has been 
pressed into service. These copies could not be taken immediately from the coins, 
because the picture would then be reversed, and the legends would read backwards. 
It was therefore necessary to obtain impressions of them, and these must be in metal, 
and that hard enough to bear the tracer. We must then have been at a loss, except 
for the seasonable invention of the electrotype, of M. Jacobi. By this apparatus, a 
coin suspended in an electro-galvanic battery, with certain adjustments not to be 
described here, gradually becomes coated with copper, which, when removed in a solid 
cake, present as complete a counterpart to the coin, as if produced from the die, under 
a coining-press. Copies of all the coins were first taken in this way, and from these 
the rulings were made. It may be added, that the finest specimens of coin, belonging 
to the cabinet of the Mint, were at our command for this purpose. 

To obtain the vignette of the Mint (which is in the title page), as there was no 
medallion to rule from, it was required to go back to the original ; and this necessity 
brought into play another brilliant invention of modern times, the daguerreotype. A 
picture of the edifice was taken with this instrument by Mr. Saxton, from which a 
copy was engraved in soft metal by Mr. Gobrecht ; from this copy, a counterpart was 
obtained in copper by the electrotype, and therefrom the engraving was effected. 
This view is therefore commended to the reader, not only as a faithful and beautiful 
transcript of the original, but as combining in its production, three discoveries which 
adorn the present age, the daguerreotype, electrotype, and machine-engraving. 

In concluding this statement, it is but just to say, that as a great deal depends upon 
the laying of the etching-ground for ruling, and upon the biting-in of the lines ruled, 
we were greatly favoured in procuring the services of Mr. J. W. Steel, a well-known 
artist of this city, and singularly qualified for this branch of the engraving art* 



PLATE I. 

GOLD COINS OF THE UNITED STATES. 

1. Eagle, or ten dollars, 1795-96. 

Obverse. Female head, clothed with the liberty- 
cap ; 15 stars around the border; legend, Liberty. 
Date. 

Reverse. An eagle, holding in its beak a laurel 
chaplet, and in its talons a palm branch ; legend, 
United States of America. 



2. Eagle, 1797 to 1604. 

Obverse. As in No. 1 ; with 16 stars. 

Reverse. An eagle, (larger than the above) bearing 
a shield on its breast ; in its beak, a scroll, with the 
motto, E pluribiis Unum — " out of many states one 
nation." One talon grasps a bundle of arrows, the 
other, a laurel branch. Over the eagle's head, clouds, 
and 13 stars. Legend, United States of America. 

3. 4. Half eagles, corresponding to 1 and 2. 
5. Half eagle, 1808 to 1834. 

Obverse. Female head, in a dress of the fashion 



* After the plates are finished, and in the best manner, their effect may yet be marred by inattention or want of skill 
in the copper-plate printer; indeed, printing from such plates is a distinct branch of the trade. We take pleasure 
in affixing the imprint of Mr. D. Stevens, of tuio city. 

48 



190 



DESCRIPTION OF THE PLATES. 



of 1808 ; on the band, Liberty, on the border, 13 
stars, and date. 

Reverse. An eagle, with shield, &c. Instead of 
the clouds and stars, a scroll, with E flukibus Unum. 
Legend, United States of America. 

6. Half eagle, under the law of 1834. 1834-36. 

Obverse. Female head, uncovered ; the locks con- 
fined by a band, with the motto Liberty. Date, and 
13 stars. 

Reverse. As No. 5, but without E plubibus Unum. 

7. Quarter eagle, corresponding to No. 6. 

8. Eagle, under the law of 1837. 1838-42. (No 
eagles were coined from 1805 to 1837, both dates 
inclusive.) 

Obverse. Female head, new device ; 1 3 stars and 
date. 

Reverse. Eagle, as above; legend, United States 
op America. Ten D. 

9. 10. Half and quarter eagle, corresponding to 
No. 8. 

PLATE II. 

silver coins of the united states. 

1. Dollar, 1794-95. 

Obverse. Female head, with loose tresses ; the motto 
Liberty over it, and 15 stars around the border. 
Date. 

Reverse. An eagle, surmounted by a wreath. Le- 
gend, United States of America. 

2. Dollar, 1795-96. 

Obverse. Female head and bust ; the hair secured 
by a band, the knot of which is seen behind. Motto, 
&c, as above. 

Reverse. As in No. 1 ; but the eagle is smaller, 
and the talons rest on clouds. 

3. Dollar, 1797-1805. The head as in No. 2; 
the reverse, same as on the eagle of like date. 

4. Half dollar, corresponding to No. 3. 

5. Half dollar, 1808-36. Obverse and reverse, as 
the half eagle. 

In 1831, the scroll and motto E pluribus Unum 
were removed from the quarter dollar ; and in 1837, 
from the half dollar. 

No dollars were coined from 1806 to 1835. In 
1836, one thousand pieces were struck, bearing on 
the reverse a flying eagle. This device was not con- 
tinued. 



6. Half dollar of 1837-38. 

On this coin appears Half Dol. instead of 50 C, 
and the edge, which formerly bore the words Fifty 
cents or half a dollar, is reeded. 

7. Dollar, 1837-42. 

Obverse. Female figure at full length, seated on a 
rock, and holding a shield, on which is inscribed the 
word Liberty ; in the other hand, a staff and liberty 
cap. Date, and 13 stars. 

Reverse. As on the half dollar, with slight modifi- 
cations. 

8. 9. 10. 11. Half dollar, dime, half dime and 
quarter dollar. 

12. 13. Dime and half dime, of 1837, without 
stars. 

PLATE III. 

1. Doubloon of Mexico, 1824-40. A^alue, $15 53. 
Obverse. La Libertad en la Ley. 8 E. Mo. 

21 Qs. 1825. Liberty in (or according to) Law. 8 
Escudos. Mexico mint. 21 Carats. 

Reverse. Republica Mexicana. Mexican Re- 
public. 

2. Dollar of Mexico, under the Emperor Augustin 
Iturbide, 1822-23. 

Obverse. Augustinus Dei Providentia. Augus- 
tin, by the Providence of God. 

Reverse. Mex. Imperator Constitut. 8 R. Con- 
stitutional Emperor of Mexico. 8 Reals. 

3. Dollar of the Republic of Mexico, 1823-41. 
Obverse. 8 R. Pi. 1829. J. S. 10 D. 20 G. 8 

Reals. Potosi mint. J. S. (Assayer , s initials.) 10 
dineros, 20 granos fine. 

Reverse. As in No. 1. Some of the early dollars 
had a side view of the eagle, with the beak turned 
downwards. They were called agacliados. (See 
Mexico.) 

4. Dollar of Central America, 1824-36. 
Obverse. Libre cresca fecundo. N. G. 10 D. 

20 G. In freedom may it be fruitful. New Guati- 
mala, &c. 

Reverse. Republica del Centro de America. 
Republic of Central America. In the gold coin, the 
sun is directly above the volcanos ; in the silver, it is 
setting behind them. 

5. Half doubloon of Ecuador, formerly a state of 
Colombia. Value $7 60. 






UNIT i'i \i STAT ES. 

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DESCRIPTION OF THE PLATES. 



191 



Obverse. El Poder ex la Constitucion. 21 Qs. 
1836. 4 E. Tlie power in the constitution. 21 carats. 
4 escudos. 

Reverse. Republics del Ecuador. Quito. 

G. Doubloon of Colombia, 1823-30. Value $15 39. 

Obverse. Republica de Colombia. 

Reverse. Popayan. Popayan mint. Others have 
Bogota, for the mint at that place ; they are worth 
§15 61. (Sec Colombia.) 

7. Doubloon of New Granada, formerly part of Co- 
lombia, 1837-33. Value $15 61. 

Reverse. Diez y Seis Pesos. Bogota. Sixteen 
dollars. Bogota. 

8. Old base dollar of Colombia. The reverse omit- 
ted, for want of space. 

9. Dollar of Colombia, 1835-36. Value 102 cents. 
Reverse. Libertad. Ba. Colombiano Ociio 

Reales. Liberty. Bogota. Eight reals of Colombia. 

10. New base dollar of New Granada, 1839. Value 
65 cents. 

Reverse. Vale ocho reales. Lei ocho dineros. 
Bogota. Value eight reals. Eight dineros fine. Bo- 
gota mint. 

PLATE IV. 

1. Doubloon of Peru, 1826-37. Value $15 55. 
Obverse. Firme y Feliz por la Union. Firm and 

happy through the union. 

Reverse. Republica Peruana. M. 8 E. Repub- 
lic of Peru. Lima mint. 8 escudos. 

2. Early dollar of Peru. 101 cents. 

Obverse. Por la Virtud y la Justicia. By vir- 
tue and justice. 

Reverse. Peru Libre. M. 8 R. Free Peru. 
Lima mint. 8 reals. 

3. Dollar of North Peru. 101 cents. 
Obverse. As in No 1. 

Reverse. Est. Nor. Peruano. M. 8 R. State of 
North Peru. The devices are the same as the Peruvian 
dollar before the partition, except the legend, which 
was Republica Peruana. 

4. Dollar of South Peru. 100-8 cents. 

Obverse. Repub. Sud. Peruana. Cuzco, 1838. 
Republic of South Peru. Cuzco mint. 

Reverse. Firme por la Union. 10 D. 20 G. 
Confederacion. 

5. Quarter dollar of Peru, Lima mint. 25 cents. 



6. Old doubloon of Chili, 1819-34. Value $15 57. 
Obverse. Estado de Chile, constit. indepen- 

diente. A.D.I 818. State of 'Chili, with an inde- 
pendent constitution. The date is the year of the 
constitution, not of the coin. 

Reverse. Por la Razon, o la Fuerza. 8 E. 1822. 
By reason, or by force. 

7. New doubloon of Chili, since 1835. Value 
$15 66. 

Obverse. Republica de Chile. S°. 1836. Repub- 
lic of Chili. Santiago mint. 

Reverse. Igualdad ante la Lei. 8 E. 21 Qs. 
Equality before law. 

8. Dollar of Chili. Value 101 cents. 

Obverse. Chile Independiente. Un peso. San- 
tiago. Independent Chili. One dollar. 

Reverse. Union y Fuerza. Libertad. Union 
and strength. Liberty. 

9. Doubloon of Bolivia, 1827-36. Value, $15 58. 
Obverse. Libre por la Constitucion. Free by 

the Constitution. 

Reverse. Republica Boliviana, Ps. 8s. Bolivian 
Republic, Potosi, 8 scudos. 

10. Half dollar of Bolivia. The pieces of 1830, 
and since, are of base alloy. 

PLATE V. 

1. Moidore, or 4000 reis, of Brazil, 1779-1819. 
Value, $4 92. 

Obverse. Joannes VI. d. g. Port. Bras, et Alg. 
Rex, 1819. John VI. by the grace of God, King of 
Portugal, Brazil, and Algarves. 

2. Half-joe, or 6400 reis, 1833-38. $8 72. 
Obverse. Petrus II. d. g. c. Imp. et Perp. Bras. 

Def. 1838. Peter II. by the grace of God, Constitu- 
tional Emperor, and Perpetual Defender of Brazil. 
Reverse. (In very small letters) In hoc S. vinces. 
By this sign (alluding to the cross) thou mayest con- 
quer. 

3. Silver piece, of 640 reis, 1816-21. Value 
67-5 cts. 

Obverse. As in No. 1 ; with the addition of R, for 
Rio Janeiro, and 640. 

Reverse. Nata stab. subq. sign. Born under a 
steady sign. 

4. 640 reis, 1822-26. 
Obverse and Reverse, see No. 2. 



192 



DESCRIPTION OF THE PLATES. 



5. 1200 reis, 1837-38. 
Obverse and Reverse, see No. 2. 

6. British colonial quarter dollar, 1822. 25 cts. (See 
West Indies.) 

Obverse. Georgius IV. d. g. Britanniarum Rex, 
p. d. George TV. by tlie grace of God, King of tlie 
British islands, Defender of the Faith. 

Reverse. Coloniae. Beitan. Monet. Money of 
the British colonies. 

7. 20 skilling piece of Danish West Indies, 1816. 
12-5 cts. 

Obverse. XX skilling Daksk Amerikansk mtkt. 
20 shillings, Danish- American money. 

8. Dollar, or three guilders, of Demerary. 80 cts. 
(See Guiana). 

Obverse. See No. 6. 

Reverse. United Colony of Demerary and 
Esseo.uibo. 

9. 50 centimes of Hayti. 16 cts. 
Obverse. J. P. Boyer, President, an. 25. 
Reverse. Refubliuue d'Haiti. Republic of Hayti. 

10. Dollar of La Plata, 1828, (See Argentine Re- 
public.) 

Obverse. Provincias del Rio de la Plata. Pro- 
vinces of Rio de la Plata. 

Reverse. En Union y Libeetad, 8 r. In union and 
liberty. 8 reals. 

Since this plate was engraved, new dollars of the 
Argentine Republic have been received. The legends 
are, 

Obverse. Repuis. Argentina Confedeeada. Con- 
federated Argentine Republic. 

Reverse. Eteeno Looe al Restaueador Rosas. 
Eternal praise to the restorer Rosas. 



PLATE VI. 

1. Guinea of Great Britain, 1760-85. Value 
$5 02. 

Obverse. Georgius III. Dei Geatia. George III. 
by the grace of God. 

Reverse. 1774. M. B. F. et H. Rex, F. D. B. et 
L. D. S. R. I. A. T. et E. King of Great Britain, 
France, and Ireland ; Defender of the Faith ; Duke 
of Brunswick and Luneburg ; Arch Treasurer and 
Elector of the Holy Roman Empire. (The allusion 
is to the empire of Germany.) 



2. Guinea of 1787-98. $5 04. The legends as 
before. The only change is in the shield, on the re- 
verse. 

3. Half guinea, 1801-13. $2 52. 
Obverse. As in No. 1 . 

Reverse. Britanniarum Rex, Fidei Defensor. 
Honi soit qui max y pense. King of the British 
islands, Defender of the Faith. Shame to him who 
thinks evil of it. (The latter legend is within the 
other, and on the shield.) 

4. One-third guinea, 1806-13. $1 65. Legends 
as in No. 3, except " Honi," &c. 

5. Sovereign, 1817-20. §4 83. 

Obverse. Georgius III. D. G. Britanniarum 
Rex. 

Reverse. Honi soit, &c. 

6. Five sovereign piece, 1826. $24 25. 
Obverse. Georgius IV. Dei Gratia. 
Reverse. Britanniarum Rex, Fid. Def. 

The coins of this size are show pieces, not meant 
for circulation. The double sovereign is the largest 
current coin, but is seldom seen. 

7. Sovereign, 1831-36. $4 85. 

Obverse. Gulielmus IIII. D. G. Britanniah. 
Rex, F. D. 

Reverse. Anno 1831. 

8. Sovereign, 1838-40. $4 86. 
Obverse. Victoria Dei Gratia. 
Reverse. Britanniarum Rf.gina. Fid. Def. 

9. Shilling, 1787. 23 cts ; legends as in No. 1. 
In 1804, Spanish dollars were re-stamped as Tokens 

for Five Shillings, by the Bank of England. The 
legends are, 

Obverse. Georgius III. Dei Gratia Rex. 

Reverse. Bank of England, Five Shillings, 
Dollar. 

The Bank of Ireland, in like manner, converted 
them into Tokens for Six Shillings Irish. Other 
tokens, for smaller amounts, were plentifully issued 
from 1804 to 1815. (See Britain.) 

10. Half crown, 1817-20. 54 cts. ; legends nearly 
as in No. 3. 

11. Shilling of George IV. 1825. 21-7 cts. 

12. Crown of George IV. 1822. $1 09. The 
half crowns of this monarch, besides the usual legends, 
bear the motto, Dieu et mon droit. God and my 
right. 

On the edge of the crown, are the words Decus et 




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DESCRIPTION OF THE PLATES. 



193 



Tutamen.* Anxo Regni Secundo. Ornament 
and safety, (that is, tliis mode of milling the coin is at 
once an ornament, and a protection against clipping.) 
Second year of the reign,. 

13. Half crown of William IV., 1831-36. 54 cts. ; 
legends as in No. 7. 

14. Shilling of Victoria, 1838-40. 21-7 cts. 

PLATE VIF. 

1. Double louisd'or of France, 1786-92. Value 
89 12. 

Obnrse. Liu. XVI. D. G. Fr. Nav. Rex. Louis 
XVI. by (lie grace of God, King of France and Na- 
varre. 

Reverse. Cues. Regn. Vinc Imper.J" 1786. W. 
Christ reigns, conquers, governs. The letter W. is 
the mark of the mint at Lille. 

2. Double Napoleon, or 40 francs. Years 11, 12, 
of the Republic. $7 68. 

Obverse. Bonaparte, Premier Consul. Bona- 
parte, First Consul. 

Reverse. Republique Francaise. 40 Francs. 
French Republic, &c. Letter A, for the Paris 
mint. 

Edge. Died protege la France. God protect 
France. 

3. 40 francs, 1804-14. $7 68. 

Obverse. Napoleon Empereur. On the reverse, 
for the first few years, was continued the legend Re- 
puiiLiftuE Francaise, but afterwards it gave place to 
Empire Francais. The edge as in No. 2. 

4. 40 francs, 1816-24. $7 68. 

Obverse. Louis XVIII., Roi de France. Louis 
XVIII., King of France. 

Reverse. 40 F. (Pieces of 1815 had on the reverse, 
Piece de 20 francs.) 

On the edge, Domine Salvum Fac Regem. God 
save the King. 

5. 40 francs of Charles X., 1824-30. $7 69; 
legends as before. 

6. 20 francs, 1830-40. $3 85. 

* This motto first appeared on the crowns of Charles II. 
It is said to have been borrowed from an inscription in the 
vignette of a New Testament, belonging to Cardinal 
Richelieu. 

| This legend was introduced by Louis IX. (called St. 
Louis) about the year 1250. It was discontinued at the 
Revolution of 1792. 

49 



Obverse. Louis Philippe I., Roi des Francais. 
Louis Philippe I. King of the French. 

Edge. DlEU PROTEGE LA FRANCE. 

7. Half crown, 1774-92. 54 cts. 
Obverse. As in No. 1. 

Reverse. Sit Nomen Domini Benedictum. Bless- 
ed be the name of tlte Lord. On the edge, Domine 
Salvum Fac Regem. 

8. 5 francs, years 4 and 5. 93 cts. 

Obverse. Republiuue Franchise. 5 Francs. 
L'An. 5. Q. The letter Q is the mint-mark at 
Pcrpignan. 

Reverse. Union et Force. Union and Strength. 
On the edge, Garantie Nationale. National 
guarantee. 

9. 5 francs of Napoleon. 93 cts. The series 
corresponds to the gold of the same date ; see Nos. 
2 and 3. 

10. 2 francs of Louis XVIII. 37-5 cts. 
11.2 francs of Charles X. 37-5 cts. 

12. 5 francs of Louis Philippe. 93 cts. 

13. 2 francs of Louis Philippe. 37'5 cts. 

PLATE VIII. 

1. Doubloon of Spain, 1789-1808. Value$15 57. 
Obverse. Carol. Ill I. D. G. Hisp. et Ind. R. 

Charles TV., by the grace of God, King of Spain 
and the Indies. 

Reverse. In utroq.. felix auspice Deo. Happy 
in both under the Divine auspices. (The word both, 
we presume, refers to Spain and the Indies.) 

2. Pistole, or quarter doubloon, of Ferdinand VII. 
S3 90. Legends as above. 

3. Pistole of Ferdinand, since the revolution of 
1821. 83 90. 

Obverse. Fern. 7° por la g. de Dios y la Const. 
Ferdinand VII. by Divine grace and tlw Constitu- 
tion. 

Reverse. Rey de las Espanas. King of Spain. 
An M crowned, for the Madrid mint ; and 80 R. for 
80 reals vellon. 

4. Cross pistareen. 1759-71. 19 cents. 
Obverse. Carolus III. D. G. 

Reverse. Hispaniarum Rex. The devices are the 
same as those of the Peninsular dollar. 

5. Pillar dollar. 1772-1825. $1 00. The legend 
contains the additional words, et Ind., and the Indies, 



194 



DESCRIPTION OF THE PLATES. 



referring to the colonies in America, where this piece 
was struck. The pillars are meant to represent the 
two promontories which form the Straits of Gibraltar, 
anciently known as the " Pillars of Hercules ;" on 
these is a scroll, with the motto Plus Ultra, more 
beyond.* The previous coinage of the colonies ex- 
hibited two hemispheres, representing the old world 
and the new, with the motto Vtraqve Vnvm, both 
one. The devices on the old cob dollars are noticed 
at page 120. 

6. Dollar of Joseph Bonaparte. 1809-13. $1.00. 

7. New dollar of Ferdinand VII. 1833. 
Obverse. Fernando 7°. for la G, de Dios. 
Reverse. Rey de Espana y de las Indias. 

8. Dollar of Isabel II. 1830. 

9. Half-joe, or 6400 reis, of Portugal. 1727-1824. 
$8 54 to 8 70. 

Obverse. Maria I. D. G. Port, et Alg. Regina. 
Maria I. by Divine Grace, Queen of Portugal and 
Algarves. 

The reverse is without any legend. 

The moidore series, 1689 to 1726, (necessarily 
omitted,) bore a loaded cross, with the legend, In Hoc 
Signo Vinces ; by this sig?i thou mayest conquer. 
The number oVrcis, as 1000, 4000, &c, was stamped 
on the side of the shield. 

10. New gold coroa, or crown. 1838. $5 81. 
Obverse. Maria II. Port, et Algarv. Regina. 
Reverse. 5000 Reis. 

11. Silver cruzado of 480 reis. 1795-1826. 54 
cents. 

Obverse. Joannes D. G. Port, et Alg. P. Regens. 
John, by Divine Grace, Prince Regent of Portugal 
and Algarves. 

Reverse. In Hoc Signo Vinces. 

12. Piece of 200 reis. 1838. 22-6 cents. Legends 
as in No. 10. 

PLATE IX. 

1. Quadruple ducat of Austria. 1840. $9 14. 

Obverse. Ferd. I. D. G. Avstr. Imp. Hung. Boh. 
R. H. N. V. Ferdinand I., by the grace of God, 
Emperor of Austria, King of Hungary and Bohemia. 
(The H. N. V. we cannot explain.) 

* Pillar dollars were struck for a short time in Spain, 
after the revolution of 1821. The legends were in Spanish. 



Reverse. Rex Lomb. et Ven. Dalm. Gal. Lod. 
III. A. A. (4.) King of Lombardy and Venice, Dal- 
matia, Galizia, Lodomiria, Illyria ; Arcliduke of 
Austria. The figure 4 signifies four ducats. 

The single ducat bears the same legends. 

The ducat of Francis I. bore on the obverse, Fran- 
ciscvs I. D. G. Avstriae Imperator. 

2. Kremnitz, or Hungary ducat. 1839. $2 28. 
The legend of the obverse consists of abbreviated 
titles, nearly as above. On the reverse is the figure 
of the Virgin and Child, with the legend, S. Maria 
Mater Dei, Patrona Hung. 1839. Holy Mary, 
Mother of God, Patroness of Hungary. 

3. Sovereign. 1831-39. $6 75. Legends as in 
No. 1. 

4. Imperial thaler or rixdollar. 1853-1840. 97 
cents. 

Obverse. M. Theresla, D. G. R. Imp. Hu. Bo. 
Reg. Maria Tlieresa, &c. 

Reverse. Archid. Aust. Dux Burg. Co. Tyr. 
Archduchess of Austria, Duchess of Burgundy, 
Countess of Tyrol. 

On the edge, Justitia et Clementia. Justice 
and Mercy. 

Some of the rixdollars of the Empress were without 
her effigy, bearing instead the inscription, in a wreath, 
ad normam Convent. At the rate of the Convention. 
That is, often dollars to the Cologne mark fine. 

The Kremnitz or Hungary dollars also omitted the 
head of the Empress, and bore the devices stated in 
No. 2. 

5. Hungary dollar, of Joseph II. 1782. 97 cents. 
See No. 2. 

6. Zwanziger, or 20 kreutzer piece of Francis I. 
1827. 16 cents. 

7. Rixdollar of Ferdinand I. 1840. 97 cts. 

8. Piece of 20 kreutzers. 1840. 16 cts. 

9. Hungary rixdollar. 1839. 97 cts. 

10. Scudo of Lombardy. 1839. 97 1 cts. 

The scudo resembles the rixdollar in its devices and 
legends, and can only be distinguished by the quarter- 
ings on the shield. On the Lombard coins the serpent 
is conspicuous. 

The old Brabant crown, which ceased to be coined 
about the year 1800, but is still current, is necessarily 
omitted. It is distinguished from money properly 
Austrian, by not bearing the double-headed eagle, but 
instead thereof, an ornamented cross, in the fashion 



AFOTMA. 



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DESCRIPTION OF THE PLATES. 



195 



of the letter X, with the legend, Arch. Avst. Dvx 
Bvru. Loth. Bbab. Com. Flan. Archduke of 
Austria ; Duke of Burgundy, Lorraine and Bra- 
bant ; Count of Flanders. SI 06. 

11. LiraofLombardy. 1839. 16 cts. The legend 
(besides some of the usual titles) bears the words Lira 

AvSTRIAl A. 

PLATE X. 

1. Specie dollar of Norway. 1831. $1 06. 
Obverse. Carl XIV. Johan. Noroes Sver. G. og 

V. Konge. 

Charles John XIV., King of Norway, Sweden, 
Guilts, and Vandals. 

Reverse. 1 Sps. 9jst. 1 Mk. F. S. One specie 
dollar ; 9.J pieces to a mark of fine silver. The two 
hammers crossed refer to the silver mines of Norway. 

In former times a couplet was introduced into the 
legend, which ran thus : 

Mod troskab dapferhed, oghvad der aere 
Giver den heele verdenrand blant Norske 
klipper laere. 

Spirit, loyalty, valour, and whatever ishonourable, 
let the whole world learn among the rocks of Norioay. 

2. Specie dollar of Sweden. 1830-41. $1 06. 
Obverse. Carl XIV., Sveriges Norr. Goth, ocn 

V. KoNUNG. 

Charles XIV., King of Sweden, Norivay, the 
Goths and Vandals. 
Reverse. Folkets Karlek min Beloning. 1r. sp. 
The people's love is my recompense. 1 rixdollar 



Formerly, other legends were used, such as 
Faderxes Landet, the land of our fathers ; Gud 
och Folket, Gnd and the people, &c. 

3. Ducat of Sweden. 1838. $2 26. Legends 
as in No. 2. 

4. Specie ducat of Denmark. 1791-1802. $2 27. 
Obverse. Moneta Aurea Danica. Gold money 

of Denmark. 

Reverse. Inscription. 1 species ducat. 23i 
Karat. 67 stykker, 1 mark bkuto. One specie 
ducat, 23J carats fine, 67 pieces to the mark gross. 

The current, ducat, of earlier date, bore the king's 
head, with the legend Christianus VII. D. G. Rex, 



Dan. Nor. V. G. Christian VII. by Divine grace 
King of Denmark, Norway, Goths and Vandals. 

On the reverse, Gloria ex amore patri.e. XII M. 
Glory from the love of our country. Twelve marks. 
Value $1 81. 

5. Double Frederickd'or, or ten thaler piece. 
1813-39. $7 88. 

Obverse. Fredericus VI. Rex Danijj. 

Reverse. 2 Fr. D'or. 

The Christiand'or, of 1775, bore the same legends 
as the current ducat, above described; but the reverse 
had three crowns in the device, while the ducat had 
but one. Value $4 01. 

There is some variation in the devices of the double 
and single Fredericks, but none in the value. 

6. Specie rixdollar, or double rigsbank daler. 
1837-39. $1 05. 

Obverse. Fredericus VI. D. G. Dan. V. G. Rex. 
Reverse. En Rigsdaler species. 

7. Forty francs, of Belgium, 1835. $7 67. 
Obverse. Leopold Premier, Roi des Belges. Leo- 
pold I. King of the Belgians. 

Reverse. 40 Francs. 

8. Silver franc, 1835. 18-6 cts. ; legends as in 
No. 7. 

9. Ten guilder piece of Netherlands, 1816-39. 
$4 00. 

Obverse. Willem Koning der Ned. G. H. V. L. 
William, King of the Netherlands, Grand Didce of 
Luxemburg. 

Reverse. Munt van het Koningryk der Neder- 
landen, 10 G. Money of llie kingdom of Nether- 
lands. 

Edge. God zy met ons. God be with us. 

10. The Holland, or Netherlands ducat, 1770- 
1839. $2 26. 

Obverse. Inscription. Mo. Aur. Reg. Belgii ad 
Legem Imperii. Gold money of the Belgian king- 
dom, at the rate of the Empire ; referring to the 
German standard of 67 ducats to the mark. In 
former years, the inscription ran thus : Mo. ord. 
Provin. Foeder. Belg. ad Leg. Imp. The common 
com of the Federal Belgic Provinces, at the Imperial 
rate. 

Reverse. Concordia res parvae crescunt. 
Small things increase by concord. The earlier 
ducats (before the monarchy) add the name of the pro- 
vince ; as, Tra. for Utrecht, Hoi. for Holland, &c. 



196 



DESCRIPTION OF THE PLATES. 



11. Silver ducatoon, coined for the East Indies, 
1766-1804. $1 26. 

Obverse. Mo. No. Arg. Conf<e. Belg. Pro. Thai. 
New money of the confederated Belgian Provinces. 
Utrecht. 

Obverse. As in No. 10. 

The patagon, or leg-dollar (not in the plate) may 
be known by a military figure, on foot ; the legends 
as in No. 11. 

The florin or gulden series, before the monarchy, 
(also omitted) is distinguished by a female figure, and 
the motto Hanc Tvemvr Hac Nitimvr. This tec 
support — on this we depend. 

12. Quarter florin, or piece of 25 centimes, of 
Netherlands, 1824-30. 10 cts. 

13. Florin of King William, 1816-38. 40 cts.; 
legends as in No. 9. 

14. Piece of two marks current, or 32 schillings, 
of Hamburg, 1808. 57 cts. On the reverse is 17 
eine mark FEIN. 17 pieces to the fine mark. 

PLATE XI. 

1. Gold piece of five roubles, of Russia. $3 97. 
No legend on the obverse. On the reverse, (in the 

Russian language and character), 5 roubles, 1839, 
pure gold, 1 solotnik 39 dolie. 

2. Platinum piece of three roubles. 

Reverse. 3 roubles silver, 2 solotniks 41 dolie, Oural 
platinum. 

3. Ten thaler piece of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. 
$7 89. 

Obverse. Paul Friedr. Grosherzog v. Mecklen- 
burg-Schwerin. Paul Frederick, Grand Duke of 
&c. 

Reverse. Zehn Thaler. Ten thalers, or dollars. 

4. Silver rouble of Alexander, of Russia, 1807. 
75 cts. 

5. Piece of 1J roubles, or 10 zlotych of Polish 
Russia, 1835. $1 14. 

6. Piece of 5 zlotych, of independent Poland, 1831. 
56 cts. 

Obverse. Krolestwo Polske. Kingdom of Po- 
land. 

Reverse. 5 zlot. Pol. Roku, 1831. 5 Polish zlot. 
year 1831; and a legend signifying Yl\\\ pieces to a 
fine mark. 



On the edge, Boze Zbaw Polske. God save Po- 
land. 

7. Silver rouble of Nicholas, of Russia. 75 cts. 
Obverse. Pure silver, 4 solotniks 21 dolie. 
Reverse. Money Rouble, 1838. 

8. Frederickd'or, or gold piece of five thalers, of 
Prussia. 

Obverse. Friedr. Wilh. III. Koenig v. Preussen. 
Frederick William III. King of Prussia. 

9. Double Frederickd'or. $7 94. 

10. 11, 12. Prussian rcichs thaler, or rixdollar ; dif- 
ferent dies. 68' 5cents. On the reverse, Vierzeiin 
eine feine mark ; fourteen to a fine mark. 

13. Piece of five drachmai, or drachms, of Greece. 
1833. 83-6 cents. 

Obverse. (In Greek language and character.) Olho, 
King of Greece. 

PLATE XII. 

1. Gold five thaler piece of Saxony. $3 97. 
Obverse. Friedricii August. V. G. G. Koenig 

v. Sachsen. Frederick Augustus, by Divine grace, 
King of Saxony. 

Reverse. Funf Thaler. Five dollars. 

2. Ten thaler piece of Anthony, of Saxony, 1830- 
36. S7 94. 

3. 4. Convention thalers of Saxony, of ten to a fine 
mark. 97 cents. On the edge, Gott segne Sach- 
sen. God bless Saxony. 

5. Convention florin, or half-thaler, of Saxony. 48 
cents. 

6. New rixdollar of Saxony, fourteen to the fine 
mark. 69 cents. 

7. 8, 9. Ten thaler pieces of the Duke of Bruns- 
wick and Luneburg ; the first of Frederic William, 
the others of William. $7 89. 

10. Piece of four good groschen, of Brunswick. 
12 cents. 

11. Thaler, of the same, at fourteen to a fine 
mark. 69 cents. On the edge, Nec Aspera Ter- 
rent. Rough places do not deter him* 

12. Five thaler piece of William IV. of Hanover. 
$3 94. 

13. 14, 15. Ten thaler pieces of George III., 

* Formerly the motto over the salient horse, on Bruns- 
wick coin9. 



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DESCRIPTION OF THE PLATES. 



197 



George IV., and Ernest Augustus, of Hanover. The 
first two, S7 84 ; the last, $7 89. 

16. Florin, or zucy-drittel of Hanover. 1839. 54-7 
cents. 

Reverse. Nacii dem Leifziger Fusse. Feines 
Silber. On the basis of Lcipsick. Fine silver. 



PLATE XIII. 

1. Piece often florins, of Baden. 1819. $4 08. 
Obverse. Ludwig Grosherzog von Baden. Louis, 

Grand Duke of Baden. 

Reverse. 10 G. for ten guilders, gulden or florins. 

2. Crown-dollar, of Baden. Si 07. 

3. Gulden of Baden. 1837-39. 39-7 cents. 

4. Crown of Bavaria. 1809-25. $1 07. 
Obverse. Ludwig, Koenig von Bayern. Louis, 

King of Bavaria. 

Reverse. Gerecht und Behaeelich. Just and. 
constant. 

On the edge, Bayerischer Kronthaler. Bava- 
rian Crown Dollar. The crown of his predecessor 
bore the following legends : 

Obverse. Maximilianus Josephtjs, Bavariae Rex. 

Reverse. Pro Deo et Populo. For God and the 
People. 

The convention dollar bore the Virgin and Child, 
(like the dollar of Hungary,) with the legend Patrona 
Bavariae ; Patroness of Bavaria. 

5. 6, 7, 8. New florins of Bavaria, Nassau, Hohen- 
zolIern-Sigmaringen, and the free city of Frankfort. 
39-7 cents. 

9. Ducat of Wurtemberg. 1818. $2 23. 
Obverse. Wilhelm, Koenig von Wurttemb. 

10. Piece of five florins, or gulden, of Wurtemberg. 
$2 04. (At page 148 it is erroneously stated that 
the ducat is the only gold coin. This has not been 
assayed, but it is presumed to be of the same fineness 
as piece No. 1, above.) 

11. Crown dollar of Wurtemberg. 1818-33. $1 07. 
On the edge, Furchtlos tjnd Treo. Fearless and 
true. 

12. Dollar of Hesse Cassel. 1832-37. 69 cts. 
Obverse. Wilh. II. Kurf. u. Feiedr. Wilh. 

KUHPR. U. MlTREGENT. 

William II. Flector, and Frederick William, 
Electoral prince and co-regent. 

50 



Reverse. Kurfurstenthum Hessen. Ein Thaler 
XIV eine feine mark. 

Electorate of Hesse. One dollar. Fourteen to a 
fine mark. On the edge: Gott ueschirme uns. God 
■protect vs. 

13. Piece of 36 grotes, of Bremen. 1840. 35-7 cts. 
Obverse. Freie Hansestadt Bremen. Free 

Hanse town of Bremen. 

14. New two dollar piece, of Hesse Darmstadt. 
1839. $1 39. 

Obverse. Ludwig II. Grosherzog von Hessen. 
Louis II. Grand Duke of Hesse. 

Reverse. Vereins Munze. 3J gulden. 2 Tha- 
ler. VII eine feine mark. Union money, &c. 

On the edge, Convention vom 30 July, 1838. 



PLATE XIV. 

1. Swiss crown, or piece of four franks. 1814. 
$1 10. 

Reverse. ScnwEizER* Eidsgenossen' XIX. Cant. 
4 Franken. Swiss confederacy, 19 cantons, &c. 

2. Piece of 25 centimes, of Geneva. 1839. 4 cts. 

Reverse. Post Teneeras Lux. Light after dark- 
ness. (The distinctions of the coin of the various 
cantons may be seen further by referring to the 
article Switzerland.) 

3. Piece of 40 lire, or 40 francs, of the kingdom 
of Napoleon in Lombardy. 1805-14. $7 70. 

Obverse. Napoleone Imperatore e Re. Napo- 
leon, Emperor and King. 

Reverse. Regno d'Italia. Kingdom of Italy. 

4. Piece of 20 lire or francs, of Sardinia. 1815-36. 
$3 84. 

Obverse. Vic. Em. D. G. Rex Sar. Cyp. et. Hier. 
Victor Amadeus, by the grace of God, King of Sar- 
dinia, Cyprus, and Jerusalem. 

Reverse. Dvx Sab. et Montisf. Princ. Ped. 
L. 20. Duke of Savoy and Montisferrat, Prince 
of Piedmont. 20 lire. 

5. Piece of 40 lire, of Charles Felix, of Sardinia. 
$7 65. 

6. Piece of 5 lire, of Charles Albert, of Sardinia. 
93 cts. 

7. Sequin, or zecchino of Tuscany. 1824-34. 
$2 30. 

Obverse. Leopoldvs II. D. G. A. A. M. D. Etr. 



198 



DESCRIPTION OF THE PLATES. 






Leopold II. by Divine grace, Archduke of Austria, 
Grand Duke of Etruria, or Tuscany. 

Reverse. S. Joannes Baptista. St. John Baptist. 

8. Half leopoldone, or five pauls, of Tuscany. 52 cts. 
Obverse. Leopoldvs II. D. G. P. I. A. P. R. et 

B. A. A. Magn. Dvx Ete. Leopold II. by Divine 
grace, Prince of tJie Austrian empire, Prince Royal 
of Hungary and Bohemia, Arcliduke of Austria, 
Grand Duke of Tuscany. 

Reverse. Nostee Deus Susceptob. Pisis. God 
undertakes for its. Struck at Pisa. 

9. Florin of Tuscany. 1826-28. 26 els. 
Obverse. Leopoldo II. A. D. A. Granduca di 

ToSCANA. 

Reverse. Fioeino. Quattrini cento. Florin 
of one hundred quattrini. 

10. Piece of ten scudi, of Rome. 1835-36. 
$10 36. 

Obverse. Gregoeivs XVI. Pon. Max. A. VI. 
Gregory X VI. sovereign pontiff, year VI. 

11. Silver testone, or 30 bajocchi, of Rome. 30 cts. 
Obverse. Sede vacante, mdcccxxx. Tlie See 

being vacant, 1830. 

Reverse. Veni Lumen Cordium. Baj. 30. Come 
thou, the light of all liearts, (referring to the Dove, or 
Holy Spirit.) There is a great variety in the devices 
on Papal coins. 

Pieces formerly struck at Bologna, bore the legend 
Bononia docet, Bologna leaches, (referring to the 
great University) ; or, Populus et Senatus Bon. 
People and Senate of Bologna. 

12. Piece of 20 lire, or francs, of Naples. $3 84. 
Obverse. Gioacchino Napoleone. Joachim Na- 
poleon (Murat). 

Reverse. Regno delle due Sicile. 20 liee. 
Kingdom oftlie two Sicilies, &c. 

13. Scudo, or piece of 12 carlins, of Naples. 95 cts. 
Obverse. Ferdinandus II. Dei Gratia, Rex. 
Reverse. Regni vte. Sic. et Hiee. G. 120. 

Kingdom of tlie two Sicilies, and Jerusalem. 120 
Grani. 

Pieces of the island of Sicily bear an eagle, instead 
of the shield. 

PLATE XV. 

1. Yuzlik, or 2 i piastres, of Turkey, 1831-32. 
7 cts. 



Obverse. The toghra or cipher of Sultan Mahmoud. 
This is said to be an involution of the letters of his 
name, but so fanciful a one, that common readers 
cannot disentangle it. 

Reverse. (In Arabic.) Struck at Constantinople. 
At the bottom is the date 1223, corresponding to A. D. 
1808 ; at the top the figures 24, meaning that year of 
Mahmoud's reign, and which added to 1223, gives 
1247, or A. D. 1831-2, the true date of the coin. 

2. Altmichlik of Abdul Medjid, 1840. H cts. ; the 
inscriptions as before. 

3. Gold bedidlik of Mehemet Ali, of Egypt, 1839. 
$4 97. 

Obverse. The cipher of Sultan Abdul Medjid ; un- 
derneath, G. 100, for 100 ghersh, or piastres. 

Reverse. (In Arabic.) Struck at Misr (Egypt), 
1255. The I at top signifies the first year of the sul- 
tan's reign. 

4. Real, of 20 piastres. 97 cts. ; inscriptions as 
before. 

5. Ghersh of Youssuf, Bashaw of Tripoli, 1832. 
10 cts. 

Obverse. Cipher of Sultan Mahmoud ; underneath, 
in Arabic, Struck in Tripoli of the West, 1223. 

Reverse. Sultan of two continents (or lands) and 
monarch of two seas, sultan, son of the sultan, 25. 
This is the date of the reign, which, added to 1223, 
on the obverse, gives the date of the coin. 

6. Half ghersh, of the same. 5 cts. On this coin 
the date of the reign (28) is on the same side as the 
cipher ; on the other side is struck at Tripoli of the 
West, 1223. (The designation " of the West" distin- 
guishes it from the pachalic of Tripoli in Syria.) 

7. Double piastre, of the Bey of Tunis, 1829. 
26 cts. 

Obverse. (In Arabic.) Sultan of two lands, and 
sovereign of two seas, sultan, son oftlie sulta?i. In the 
middle, May God bless him greatly. 

Reverse. The Sultan Mahmoud Khan, son of tlie 
Sultan Abdul Hamid, servant of tlie Praised One ; 
may God continue his kingdom. In the middle, Struck 
in Tunis, 1245. 

8. Piastre of Tunis, 1839. 13 cts. ; the obverse is 
as in No. 7, except that it reads as an inscription, and 
not as a legend. The reverse is simply, Struck in 
Tunis, 1255. 

9. Coin of Algiers, 1821. The obverse as in No. 
7 ; the reverse, Struck in Jezair (Algiers), 1237. 



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DESCRIPTION OF THE PLATES. 



199 



10. Real, or dollar of Morocco, 1776. $1 00. 

Obverse, (In rude Arabic.) The One is one, (re- 
ferring to the unity of the Deity.) The date 1190, in 
European instead of Arabic numerals. 

Reverse. Struck in Marakash, or Morocco. 

11. Half-dollar of the colony of Sierra Leone. 
1791. 46 cents. 

12. Piece of ten macutas, of Portuguese Africa. 
1783. 55 cents. 

PLATE XVI. 

1. Old sicca rupee of the Mogul Empire. This 
piece is very thick, but much smaller in diameter than 
the dies, so that the impressions are too defective to 
be understood. Value 47 cents. 

2. Gold mohur, of the 19th sun, or year. $8 15. 
Obverse. (In Persian.) He who is tlie shadow of 

divine favour, the defender of lite religion of Mahomed, 
the Emperor Shah Alum, coins money for the seven 
climates, i. e., the whole world. The date 1204, 
(A. D. 1789,) is in very small figures. 

Reverse. Struck in Morshedabad, i?i the 1 9th year 
of the happy accession to the throne. (This piece, 
with the following ones, to No. 7, inclusive, were 
really the coinage of the British East India Company.) 

3. Gold mohur of the East India Company, bearing 
the head of William IV. of England, with legends in 
English. 1835. $7 11. 

4. Sicca rupee of Bengal, of the E. I. Company, 
without date. The inscriptions as in No. 2. 47 cents. 

5. Madras rupee of the E. I. Company. 44 - 5 cents. 
Obverse. Happy coin of Aziz eddin Mohamed Shah 

Alumghir. 1172. (A. D. 1758.) 

Reverse. Struck at Arcot, Hie seventh year of the 
reign. 

Alumghir reigned from 1754 to 1761, yet his name 
was continued on the Madras coinage until a recent 
date. The name of Arcot appears on the coins of the 
Company's mint at Madras, being a neighbouring city. 
It thus appears how little is to be learned, from the 
face of these coins, of their real origin and date. This 
is a coin of the nineteenth century. 

6. Bombay rupee of the E. I. Company. 44-5 cts. 
Obverse. Happy coin of tlie Shah Alumghir . 1215. 

(A.D. 1800.) 

Reverse. Struck at Sural, in the forty-sixth year of 
his reign. 



Surat is a neighbouring city to Bombay ; the mone- 
tary connexion between them will be understood by re- 
ferring to page 72. This coin was struck at Bombay. 

7. New rupee of the E. I. Company, coined at Cal- 
cutta. 44'5 cents. The legends in English, with one 
rupee in Persian, under the same words in English. 

8. Pagoda of Tippoo, sultan of Mysore. $1 80. 
Obverse. Letter H, the cipher of his father, Hyder 

Ali. 

Reverse. (In Persian.) Malwmed, lie is tlie right 
sultan. Struck at Patan, (Seringapatam,) year 1218. 
(A.D. 1803.) 

9. Ducat of Fatha Ali, Shah of Persia. $2 23. 

10. Toman of the same. S3 04. 

Obverse. Struck in Tabriz, the seat of majesty. 
1240. (A.D. 1824.) 

Reverse. The sultan, son of the sultan, Fatlw, Ali 
Shah, Kajar. 

11. Sahib-koran, of the same. 29 cents. The 
inscriptions as in No. 10, except the date, 1223. 
(A.D. 1808.) 

The coins of the present monarch, received here, 
were so faintly struck as not to be fit for engraving. 
They bear on the obverse, King of kings, Maho?ned 
Shah; on the reverse, as in No. 10, except those of 
Teheran, which read, Struck at the seat of tlie Caliph, 
Teheran. 

12. Gold half-rupee of the Dutch E. I. Company. 
$4 12. 

Obverse. (In rude Arabic.) Coin of the Holland 
Company. 

Reverse. In tlie great Island of Java. 1802. 

13. Quarter-florin of the same. 1826. 10 cents. 
Obverse. Willem Koning dee Ned. G. H. V. L. 

William, King of Netherlands, Grand Duke of 
Luxemburg. 

Reverse. Nederlandsch Indie. Kwaet Gulden. 
Dutch Irulia. Quarter florin. 

14. Silver rupee, of the same, 1796. 35 cts. ; the 
inscriptions as in No. 12. 

] 5. Dollar of Cochin-China. 85 cts. 

Obverse. Four characters, two of which give the 
name or title of the sovereign — the other two are the 
words tong pao, current money. A sun in the centre. 

Reverse. The Chinese dragon.* 

* The foregoing translations are derived from the works 
of Marsden, Bonneville, and Kelly, and from various pri- 
vate sources of information. 



200 



DESCRIPTION OF THE PLATES. 



As a sequel to this chapter, it may be proper to give some rules for distinguishing coins impressed with 
Oriental characters ; to attain to which, a knowledge of the languages is not requisite. 

Almost the only character inscribed on Oriental coins is the Arabic, variously modified ; in Java and Morocco, 
the letters are drawn as rudely as possible ; in Turkey and Egypt, with more precision ; in Persia, they are in 
the flowing laleek, which appears to bear something of the relation to the nis/chi, or strict Arabic, that our 
Italic letters do to the Roman. The universality of this character on Eastern moneys is due to the extension 
and domination of the Mahomedan faith. 

But a person may be versed in Arabic and Persian, as he finds them in books, and yet not be able to read 

these inscriptions. The reasons are the following : first, the letters are not in the form of printing, but of 

writing; as, for instance, the dashing character (Fig. 1) so conspicuous on all 

2 Turkish, Egyptian, and Barbary coins (except Morocco) is in type the preposi- 

________^_ tion ,_i, in, or at. As this character affords a good clue to those classes of coin, 

it is to be again noticed. The second reason is, that the arrangement of the words 
is often irregular and fanciful. For example, if the inscription on the reverse of No. 1, plate XV., (a Turkish 
silver coin,) were altered from Arabic to English script, it would appear nearly as in Fig. 2. It is meant to 
read, Struck at Constantinople, year 24 of the sultan's reign, which commenced 1223 of the hegira. 

Again, No. 4 of plate XVI. (a sicca rupee of Calcutta) will be found still more opposed to our ideas of order. 
Fig. 3 is the reverse side. 





Sultan of the txoo lands^ 



Sovereign of the two seas 



Sultan by inheritance 



Son of a sultan 



That is, Struck at Morshedabad in the 19th year of the happy accession to the throne. Stars or rosettes 
are frequently put in by way of ornament. 

This irregularity (as we would call it) is still more embarrassing in Persian coins. But, not to multiply such 
examples, one must be given in which the inscription is in good consecutive order. The reverse of No. 5, 
plate XV., (a silver coin of Tripoli,) is shown as an instance. (Fig. 4.) This inscription was formerly very 
common on Turkish coins. It is now confined to those of Tunis and Tripoli. 

Proceeding to identify the coinage of different countries, the reader will take notice, that the character 
already given, equivalent to the preposition in or at, is found on all coins of Turkey, and of states really or 
nominally dependent on that empire. The toghra or monogram of the sultan, of which there is a good 
specimen on the reverse of No. 4, plate XV., is generally on those coins, but the dash, universally. Its place 
in the inscription is thus explained, " struck in Constantinople," Egypt, Tripoli, or otherwise, as the case may be. 
This mark affords a general distinction between the moneys icest and east of the Euphrates. Supposing it 
to be found on any given specimen, the possessor will desire to know to what particular state it belongs. For 
this purpose, he has only to acquaint himself with the word indicating the place of coinage, which, be it 



DESCRIPTION OF THE PLATES. 



201 



observed, is always directly under the elongated preposition — sometimes a little entangled with it. — The 
following arc the characters proper to the respective Ottoman mints. 



ENGLISH NAME. 


CHARACTER ON THE COIN. 


TYPOGRAPHIC FORM. 


EQUIVALENT IN OUR 

LETTERS. 


Constantinople 


4y?Vf 


J«^VCJ\»wI 


IsLAMBOUL.* 


do. 


^kj 


vi :U:U...v 


KoSTANTINIEII. 


Egypt 


<^o^-o 


r** 


MlSR. 


Tripoli 


^^itb 


LTrM;-k 


Trablous. 


Tunis 


•o-^y 


Lr- > r i 


Tunis. 


Algiers 


j&* 


>r 


Jezaih. 



Some allowance is to be made for variations, as the engravers use the license of penmen ; but the above 
will be satisfactory guides, in all cases. 

Having thus ascertained the place of coinage, an interesting point remains, to decide the date, and reign. 
The date is always that of the hegira, or Mahomedan era, and (with one exception) is in Arabic figures. 
These are as follows. 

123 4f 5 67890 

I f |" 1° O 1 V A 1 ♦ 

These are written from left to right, (according to the European order) but letters and words in Arabic run 
in the opposite direction. The method of arriving at the date of the coin, (for most Ottoman coins bear two 
dates, that of the hegira, and of the sultan's reign,) has already been stated, in the description of Plate XV., 
and in a note on page 17. The accession of the sultans for the past century has been as follows : 



Mahmoud I A. H. 1143:): 

Othman III 1168 

Mustapha III 1171 

Abdul Hamid 1187 

Selim III 1203 

Mustapha IV. 1222 

Mahmoud II 1223 

Abdul Medjid 1255 



A. D. 1730. 

. . 1754. 

. . 1757. 

. . 1774. 

. . 1789. 

. . 1807. 

. . 1808. 

. . 1839. 



* The usual name for Constantinople in the East is Stamboul, an easy corruption of the original Greek name. The 
Turks appear to have intended a play upon this word, and at the same time to commend the Mahomedan religion, by 
stamping on their coins Islttmbrml, which means, " the fulness of the true faith." (See Marsden, 409.) This title was 
last used in the reign of Selim III., which commenced 1203 (A. D. 1789.) 

f The figure for 4 is sometimes in the form of our 3, reversed; especially on Ottoman coins. 

\ The Mahomedan year is lunar, and therefore shorter than ours about eleven days. This makes a difference of one 
year in every thirty-three. 

51 



202 



DESCRIPTION OF THE PLATES. 



The coins of Morocco are the exception to the foregoing explanations. They may be known by this unique 
characteristic ; the date is that of the hegira, but the figures are European. For an example, see No. 10, 
Plate XV. 

If the coin does not bear the distinguishing mark already stated, and yet is in the Arabic or Persian charac- 
ter, it belongs to Hindustan, Java, or Persia. 

1. The general style of the characters on coins of Hindustan may be learned from an inspection of Nos. 
1, 2, 4, 5, and 6, of plate XVI. These are all, except the first, issues of the British East India Company, 
coined at the mints of Calcutta, Madras, and Bombay. Those of Calcutta bear the name of the neighbouring 
city of Morshedabad, those of Madras are stamped as of Arcot, and those of Bombay as of Surat. The im- 
print of the mint is to be found at the bottom of the reverse of the .coin. By comparing the numbers just 
stated with the following characters, the reader will perceive the distinction. 



ENGLISH NAME. 


CHARACTER ON THE COIN. 


TYPOGRAPHIC FORM. 


EQUIVALENT IN OUR 
LETTERS. 


Morshedabad. 
Arcot. 
Surat. 




e>l£f 


Morshedabad. 
Arcot. 
Surat. 



Some of these coins are dated, others are not ; but the dates are not to be depended upon, as has already 
been shown, in the description of Plate XVI. 

The gold pagodas and silver fanams of the south of India may always be known by their shape, being small 
and lumpy. No. 8, Plate XVI. is a specimen. 

2. The coins of the Dutch East India Company in Java, bore Arabic impressions previous to the restora- 
tion in 1816. (See Malay Archipelago.) They may be known by the anomaly of bearing a Christian 
date, and in European figures. See Nos. 12 and 14, Plate XVI. 

3. The coins of Persia may generally be recognised by the heavy, semicircular characters, in close succes- 
sion, which bear an unmeaning aspect to a European eye, and which are exemplified in Nos. 10 and 11, 
Plate XVI. The date, (when not omitted,) is in exceedingly small characters. 

In respect to the coins of China and Japan, nothing need be added here to what has been said under those 
heads respectively; in connexion with which, an inspection of Nos. 15 and 16, Plate XVI. will be of service. 



APPENDIX. 



STATISTICS OF COINAGE. 

1. UNITED STATES. 





GOLD. 


SILVER. 


TOTAL. 


1793 to 1800 


$1,014,290 


$1,440,455 


$2,454,745 


1801 to 1810 


3,250,745 


3,569,165 


6,819,910 


1811 to 1820 


3,166,510 


5,970,811 


9,137,321 


1821 to 1830 


1,903,090 


16,781,047 


18,684,137 


1831 


714,270 


3,175,600 


3,889,870 


1832 


798,435 


2,579,000 


3,377,435 


1833 


978,550 


2,759,000 


3,737,550 


1834 


3,954,270 


3,415,002 


7,369,272 


1835 


2,186,175 


3,443,003 


5,629,178 


1836 


4,135,700 


3,606,100 


7,741,800 


1837 


1,148,305 


2,096,010 


3,244,315 


1838 


1,809,595 


2,333,243 


4,142,838 


1839 


1,355,885 


2,189,296 


3,545,181 


1840 


1,675,302 


1,726,703 


3,402,005 


1841 


1,091,598 


1,132,750 


2,224,348 




29,182,720 


56,217,185 


85,399,905 



The mint at Philadelphia was the only one in operation until 1838. From that year to 1841, both inclusive, 
the amount of coinage at the mint and its branches was as follows : 





GOLD. 


SILVER. 


TOTAL. 


Mint at Philadelphia 
Branch mint at New Orleans 
Branch mint at Charlotte, N. C. 
Branch mint at Dahlonega, Geo. 


$4,581,175 
326,190 
507,025 
517,990 


$5,848,489 
1,533,503 


$10,429,664 

1,859,693 

507,025 

517,990 


Total, 1838-41 


5,932,380 


7,381,992 


13,314,372 



204 STATISTICS OF COINAGE. 

The whole amount of coinage in pieces, from 1793 to 1841, at the mint and branches, has been as follows : 



GOLD. 


PIECES. 


VALUE. 


Eagles .... 


291,009 


$2,910,090 


Half eagles .... 


4 700,257 


23,501,285 


Quarter eagles 


1,108,538 


2,771,345 


SILVER. 


- 




Dollars .... 


1,674,822 


1,674,822 


Half dollars 


97,895,662 


48,947,831 


Quarter dollars 


8,200,502 


2,050,125 50 


Dimes .... 


23,765,325 


2,376,532 50 


Half dimes .... 


23,357,478 


1,167,873 90 




160,993,593 


85,399,904 90 



The amount of copper coinage in the same period, was 89,439,030 cents, and 7,440,713 half cents, alto- 
gether of the value of $931,503 86 ; which was all coined at Philadelphia. 

No eagles were coined from 1805 to 1837 inclusive. No half eagles in 1816 and 1817. No quarter eagles 
before 1796, nor in 1800-01, nor from 1809 to 1823, except in 1821, nor in 1828 and 1841. No dollars 
from 1806 to 1838, except 1000 in 1836. No half dollars from 1797 to 1800, nor in 1815. No quarter 
dollars before 1796, none from 1798 to 1803, none from 1808 to 1814, and none in 1817, 1824, 1826, 
1829 and 1830. No dimes before 1796, none in 1799, 1806, 1808, 1812, 1813, 1815 to 1819, 1824, and 
1826. No half dimes in 1798, 1799, 1804, and 1806 to 1828. No cents (except a few specimen pieces,) in 
1815 and 1823. No half cents in 1798, 1801, 1812 to 1824, 1827, 1830 and 1832, and none since 1836. 

2. MEXICO. 





GOLD. 


SILVER. 


TOTAL. 


Ten years, 1801-10 


$11,020,000 


$216,220,000 


$227,240,000 


do. 1811-20 


6,030,000 


106,130,000 


112,160,000 


do. 1821-30 


3,680,000 


96,080,000 


99,760,000 


1831 


No returns. 


11,720,000 




1832-33 


No returns. 


No returns. 




1834 


210,000 


11,830,000 


12,040,000 


1835 


350,000 


11,650,000 


12,000,000 


1836 


570,000 


11,480,000 


12,050,000 


1837 


380,000 


11,230,000 


11,610,000 



STATISTICS OF COINAGE. 



205 



For a long term of years, previous to the Revolution, the annual coinage averaged nearly 23 millions of 
dollars. From the era just named, which had its commencement in 1810, the sum has been greatly reduced. 
Indeed, although the independence of the nation has long been fully established, yet the ever disturbed state of 
political affairs produces an effect upon the mints and mines, quite as depressive as was the war of the revolu- 
tion. The annual coinage of late years is about 12 millions of dollars. 

There arc at present, seven mints in operation. As there is a characteristic difference in the value of their 
coins, it will be interesting to know in what proportion they severally contribute to the annual sum of Mexican 
coinage. The returns of 1836 and 1837 are here given. 





1836. 


1837. 


MINTS. 
















GOLD. 


SILVER. 


TOTAL. 


COLD. 


SILVER. 


TOTAL. 


Mexico 


$20,000 


§734,000 


$754,000 


$10,000 


$516,000 


$526,000 


Zacatecas 


None 


5,460,000 


5,460,000 


None 


5,238,000 


5,238,000 


Guanajuato 


171,000 


2 341,000 


2,512,000 


151,000 


2,857,000 


3,008,000 


Potosi 


None 


1,099,000 


1,099,000 


None 


1,111,000 


1,111,000 


Durango 


359,000 


1,063,000 ' 


1,422,000 


207,000 


721,000 


928,000 


Guadalajara 


23,000 


561,000 


584,000 


13,000 


567,000 


580,000 


Chihuahua 


None 


224,000 


224,000 


None 


225,000 


225,000 



It appears then that they rank in the following order: 1. Zacatecas, 2. Guanajuato, 3. Durango, 4. Potosi, 
5. Mexico, 6. Guadalajara, 7. Chihuahua.* 



3. PERU.t 





GOLD. 


SILVER. 


TOTAL. 


Ten years, 1801-10 


$3,216,400 


$42,500,000 


$45,716,400 


do. 1811-20 


5,593,700 


54,655,000 


60,248,700 


do. 1821-30 


1,294,700 


15,435,700 


16,730,400 


Four years, 1831-34 


401,700 


11,400 


413,100 


1835-36 


No returns. 


No returns. 




1837 


120,000 


2,564,000 


2,684,000 



* The order stated in page 79 is slightly in error. The above is taken from the British "Tables of Revenue," &c. 
f Compiled from the " Tables of Revenue," &c, and a recent letter from Mr. Pickett, U. S. Charge d'Afiaires 
at Lima. 

52 



206 



STATISTICS OF COINAGE. 



PERU (.Continued). 



1S38 
1839 
1840 
1841 



No returns 
None 
None 
None 



No returns 
2,406,200 
3,104,000 
2,788,800 



2,406,200 
3,104,000 
2,788,800 






The foregoing returns for 1839 to 1841 do not include the coinage at the mints of Cuzco and Arequipa. 
At the former, the annual amount is supposed to be about one million of dollars — one third of which is gold ; 
at the latter, the amount in 1838 was near one million, but does not now reach $100,000 annually. 

The largest annual coinage in Peru, in the past century, was, of gold, in 1758, $1,170,000 ; of silver, in 
1794, $5,304,000. 

4. CHILI* 





GOLD. 


SILVER. 


TOTAL. 


Ten years, 1811-20 


$6,171,800 


$3,527,000 


$9,698,800 


Do. 1821-30 


1,694,000 


350,295 


2,044,295 


1831 


None. 


47,850 


47,850 


1832 


192,440 


37,950 


230,390 


1833 


418,336 


84,150 


502,486 


1834 


522,240 


44,550 


566,790 


1835 


None. 


3,300 


3,300 


1836 


472,464 


No return. 


472,464 



The largest amount of gold coined, for many years, was in 1810, $865,000 ; of silver, in 1817, $535,000. 

5. BOLIVIA. 



Ten years, 1801-10 
Do. 1811-20 
Do. 1821-30 



GOLD. 



$5,096,000 
125,936 
703,120 



$30,772,500 
20,542,500 
15,006,750 



$35,868,500 
20,668,436 
15,709,870 



* The statements for Chili and Bolivia are compiled from the British " Tables of Revenue," &c. 



STATISTICS OF COINAGE. 



207 



BOLIVIA (.Continued). 





GOLD. 


SILVER. 


TOTAL. 


1831 


122,944 


1,815 


124,759 


1832 


148,512 


1,815 


150,327 


1833 


99,824 


1,897 


101,721 


1834 


80,240 


1,898 


82,138 


1835 


184,144 


1,897 


186,041 


1836 


88,000 


1,947,000 


2,035,000 


1837 


198,000 


2,070,000 


2,268,000 



The largest gold coinage for many years past, was in 1305, $785,000 ; of silver, in 1796, $4,274,000. 

6. GREAT BRITAIN. 

The gold coinage, for some years previous to the monetary law of 1816, was nearly in a state of suspen- 
sion ; in the three years of 1809, 1810, and 1811, the amount was about £300,000, annually, and in 1813, 
£520,000. In the three years following, there was no gold coined. There was no silver coinage, except 
Bank tokens, from 1788 to 1815. The following tables commence with the year 1816, and extend to 1840 
inclusive. 





GOLD. 


SILVER. 


TOTAL. 


Five years, 1816-20 


£8,090,800 


£6,932,800 


£15,023,600 


Do. 1821-25 


24,283,300 


1,450,000 


25,733,300 


Do. 1826-30 


14,252,300 


766,300 


15,018,600 


Do. 1831-35 


6,737,500 


613,400 


7,350,900 


1836 


1,787,800 


497,700 


2,285,500 


1837 


1,253,100 


75,250 


1,328,350 


1838 


2,855,400 


173,850 


3,029,250 


1839 


504,300 


390,450 


894,750 


1840 


None. 


207,700 


207,700 




59,764,500 


11,107,450 


70,871,950 



The copper coinage from 1816 to 1836 was £180,107. 

The largest annual amount of gold coinage was in 1821, when it reached the prodigious sum of £9,520,758, 
equal to $46,270,000. In 1819, there was only the sum of £3574. No gold was coined in 1816 and 1840. 



208 



STATISTICS OF COINAGE. 



The largest amount in silver was in 1817, £2,436,298, equal to $10,622,000. In the three years of 1830, 
1832, and 1833, the annual sum was only about £150. The variation in the yearly amount of labour is 
probably as great as at any mint in the world. 

The following table shows the total amount of coinage in pieces, from 1816 to 1840.* 



GOLD. 


PIECES. 


VALUE. 


Double sovereigns . 


16,119 


£32,238 


Sovereigns .... 


55,468,389 


55,468,389 


Half sovereigns 


8,527,681 


4,263,840 


SILVER. 






Crowns .... 


1,849,905 


462,476 


Half crowns .... 


31,438,434 


3,929,804 


Shillings .... 


101,645,280 


5,082,264 


Sixpences .... 


58,324,595 


1,458,115 


Fourpences .... 


10,371,058 


172,850 


Three, two, and one penny 




2,190 



7. FRANCE. 



The coinage of gold from 1726 to 1780, was 
" 1781-85, estimated! 

" 1786-94 . 



The coinage of silver from 1726 to 1791, was 1,966,402,000 livres4 
There was coined in 30 and 15 sous pieces, (1791) 25,000,000 francs. 
The decimal coinage previous to 1803 is not ascertained. 



957,200,000 livres. 

85,000,000 " 
738,257,000 " 



1,780,457,000 





GOLD. 


SILVER. 


TOTAL. 


Type of Napoleon, 1803-14 
do. Louis XVIII. 1814-24 
do. Charles X. 1824-30 
do. Louis Philippe 1. 1830-40 


fr. 528,024,440 

389,333,060 

52,918,920 

177,367,740 


fr. 887,830,055 

614,830,110 

632,511,321 

1,229,440,566 


fr. 1,415,854,495 

1,004,163,170 

685,430,241 

1,406,808,306 




1,147,644,160 


3,364,612,052 


4,512,256,212 



* Statements from the British mint, part of which were procured by Mr. Stevenson, U. S. minister plenipotentiary, 
t Neckar, Finances of France, 1785. t Moniteur, April, 1829. 



STATISTICS OF COINAGE. 



209 



AMOUNT OF COINAGE IN riECES, FROM 1803 tO 1840.* 

GOLD. VALUE. 

Forty francs fr. 204,431,440 

Twenty francs 943,212,720 

SILVER. 

Five francs 3,231,045,450 

Two francs 57,057,608 

One franc 50,359,424 

Half franc 22,534,088 

Quarter franc 3,615,482 



4,512,256,212 



AMOUNT OF COINAOE AT THE RESPECTIVE MINTS, 1803 TO 1840. 



MINTS. 


GOLD. 


SIXVER. 


TOTAL. 


Paris 


fr. 1,022,920,060 


fr. 1,287,795,645 


fr. 2,310,715,705 


Bayonne 


5,047,500 


93,613,345 


98,660,845 


Bordeaux 


3,001,540 


120,554,841 


123,556,381 


La Rochelle 


597,240 


78,911,522 


79,508,762 


Lille 


92,018,120 


648,414,360 


740,432,480 


Limoges 


554,260 


107,172,166 


107,726,426 


Lyons 




152,765,875 


152,765,875 


Marseilles 


81,060 


98,821,853 


98,902,913 


Nantes 


711,040 


63,645,791 


64,356,831 


Perpignan 


7,413,500 


81,630,569 


89,044,069 


Rouen 


7,940,660 


404,528,280 


412,468,940 


Strasbourg 




87,993,097 


87,993,097 


Toulouse 


1,345,440 


133,255,485 


134,600,925 


Genes 


228,140 


87,099 


315,239 


Geneva 




167,993 


167,993 


Rome 


384,500 


341,125 


725,625 


Turin 


3,597,440 


2,639,557 


6,236,997 


Utrecht 


1,803,660 


2,273,449 


4,077,109 




1,147,644,160 


3,364,612,052 


4,512,256,212 



* These statements are from the mint of Paris, procured by Gen. Cass, U. S. minister plenipotentiary. 

53 



210 



STATISTICS OF COINAGE. 



Of the foregoing mints, only those of Paris, Bordeaux, Lille, Lyons, Marseilles, Rouen and Strasbourg are 
now in operation. Those of Geneva, Rome, Turin and Utrecht were under the empire of Napoleon ; they 
have long since passed out of French jurisdiction. 



8. AUSTRIA. 





GOLD. 


SILVER. 


TOTAL. 


Ten years, 1793-1802 


fl. 17,839,288 


&. 245,823,760 


fl. 263,663,048 


do. 1803-12 


10,659,916 


104,066,665 


114,726,581 


do. 1813-22 


24,680,983 


44,730,490 


69,411,473 


do. 1823-32 


48,710,569 


62,246,736 


110,957,305 


1833 


7,681,761 


4,801,214 


12,482,975 


1834 


16,708,101 


3,319,913 


20,028,014 


1835 


6,760,328 


3,068,102 


9,828,430 


1836 


5,967,885 


3,264,164 


9,232,049 


1837 


7,213,263 


3,909,313 


11,122,576 


1838 


4,181,536 


3,088,554 


7,270,090 


1839 


4,382,364 


2,785,702 


7,168,066 




154,785,994 


481,104,613 


635,890,607 



AMOUNT OF COINAGE IN PIECES, FROM 1823 TO 1837, BOTH INCLUSIVE. 

VALUE. 

GOLD— Sovereigns and halves fl. 36,974,673 

Ducats, doubles and quadruples 56,067,234 

SILVER— Rixdollars 27,189,714 

Half dollars, or florins . . . . . . . . None. 

20 kreutzer pieces . . . 50,581,999 

10 kreutzer 974,650 

5 kreutzer 746,678 

3 kreutzer 1,109,931 

The copper coinage, from 1793 to 1818, amounted to 180,918,286 florins. None has been coined since 
1818. 

9. PRUSSIA. 

COINAGE OF TWENTY YEAHS, 1821 TO 1840, BOTH INCLUDED.* 

VALUE . 

Double, single, and half Frederickd'ors, in gold, . . thai. 12,034,406 

Silver thaler pieces 28,303,346 

Two thaler, or 3i florin pieces 1,950,090 

One-sixth thaler pieces 4,854,105 

Billon pieces ' 3,147,152 

The amount of copper coined was 752,273 thalers. 

* From the mint at Berlin ; procured by Mr. Wheaton, U. S. minister plenipotentiary. 



STATISTICS OF COINAGE. 



211 



10. SPAIN. 

COINAGE OF TWENTY YEARS AT THE MINT OF MADRID, 1822 TO 1841, BOTH INCLUDED.* 

GOLD. VALUE IN RS. VELLON. VALUE IN DOLLARS. 

Pistoles, or i doubloons . . . 69,338,560 3,466,928 

SILVER. 
Dollars, of 20 rs. vellon . . . 11,603,660 



I lulf dollars 1,190,360 

Pistareens, of 4 rs 26,978,516 

Half pistareens ..... 735,706 

Reals 149,448 

The annual coinage is of very irregular amount; in 1835 it was about $1,136,000, and in 1841 only 
§134,000. 

The coinage of the mint at Seville is not ascertained. 



580,183 

59,518 

1,348,926 

36,785 

7,472 



A SUMMARY STATEMENT OF THE AVERAGE ANNUAL AMOUNT OF COINAGE OF GOLD AND SILVER, 
OF LATE YEARS, IN VARIOUS COUNTRIES ; AND THE AMOUNT IN PROPORTION TO THEIR POPULA- 
TION. 



COUNTRIES. 


ANNUAL 


COINAGE. 


PRESENT 
POPULATION. 


U. S. CENTS, 




IN THEIR OWN TER3IS. 


IN V. S. DOLLARS. 


PER HEAD. 


United States 




4,300,000 


17,000,000 


25-3 


Mexico 




12,000,000 


7,700,000 


155'8 


Colombia 




2,000,000 


3,200,000 


62-5 


Peru 




3,000,000 


1,700,000 


176-5 


Chili 




400,000 


1,500,000 


26-7 


Bolivia 




1,500,000 


1,500,000 


100 


Brazil 


mlr. 68,000 


60,000 


5,000,000 


1-2 


G. Britain and Ireland 


£1,500,000 


7,300,000 


25,000,000 


29-2 


British India 


rs. 30,000,000 


13,300,000 


113,000,000 


11-8 


France 


fr. 135,000,000 


25,600,000 


33,500,000 


76-4 


Swedenf 


rxd. 650,000 


690,000 


3,000,000 


23 


Denmark:): 


rgd. 240,000 


128,000 


2,000,000 


6-4 


Saxony 


th. 470,000 


340,000 


1,700,000 


20 


Prussia 


th. 2,500,000 


1,800,000 


13,000,000 


13-8 


Austria 


fl. 12,000,000 


6,000,000 


34,000,000 


17-6 


Spain§ 


rls. 8,000,000 


400,000 


12,000,000 


3-3 



* From the mint at Madrid ; procured by Mr. 
t The coinage at Altona not included. 



Vail, U. S. charge d'affaires. f Exclusive of Norway. 

6 The coinage at Seville assumed as half that of Madrid. 



212 STATISTICS OF COINAGE. 



PROPORTION OF COINAGE IN LARGE AND SMALL PIECES. 

All the gold coins, and the large silver coins, may be considered as international currency, being liable to 
be carried beyond the limits of its country ; while small silver coin remains at home, to supply the daily 
traffic. It is interesting to inquire in what proportion these two grand divisions of money, large and small, are 
coined in various nations, of late years. The following will be found near the truth. 

CONSIDERED AS PROPORTION IN VALUE, OP 

SMALL COIN. SMALL COIN TO LARGE. 

United States . . . Under a half dollar . . . 1 to 10-6 

Great Britain . . . All the silver* 1 to 12-6 

France .... Under five francs . . . . 1 to 10-4 

Prussia .... Under a thaler . . . . 1 to 5-3 

Austria .... Under a rixdollar . . . . . 1 to 3-3 



PRODUCTION OF GOLD AND SILVER. 

It was intended to offer in the appendix as complete a body of statistics as could be procured, of the amount 
of precious metals annually raised in the world ; and to this end, much information was collected. But after 
due reflection, it is believed that no satisfactory statement could be given. In some countries a registry is kept 
of the production, of which a summary notice has been taken under the appropriate heads, in the second 
chapter. But from the chief mining regions it is impossible to obtain any thing better than vague and con- 
tradictory conjectures. Thus in Mexico and Peru, the registers exhibit a certain amount actually raised; but 
to this is to be added large quantities of bullion exported in a contraband way, of which no near estimate can 
be made. A high functionary of the Mexican government has rated the annual produce of gold and silver in 
his country at seventy millions of dollars; while Mr. Ward, from calculations made in 1829 from the best 
data, was satisfied that it did not exceed eleven millions, since the revolution. At present, the truth probably 
lies between fourteen and twenty millions ; and it is supposed that the production is equal to that of all other 
countries together. 

In respect to the gold region of the United States, it was for a long time uncertain whether the amount sent 
to the mints %vas nearly the whole, or only a considerable share of the amount mined. The census of 1840 
seems to clear up this question. 

It appears that in 1839 

The number of persons employed in gold mining was . . . 1046 

The amount of capital invested, 8234,300 

The amount of gold raised ....... $529,500 

of which Virginia produced $52,000, North Carolina $256,000, South Carolina $37,000, Georgia $122,000, 
Alabama $61,000, Tennessee $1,500. 

In the same year, the amount deposited for coinage was $385,000. Whence it may be inferred, that about 
seven tenths of the annual production is converted into coin of the United States. The mining operations were 
not carried on with much activity until 1830. Since that date, the average annual coinage from that source 
has been $555,000. Upon the foregoing basis, the average production has been $800,000 yearly ; but per- 
haps a safer estimate would be $700,000. 

* The half crown is a large coin, but being legally overvalued (with the other silver coins) to keep it in the country, 
is properly placed in the table. 



TABLE A. 

COMPARISON OF VARIOUS MODES OF EXPRESSING TIIE FINENESS OF GOLD AND SILVER. 



THOUS. 


CAR. 32d. 


BRITISH. 

OZ. BUT. 


SPANISM. 
DIN. GRA. 


GERMAN. 
LOTH. GR. 


THOUS. 


CAR. 32d. 


BRITISH. 
OZ. DWT. 


SPANISH. 
DIN. GRA. 


GERMAN. 
LOTH. GR. 


650 


15 19 


7 10 


7 19 


10 


8 


833 


20 


10 





10 





13 6 


600 


15 27 


7 18g 


7 22 


10 


10 


834 


20 












670 


16 3 


8 1 


8 1 


10 


13 


835 


20 1 


10 


01 


10 


01 




680 


16 10 


8 3 


8 4 


10 


16 


836 


20 2 










13 7 


690 


16 18 


8 5.1 


8 6i 


11 


1 


837 


20 3 


10 


1 


10 


1 




700 


16 25 


8 8 


8, 9| 


11 


4 


838 


20 3 












710 


17 1 


8 10l 


8 121 


11 


7 


839 


20 4 


10 


11 


10 


11 


13 8 


720 


17 9 


8 13 


8 15> 


11 


10 


840 


20 5 






10 


2 




730 


17 17 


8 15 


8 18 


11 


12 


841 


20 6 


10 


2 








740 


17 24 


8 17i 


8 21 


11 


15 


842 


20 7 






10 


2| 




750 


18 


9 


9 


12 





843 


20 7 


10 


21 






13 9 


760 


18 8 


9 21 


9 3 


12 


3 


844 


20 8 






10 


3 




770 


18 15 


9 5 


9 5 


12 


6 


845 


20 9 


10 


3 


10 


31 




780 


18 23 


9 7 


9 8i 


12 


9 


846 


20 10 










13 10 


790 


18 31 


9 9£ 


9 111 


12 


11 


847 


20 10 






10 


4 




800 


19 7 


9 12 


9 141 


12 


14 


848 


20 11 


10 


»1 








801 


19 7 










849 


20 12 






10 


4 1 - 

^2 




802 


19 8 


9 12£ 


9 15 






850 


20 13 


10 


4 






13 11 


803 


19 9 






12 


15 


851 


20 13 






10 


5 




804 


19 9 


9 13 


9 15J 






852 


20 14 


10 


4! 


10 


5 2 - 




805 


19 10 










853 


20 15 










13 12 


806 


19 11 


9 131 


9 16 


12 


16 


854 


20 16 


10 


5 


10 


6 




807 


19 12 




9 16 1 






855 


20 17 












808 


19 12 


9 14 








856 


20 17 


10 


H 


10 


61 


13 13 


809 


19 13 




9 17 


12 


17 


857 


20 18 












810 


19 14 


9 141 








858 


20 19 


10 


6 


10 


7 




811 


19 15 




9 m 






859 


20 20 






10 


' 2 




812 


19 15 










860 


20 20 


10 


61 






13 14 


813 


19 16 


9 15 


9 18 


13 





861 


20 21 






10 


8 




814 


19 17 




9 18| 






862 


20 22 












'815 


19 18 


9 151 








863 


20 23 


10 


7 


10 


81 


13 15 


816 


19 19 




9 19 


13 


1 


864 


20 23 












817 


19 19 


9 16 








865 


20 24 


10 


7 1 

'2 


10 


9 




818 


19 20 




9 19J- 






866 


20 25 






10 


91 




819 


19 21 


9 161 


9 20 


13 


2 


867 


20 26 


10 


8 






13 16 


820 


19 22 










868 


20 27 






10 


10 




821 


19 22 


9 17 


9 201 






869 


20 27 


10 


s i 








822 


19 23 










870 


20 28 






10 


101 




823 


19 24 


9 17>- 


9 21 


13 


3 


871 


20 29 


10 


9 






13 17 


824 


19 25 










872 


20 30 






10 


11 




825 


19 25 


9 18 


9 21 1 






873 


20 30 


10 


91 


10 


11-1 




826 


19 26 




9 22 


13 


4 


874 


20 31 












827 


19 27 


9 18 J 








875 


21 


10 


10 


10 


12 


14 


828 


19 28 




q ooi 






876 


21 1 












829 


19 29 


9 19 




13 


5 


877 


21 1 


10 


101 


10 


12i 




830 


19 29 




9 23 






878 


21 2 






10 


13 


14 1 


831 


19 30 


9 191 








879 


21 3 


10 


11 








832 


19 31 




9 23i 






880 


21 4 






10 


13J 





54 



214 



TABLE A. 



THOUS. 


CAR. 32d. 


BRITISH. 
OZ. DWT. 


SPANISH. 
DIN. GRA. 


GERMAN. 
LOTH. GR.' 


THOUS. 


CAR. 32d. 


BRITISH. 
OZ. DWT. 


SPANISH. 
DIN. GRA. 


GERMAN. 
LOTH. GR. 


881 


21 4 


10 11| 




14 


2 


932 


22 12 






11 


4! 




882 


21 5 




10 14 






933 


22 12 


11 


4 








883 


21 6 


10 12 








934 


22 13 






11 


5 


14 17 


884 


21 7 




10 14J 






935 


22 14 


11 


41 








885 


21 8 


10 12A 


10 15 


14 


3 


936 


22 15 






11 


5! 




886 


21 8 










937 


22 16 


11 


5 








887 


21 9 




10 15| 






938 


22 16 






11 


6 


15 


888 


21 10 


10 13 




14 


4 


939 


22 17 


11 


5* 


11 


6! 




889 


21 11 




10 16 






940 


22 18 












890 


21 11 


10 13! 








941 


22 19 


11 


6 


11 


7 


15 1 


891 


21 12 




10 16! 






942 


22 19 












892 


21 13 


10 14 


10 17 


14 


5 


943 


22 20 


11 


6! 


11 


7-1 

' 2 




893 


21 14 










944 


22 21 






11 


8 


15 2 


894 


21 14 


10 14| 


10 17! 






945 


22 22 


11 


7 








895 


21 15 










946 


22 22 






11 


8! 




896 


21 16 


10 15 


10 18 


14 


6 


947 


22 23 












897 


21 17 










948 


22 24 


11 


7! 


11 


9 


15 3 


898 


21 18 


10 15| 


10 18! 






949 


22 25 












899 


21 18 




10 19 






950 


22 25 


11 


8 


7 


9! 




900 


21 19 


10 16 




14 


7 


951 


22 26 






11 


10 


15 4 


901 


21 20 




10 19! 






952 


22 27 


11 


8! 








902 


21 21 


10 16J- 








953 


22 28 






11 


101 




903 


21 21 




10 20 


14 


8 


954 


22 29 


11 


9 








904 


21 22 


10 17 








955 


22 29 






11 


11 


15 5 


905 


21 23 




10 20! 






956 


22 30 


11 


9i 








906 


21 24 


io m 


10 21 






957 


22 31 






11 


HI 




907 


21 24 






14 


9 


958 


23 


11 


10 


11 


12 


15 6 


908 


21 25 


10 18 


10 21! 






959 


23 1 












909 


21 26 










960 


23 1 


11 


10 \ 


11 


121 




910 


, 21 27 


10 18J 


10 22 


14 


10 


961 


23 2 










15 7 


911 


21 28 




10 22! 






962 


23 3 






11 


13 




912 


21 28 










963 


23 3 


11 


11 








913 


21 29 


10 19 


10 23 






964 


23 4 






11 


13! 




914 


21 30 






14 


11 


965 


23 5 


11 


ni 


11 


14 


15 8 


915 


21 31 


10 19*- 


10 23! 






966 


23 6 












916 


21 31 










967 


23 7 


11 


12 


11 


141 


* 


917 


22 


11 


11 


14 


12 


968 


23 7 










15 9 


918 


22 1 




11 0! 






969 


23 8 


11 


121 


11 


15 




919 


22 2 


11 01 








970 


23 9 






11 


151 




920 


22 2 




11 1 


14 


13 


971 


23 10 


11 


13 








921 


22 3 


11 1 








972 


23 10 






11 


16 


15 10 


922 


22 4 




11 1! 






973 


23 11 


11 


131 








923 


22 5 


ii il 




14 


14 


974 


23 12 






11 


16! 




924 


22 6 




11 2 






975 


23 13 


11 


14 






15 11 


925 


22 6 


11 2 


11 2! 






976 


23 13 






11 


17 




926 


22 7 










977 


23 14 


11 


14J 


11 


171 




927 


- 22 8 


11 21 


11 3 


14 


15 


978 


23 15 










15 12 


928 


22 9 










979 


23 16 


11 


15 


11 


18 




929 


22 9 


11 3 


11 3! 






980 


23 17 












930 


22 10 










981 


23 17 


11 


151 


11 


181 




931 


22 11 


11 3i 


11 4 


14 


16 


982 


23 18 










15 13 



TABLE B. 



21 1 



THOUS. 


CAR. 


32d. 


BRITISH. 
OZ. DWT. 


SPANISH. 
DIN. GRA. 


GERMAN. 
LOTH. GR. 


THOUS. 


CAR. 


32d. 


BRITISH. 
OZ. DWT. 


SPANISH. 
DIN. GRA. 


GERMAN. 
LOTH. GR. 


983 


23 


19 


11 


16 


11 19 




992 


23 


26 


11 


18 








984 


23 


20 






11 194 




993 


23 


27 






11 


22 


15 16 


985 


23 


20 


11 


10.', 






994 


23 


27 


11 


18* 








!P-li 


23 


21 






11 20 


15 14 


995 


23 


28 






11 


224 




987 


23 


22 










996 


23 


29 


11 


19 






15 17 


!l-s 


23 


23 


11 


17 


11 20 i 




997 


23 


30 






11 


23 




989 


23 


23 








15 15 


998 


23 


30 


11 


19* 


11 


23 i 




990 


23 


24 


11 


17', 


11 21 




999 


23 


31 












991 


23 


25 






11 21 J 




1000 


24 





12 





12 





16 



TABLE B. 

VALUE IN U. S. MONEY, OF SILVER AND GOLD, OF STANDARD FINENESS (900 thods.), FROM 

1 TO 100 OUNCES TROY. 



ozs. 


SILVER. 


GOLD. 


OZS. 


SILVER. 


GOLD. 


DOLLS. CTS. 


DOLLS. CTS. 


DOLLS. CTS. 


DOLLS. CTS. 


1 


1 16363 


18 60-465 


31 


36 07-272 


576 74-419 


2 


2 32-727 


37 20-930 


32 


37 23-636 


595 34-884 


3 


3 49-090 


55 81-395 


33 


38 40-000 


613 95-349 


4 


4 65-454 


74 41-860 


34 


39 56-363 


632 55-814 


5 


5 81-818 


93 02-325 


35 


40 72-727 


651 16-279 


6 


6 98-181 


111 62-791 


36 


41 89-090 


669 76-744 


7 


8 14-545 


130 23-255 


37 


43 05-454 


688 37-209 


8 


9 30-909 


148 83-721 


38 


44 21-818 


706 97-674 


9 


10 47-272 


167 44-186 


39 


45 38-181 


725 58-139 


10 


11 63-636 


186 04-651 


40 


46 54-545 


744 18-604 


11 


12 80-000 


204 65-116 


41 


47 70-909 


762 79-069 


12 


13 96-363 


223 25-581 


42 


48 87-272 


781 39-535 


13 


15 12-727 


241 86-046 


43 


50 03-636 


800 00.000 


14 


16 29-090 


260 46-511 


44 


51 20-000 


818 60-465 


15 


17 45-454 


279 06-977 


45 


52 36-363 


837 20-930 


16 


18 61-818 


297 67-442 


46 


53 52-727 


855 81-395 


17 


19 78-181 


316 27-907 


47 


54 69-090 


874 41-860 


18 


20 94-545 


334 88-372 


48 


55 85-454 


893 02-325 


19 


22 10-909 


353 48-837 


49 


57 01-818 


911 62-791 


20 


23 27272 


372 09-302 


50 


58 18-181 


930 23-255 


21 


24 43-636 


390 69-767 


51 


59 34-545 


948 83-721 


22 


25 60-000 


409 30-232 


52 


60 50-909 


967 44-186 


23 


26 76-363 


427 90-698 


53 


61 67-272 


986 04-651 


24 


27 92-727 


446 51-163 


54 


62 83-636 


1004 65-116 


25 


29 09-090 


465 11-628 


55 


64 00-000 


1023 25-581 


26 


30 25-454 


483 72-093 


56 


65 16-363 


1041 86-046 


27 


31 41-818 


502 32-558 


57 


66 32-727 


1060 46-511 


28 


32 58-181 


520 93-023 


58 


67 49-090 


1079 06-977 


29 


33 74-545 


539 53-488 


59 


68 65-454 


1097 67-442 


30 


34 90-909 


558 13-953 


60 


69 81-818 


1116 27-907 



216 



TABLE C. 



ozs. 


SILVER. 


GOLD. 


OZS. 


SILVER. 


GOLD. 


DOLLS. CTS. 


DOLLS. CTS. 


DOLLS. CTS. 


DOLLS. CTS. 


61 


70 98-181 


1131 88-372 


81 


94 25-454 


1506 97-674 


62 


72 14545 


1153 48-837 


82 


95 41-818 


1525 58-139 


63 


73 30-909 


1172 09-302 


83 


96 58-181 


1544 18-604 


64 


74 47-272 


1190 69-767 


84 


97 74-545 


1562 79069 


65 


75 63-636 


1209 30-232 


85 


98 90-909 


1581 39-535 


66 


76 80-000 


1227 90-698 


86 


100 07-272 


1600 00000 


67 


77 96-363 


1246 51-163 


87 


101 23-636 


1618 60-465 


68 


79 12-727 


1265 11-628 


83 


102 40-000 


1637 20-930 


69 


80 29090 


1283 72-093 


89 


103> 56-363 


1655 81-395 


70 


81 45-454 


1302 32-558 


90 


104 72.727 


1674 41-860 


71 


82 61-818 


1320 93023 


91 


105 89-090 


1693 02-325 


72 


83 78-181 


1339 53-488 


92 


107 05-454 


1711 62-791 


73 


84 94-545 


1358 13-953 


93 


108 21-818 


1730 23-256 


74 


86 10-909 


1376 74-418 


94 


109 38-181 


1748 83-721 


75 


87 27-272 


1395 34-884 


95 


110 54-545 


1767 44-186 


76 


88 43-636 


1413 95-349 


96 


111 70-909 


1786 04-651 


77 


89 60-000 


1432 55-814 


97 


112 87-272 


1804 65-116 


78 


90 76-363 


1451 16-279 


98 


114 03-636 


1823 25-581 


79 


91 92-727 


1469 76-744 


99 


115 20-000 


1841 86-047 


80 


93 09-090 


1488 37-209 


100 


116 38-363 


1860 46-512 



N. B. This table may be used for much larger sums, by removing the decimal point, and by additions when 
required ; thus, 100,000 ozs. of silver = §116,363-63 ; and an odd number, say 943 ozs., is to be sought in 
this manner : 940 ozs. = $1093-82 

3 " 3-49 



943 



= 1097-31 



TABLE C. 

VALUE IN U. S. MONEY, OF ONE OUNCE TROY, OP SILVER OR GOLD, AT DIFFERENT 

DEGREES OF FINENESS. 



FINENESS. 


SILVER. 


GOLD. 


FINENESS. 


SILVER. 


GOLD. 


THOUS. 


DOLLS. CTS. 


DOLLS. CTS. 


THOUS. 


DOLLS. CTS. 


DOLLS. CTS. 


500 


64-65 


10 33-6 


550 


71-11 


11 36-9 


505 


65-29 


10 43-9 


555 


71-76 


11 47-3 


510 


65-94 


10 54-3 


560 


72-40 


11 57-6 


515 


66-59 


10 64-6 


565 


73-05 


11 67-9 


520 


67-23 


10 74-9 


570 


73-70 


11 78-3 


525 


67-88 


10 85-3 


575 


74-34 


11 88-6 


530 


68-53 


10 95-6 


580 


74-99 


11 99-0 


535 


69-17 


11 05-9 


585 


75-64 


12 09-3 


540 


69.82 


11 16-3 


590 


76-28 


12 19-6 


545 


70-46 


11 26-6 


595 


76-93 


12 30-0 



TABLE C. 



217 



FINENESS. 


SILVER. 


GOLD. 


FINENESS. 


SILVER. 


GOLD. 


THOUS. 


DOLLS. CTS. 


DOLLS. CT3. 


THOUS. 


DOLLS. CTS. 


DOLLS. CTS. 


600 


77'5-J 


12 40-3 


805 


1 04-08 


16 64-1 


605 


78-22 


12 50-6 


810 


1 04-73 


16 74-4 


610 


78-87 


12 01-0 


815 


1 05-37 


16 84-8 


615 


7951 


12 71-3 


820 


1 06-02 


16 95-1 


620 


80-16 


12 81-7 


825 


1 06-67 


17 05-4 


625 


-H--1 


12 92-0 


830 


1 0731 


17 15-8 


630 


81-45 


13 02-3 


835 


1 07-96 


17 26-1 


635 


82-10 


13 12-7 


840 


1 08-61 


17 364 


640 


82-75 


13 230 


845 


1 09-25 


17 46-8 


645 


83-39 


13 33-3 


850 


1 09-90 


17 57-1 


650 


84-04 


13 43-7 


855 


1 10-54 


17 67-4 


655 


84-69 


13 54-0 


860 


1 11-19 


17 77-8 


660 


85-33 


13 64-3 


865 


1 11-84 


17 88-1 


665 


85-98 


13 74-7 


870 


1 12-48 


17 98-4 


670 


86-63 


13 85-0 


875 


1 1313 


18 08-8 


675 


87-27 


13 95-3 


880 


1 13-78 


18 19-1 


6S0 


87-92 


14 05-7 


885 


1 14-42 


18 29-4 


685 


88-57 


14 16-0 


890 


1 15 07 


18 39-8 


690 


89-21 


14 26-3 


895 


1 15-72 


18 50-1 


695 


89-86 


14 36-7 


900 


1 16-36 


18 60-5 


700 


90-50 


14 47-0 


905 


1 17-01 


18 70-8 


705 


91-15 


14 57-4 


910 


1 17-66 


18 81-1 


710 


91-80 


14 67-7 


915 


1 18-30 


18 91-5 


715 


92'44 


14 78-0 


920 


1 18-95 


19 01-8 


720 


93-09 


14 88-4 


925 


1 19-59 


19 12-1 


725 


93-74 


14 98-7 


930 


1 20-24 


19 22-5 


730 


94-38 


15 09-4 


935 


1 20-89 


19 32-8 


735 


95-03 


15 19-4 


940 


1 21-54 


19 43-1 


740 


95-63 


15 29-7 


945 


1 22-18 


19 53-5 


745 


96-32 


15 40-0 


950 


1 22-83 


19 63-8 


750 


96-97 


15 50-4 


955 


1 93-47 


19 741 ■ 


755 


97-62 


15 60-7 


960 


1 24-12 


19 84-5 


760 


98-26 


15 71-1 


965 


1 24-77 


19 94-8 


765 


98-91 


15 81-4 


970 


1 25-41 


20 05-2 


770 


9956 


15 91-7 


975 


1 2606 


20 15-5 


775 


1 00-20 


16 02-1 


980 


1 26-71 


20 25-8 


780 


1 00-86 


16 12-4 


985 


1 27-35 


20 36-2 


785 


1 01-46 


16 22-7 


990 


1 28-00 


20 46-5 


790 


1 02-14 


16 33-1 


995 


1 28-64 


20 56-8 


795 


1 02-79 


16 43-4 


1000 


1 29-29 


20 67-2 


800 


1 03-43 


16 53-8 









N. B. When there is an intermediate degree of fineness, a short calculation is necessary. — For every one- 
thousandth, add -13 of a cent, per ounce of silver, or 2-07 cents per ounce of gold. Thus an oz. of silver 
at 992 = $1,28-26. Do. of gold at 992 = $20,50-6. 



55 



TABLE D. 

EQUIVALENT OF U. S. CENTS, IN BRITISH AND FRENCH MONEYS. 



u. s. 


STERLING. 


FRENCH. 


u. s. 


STERLING. 


FRENCH. 


u. s. 


STERLING. 


FRENCH. 


u. s. 


STERLING. 


FRENCH. 


CENTS. 


S. 


D. 


F. C. 


CENTS. 


S. 


D. 


F. C. 


CENTS. 


S. 


D. 


F. C. 


CENTS. 


S. 


D. 


F. C. 


1 




0-5 


05 


49 


2 


o-i 


2 62 


97 


3 


11-8 


5 18 


145 


5 


11-5 


7 75 


2 




1 


11 


50 


2 


0-7 


2 67 


98 


4 


0-3 


5 24 


146 


6 





7 80 


3 




1-5 


16 


51 


2 


1-2 


2 73 


99 


4 


0-8 


5 29 


147 


6 


0-5 


7 85 


4 




2 


21 


52 


2 


1-7 


2 78 


100 


4 


1-3 


5 34 


148 


6 


1 


7 91 


5 




2-5 


27 


53 


2 


2-1 


2 83 


101 


4 


1-8 


5 40 


149 


6 


1-5 


7 96 


6 




2-9 


32 


54 


2 


2-6 


2 89 


102 


4 


2-3 


5 45 


150 


6 


2 


8 02 


7 




3-4 


37 


55 


2 


3-1 


2 94 


103 


4 


2-8 


5 50 


151 


6 


2-5 


8 07 


8 




3-9 


43 


56 


2 


3-6 


2 99 


104 


4 


3-3 


5 56 


152 


6 


2-9 


8 12 


9 




4-4 


48 


57 


2 


4-1 


3 05 


105 


4 


3-8 


5 61 


153 


6 


3-4 


8 18 


10 




4-9 


53 


58 


2 


4-6 


3 10 


106 


4 


4-3 


5 66 


154 


6 


3-9 


8 23 


11 




5-4 


59 


59 


2 


5-1 


3 15 


107 


4 


4-8 


5 72 


155 


6 


4-4 


8 28 


12 




5-9 


64 


60 


2 


5-6 


3 21 


108 


4 


5-3 


5 77 


156 


6 


4-9 


8 34 


13 




6-4 


69 


61 


2 


6-1 


3 26 


109 


4 


5-7 


5 82 


157 


6 


5-4 


8 39 


14 




6-9 


75 


62 


2 


6-6 


3 31 


110 


4 


6-2 


5 88 


158 


6 


5-9 


8 44 


15 




7-4 


80 


63 


2 


7 


3 37 


111 


4 


6-7 


5 93 


159 


6 


6-4 


8 50 


16 




7-9 


85 


64 


2 


7-5 


3 42 


112 


4 


7-2 


5 99 


160 


6 


6-9 


8 55 


17 




8-4 


91 


65 


2 


8 


3 47 


113 


4 


7-7 


6 05 


161 


6 


7-4 


8 61 


18 




8-9 


96 


66 


2 


8-5 


3 53 


114 


4 


8-2 


6 10 


162 


6 


7-9 


8 66 


19 




9-4 


1 02 


67 


2 


9 


3 58 


115 


4 


8-7 


6 15 


163 


6 


8-4 


8 71 


20 




9-9 


1 07 


68 


2 


9-5 


3 63 


116 


4 


9-2 


6 20 


164 


6 


8-9 


8 76 


21 




10-3 


1 12 


69 


2 


10 


3 69 


117 


4 


9-7 


6 25 


165 


6 


9-4 


8 82 


22 




10'8 


1 18 


70 


2 


10-5 


3 74 


118 


4 


10-2 


6 31 


166 


6 


9-9 


8 87 


23 




11-3 


1 23 


71 


2 


11 


3 79 


119 


4 


10-6 


6 36 


167 


6 


10-3 


8 92 


24 




11-8 


1 28 


72 


2 


11-5 


3 85 


120 


4 


11-1 


6 41 


168 


6 


10-8 


8 98 


25 


1 


0-3 


1 34 


73 


3 





3 90 


121 


4 


11-6 


6 47 


169 


6 


11-3 


9 03 


2G 


1 


0-8 


1 39 


74 


3 


0-5 


3 96 


122 


5 


0-1 


6 52 


170 


6 


11-8 


9 08 


27 


1 


1-3 


1 44 


75 


3 


1 


4 01 


123 


5 


0-7 


6 57 


171 


7 


0-3 


9 14 


28 


1 


1-8 


1 50 


76 


3 


1-5 


4 06 


124 


5 


1-2 


6 63 


172 


7 


0-8 


9 19 


29 


1 


2-3 


1 55 


77 


3 


2 


4 12 


125 


5 


1-7 


6 68 


173 


7 


1-3 


9 24 


30 


1 


2-8 


1 61 


78 


3 


2-5 


4 17 


126 


5 


2-1 


6 73 


174 


7 


1-8 


9 30 


31 


1 


3-3 


1 66 


79 


3 


2-9 


4 22 


127 


5 


2-6 


6 79 


175 


7 


2-3 


9 35 


32 


1 


3-8 


1 71 


80 


3 


3-4 


4 28 


128 


5 


3-1 


6 84 


176 


7 


2-8 


9 41 


33 


1 


4-3 


1 76 


81 


3 


3-9 


4 33 


129 


5 


3-6 


6 69 


177 


7 


3-3 


9 46 


34 


1 


4-8 


1 82 


82 


3 


4-4 


4 38 


130 


5 


4-1 


6 95 


178 


7 


3-8 


9 51 


35 


1 


5-3 


1 87 


83 


3 


4-9 


4 44 


131 


5 


4-6 


7 00 


179 


7 


4-3 


9 57 


36 


1 


5-7 


1 92 


84 


3 


5-4 


4 49 


132 


5 


5-1 


7 05 


180 


7 


4-8 


9 62 


37 


1 


6-2 


1 98 


85 


3 


5-9 


4 54 


133 


5 


5-6 


7 11 


181 


7 


5-3 


9 67 


38 


1 


6-7 


2 03 


86 


3 


6-4 


4 60 


134 


5 


6-1 


7 16 


182 


7 


5-7 


9 73 


39 


1 


7-2 


2 08 


87 


3 


6-9 


4 65 


135 


5 


6-6 


7 21 


183 


7 


6-2 


9 78 


40 


1 


7-7 


2 14 


88 


3 


7-4 


4 70 


136 


5 


7 


7 27 


184 


7 


6-7 


9 83 


41 


1 


8-2 


2 19 


89 


3 


7-9 


4 76 


137 


5 


7-5 


7 32 


185 


7 


7-2 


9 89 


42 


1 


8-7 


2 24 


90 


3 


8-4 


4 81 


138 


5 


8 


7 37 


186 


7 


7-7 


9 94 


43 


1 


9-2 


2 30 


91 


3 


8-9 


4 86 


139 


5 


8-5 


7 43 


187 


7 


8-2 


9 99 


44 


1 


9-7 


2 35 


92 


3 


9-4 


4 92 


140 


5 


9 


7 48 


188 


7 


8-7 


10 05 


45 


1 


10-2 


2 41 


93 


3 


9-9 


4 97 


141 


5 


9-5 


7 53 


189 


7 


9-2 


10 10 


46 


1 


10-6 


2 46 


94 


3 


10-3 


5 02 


142 


5 


10 


7 59 


190 


7 


9-7 


10 15 


47 


1 


111 


2 51 


95 


3 


10-8 


5 08 


143 


5 


10-5 


7 64 


191 


7 


10-2 


10 21 


48 


1 


11-6 


2 57 


96 


3 


11-3 


5 13 


144 


5 


11 


7 69 


192 


7 


10-6 


10 26 

















TABLE D. 














219 


u. s. 


STERLING. 


FRENCH. 


u. s. 


STERLING. 


FHEKI II. 


u. s. 


STERLING. 


FRENCH. 


D. S. 


STERLING. 


FRENCH. 


CEH IS. 


B. 


u. 


F. C. 


CENTS. 


S. 


D. 


F. C. 


CEN'I S. 


S. 


D. 

1-5 


t. C. 


CENT S. | 


S. 


i). 


F. C. 


193 


7 


11-1 


10 31 


244 


10 


0-3 


13 05 


295 


12 


15 76 


346 


14 


2-6 


18 49 


194 


7 


11-6 


10 37 


24.3 


10 


0-N 


1:1 10 


290 


12 





15 82 


317 


14 


31 


18 54 


195 


8 


0-1 


11) 12 


246 


10 


1-3 


13 15 


297 


12 


2-5 


15 87 


348 


14 


3-6 


18 60 


ioo 


8 


0-7 


111 47 


217 


10 


1-8 


13 20 


298 


12 


2-9 


15 92 


349 


14 


4-1 


18 65 


197 


8 


1-2 


ao 53 


248 


10 


2-3 


13 25 


299 


12 


34 


15 98 


350 


14 


4-0 


18 71 


198 


8 


1-7 


in 58 


249 


10 


2-8 


13 31 


300 


12 


3-9 


16 03 


351 


14 


5-1 


18 76 


199 


8 


2-1 


10 03 


250 


10 


3-3 


13 36 


301 


12 


4-4 


16 08 


352 


14 


5-6 


18 81 


200 


8 


2-6 


9 


251 


10 


3-8 


13 41 


302 


12 


4-9 


16 14 


353 


14 


61 


18 86 


201 


8 


31 


10 74 


252 


10 


4-3 


13 47 


303 


12 


5-4 


10 19 


354 


14 


6-6 


18 92 


202 


8 


3-6 


111 70 


253 


10 


4-8 


13 52 


304 


12 


5-9 


16 24 


355 


14 


7 


18 97 


20:3 


8 


41 


10 85 


254 


10 


5-3 


13 57 


305 


12 


64 


16 30 


356 


14 


7-5 


19 02 


204 


8 


4-6 


10 90 


255 


10 


5-7 


13 63 


306 


12 


6-9 


16 35 


357 


14 


8 


19 08 


205 


8 


51 


10 96 


256 


10 


6-2 


13 68 


307 


12 


7-4 


16 41 


358 


14 


8-5 


19 13 


206 


8 


5-6 


11 01 


257 


10 


6-7 


13 73 


308 


12 


7-9 


16 46 


359 


14 


9 


19 18 


207 


8 


6-1 


11 06 


258 


10 


7-2 


13 79 


309 


12 


8-4 


16 51 


360 


14 


9-5 


19 24 


209 


8 


6-6 


11 12 


259 


10 


7-7 


13 84 


310 


12 


8-9 


16 57 


361 


14 


10 


19 29 


209 


8 


7 


11 17 


260 


10 


8-2 


13 89 


311 


12 


9-4 


16 62 


362 


14 


10-5 


19 34 


210 


8 


7-5 


11 22 


261 


10 


8-7 


13 95 


312 


12 


9-9 


16 67 


363 


14 


11 


19 40 


211 


8 


8 


11 28 


262 


10 


9-2 


14 00 


313 


12 


10-3 


16 73 


364 


14 


11-5 


19 45 


212 


8 


8-5 


11 33 


263 


10 


9-7 


14 05 


314 


12 


10-8 


16 78 


365 


15 





19 50 


213 


8 


9 


11 38 


264 


10 


10-2 


14 11 


315 


12 


11-3 


16 83 


366 


15 


0-5 


19 56 


214 


8 


9-5 


11 44 


265 


10 


10-6 


14 16 


316 


12 


11-8 


16 89 


367 


15 


1 


19 61 


215 


8 


10 


11 49 


266 


10 


11-1 


14 21 


317 


13 


0-3 


16 94 


368 


15 


1-5 


19 66 


216 


8 


10-5 


11 54 


267 


10 


11-6 


14 27 


318 


13 


0-8 


16 99 


369 


15 


2 


19 72 


217 


8 


11 


11 60 


268 


11 


0-1 


14 32 


319 


13 


1-3 


17 05 


370 


15 


2-5 


19 77 


218 


8 


11-5 


11 65 


269 


11 


0-7 


14 37 


320 


13 


1-8 


17 10 


371 


15 


2-9 


19 82 


219 


9 





11 70 


270 


11 


1-2 


14 43 


321 


13 


2-3 


17 15 


372 


15 


3-4 


19 88 


220 


9 


0-5 


11 76 


271 


11 


1-7 


14 48 


322 


13 


2-8 


17 21 


373 


15 


3-9 


19 93 


221 


9 


1 


11 81 


272 


11 


2-1 


14 53 


323 


13 


3-3 


17 26 


374 


15 


4-4 


19 99 


222 


9 


1-5 


11 86 


273 


11 


2-6 


14 59 


324 


13 


3-8 


17 31 


375 


15 


4-9 


20 05 


223 


9 


2 


11 92 


274 


11 


3-1 


14 64 


325 


13 


4-3 


17 37 


376 


15 


5-4 


20 10 


224 


9 


2-5 


11 97 


275 


11 


3-6 


14 69 


326 


13 


4-8 


17 42 


377 


15 


5-9 


20 15 


225 


9 


2-9 


12 02 


276 


11 


4-1 


14 75 


327 


13 


5-3 


17 47 


378 


15 


6-4 


20 20 


226 


9 


3-4 


12 08 


277 


11 


4-6 


14 80 


328 


13 


5-7 


17 53 


379 


15 


6-9 


20 25 


227 


9 


3-9 


12 13 


278 


11 


5-1 


14 85 


329 


13 


6-2 


17 58 


380 


15 


7.4 


20 31 


228 


9 


4-4 


12 18 


279 


11 


5-6 


14 91 


330 


13 


6-7 


17 63 


381 


15 


7-9 


20 36 


229 


9 


4-9 


12 24 


280 


11 


6-1 


14 96 


331 


13 


7-2 


17 69 


382 


15 


8-4 


20 41 


230 


9 


5-4 


12 29 


281 


11 


66 


15 02 


332 


13 


7-7 


17 74 


383 


15 


8-9 


20 47 


231 


9 


5-9 


12 34 


282 


11 


7 


15 07 


333 


13 


8-2 


17 79 


384 


15 


9-4 


20 52 


232 


9 


6-4 


12 40 


283 


11 


7'5 


15 12 


334 


13 


8-7 


17 85 


385 


15 


9-9 


20 57 


233 


9 


6-9 


12 45 


284 


11 


8 


15 18 


335 


13 


9-2 


17 90 


386 


15 


10-3 


20 63 


234 


9 


7-4 


12 50 


285 


11 


8-5 


15 23 


336 


13 


9-7 


17 96 


387 


15 


10-8 


20 68 


235 


9 


7-9 


12 56 


286 


11 


9 


15 28 


337 


13 


10-2 


18 01 


388 


15 


11-3 


20 73 


236 


9 


8-4 


12 61 


287 


11 


9-5 


15 34 


338 


13 


10-6 


18 06 


389 


15 


11-8 


20 79 


237 


9 


8-9 


12 66 


288 


11 


10 


15 39 


339 


13 


11-1 


18 12 


390 


16 


0-3 


20 84 


238 


9 


9-4 


12 72 


289 


11 


10-5 


15 44 


340 


13 


11-6 


18 17 


391 


16 


0-8 


20 89 


239 


9 


9-9 


12 77 


290 


11 


11 


15 50 


341 


14 


0-1 


18 22 


392 


16 


1-3 


20 95 


240 


9 


103 


12 83 


291 


11 


11-5 


15 55 


342 


14 


0-7 


18 28 


393 


16 


1-8 


21 00 


241 


9 


10-8 


12 88 


292 


12 





15 61 


343 


14 


1-2 


'8 33 


394 


16 


2-3 


21 05 


242 


9 


11-3 


12 93 


293 


12 


0-5 


15 66 


344 


14 


1-7 


18 38 


395 


16 


2-8 


21 11 


243 


9 


11-8 


12 99 


294 


12 


1 


15 71 


345 


14 


2-1 


18 44 


396 


16 


3-3 


21 16 



220 



TABLE D. 



u. s. 


STERLING. 


FRENCH. 


u. s. 


STERLING. 


1 

FRENCH. 


u. s. 


STERLING. 


FRENCH. 


u. s. 


STERLING. 


FRENCH. 


CENTS. 


S. 


D. 


F. 


c. 


CENTS. 


"s. 


D. 


F. 


c. 


CENTS. 


S. 


D. 


F. 


D. 


CENTS. 


S. 


D. 


F. C. 


397 


16 


3-8 


21 


21 


423 


17 


4-6 


22 


61 


449" 


18 


5-4 


23 


1 

99 


475 


19 


6-2 


25 38 


398 


16 


4-3 


21 


27 


424 


17 


5-1 


22 


66 


450 


18 


5-9 


24 


05 


476 


19 


6-7 


25 44 


399 


16 


4-8 


21 


32 


425 


17 


5-6 


22 


71 


451 


18 


6-4 


24 


10 


477 ' 


19 


7-2 


25 49 


400 


16 


5-3 


21 


37 


426 


17 


6-1 


22 


76 


452 


18 


6-9 


24 


15 


478 


19 


7-7 


25 54 


401 


16 


5-7 


21 


43 


427 


17 


66 


22 


82 


453 


18 


7-4 


24 


21 


479 


19 


8-2 


25 60 


402 


16 


6-2 


21 


48 


428 


17 


7 


22 


87 


454 


18 


7-9 


24 


26 


480 


19 


8-7 


25 65 


403 


16 


6-7 


21 


53 


429 


17 


7-5 


22 


92 


455 


18 


8-4 


24 


31 


481 


19 


9-2 


25 70 


404 


16 


7-2 


21 


59 


430 


17 


8 


22 


98 


456 


18 


8-9 


24 


37 ! 


'482 


19 


9-7 


25 76 


405 


16 


7-7 


21 


64 


431 


17 


8-5 


23 


03 


457 


18 


9-4 


24 


42 ; 


483 


19 


10-2 


25 81 


406 


16 


8-2 


21 


69 


432 


17 


9 


23 


08 


458 


18 


9-9 


24 


47 


484 


19 


10-6 


25 86 


407 


16 


8-7 


21 


75 


433 


17 


9-5 


23 


14 


459 


18 


10-3 


24 


53 


485 


19 


111 


25 92 


408 


16 


9-2 


21 


80 


434 


17 


10 


23 


19 


460 


18 


10-8 


24 


59 


486 


19 


11-6 


25 97 


409 


16 


9-7 


21 


85 


435 


17 


10-5 


23 


24 


461 


18 


11-3 


24 


64 


487 


20 


0-1 


26 02 


410 


16 


10-2 


21 


91 


436 


17 


11 


23 


30 


462 


18 


11-8 


24 


69 


488 


20 


0-7 


26 08 


411 


16 


10'6 


21 


96 


437 


17 


11-5 


23 


35 


463 


19 


0-3 


24 


74 


489 


20 


1-2 


26 13 


412 


16 


11-1 


22 


02 


438 


18 





23 


41 


464 


19 


0-8 


24 


79 


490 


20 


1-7 


26 19 


413 


16 


11-6 


22 


07 


439 


18 


0'5 


23 


46 


465 


19 


1-3 


24 


85 


491 


20 


2-1 


26 24 


414 


17 


0-1 


22 


12 


440 


18 


1 


23 


52 


466 


19 


1-8 


24 


90 


492 


20 


2-6 


26 29 


415 


17 


0-7 


22 


18 


441 


18 


1-5 


23 


57 


467 


19 


2-3 


24 


96 


493 


20 


3-1 


26 34 


416 


17 


1-2 


22 


23 


442 


18 


2 


23 


62 


468 


19 


2-8 


25 


01 


494 


20 


3-6 


26 40 


417 


17 


1-7 


22 


28 


443 


18 


2-5 


23 


67 


469 


19 


3-3 


25 


06 


495 


20 


41 


26 45 


418 


17 


2-1 


22 


34 


444 


18 


2-9 


23 


73 


470 


19 


3-8 


25 


12 


496 


20 


4-6 


26 50 


419 


17 


2-6 


22 


39 


445 


18 


3-4 


23 


78 


471 


19 


4-3 


25 


17 


497 


20 


51 


26 56 


420 


17 


3-1 


22 


45 


446 


18 


3-9 


23 


83 


472 


19 


4-8 


25 


22 


498 


20 


5-6 


26 61 


421 


17 


3-6 


22 


50 


447 


18 


4-4 


23 


89 


473 


19 


5-3 


25 


28 


499 


20 


6-1 


26 66 


422 


17 


4-1 


22 


55 


448 


18 


4-9 


23 


94 


474 


19 


5-7 


25 


33 


500 


20 


6-6 


26 72 



N.B. This table is based upon the gold standard of England, and the silver standard of France, because 
gold is the chief circulation in England, and silver in France. The full weight and fineness of the dollar, 
sovereign, and franc are assumed. By the aid of this table, foreign readers will be able at once to convert our 
valuations in Chapter II. into their own, of any coin not exceeding five dollars ; for larger ones, an addition 
will be necessary. The table will also be of use for other purposes, to the American reader. 



ERRATA. 

Page 185, line 6, for "three times" read "twice." 

Page 212, opposite Great Britain read 1 to 66; France, 1 to 41 ; Austria, 1 to 2*1. (The period intended is since 
1830, as in the preceding table, generally.) 



FINIS. 



C. Sherman, Printer. 



SUPPLEMENT 



MANUAL OP COINS AND BULLION. 



Seven years having elapsed since the publication of the Manual, and the demand for 
it being still kept up, the authors have deemed it desirable to impart a freshness and 
increased usefulness to the work, by adding so much of new matter as would bring it 
down to the present time. 

Jacob R. Eckfeldt, 
William E. Du Bois, 

Assayers U. S. Mint. 
Philadelphia, December, 1840. 



Under the four headings of New Rate or 
Charges at the Mint, Recent Coins of the 
World, Important Counterfeits, and Gold 
from California, the ensuing details will be 
arranged. To which will be added some inci- 
dental items, and useful tables. 



I. NEW RATE OF CHARGES AT THE MINT. 

This article is placed first, not from any 
superior importance, but because that which im- 
mediately follows is materially affected by it. 

It is known to all who have made deposits of 
gold or silver at our Mint for coinage, that the 



full equivalent is returned, in coin, without any 
charge or deduction, provided the metal was 
brought in a state fit for working, and properly 
alloyed. This has always been the policy of our 
government, which regards a national coinage as 
so much of a national benefit, that it pays the 
expense of maintaining the mint. 

But a great deal of the bullion and foreign coin 
offered, requires some preparatory treatment to 
bring it into a fit condition for minting operations. 
It may be below standard fineness, or above 
it ; or wanting in ductility ; or the two precious 
metals may be mixed, and need parting. The 
cost of converting all such bullion into standard 



222 



SUPPLEMENT TO THE MANUAL 



metal, fit for coinage, is by law justly devolved 
upon the depositor or owner ; the following be- 
ing the provision in the Act of Congress of 
January 18th, 1837, applicable to the case. 

" Sect. 18. And be it further enacted, That 
the only subjects of charge by the Mint to the 
depositor, shall be the following : — For refining, 
when the bullion is below standard ; for tough- 
ening, when metals are contained in it which 
render it unfit for coinage ; for copper used for 
alloy, when the bullion is above standard ; for 
silver introduced into the alloy of gold, and for 
separating the gold and silver, when these metals 
exist together in the bullion ; and that the rate of 
these charges shall be fixed, from time to time, by 
the Director, with the concurrence of the Secre- 
tary of the Treasury, so as not to exceed, in their 
judgment, the actual expense to the Mint of the 
materials and labour employed in each of the 
cases aforementioned ; and that the amount re- 
ceived from these charges shall be accounted for, 
and appropriated for defraying the contingent 
expenses of the Mint." 

Under this provision, as is stated in a circular 
of Dr. Patterson, Director of the Mint, of June, 
1849, "the terms upon which Gold and Silver 
are received for coinage have been re-adjusted, 
and the following tariff of charges has been 
adopted, with the concurrence of the Secretary of 
the Treasury. It presents terms the most liberal 
that are consistent with the actual cost of the 
operations, and, it is believed, as advantageous 
to depositors as those of any other Mint or 
Refinery." 

Without giving a detail of the items of that 
tariff (printed copies of which may be had at the 
Mint), we shall here state generally its operation, 
and the changes effected by it. 

Gold bullion, and gold coins, alloyed entirely 
or chiefly with silver, will be parted much more 
cheaply, and with a much wider range, than 
heretofore. This range will generally include 
the bullion produced from North Carolina, Cali- 
fornia, New Granada, Africa (except the rings), 
and a portion of that from Virginia ; and in 



coins, the pale doubloons, and Bechtler's pieces. 
To what extent the values of these varieties will 
thus be affected, will be shown in the succeeding 
article. It will be for the interest of depositors, 
however, to avoid the division of their bullion 
into small parcels. Of gold 935 thousandths 
fine, it will require over 200 ounces, to make a 
return of silver ; at 870, the usual average of pale 
doubloons, 45 ounces will be necessary ; at 700, 
the remainder being silver, 14J ounces will be 
sufficient to report silver. 

In silver bullion, containing gold, and nearly 
or quite free from copper, the lowest proportion 
of gold hitherto reported, has been 2i- thou- 
sandths ; equal to 12 grains in the Spanish assay. 
The minimum now will be one thousandth (say 
4 T S 5- grains Spanish) ; but in such case, to make a 
clear return of five dollars' worth of gold, as 
provided in the regulations, there must be not 
less than 1115 troy ounces (say 1206 ounces 
Spanish) in the deposit. 

If the silver, containing gold, is also coppery, 
the expense of parting is somewhat increased. 
The lowest report of gold in such metal will be 14 
thousandths, and at that proportion, the deposit 
must contain at least 850 ounces, the fineness of 
the silver being between 701 and 800 ; if over 
800, then 460 ounces will report gold. Gilded 
plate, Spanish plate, and bars from manufac- 
tories, are almost the only articles affected by 
this part of the tariff. Silver coins, although 
scarcely ever free from gold, do not contain 
enough to afford a return to the depositor. A 
single exception will be noticed in the next divi- 
sion, but it will be shown to be unimportant. 

Silver coins under our standard fineness (900 
thousandths), will be subjected to a charge pro- 
portional to their fineness, but not materially 
greater than the rate hitherto, except in the baser 
kinds.. From Prussian and German thaler pieces, 
of 750 fine, the lowest that are usually offered in 
considerable sums, there will be a deduction for 
refining, equal to about one cent on each coin, 
more than the former charge, which was scarcely 



OF COINS AND BULLION. 



223 



more than nominal; consequently the Mint value 
of those pieces will be reduced by that much. 
German crowns, 875 fine, will pay about one- 
third of one cent on each coin. Mexican dollars, 
on the average, will be charged usually 19 cents, 
or at most 38 cents, on one thousand pieces ; 
they being almost up to our standard. The 
value of these and other varieties of coin will, 
however, be re-stated presently, at the net return 
under the new regulations. 

The kinds of deposits which will not be materi- 
ally affected by this new table of charges, are, 
most of the gold from Georgia, Alabama, and 
Virginia, all from New Mexico, and the African 
rings; also, all gold coins of Europe, Asia, and 
Mexico ; all silver coins and plate above stan- 
dard fineness or not much below it ; and all silver- 
direct from the mines, that is ductile and free 
from gold. 

II. RECENT COINS OF THE WORLD. 

A coin once set in circulation, retains its place 
and use longer than any other part of the ma- 
chinery of life, and is extremely slow in going 
out of fashion ; so that the information respecting 
it, which the dealer, the collector, and the public 
at large require, does not soon become obsolete. 
The details in our Manual are therefore as use- 
ful as ever, and need only such additions as the 
lapse of time has called for. New coins, or modi- 
fications of old ones, are continually appearing ; 
and in the latter case, it often happens, that the 
holder finds he has become, if we may so speak, 
an unconscious sufferer. Old names are retained, 
but essential properties are altered; and a new 
progeny of doubloons, dollars, francs, or shillings, 
is found by an assayer's scrutiny to be something 
different, most likely inferior, to the older stock. 
Keeping a steady watch on these, as it is im- 
pliedly our duty, we have collected a number of 
items, which as in our former publication, will be 
set forth in alphabetical order, and as briefly as 
possible. 

The weight is expressed in grains, and the fine- 
ness in thousandth parts. 



Belgium. — Gold coin, 25 francs ; a new deno- 
mination; 1848 is the earliest date noticed. It 
expresses on its reverse the intended standards, 
7-915 grammes, (equal to 122-12 troy grains,) 
900 fine. The average of 20 pieces tried, is 
121-9, fineness 899; value $4 72. This is a 
slight depreciation : it ought to be §4 79, to com- 
pare with the former series of Belgian gold coin, 
or $4 81 to be equivalent with the French. 

We notice also, in silver, a piece of 2-J- francs, 
1849, weighing 192 grains ; fineness (of a single 
specimen) 901 ; value 46} cents. 

Bolivia.— The dollars from 1841 to 1846, 
tried in parcels, vary in fineness from 896 to 901 ; 
a very large lot gave 897 ; showing some ten- 
dency downward. 'Weight, varying from 411 
to 421, averages 416-}; value on a general ave- 
rage, 100-6 cents. 

Britain. — The new florin, or two-shilling 
piece, being one-tenth of a pound sterling, is 
understood to be an advance towards a decimal 
system. It is not yet fairly in currency ; we 
have been favoured with a single specimen, which 
is very pretty. 

Central America. — A recent assay of the 
gold escudo and its half (two-dollar and one-dol- 
lar pieces) shows a very marked decline from the 
standards. The escudo, 1844-49, weighs 48 ; 
the half, 1825-49, weighs 24 ; average fineness 
of both, 809 ; values respectively, $1 67, and 83} 
cents. The gold dollar ought to be 93}, to bear 
a due proportion to the doubloon of that country, 
or 97-}, relatively to doubloons generally. 

The recent silver dollar is very fluctuating in 
fineness. Those of 1840-42 showed 887 fine ; 
two pieces of 1847, gave 880, and 820. Such 
uncertainty, and such depreciation, must destroy 
the character of the coinage. This coin contains 
gold enough to part profitably, under our new 
regulations, the assay invariably showing not less 
than 3 thousandths ; but it is unavailable, unless 
the dollars can be obtained at the intrinsic, in- 



224 



SUPPLEMENT TO THE MANUAL 



stead of the nominal, value ; which is not to be 
expected. It is rather a scarce coin. 

Chili. — In the dollar of 1848 we find a varia- 
tion of weight from 415 to 419 ; fineness 901J, 
which is lower than former dates ; but the ave- 
rage value is 101 cents. 

Until lately, we had no opportunity of test- 
ing the fractional coins. The quarter-dollar, 
1843-45, weighs only 92, but is 903 fine ; the 
eighth, or real, is strictly proportional. Values 
respectively, 22-4 and 11*2 cents ; making a 
profit to government, and a loss to holders, of 
about eleven per cent. 

China. — The trashy coin of this great empire 
deserves notice only by way of recreation. In 
1842, we quoted the cash (tong-tsien) at 800 
to the Spanish dollar; in 1847, the equiva- 
lent varied from 1200 to 1300, — so hard is it to 
fasten a value upon that which is valueless. A 
carpenter or tailor, we are told, receives 160 of 
them (say 13 cents) for a day's work ; of which 
60 is required for the daily bread. The coin is 
extremely convenient for alms-giving, a single 
piece being the usual quietus for a beggar. 



Colombia. 
Venezuela. 



■ See Ecuador, New Granada, 



Ecuador. — The quarter-dollar, or two-real 
piece, 1847, weighs 104, and is only 675 fine; 
value 18-9 cents. This depreciation corresponds 
with what was before noticed in some of the frac- 
tional coins of Peru. 

France. — The 20 and 5 franc pieces of the 
Republic, although entirely changed in face, are 
the same for weight and fineness as before. 

Germany. — Here there is no change of stan- 
dards, but we observe the denomination of double- 
gulden, not noticed in the Manual, value 79 cents. 
The whole German issue of the gulden series gives 
an average of 900 fine by actual assay. 



Since the adoption of the new rate of charges 
at this Mint, the thaler of Northern Germany, 
750 fine, yields a return of 67£ to 68J cents, ac- 
cording to wear ; the crown, 875 fine, 106 to 
107 cents. 

Hatti. — Large quantities of Haytian coin 
have been recoined here. They are so variable 
in weight and fineness, that it is not easy to put 
a definite valuation upon them. They should, 
however, yield 76 to 78 cents per ounce, taken 
promiscuously, and unwashed. The piece of 100 
centimes, dignified with the name of dollar, 
bearing the head of President Boyer, is worth 
about 25 cents upon an average ; while the 25 
centimes, both of Petion and Boyer, averages 7J 
cents. In a large promiscuous deposit of all 
sizes, we found the average net value of the 
"dollar" to be 25-7 cents. The coins range 
from 600 to 625 fine, if free from counterfeits — 
a baser quality than is to be found in any other 
coinage, on this side of the Atlantic. But since 
August last, there has been a new order of things ; 
and coin-collectors and assayers are looking 
with impatience for the head of Faustin the 
First. 

Mexico. — In 1842, we averaged recent dol- 
lars at 416-J- grains, 898 fine, value 100 - 6 cents. 
The average fineness has since improved to 899, 
and value 100-75 cents. 

The coins of two new mints, have recently 
been tried. The doubloon of Guadalupe y 
Calvo, in the state of Durango, 1847, varies in 
weight from 417 to 420; fineness 869 to 873; 
average value $15 69. The dollar of the same 
mint, 1844-47, averages in weight 420J, in fine- 
ness 908, and therefore in value as high as 
102 '8 cents. This mint began operations in 
1844 ; its distinctive mark is GC, in the usual 
place in the legend. 

The dollar of Culiacan, in Sinaloa, 1846-48, 
averages 41 5 J grains, with a pretty wide varia- 
tion in individual pieces; fineness 903; value 
101 cents. The mint-mark is the letter C. 



OF C I X S AND BULLION. 



Mexican dollars are not flowing so abundantly 
in this direction as in former years, although 
they are yielding a better return. 

Milan. — The revolution of 1848 produced a 
new gold coin in Lombardy: it bears on the 
obverse a female figure with the legend Italia 
Libera, Dio lo vuole — " Italy free, God 
wills it ;" and on the reverse, a wreath, within 
which is the denomination, 20 Lire Italiane 
— "20 Italian livres;" and outside of it the 
legend, Governo Provisorio di Lombardia. 
It weighs the same as the 20-franc piece of 
France, and was evidently meant as a return to 
the Milanese standard of 1805. The coin is 
more rare than could be wished : only a single 
specimen has reached us. Coin-collectors will 
consider it as a prize, for its singular beauty, and 
its scarcity ; and as the monument of a great 
event in history. 

Netherlands. — The new 2J-guilders piece 
was announced in our Manual as having been 
decreed, but had not then been received. The 
legal standards are, 25 grammes (385-8 grains) 
in weight, 945 thousandths in fineness. The 
actual results, of dates 1842-45, are, 386 grains, 
944 fine ; value 98-2 cents. The coin often ap- 
pears here in mixed deposits. It is remarkable 
for its high grade of fineness ; yet it is really a 
depreciated issue, since, to be equal to the former 
guilder series, it ought to be worth 100-2 cents. 

New Granada. — This country continues to 
send a large supply of doubloons to our market ; 
and this makes it the more important to notice 
a very recent and considerable reduction in the 
value of the coin. Within a few months a new 
piece has appeared, with new devices and stan- 
dards ; the latter being expressed on the face of 
the coin by— "Lei 0,900— Peso 25,8064 G." 
That is, fineness, 900 thousandths ; iveight, so 
many grammes; — a long-drawn fraction, corre- 
sponding to 398-31 troy grains. At those rates, 
the piece would be worth $15 43-8, and would 



avowedly fall below the previous value of the 
doubloon ; but upon actual trial it is still worse, 
as will be shown directly. This change must have 
taken place since the beginning of 1849, as we 
notice pieces of the old style, bearing that date. 

But as the doubloons of New Granada are 
alloyed almost entirely with silver, which is now 
profitably parted at this Mint, it is necessary to 
re-state the mint value of the older piece, as well 
as to give information respecting the new. The 
silver extracted makes a sensible addition to the 
values of both kinds ; that is, if they are offered 
in sufficient quantities to meet the requirement, 
that the net product of a parting must be not less 
than five dollars ; below that limit the operation 
is not performed. The following terms must 
therefore be noticed. The doubloon of the old 
style down to the early part of 1849, weighs on 
an average 416-J grains, and contains 870 thou- 
sandths gold, and about 120 silver ; if presented 
in a quantity less than 44 ounces, its net mint 
value will be $15 61 ; in a larger quantity than 
that, it will be $15 71. — The new doubloon, 
beginning with 1849, weighs 398 grains, and 
contains in parcels 893J to 895 thousandths 
gold, say 894, and of silver about 100 ; net mint 
value, in any quantity less than 60 ounces, 
$15 31 ; in a larger quantity, $15 38.* 

The reduction of mint charges for parting, 
has had a marked effect in sending pale doubloons 
here for recoinage. 

Norway. — The immigration from this country 
brings us considerable parcels of Norwegian and 
Swedish silver coins. The dalers of these two 
realms, which have the same monarch, were stated 
in the Manual to be interchangeable as to value : 
although very different as to their standards. 
Under our new mint charges, there is now some 



* This piece is considerably reduced in diameter, as com- 
pared with the old, and is a much neater coin. The dies 
are apparently of English make, and the head of Liberty, 
which is in good flesh, greatly resembles that of the British 
Queen. Collectors of Roman coins will be pleasantly re- 
minded of the nummi vicloriati. 



226 



SUPPLEMENT TO THE MANUAL 



variation of value, since those of Sweden are of 
so much lower fineness, and are subjected to a 
greater charge for refining. They will be noticed 
in place. The daler, and half, of Norway, average 
878 fine (the law calling for only 875, or seven- 
eighths), and their weights, unworn, are respec- 
tively 446, and 223 grains ; net mint value of 
the daler, 105 cents ; the half, 52J. This valua- 
tion is down to 1848, the latest date we have 
seen. 

Peru. — A new half dollar, with the word 
Pasco in the legend, 1844, gives an average 
weight of 203 (variation 200 to 210), fineness 
906 ; value 49|- cents. 

Prussia. — The years 1848-49, in other re- 
spects unsettled, show no change in the gold 
coinage. It still maintains its superiority to the 
other classes of ten and five-thaler pieces. The 
double-Frederick or ten-thaler, is 903 fine, 
weighs 206 grains, and is worth $8 01 ; practi- 
cally, an even eight-dollar piece, for us. 

Kussia. — Five-rouble pieces of 1848-9 show 
the fineness of 916J ; a proof that the assaying 
and alloying are conducted with admirable ex- 
actness ; the standard being 916f . The coin is 
worth $3 96 - 7. As the Russian mint depends, 
no doubt, upon the Russian mines, and not upon 
foreign coins, for its material, we felt an interest 
in examining as to what proportion of silver was 
left in the alloy of the coin ; and found only 5 J 
thousandths. Hitherto we have found no gold 
coins so nearly desilvered. 

Siam. — We were not sufficiently acquainted 
with the silver bullets of Siam, to take account 
of them in the Manual. Some specimens of 
this curious money have since been examined. 
They are of different calibers and tolerably well 
proportioned to each other. The tical weighs, 
without much variation, 235 grains, and is 928 
fine ; value, 58-7 cents. The salung, 61 grains, 
929 fine, 15-2 cents. The prang, 30 grains, 907 



fine, 7'3 cents. Siam may claim the merit of 
originality in the shape of her coin, which will 
not admit of piling, and scarcely of lying still ; 
the lively emblem of a true circulating medium. 

Sweden. — The specie daler of Oscar, 1847-48, 
is 750 fine, weighs 525 grains, and yields 104-2 
cents after mint charges. 

Turkey. — There was a new system of coinage 
promulgated in 1840, which is noticed in our 
work ; there is a still newer, beginning with 1845. 
The gold coins are evidently designed to be 
22 carats (916-6) fine, as in the neighbouring 
empire of Russia. By actual assay they are 915 
fine ; the piece of 100 piastres weighs 111 grains, 
and is worth $4 37-4 ; the piece of 50 piastres, 
55|- grains, worth $2 18-7. In respect to value 
they compare with the former series of 20, 10, 
and 5 piastres ; though entirely of different 
standards. 

The silver coins are greatly improved in qua- 
lity, and apparently based upon the Austrian 
standard of five-sixths (833^) fine. They are, 
the piece of 20 piastres, 371J- grains, 828 fine, 
net value 82 cents ; 10 piastres, 186 grains, 
826 fine, 41 cents ; and 5 piastres, 92J grains, 
824 fine, 20J cents. These coins are well ad- 
justed in weight, and altogether show in their 
way a great advance in the progress of Turkish 
civilization. The piastre of commerce seems to 
be based upon the gold ; the exchange in 1845, 
when these coins were received, rated the piastre 
at 4-3 cents. 

United States. — We have no change to re- 
cord in the standards of our coinage. The code 
of 1837 has left them, like our form of govern- 
ment, with nothing to desire. There are, how- 
ever, two new gold coins added to our list by the 
law of March 3d, 1849, with a limitation to four 
years from that date. These are the dollar, and the 
double eagle, or twenty-dollar piece. The former 
began to be issued at the principal mint on the 
8th of May ; since which time to November 1st, 



OF COINS AND BULLION. 



227 



there have been coined at the Philadelphia Mint 
571,007 pieces ; North Carolina branch mint, 
11,034 ; Georgia branch, 18,120 ; New Orleans, 
205,000 ; in all 805,827 pieces. The double eagle 
is so nearly ready, that it will probably be issued 
before this "work is out of press. Both coins were 
designed by the Engraver of the Mint, Mr. J. B. 
Longacre. 

There are several classes of gold coin, which 
are not of the United States, but are struck 
within the national boundaries, and which ought 
to be noticed in this place. These are the 
Becutler's coins of North Carolina, and the 
various California coins. In the same con- 
nexion, it will be proper to give an investiga- 
tion of the stamped ingots of Moffat & Co. 

The coins of C. Bechtler are fully described in 
the Manual (page 100) ; but since the date of 
that publication, the mint has passed into the 
hands of A. Bechtler, as appears on the face of 
the coin ; and there is a marked difference of 
value between the C and A. The five-dollar 
pieces of the former were deficient from one to 
six per cent, upon the alleged value, averaging 
three per cent., or $4 85 ; the one-dollar pieces 
were worth 95J to 97 cents. The five-dollar 
pieces of the latter vary, from the full alleged 
value, to a deficit of one and a half per cent. 
There are no dates on the coins, to enable us to 
mark the difference ; but the pieces assayed in 
1843, were better than those (apparently fresh) 
assayed in 1849. The last and newest lot gave 
$4 94 to the five-dollar piece. It is to be borne 
in mind, that as Bechtler's pieces are alloyed 
with silver, they will produce about a half of one 
per cent, more, if offered in sufficient quantity, 
say 43 ounces. The dollars, as far as tried, are 
two per cent, below their nominal value. — The 
coin appears to be considerable in amount, but it is 
not current in the Middle and Northern States ; 
it is frequently brought to the Mint for re- 
coinage. 

We have next to mention four varieties of coin, 
which have already reached us from California. 

1. The mint of " N. Gr. & N." at San Fran- 



cisco, does not profess the same degree of ac- 
curacy as Bechtler's, as to fineness. Its claim 
to be full weight of half eagle is proved by 
a number of trials, the variation not exceeding 
one grain in any case ; but the legend on the re- 
verse, California gold without alloy, allows 
a pretty wide range. As far as our assays go, 
the truth of this stamp is proved ; there is no 
alloy, other than that already introduced by the 
hand of nature, and which is generally more than 
sufficient. Three pieces gave severally the fine- 
ness of 870, 880, and 892 thousandths; all 
were within the scope of " California gold." They 
consequently worth $4 83, $4 89, and $4 95* 
respectively, without the silver ; and including 
that, 2-J cents more. As it sometimes happens 
(not often) that the native gold is above our 
standard fineness, the proprietors may some- 
times put more than five dollars' worth into a 
coin, but the average will always be in their 
favour, and protect them from a losing operation. 
Especially will they keep themselves safe, while 
gold is held in the market at fifteen and a half, 
to sixteen dollars an ounce, or even after it shall 
have risen to a considerably higher valuation. 

It is the margin between the market and mint 
values of grain-gold, which enables this private 
mint to carry on its work, and keep to its terms. 
Indeed, when the honesty of the coinage shall 
have been duly established, it may be found suffi- 
ciently accurate for the region to which it belongs, 
until (as must soon happen) the commercial and 
legal values of gold shall very nearly coincide. 

The coin is neatly executed, and besides the 
two legends above quoted, bears an eagle, a circle 
of stars, the date 1849, and the name San Fran- 
cisco. It wears the somewhat brassy tint which 
belongs to gold alloyed with silver only. 

2. The next variety, a five-dollar piece which 
emanates from the Oregon Exchange Company, 
is rather the most original and picturesque of the 
assortment. It bears on one disk the above title, 
with the inscription " 130 Grs. Native Gold. 
5 D." and on the other a Beaver (a good emblem 
of mining industry), a row of initial letters, and 



228 



SUPPLEMENT TO THE MANUAL 



the date 1849. On the whole, the coinage will 
no doubt prove agreeable, if it can be well spoken 
of as to its intrinsic qualities. Hitherto we have 
had the opportunity of examining only one piece. 
It weighed 127J grains, was 878 thousandths 
fine, and contained only the natural alloy : result- 
ing value, $4 82 ; with the silver (in sufficiently 
large lots) 2J cents more. 

3. Next is a ten-dollar piece of the Miners' 
Bank, San Francisco, as is stated on the ob- 
verse ; on the reverse is an eagle, with thirteen 
stars, and the word California. It makes no 
professions, of weight or fineness ; only of value. 
Two pieces have just been tried here, and one 
other is reported to us from the Branch Mint at 
New Orleans, assayed by Dr. Hort. The results 
are as follows : 





Grs. 


Thous. fine. 


Base metal 


First, assayed here, 


268 


860 


28 thous. 


Second, " " 


265£ 


871 


22 " 


Third, " N. 0., 


259 


866 


29 " 



A fourth piece -weighed here 261 grs. 

From this statement it appears, first, that 
while there is a great want of adjustment in 
weight, the average in that respect is about 263 J 
grains, or 5 J over the lawful eagle; /next, that 
the fineness is rather low, averaging only 865, and 
that the deficiency has been made up by a small 
addition of copper ; next, that we have here the 
representation of several meltings, or else of one 
illy mixed, whose range is from 860 to 871 fine, 
decidedly below the range of California gold ; 
lastly, that though in distinct pieces there may 
be a scope of intrinsic value (not including the 
silver parting) from l$9 66 to $9 92, the apparent 
average is about $9 87. This result, if adhered 
to, may be satisfactory to the citizens of Cali- 
fornia, showing as it does a deficiency scarcely 
over 1J per cent, on the alleged value; but any 
addition of copper, to the displacement -of so 
much gold, seems unnecessary. 

4. The introduction of copper alloy is more 
marked in the fourth and last variety we have to 
mention ; but here, the due proportion of gold is 
nearly kept tip. This is the ten-dollar piece of 



Moffat & Co., whose establishment is probably 
the most extensive and systematic of any. 

Four of these pieces have been assayed; three 
here, and one at the New Orleans Branch Mint. 

First, assayed here, 258 grs., 884 thous. gold, 
61 " silver, 
55 " base metals. 

1000- 

Second, assayed here, 259 grs., 895 gold, 
41 silver, 
64 base metals. 

1000- 

Third, assayed here, 258 grs., 895 gold, 
58 silver, 
47 base metals. 

1000- 
Fourth, assayed at New Orleans, 258 grs., 881 gold, 

60 silver, 
59 base metals. 



1000- 



A fifth piece weighed here 259 grs. 



It should be understood, that of the "base 
metals" in the alloy, only three or four thou- 
sandths are to be set down as native, being chiefly 
iron ; the residue is copper, added by the melter. 
The average of copper so added, appears to be 
56 thousandths, say If per cent. 

Of the use of copper as an alloy, and not as a 
cover for the subtraction of gold, no one will 
complain, since it is the usage at almost all mints, 
intended to give the coin a better colour, and to 
make it harder, and fitter for wear, than if silver 
alone were used for the mixture. From the fore- 
going it appears, that while a single piece may be 
worth $9 78 to $9 98, the average value is $9 88, 
(the silver not. being in sufficient proportion to 
pay for parting,) which is so near to ten dollars, 
that the use of copper was evidently with honest 
intent. 

The result was at first so surprising, that only 
a decided confirmation could satisfy us. It 
proves, what was not to be expected, that the 




! 20. 436 to 403 grs., 
S lli.pi) to 17.53. 




OF COINS AND BULLION. 



._,,,, 



establishment lias gone to the pains and expense 
of partly refining out the silver from the native 
gold, in order to the substitution of the other 
alloying metal. 

California gold, in its native state, is not fine 
enough to bear the addition of 6$ per cent, copper, 
or we may say, any copper at all, -without de- 
basing the coin, and injuring the community. It 
is already more than sufficiently alloyed, by the 
hand of nature, with silver, to bring it down to 
standard ; and it was to the last degree unlikely, 
that copper should have been added, for any other 
purpose than to swell the profits of the private 
mint. Unlikely things, however, are sometimes 
stubbornly true, and this establishment must be 
exonerated on that score. The metal that they 
take out of their ten-dollar pieces, is not gold, 
but silver ; and silver, considered merely as an 
alloy of gold coins, except it can be profitably 
parted out, goes for no more than copper, in the 
same predicament. Without feeling bound to 
account for a matter which does not belong to us, 
we may suggest, as the most likely motive for 
reddening the coin with copper, that it is thereby 
relieved from the pale, almost ungoldlihe hue, 
of the native melted gold, and looks more like 
the veritable eagle of the United States, to 
whose general aspect it is rather too carefully 
conformed. 

The obverse bears a tolerable imitation of our 
female head of Liberty, with the name Moffat 
& Co. upon the tiara, instead of the word Liberty; 
together with the circle of stars, and the date. 
On the reverse is the eagle with Ten Dol. under- 
neath ; and above, the legend s. m. v. Cali- 
fornia Gold, occupies about the same space as 
the words United States of America, on the 
national coin. It is also of the same diameter and 
thickness as our eagle. So many assimilations, 
of colour, stamp, and dimension, if they might 
not lead to a mistake, might nevertheless render 
the coin more passable. 

Upon a review of these varieties of California 
coins, it will strike any reader with surprise, that 
in a country where gold is so abundant, and so 



much below the general commercial or mint rate, 
not one of the coins should come up to its pro- 
fessed value. It is not as in North Carolina, 
where the private coiner has to contend with a 
near mint, and consequently a full price in 
market. A profit of two to two and a half dollars, 
on the ounce, would seem to dispose any manu- 
facturer of coin to err on the side of liberality ; 
or at least to earn a good name for his establish- 
ment by giving good measure. The issue of such 
coins is not illegal, and under existing circum- 
stances, may be salutary, or even dictated by 
necessity. If we might be allowed to advise 
a standard, say for the piece of ten dollars, it 
would be, first, to take the native gold as it comes, 
and add no alloy. The addition of copper, what- 
ever good purposes it may answer abstractedly, 
must excite suspicion towards any establishment 
not regulated by law, or responsible to govern- 
ment; and especially in California, for the simple 
reason, that where labour is so dear, and the 
supply of chemicals and other materials so pre- 
carious and expensive, it will not be taken for 
granted that pains are taken to refine out the 
silver, to make room for copper. Then, taking 
the native gold, let the pieces, with a pretty ac- 
curate adjustment, average eleven pennyweights 
(264 grains) each. Here would be a good current 
coin for the gold region, and an acceptable 
remittance at par to any part of the world, cer- 
tainly to our states. The individual piece would 
ordinarily be worth not less than ten dollars, and 
on the average a few cents over. Its pale colour 
would be pardonable in the eyes of our dealers in 
coin and bullion, who, presenting such pieces in 
sufficient quantities for recoinage at the Mint, 
would derive an additional profit of about a half 
of one per cent. 

Besides the ten-dollar pieces, the establishment 
of Messrs. Moffat & Co. issues stamped ingots, 
intended apparently both for circulation and for 
commercial remittance, as they are of various 
sizes, from about nine dollars to two hundred 
and sixty. They are melted and cast in a very 
workmanlike manner, generally in close moulds, 



230 



SUPPLEMENT TO THE MANUAL 



making a perfect rectangular bar, •without any 
sink at the end. Each bar bears the name of 
the Company, the alleged fineness in carats, and 
the value, thus : 



Moffat & Co. 



20* Caeat 



$16.00 



and at one side, or on the under side, the 'weight 
in pennyweights and grains. A considerable 
number of small ingots bear the even value of 
sixteen dollars, as above, and have no 'weight 
stamped on them ; generally, however, the values 
are fractional, such as " |9 43" and " $256 24." 

As to the accuracy of the ^weight, fineness, 
and value, we have to observe first, that the 
ingots, as far as tried, are equal to the stamp, in 
■weight ; sometimes a little full. A deposit of 181 
ounces weighed 44 grains over the stamped 
weight, an average excess of \ gr. to the ounce ; 
which is a good adjustment. But the sixteen- 
dollar ingots are of very inconstant weight ; as, 
for instance, from 18 dwts. to 19 dwts. 4 grs. 
Next as to fineness : without any very gross devia- 
tion, (except in a casual instance,) there is a 
decided want of accuracy, as well as a want of 
uniformity in error. The first importation of these 
bars, in August last, gave a higher fineness than 
the stamp ; thus, one lot stamped 21/5 carats, 
equal to 881-6 thousandths, resulted 893 fine, an 
error in favour of the receiver of about 23 cents 
per ounce ; another parcel marked 21 T 7 ij, equal to 
893-2, gave 899-5. (It were much to be wished 
that the simple millesimal notation of fineness 
had been used, instead of the awkward and dis- 
carded one of carats.) 

But in more recent deposits, the error lies the 
other way. One parcel stamped 21f carats 
(906-5), proved to be 887 ; another, 21J (896), 
gave but 883, a deficit of 27 cents per ounce ; 
and a third, of 22 carats (916-6), was only 904. 
Of the sixteen-dollar ingots, all stamped 20f 
(864-6), two have been assayed, and result 850, 



and 848. Both were alloyed with copper ; the 
former about 1J per cent., the latter about 4 per 
cent. ; being the only cases in which we have 
noticed any other than the natural silver alloy. 
Those two ingots were worth respectively, $15 81, 
and $15 73. 

Lastly, as to the real value of the ingots, as 
compared with the alleged, it is evident from 
what has been said, that some of them are rated 
too low, and others too high ; the overvalued ones 
being apparently the more recent. Perhaps the 
error, in any case, is not such as to affect the 
sensibilities of a people already flooded with gold; 
but in the old and impoverished settlements of 
the East, notice is sure to be taken even of smaller 
deviations. What has surprised us, both in this 
case, and that of the private mint in North Caro- 
lina, is, that the valuations should be wrong, 
even upon their own data ; being doducible by a 
simple rule of arithmetic. Every one knows, as 
a starting-point, that a weight of 258 grains of 
gold, nine-tenths fine, is by our laws worth ten 
dollars. Moffat's ingots marked 21 3 5 b carats 
(881-6) were variously calculated, at $18 10 to 
$18 14 per ounce ; the proper result, at that fine- 
ness, is $18 22J. But perhaps, as in weight and 
quality, so in value, de minimis (in auro) non 
curat California. 

Depositors from that region inform us, that the 
foregoing varieties of coins and ingots are current 
there, at their alleged value; but in some cases, 
especially at the steamer agency, received with a 
reluctance which is naturally felt towards new 
kinds of money. 

III. RECENT COUNTERFEIT COINS. 

The great majority of counterfeits, new or old, 
deserve neither to be admired nor feared ; and 
the fact of their obtaining any circulation, proves 
folly on the one party, as much as roguery upon 
the other. With this wholesale judgment, we 
dismiss a multitude of awkward Mexican birds, 
laughable heads of Liberty, type-metal casts, and 
villainous compounds of German silver ; all of 



OF COINS AND BULLION. 



231 



which arc too much kept in countenance !>y the 
lingering presence, in our circulation, of the ugly 
and worn-out coin of Spanish monarchs. There 
are two or three varieties, however, recently 
brought to our notice, which deserve a more re- 
spectful attention; and these are counterfeits of 
gold coin only. 

1. First may be mentioned, an imitation of the 
well-known doubloon of Bogota, in New Granada ; 
very well executed as to appearance, but still more 
respectable on account of the liberal proportion 
of the right metal. The specimen tried here, of 
the date 1843, contained 653 thousandths of gold, 
the remainder being nearly all silver ; and the 
weight being 416 grains, or only a half grain 
below the average of the true coin : its value was 
§11 70. The value of the genuine being (irre- 
spective of silver) about §15 61, the amount of 
profit and loss is apparent. The operators 
needed some advice, which an honest person 
would not like to give. The piece was detected 
by its wanting the true colour, which, in such an 
alloy, no art of pickling can impart. Those who 
deal in patriot doubloons, have to beware of 
pieces looking too pale, or too much like fine 
gold. In this case, the grand test of iveiglit was 
fallacious. 

2. A much more important counterfeit, or 
class of counterfeits, to us, is the imitation of 
our gold coin, lately brought to light ; and which 
is as interesting to the man of science, as it is 
dangerous to the commercial dealer. The varie- 
ties include the eagle, half-eagle, and quarter- 
eagle ; there is not much danger of a false gold 
dollar, of- that manufacture, for reasons which 
will be obvious in the examination. 

These various counterfeits began to make their 
appearance in 1847, although some of them bear 
earlier dates ; and they perfectly agree in cha- 
racter. They are of so perfect execution, that 
strong apprehension was at first entertained of 
the surreptitious procurement of genuine dies, 
notwithstanding all precaution in that matter. 
However, upon a minute inspection, the impres- 
sion, although entirely "brought up," is not so 



sharp and decided as in the genuine coin, and 
from that circumstance they have exteriorly a 
family-character by which a practised eye may 
perhaps single them out. The details of impres- 
sion correspond to those of the genuine, to the 
last microscopic particular. The most skilful 
and deliberate artist in the world, could not take 
up the graver and make such a fac-simile ; their 
dies must have been transferred from our 
coin, by some mechanical process, concerning 
which very little is known, and the less the 
better. 

The coins have rather a dull sound in ringing, 
but not as if flawed : although they are actually 
each in three distinct pieces of metal. Some few 
of them, where the weight is kept up, are thicker 
than the genuine, and necessarily so ; but gene- 
rally the half-eagles run, as in the good pieces, 
from 55 to 60 thousandths of an inch, within the 
raised rim. The diameter is sometimes rather 
too great. The composition is as follows. A thin 
planchet of silver (of Spanish standard, as we 
found by assay) is prepared, so nearly of the 
right diameter, that the subsequent overlaying of 
the gold plate at the edge, will make it exact. 
Two other planchets, of gold, whose quality will 
be stated directly, are also prepared ; one of them 
is of the right diameter of the projected coin, the 
other is about a quarter of an inch larger, in 
diameter. Here are the three pieces which make 
up the coin. The two gold plates are then sol- 
dered upon the silver, the projecting rim of the 
larger disk of gold is bent up to meet the smaller, 
and to constitute the edge of the coin, and then the 
whole is finished by a blow in a coining-press. 
The suggestion that the coin may have been 
perfected in an electrotype battery is disproved 
by several considerations, especially by the 
conclusive one, that the effects of the blow are 
visible upon the silver planchet, when the gold 
is lifted off; and the process of saiving out a 
good coin, so as to make use of its two faces to 
cover a piece of silver, could not have been em- 
ployed in this case, because the edge of the coin 
actually appertains to one of the gold surfaces ; 



232 



SUPPLEMENT TO THE MANUAL 



and besides, the gold is sometimes of a higher 
fineness than our standard.* 

The eagle, of -which we have had but one 
sample, was not particularly noted, as it came 
after some others, of the lower denominations. 

Of the half-eagle counterfeits, -we have had 
the dates of 1844, 1845, and 184T. Of the 
quarter-eagle, only the date of 1843 has been 
shown, and this had the mint-mark, 0, of the 
Branch at New Orleans. 

The half-eagle of 1844, weighed 129 grains, 
just the right weight; the golden part weighed 84 J- 
grains, and was 915 thousandths (about British 
standard) fine ; value of the gold $3 30. The 
silver weighed 44 grains, was 897 thousandths 
fine, and worth 10 cents ; whole value of the 
piece, $3 40. — Another piece, 1845, was 10 
grains light ; another of the same date, of which 
only a part was furnished, gave the assay of 902J 
thousandths for the gold on the head side, and 
901J on the eagle side ; both higher than our 
limit, but very near it. — -Two other pieces, 1847, 
were each about 13 grains light ; specific gravity 
of one of them, 14-1. (That of the true coin is 
17-2 to 17-5.) 

Of the quarter-eagle, no less than five were 
offered in a single deposit, for recoinage ; they 
were severally from one to nine grains light. One 
piece, however, from another source, was a little 
over weight ; the specific gravity, 12-83 ; fineness 
of the gold 915 ; value of the whole piece about 
$125. 

It only remains to inquire, how these counter- 
feits are to be detected and avoided. First, it may 
be said, that to lay down any rules which would 
protect the careless and indifferent, is out of the 

* This counterfeit is knowingly accounted for in a late 
newspaper paragraph. The writer says — " The dies, under 
the present rules [at the U. S. Mint] are all pressed; 
hence the ease with which they can be counterfeited by 
any die-sinker. In England and France, the most eminent 
men in that branch are selected to coin dies, and such is 
the sharpness and perfection of their dies, that counterfeits 
are almost an impossibility." — It was from the mints of 
England and France, that we borrowed the improvement 
of transferring dies. 



question. Any man who can afford to take a half 
or quarter-eagle from any but an undoubted source, 
without some attention, can at any rate afford to 
be cheated out of half its value. And yet the 
best test we can propose, is altogether an incon- 
venient one, to any but a bank, broker, or shop- 
keeper. That test is the weight. In every case 
except one, which has come under our notice, the . 
balance would have settled all doubts. An error 
of a grain, in an unworn piece, would be conclu- 
sive : even worn pieces of our gold coinage are 
never deficient, on that account, more than one 
grain and a half. If the counterfeit should happen 
to be of right weight, then its too great thickness 
would be apparent to a careful examiner. 

As the balance is not a very portable or ready 
apparatus, several instruments have been con- 
trived expressly for the purpose of trying gold 
coins. We know of none more ready and effectual 
than one lately invented by Mr. W. M. Snider, 
machinist, in the employ of the U. S. Mint. 
Its value is attested by Mr. Parry, clerk in 
the office of the Assistant Treasurer of the 
United States at Philadelphia, who has one in 
constant use. Its merits consist in enabling 
the experimenter to decide by a single move, as 
to the weight, diameter, and thickness, of any of 
the coins in our series ; in being so carefully 
adjusted, as to detect any known counterfeit, by 
one or other of those measurements ; and in a 
general simplicity of arrangement, which obviates 
the liability to get out of order. 

On the whole, it is difficult to say how far the 
appearance of this class of counterfeits should 
alarm the public, and make them shy of a gold 
currency. It is certainly the most dangerous 
imitation that has come to our knowledge. Tet 
when it is considered that in each counterfeit of 
the half-eagle there is and must be from three 
to three and a half dollars' worth of precious 
metal ; that the manufacture must require a good 
deal of machinery, and consummate skill, both 
artistic and mechanical ; that the investment of a 
considerable capital is requisite, as also a wide 
organization for pushing the issues quietly into 



OF COINS AND BULLION. 



233 



circulation, it may be hoped that prudent and 
competent persons will find it better worth their 
while to pursue a more honest and honourable 
calling. The public have an additional security, 
in respect to gold coins, that they are constantly 
passing through the various treasuries of govern- 
ment, the banks, and the brokers' offices; by 
whose vigilance that currency is kept quite or 
nearly pure. 

Since the above was written, we have seen 
counterfeit half-eagles of Dahlonega mint (D), 
of brass gilt, pretty well executed, but very 
light ; date 1843. Also a quarter-eagle, 1846, 
no mint-mark, of copper and silver, heavily gilt ; 
well-looking, but weighing 48 grains instead 
of 64*. 

IV. GOLD FROM CALIFORNIA. 

In the work to which this is a supplement, 
information was given respecting gold bullion in 
its various forms, from all the localities whence 
it came to this Mint ; including almost all 
the mining regions then known, in the world. 
Since that time, the mines of California have 
disclosed their unrivalled treasures, and presented 
a new and abundant stock to operate upon. The 
history of this discovery and of its progress, 
reaches the public through every newspaper, and 
needs no recapitulation here; but whatever is 
known to us as Assayers, respecting this gold, will 
now be concisely stated. 

We have had opportunities of examining the 
auriferous product of that country in three forms : 
first, the very dirt and gravel as it comes up 
by pick and spade ; next the ferruginous black 
sand, remaining after the earthy matter had 
been washed out, but containing the gold; lastly 
(which is the appropriate work of the office), the 
clean gold itself, either in grains, amalgam, 
bars, or coins. 

The first sample of ore was sent us by an officer 
in the army, during the Mexican war, and in 
advance of the wonderful rumours ; but so per- 
fectly exempt was this considerable invoice of 

4 



stones from anything like precious metal, that 
we might be forgiven for having joined in the 
general incredulity, by which so many have 
been deceived, and some belated. Other speci- 
mens have since been forwarded for examina- 
tion by the Hon. Secretary of the Interior, 
most of which were equally unproductive ; dis- 
proving at least the common impression, that 
everything in the gold region is a gangue for 
gold. One of these, a serpentine rock, contained 
nothing ; another, the slate on which the gold 
deposits lie, was also free from gold; a third, 
the usual ferruginous quartz of mining districts, 
showed only a trace ; while a fourth, the deposit 
of gravelly earth found in the bed or on the 
margin of a stream, yielded upon various ex- 
periments, at the rates of ten to thirty dollars 
per bushel, or hundred pounds. (The amount 
taken at each trial, was one kilogramme, over 
two pounds.) 

The most available, mode of working was found 
to be the ordinary one of washing, with some 
aid, at the close, from amalgamation. With a 
moderate degree of care, washing secures all the 
gold in the matrix, or brings it into a narrow 
and manageable compass, for recovery. To 
prove this, several successive trials were made of 
the same quantum of earth. All that remained, 
after the first washing, was found to be of scarcely 
appreciable amount ; as, for instance, when the 
quantity first extracted was about fifteen grains, 
the residue, afterwards obtained, was only one- 
twentieth of a grain. It is not as in our At- 
lantic mines, where the gold is disseminated in 
pyritous ores, and often in an invisible powder : 
where there is a wide difference between the 
various "yields" of washing, amalgamating, and 
smelting ; and a still wider, between the results 
obtained in an analyst's laboratory, and those in 
extended, practical operations. Judging from 
experiments here, the same cannot be said of the 
California mining region. What is lost there, is 
probably not in the washing, but in the subsequent 
separation of the gold from the black sand. 
What we have to say respecting the examina- 



234 



SUPPLEMENT TO THE MANUAL 



tion and treatment of the black iron sand, was 
laid before the public a year ago, in a report 
to the Hon. Secretary of War. The following is 
an extract. 

In the last place, we have to mention an examination of 
some samples of sand, interspersed with gold, also for- 
warded by the War Department. Of this there were two 
parcels. The first, weighing in all about 8J pennyweights, 
was first reduced in bulk by removing the grains of magnetic 
iron, and then subjected to cupellation, a smelting in the 
small way. The result of the whole treatment was as 
folio ws : 

Gold, .... 9-8 parts in a thousand. 

Silver combined with the gold, 1*2 " " " 

Protoxideof iron (magnetic), 597*2 " " " 

Residue, consisting chiefly of 

peroxide of iron, . 391-8 " " " 



1000- 



This would be 68-75 grains fine gold, or 77-07 grains of 
gold of native fineness, in a pound avoirdupois of the sand. 

The other parcel was treated in two ways, both differing 
from the former. First, we took a specific quantity, weighed 
by milligrammes, (equal to about 11 .>• pennyweights,) and 
having cleansed it by the magnet, subjected the remainder 
to a very thorough amalgamation. The amount of fine gold 
obtained was 12-44 per thousand. Again, the same quan- 
tity of sand was thoroughly washed, (more time being taken 
to it than would be likely to pay in a large operation,) and 
there resulted 12-05 parts of fine gold per thousand. To 
give cupellation its due credit, we must remark that this 
second parcel was evidently the richest to the eye. The 
specific gravity of the black sand, without the gold, is 4-4, 
nearly the same as that of simple magnetic iron. 

We have nothing to add to this, except to 
qualify a succeeding sentence, which says : — 

It is well known that no mode of treatment, however 
skilful and scientific, has so far enabled gold-miners to make 
a near approach, in a large operation, to the result obtained 
by a delicate assay — that is, not without its costing more 
than it would be worth. 

Such has hitherto been the fact ; but we 
strongly incline to the belief, that a careful 
manipulation of the black sand, some better 
modus than "blowing it out with a pair of 
bellows," and yet equally practicable, will enable 
the miner to obtain nearly all the gold. 

In the last place, it will be interesting to all 



parties concerned, to have some particulars about 
the gold, after it is recovered from yellow earth 
and black sand, and put up in merchantable 
shape. It comes here in four forms, as already 
named. Two of these, bars and coins, have been 
discussed under a former head; of a third, namely, 
amalgam, we have had only two deposits, and 
nothing need be added to what was said of 
that form of bullion in the Manual of Coins 
(page 153) ; the fourth, lumps and grains (not 
dust) is the principal, almost the only condition, 
of California gold in the market. 

Those grains appear in every variety of form 
and size, from the shapeless lump to the beau- 
tiful oval spangle; from the weight of several 
pounds, to the fraction of a grain ; though none 
are so comminuted as the fine particles of African 
or Colombian dust. The largest lump exhibited 
here was that brought by Lieutenant Beale, weigh- 
ing 81 ounces, and worth fifteen hundred dollars ; 
though we have reliable information of a still 
larger, which was purchased by the British consul 
at San Francisco. The amorphous lumps are 
understood to be from the " dry diggings ;" the 
flat spangles, and larger laminations, which show 
the action of running water in the rounding of 
their corners, are from the beds or margins of 
mountain streams, discharging into the two main 
rivers Sacramento and San Joaquin. 

As it respects any characteristic difference in 
the fineness of the gold, of different locations (a 
very important inquiry), we have to say, that 
having tried samples from various sections of the 
gold region, selected and marked with that view, 
we are unable to find any such difference. As a 
general rule, the flat spangles of the rivers are 
better than the average of other grains, perhaps 
as much as one per cent. ; while the large lumps 
appear to be higher, generally, than either ; not 
invariably, because some lots of such lumps came 
out unexpectedly low. That of Lieutenant Beale 
was 921 thousandths fine ; another, sent by Hon. 
Thomas Ewing, was 957. The extreme bounda- 
ries of fineness of all California gold, so far, are 
826 to 957 ; but these are so wide of the customary 



OF COINS AND BULLION. 



235 



limits, that dealers need not fear the one, nor hope 
for the other. The usual range is from 875 to 
905 ; the average is 885 to 890. These figures 
refer of course to the gold after melting. In that 
operation there is an average loss of 2J per cent., 
owing mainly to the presence of the oxide of iron 
which covers and penetrates every grain. If 
the gold grains should be dampened, or saturated 
with water, as is frequently their condition on 
opening at the Mint, the loss in melting may 
reach to 4 per cent. But assuming the grains 
to be dry, it results from the above data that 
the gold is worth, at mint rates, from $17 63 to 
§18 23 per ounce, and on the average from 
$17 84 to $17 94, not counting the silver con- 
tained. Bar-gold, having already sustained its 
loss in melting, is of course worth 2-J per cent, 
more. When the gold is presented in sufficient 
quantity, the increase from silver parted will be 
about ten cents per ounce. The following will be 
a guide to determine what is the requisite quan- 
tity ; useful to depositors from North Carolina, 
and New Granada, as well as California, who 
wish to save their silver. 

Gold 850 fine, minimum weight 35 ounces. 



860 


88 


870 


43 


880 


48 


890 


55 


900 


73 


905 


81 


915 


104 


(The weight is after melting.) 





In the printed report already mentioned, it 
was stated as our impression at that time, in 
reference to platinum accompanying California 
gold, that it existed in but small relative quan- 
tity. This is still found to be true ; in a single 
instance, however, it was present in sufficient 
quantity to reduce the fineness, even below the 
limit given. In such case it does not alloy uni- 
formly, but appears in specks or clots through 
the mass of metal. The amount of platinum in 
the ease mentioned, was 47 parts per thousand. 

The alloy of the gold ordinarily, is wholly 



silver, with a little iron. It is the coating of the 
oxide of iron which gives the gold its rich hue, 
almost resembling that of fine gold. As that is 
removed in melting, the metal comes out so much 
paler than before, that persons unacquainted with 
the matter might suspect a wilful admixture of 
silver. The people of California understand this, 
from the comparison of bars and coins made 
there, with the native grains. We need not 
send coals to Newcastle ; but on our side of the 
Union, small samples will be interesting. 



V. RECAPITULATION OF THE NET MINT VALUE 
OF GOLD AND SILVER COINS, ISSUED WITHIN 
TWENTY-FIVE YEARS PAST. 

N.B. Inquiry has been frequently made at 
the Mint for a compend of the values of foreign 
coins, without a due consideration of the difficulty 
of putting in a small space such a statement as 
would be satisfactory. The quarto volume, to 
which this is supplementary, was not found too 
large for its purpose, which was to supply such 
information as dealers, amateurs, and legislators, 
would from time to time be likely to require. 
Still, a condensed table of the coins more usually 
seen, and within a contracted range of date, 
would certainly be useful to dealers and others, 
and especially with the modifications occasioned 
by the new mint tariff of charges. We therefore 
offer the following, inserting values only, and 
leaving the details of legal weight and fine- 
ness, and of actual weight and fineness, to be 
sought for in the larger work ; as also the par- 
ticulars concerning coinage of older date than 
just specified. 



236 



SUPPLEMENT TO THE MANUAL 



GOLD COINS. 



Austria. Quadruple ducat, - 
Ducat, - 

Sovereign (for Lombardy), - 
Baden. Five Gulden, - 

Bavaria. Ducat, •■ 

Belgium. Twenty-franc piece, 

Twenty -five, " 
Bolivia. Doubloon, - 

Brazil. Piece of 6400 reis, - 
Britain. Sovereign, - 

Brunswick. Ten-thaler, - 

Central America. Doubloon, 

Escudo, - 

Gold dollar, 

Chili. Doubloon, (before 1835), 

" (1835 and since), 

Denmark. Double Frederick, or Ten-thaler, 
Ecuador. Half-doubloon, - 
Egypt. Hundred piastres, - 

France. Twenty francs, - 
Greece. Twenty drachms, - 
Hanover. Ten-thaler, George IV., 

Do. William IV. and Ernest, 
Hindustan. Mohur, E. I. Company, 
Mecklenburg. Ten-thaler, - 
Mexico. Doubloon, average 
Netherlands. Ducat, - - - - 

Ten guilders, 
New Granada. Doubloon, 21 carat standard, - 
Do. including the silver, 
Do. 
Do. 

Persia. Tomaun, 
Peru. Doubloon, Lima, to 1833, 
Do. Cuzco, to 1833, 
Do. do. 1837, - 
Portugal. Half-joe (full weight), 

Crown, - - - - 

Prussia. Double Frederick, - 
Rome. Ten scudi, - 
Russia. Five roubles, - 
Sardinia. Twenty lire, - 
Saxony. Ten-thaler, - 

Ducat, - 
Spain. Pistole, (} doubloon), - 
Turkey. Hundred piastres, 

Twenty piastres (new), 
Tuscany. Sequin, - 
United States. Eagle (before June, 1834), 

Five-dollar piece of C. Bechtler, 

average, - 
Dollar of the same, average, 



nine-tenths standard, 
including the silver, 



9 12 

2 27 

6 75 
2 04 
2 27 
8 83 
4 72 

15 58 
8 72 
4 84 

7 89 

14 96 
1 67 

83 

15 57 
15 66 

7 88 



60 
97 
85 
45 
84 
89 
10 



7 
4 
3 
8 

7 
7 
7 

7 89 
15 53 

2 26 

4 00 
15 61 

15 71 

16 31 
15 38 

2 23 
15 55 
15 62 
15 53 

8 65 

5 81 
8 00 

10 37 
8 96 

3 84 



7 94 

2 26 

3 90 

4 37 
82 

2 30 
10 62 

4 85 



D. 0. M. 

United States. Five-dollar piece of A. Bechtler, 

4 92 to 6 00 
Dollar of the same, - 98 

Oregon Exch. Co. Five dollars, 4 82 
N. G. and N., San Fr., do., 

4 83 to 4 95 
Miners' Bank, San Fr. Ten dollars, 

9 66 to 9 92 
Moffat & Co. do. Ten-dollars, 

9 78 to 9 98 
Do. Sixteen-dollar ingots, about 

15 75 

SILVER COINS. 



Austria. Rix dollar, - 
Florin, - 
Twenty kreutzers, 
Lira (for Lombardy), 
Baden. Crown, - 

Gulden or florin, - 
Bavaria. Grown, - 

Florin, - 
Six kreutzers, 
Belgium. Five francs, ... 

Two and a half francs, 
Two francs, - 

Franc, - - - - 

Bolivia. Dollar, ... 

Half-dollar debased, 1830, 
Quarter do. do. do. 
Brazil. Twelve hundred reis, 

Eight do. do. - 
Four do. do. 

Bremen. Thirty-six grote, 
Britain. Half-crown, ... 

Shilling, 

Fourpence, - 

Brunswick. Thaler, - 
Central America. Dollar. Uncertain ; say 
Chili. Dollar, - - - - 

Quarter-dollar, - 

Eighth do. or real, - 
Denmark. Rigsbank daler, 
Specie do. 

Thirty-two skillings, 
Ecuador. Quarter-dollar, 
Egypt. Twenty piastres, - 
France. Five francs, - 

Franc, - - - - 

Frankfort. Florin, - 
Greece. Drachm, - - - - 

Guiana. British. Guilder, 
Hanover. Thaler, fine silver, 



97 

48 5 
16 
16 
07 
39 5 
06 5 
39 5 
03 
93 

46 5 
37 
18 5 
00 6 
37 5 
18 7 
99 2 
66 
33 



54 




21 


7 


07 


1 


68 




97 




1 01 




22 


4 


11 


2 


52 


3 


1 04 


7 


17 




18 


7 


96 




93 


2 


18 


5 


39 


5 


16 


5 


26 


2 


69 


2 



OF COINS AND BULLION. 



237 



Hanover. Thaler, 750 fine, - 
Hayti. Dollar, or 100 centimes, 
Hesse-Cassel. Thaler, - - - 

One-sixth thaler, - 
Hesse-Darmstadt. Florin or Gulden, - 
Hindustan. Rupee, - 

Mexico. Dollar, average, - 

Naples. Scudo, ... - 

Netherlands. Three guilders, 
Guilder, - 
Twenty-five cents, 
Two and a half guilders, 
New Granada. Dollar, usual weight, - 

Do. lighter, and debased ; 1839, 
Norway. Rigsdaler, - 
Persia. Sahib-koran, - 

Peru. Dollar, Lima mint, - 

Dollar, Cuzco, - 

Half-dollar, Cuzco, debased, 
Half-dollar, Arequipa, debased, 
Do. Pasco, - 

Poland. Zloty, - - - - 

Portugal. Cruzado, - - - - 

Crown, of lOOOreis, - 
Half do. ... - 

Prussl\. Thaler, average, - 

One-sixth, do. - 

Double Thaler, or 3£ Gulden, 
Rome. Scudo, - - - - - 

Teston ( T \ scudo), - - - 

Russia. Rouble, - 

Ten Zloty, - 
Thirty copecks, - 

Sardinia. Five lire, - 

Saxony. Species-thaler, - 

Thaler (XIV. F. M.), 
Siam. Tical, - 

Spain. Pistareen (4 reals vellon), - p- - 
Sweden. Species-daler, - 

Half do. 
Turkey. Twenty piastres, new coinage, 
Tuscany. Leopoldone, - 

Florin, - 

Wurtemburg. Gulden, 1824, 

Do. 1838, and since, 
Double Thaler, or 31 Gulden, 



68 

25 

67 

11 

39 

44 
1 00 

94 
1 20 

40 

09 5 

98 2 
1 02 

64 
1 05 

21 5 
1 00 6 
1 00 8 



VI. SILVER FROM LAKE SUPERIOR. 

Scarcely any discovery of late date has better 
deserved the attention of men of science, than 
that of silver occurring in the copper mines of 
Lake Superior. Hitherto it has been produced 



in but small quantity ; possibly the finding of a 
rich pocket may yet command the respect of 
business-men. The silver is in the native or 
metallic state, and appears in grains or lumps, 
firmly attached, or as it 'were welded, to the 
copper ; and yet the two metals are not at all 
intermingled or alloyed. Deducting a small 
proportion of mere earthy matter, the silver is 
pure, not even containing gold ; and the copper 
is pure also. We are not aware that silver has 
ever been found, elsewhere, in this most curious 
position. 

Three deposits of this silver have already been 
made at the Mint. One had been previously 
melted and cast into bars, and consequently its 
character was gone, though not its value. The 
second was a large, wide-spreading cake, smoothed 
somewhat by the action of water ; it was found 
by assay to contain 95 per cent, unalloyed silver, 
and 5 per cent, earthy matter. The value of it 
was $119. This has been retained in the collec- 
tion of the Mint, and forms one of its greatest 
curiosities. The third deposit, brought very 
recently, and emanating from the Pittsburg 
Company, consisted of grains or lumps, varying 
in weight from one grain to four pennyweights 
(say a quarter of a cent to a quarter of a dollar) ; 
they had been detached from the copper, and so 
effectually that very little of that metal remained. 
The amount of dirt removed by melting was 
about two per cent. ; the remainder showed a 
fineness of 962 thousandths. The whole weight 
was about 238 ounces ; and the value, $290. 

VII. TABLE OF CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN PEN- 
NYWEIGHTS AND GRAINS, AND THE HUN- 
DREDTHS OF A TROT OUNCE. 

Gold and silver bullion, and coins in quantity, 
are weighed at the United States Mint and its 
Branches, by ounces and hundredths, rejecting 
the usual division into pennyweights and grains. 
It were much to be wished that this easy decimal 
system were brought into general use. Probably 
that wish will ere long be realized ; but in the 



238 



SUPPLEMENT TO THE MANUAL 



mean time, it is desirable for dealers and depo- 
sitors to have a ready means of knowing the 
equivalents in the two methods of weighing ; 
and the ensuing table is inserted for that purpose. 



Decimals 




Decimals 






Decimals 






of an 


Bwts. Qrs. 


of an 


Dwts 


Grs. 


of an 


Dwts. 


Qrs. 


ounce. 




ounce. 






ounce. 








01 


5 


•34 


6 


19 


■67 


13 


10 




02 


10 


■35 


7 





•68 


13 


14 




03 


14 


■36 


7 


5 


■69 


13 


19 




04 


19 


•37 


7 


10 


•70 


14 







05 


1 


•38 


7 


14 


■71 


14 


5 




06 


1 5 


■39 


7 


19 


■72 


14 


10 




07 


1 10 


■40 


8 





■73 


14 


14 




08 


1 14 


■41 


8 


5 


•74 


14 


19 




09 


1 19 


•42 


8 


10 


■75 


15 







10 


2 


•43 


8 


14 


■76 


15 


5 




11 


2 5 


•44 


8 


19 


•77 


15 


10 




12 


2 10 


■45 


9 





•78 


15 


14 




13 


2 14 


■46 


9 


5 


■79 


15 


19 




14 


2 19 


•47 


9 


10 


•80 


16 







15 


3 


■48 


9 


14 


•81 


16 


5 




16 


3 5 


■49 


9 


19 


•82 


16 


10 




17 


3 10 


■50 


10 





■83 


16 


14 




18 


3 14 


•51 


10 


5 


■84 


16 


19 




19 


3 19 


•52 


10 


10 


■85 


17 







20 


4 


•53 


10 


14 


■86 


17 


5 




21 


4 5 


■54 


10 


19 


■87 


17 


10 




22 


4 10 


■55 


11 





■88 


17 


14 




23 


4 14 


•56 


11 


5 


•89 


17 


19 




24 


4 19 


■57 


11 


10 


•90 


18 







25 


5 


■58 


11 


14 


•91 


18 


5 




26 


5 " 5 


•59 


11 


19 


■92 


18 


10 




27 


5 10 


■60 


12 





■93 


18 


14 




28 


5 14 


■61 


12 


5 


■94 


18 


19 




29 


5. 19 


■62 


12 


10 


•95 


19 







30 


6 


•63 


12 


14 


•96 


19 


5 




31 


6 5 


■64 


12 


19 


■97 


19 


10 




32 


6 10 


•65 


13 





•98 


19 


14 


•33 


6 14 


•66 


13 


5 


•99 


19 


19 



VIII. COMPARISON OP AMERICAN AND FOREIGN 
WEIGHTS, USED FOR PRECIOUS METALS. 

The normal weight of this Mint is the troy- 
ounce, for considerable quantities ; and the troy 
grain, for single coins. 

This ounce is equal to 480 grains ; to 31-09815 
French grammes ; to 1-08108 Spanish ounces. 

The grain is 64-788 milligrammes. 

Our standard French kilogramme weighs 
15,435 grains; or 32-15625 ounces. 

The gramme is 15-435 grains. 

The milligramme, -0154 gr.- 

The average estimate of the Spanish mark, is 



3552 troy grains ; or 7 '40 ounces, troy. This 
mark is divided into eight ounces ; one of which 
consequently, equals 0-925 troy ounce. 

The Castellano, a Spanish weight for gold 
only, is one-fiftieth of the mark, and therefore 
should equal 71-04 troy grains. By an invoice 
from New Granada, we found it to be 70-935 ; 
so that 71 grains might be taken as the equiva- 
lent, accurate enough in practice. 

The Cologne mark, normal money-weight of 
Germany, by the German Convention of 1838, 
was estimated at 233-855 grammes, answering 
to 3609-55 grains troy. It was before rated 
usually at 3609. 

Our silver dollar, since 1837, weighs 26-725 
grammes. 

A kilogramme of standard (tV) gold, is worth 
$598 25-5. 



IX. BULK AND PACKING OP PRECIOUS METALS. 

A solid or cubic inch of fine gold weighs 
10-1509 ounces, and is worth $209 84. 

A cubic foot of the same, $362,600. 

A cubic inch of standard gold weighs 9-0989 
ounces, and is worth $169 28. 

A cubic foot of the same, $292,500. 

A cubic inch of fine silver weighs 5-5225 
ounces, and is worth $7 14. 

A cubic foot of the same, $12,338. 

A cubic inch of standard silver weighs 5-4173 
ounces, and is worth $6 30-3. 

A cubic foot of the same, $10,891.* 

Gold is not measured by the pint, at least 
not out of California ; yet it may be interesting 
to know, that a dry-measure pint of California 



* The above calculations are based upon the weight of 
water as 252*458 grains to the cubic inch, the thermometer 
being at 60° and the barometer 30 inches ; (Silliman's First 
Princ. Chem., 1848.) The specific gravity of fine gold is 
taken at 19-3, standard at 17-3; fine silver 10-5, standard 
10-3. As these gravities are only approximate, vfe may be 
excused for not carrying out the decimals very far, as is 
rather too often done in works of science. 



OF COINS AND BOLLIOX. 



239 



grains is found to weigh from 141 to 1431 
ounces ; value about $2,060. The average spe- 
cific gravity is consequently 9-61 ; so that it 
occupies about twice as much bulk, in that 
form, as when melted and cast into bars. A 
pint of African dust was found to weigh 148 
ounces. 

The advantage of having gold grains or dust 
cast into bars, as a preparative for exportation, is 
perhaps overrated. True, it has rather an insuffi- 
cient outfit, if packed in paper, leather,* muslin, 
Seidlitz-boxes, or porter-bottles, as it comes from 
San Francisco. A good tin box, well soldered, 
will hold fast and keep dry ; and the mint charges 
nothing for melting. This is the most general 
kind of packing now used ; but the tin case, if 
large, requires to be enclosed in a wooden box, 
and after that, there is need of a vigilant watch 
and care. A most daring theft was lately 
committed, somewhere on the route, by boring 
through both box and case ; and about $9000 
worth was abstracted. 

A keg, 13£ inches high including the chine, 
and with a diameter of 10. inches at the head, 
and 111 at the bilge (outside measures), is a 
convenient size for $2000 in silver coin, or 
§50,000 in gold coin. 

A keg whose measurements are 19, 11, 13, 
as above, is a proper size for $5000 in silver 
coin. 

A rectangular box, measuring inside 10 by 8 
by 5, is the size vised at the Mint for $1000 in 
silver coin. This allows the coin to be thrown 
in promiscously ; if piled, at least one-third more 
can be put in. Such a box would hold $36,000 
in gold coin, laid in order ; or $27,000 in dis- 
order. 

A bag six inches by nine, holds $5000 in 
gold coin, with room to tie. 

A bag 14 by 18, is a good size for $1000 in 
silver coin. 



* Material for packing, in California, seems as dear as 
it is promiscuous. A leather bag, not too large for a mitten, 
was set down in a late invoice at eight dollars. 



X. DETERMINATION OF THE VALUE OF A SPECI- 
MEN OF GOLD OE SILVER IN ITS NATIVE ROCK, 
OR GANGUE. 

That which is as old as Archimedes, may yet 
be new to some, that a specimen of gold, or silver, 
as it comes from its natural bed, intermingled 
with stone, and often more prized for its beauty, 
or as a keepsake, than the metal would be in a 
more condensed and marketable shape, can be 
accurately enough valued, without being broken 
up or spoiled. The specific gravity of the lump 
being determined, and that of the metal and the 
matrix being known, the problem is solved by a 
direct calculation. The formula is inserted here, 
as being a suitable and convenient place for it, 



Let a repi 
b 
c 

IV 
X 

V 


esent 


sp. gr. of Uie metal, 
do. of the stone, 
do. of the lump. 

weight of the lump, 
do. of the gold. 
do. of the stone 




a (e— b) 
Then, x = w, 

c (a—b) 






b (a—c) 



c (a— ft) 

The sp. gr. of the rock, say limestone or 
ferruginous quartz, may be assumed as 2-6 ; that 
of silver, 10-5 ; that of gold, according to its 
assay, or usual fineness of that from the region 
whence it comes ; for which see tables of sp. gr. 
in the large Manual, pages 182-4. 

The accuracy of the resulting figures has been 
repeatedly pi'oved here by extracting the precious 
metal, — a fact of some interest, as all experi- 
menters will oonfess. Thus a lump of North 
Carolina gold in quartz, which by the above for- 
mulary indicated 12-69 ounoes, actually yielded 
12-67 ; a difference of only 39 cents in 277 dol- 
lars. Again, a gold pebble from California, 
belonging to Hon. Thomas Ewing, weighing 
3-97 ounces, gave by specific gravities 2-47 
ounces of gold ; and by melting, 2-45 ounces ; 
error of 39 cents in $48. 



240 



SUPPLEMENT TO THE MANUAL OF COINS AND BULLION. 



XI. PROMPT PAYMENTS AT THE MINT. 

It is important to depositors of bullion at 
the Mint to know how soon they can receive 
their returns in coin. A brief explanation, as 
to what was formerly, and what is now, the 
usage of the Mint, will conclude the present 
treatise. 

During the whole existence of the institution, 
down to the beginning of 1837, depositors were 
obliged to await the coining of their bullion in 
turn. This natural course, which was as good as 
any one had a right to expect, especially as the 
coinage is effected free of charge, produced a 
delay, which was considered equivalent to a loss 
of one-half of one per cent., judging by the rate 



at which mint certificates were bought up by 
banks and brokers. But as this order caused a 
considerable complication of accounts, and as it 
wa,s judged that dormant funds in the Treasury 
of the United States might to a moderate extent 
be used for payment of bullion, and so enable 
the depositor to receive his coin promptly, the 
Director of the Mint, Dr. Patterson, made a 
successful representation of that matter to the 
Head of Department, and funds were placed in 
the Treasury of the Mint for that purpose. 
Ever since 1837, therefore, with an interruption 
of less than six months in 1849, from which the 
Mint has recovered, and which is not likely to 
recur, deposits have been paid in full, as soon as 
the assay has determined their value ; ordinarily 
within a few days after the bullion is presented. 




THE MORMON COINS 



Have just been received, through a gentleman who cnme 
overland from Great Salt Lake in eighty-one days. They con- 
sist of 20, 10, 5, and -\ dollar pieces. In fineness they are 
about 899 thous.. with little variation ; and they contain only 
the native silver alloy. The weights are more irregular, and 
the valnfis very deficient. The 20 dollar piece weighs from 
186 to 453 grains, value Sin 90 to $17 53. The 10 dollar, 
219 to 224 grains. 58 50 to $8 70. The -3 dollar, about 111 
grains. S4 30. The 21 dollar, about 58 grains, §2 25. 

On one side of the coins is Holiness to the Loud, with a 
large eye. and something like a mitre; on the other, two hands 
m friendly grasp, with the date 1849, and a legend containing 
the alleged value, and the initials G. S. L. C. P. G., meaning 
Great Salt Lake City. Pure Gold. The ten dollar piece has 
PuflE Gold, in full. 
January 10 




COVER 800K SYSTEW 





% 






t*. 



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