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of them are lighter than others; and the heavier pieces |
If diminished coins are tanished from circulation, as are continually withdrawn from circulation. The lighter they become reduced, they are gradually replaced by pieces remaiu; but remain only until they, in their turn, new coins, with very little inconvenience. If they are become beavier than others, when they likewise disap- suffered to circulate until they become a large portion of pear. The substitution of lighter coins for heavier pieces the current coins, they cannot te suddenly replaced : por proceeds more or less rapidly, in proportion to the profit can the transition from such a state to an adequate sup
which it affordsand these operations pass unbeeded or ply of new coins, take place, without greatly disturbing | little observed by the public, until at length, their effect the business and interests of the community. A general
becomes sensible to the whole community. A scarcity of re-coinage may be long postponed: but where diminished, i coins is felt; attention to the current coins is excited; the coins continue to circulate, their progressive diminution,
absence of entire coins is observed; and the coins remain their increasing amount, and their consequent mischiefs, ing in circulation, are found to consist of pieces reduced more and more felt, at length render a general renewal of greatly below the full weight of their depominations. the coins inevitably necessary. It is far better that the
Prices are adjusted to the money in which they are to remedy, should keep. pace with the disease; that coins be paid ; and when the current coins or some of them are which become diminished, should be at once excluded diminished, it is found more convenient to raise prices and from circulation; and that as they are gradually banished receive the coins by tale than to sell for lower prices from use, their place should be gradually supplied by new and receive the coins by weight. In this condition of the coins. coins, prices are raised. The seller expecting to receive The disorders which are inevitably generated by the the current coins by tale, and knowing that some of them currency of diminished coins, exist in this country, and are diminished in weight, states his price as nearly as he are increasing; and we are silently and gradually deis able, according to the quantity of metal which he is to prived of a large portion of our best coins. The diminreceive in payment; compensating the deficient weight of ished coins which have bitherto been the principal cause diminished coins, by the superior weight of entire coins. of mischief in our country, are the Spanish coins which Such a price is founded upon an estimated average of the circulate as equivalent to the coins of our own mint: and
intrinsic values of the coins of full weight and the dimin. in respect to these Spanish coins, a distinct measure will be | ished coins, supposed to be in circulation. But what proposed. Our own coins are not yet much reduced by
proportion of the circulating coins is diminished is never ordinary use : but many of them are artificially diminishaccurately koowo ; diminished coins are reduced in ed. Since the evils of diminished coins result from the weight, in various degrees ; Buch coins are often numer nature of things, increase with time, and if not counteractous in one scene of circulation, and few in another; their ed, become, sooner or later, a capital vice in the money of pumber is sometimes suddenly increased, and they enter every country, they should be anticipated, and so far as into payments, in various proportions, with coins of full may be practicable, should be prevented by the monetary weight. From these uncertainties, no equation can be system itself
. Our own system has no precaution in this extracted ; and all calculations to that end, must be inac. respect: it expressly makes our coins diminished to any curate or uncertain. Instead, therefore, of the certainty degree whatever, as fully legal as coins of entire weight; which the current coins do not afford, vague estimations and it thus promotes the march of these mischiefs. Some of their true value are made; and such estimations agree restriction of the existing rule is necessary, as a permain considering coins of full weight as worth less, and dimi-Dent regulation, which may at least check the progress of nished coins as worth more than their intrinsic values ; but tbis great disorder, and the regulation wbich seems best differ variously, in the estimated rates of depreciation and adapted to this purpose and to our present situation, is, addition. To avoid the incoovedience of weighing the car that our diminished coivs should not be, as they now are, rent coins, au imaginary staudard of their value is thus legal money. formed; prices are in practice adjusted to this standard ; Though entire uniformity in the weight of circulating and by the influence of diminished coins, the measure of coins is upattainable, great diversities are not to be toleravalue is rendered, to a considerable extent, iudefiuite, Alucted. If all the circulating coios cannot be of full and upi. tuating and uncertain.
form weight, still, the more nearly they appronch that conThis state of the coins impedes the coioage of bullion. dition, the more sound and useful is the money of the When diminished coios are, by currency and custom, as country; and in proportion as the circulating coins are di. valuable as coios of full weight, the possessor of gold or minished and unequal, the inconveniences and 'mischiefs silver in bullion, finds more profit in exchanging it for di- wbich have been described must exist. mipished coins, than for coins of full weight.
If coins cease to circulate when they are slightly reDiminished coins are thus in perfect money, they are duced, the benefits of coinage are, in some degree, lost. If unfit for circulation by tale; they disturb the measure of they continue to circulate after they are much reduced, value; they impede the emission of new coids ; and by great mischief in all the money of the country follow 8.their agency, the community is deprived of the uniform Both these inconveniences are to be avoided : and the coins which public convenieuce reqnires.
oply practicable measure for this purpose, is to establish When diminished coins have become numerous and a discrimination between coins, which, though slightly di., much reduced in weight, and still circulate as equivaleot minished, may still circulate with utility, and coins much to coins of full weigbt, the evil is not redressed merely by diminished, wbich cannot circulate without mischief. issuing new coins. An emission of new coins affords new To ascertain the greatest dimudition of weight which and profitable employment to all who are engaged in ex- our coins will undergo, and yet leave their devices and inchanges, artificial diminution and the conversion of coins scriptions clearly discernible, experiments bave been reinto bullion. The new coios of full weight are quickly cently made at the midt; and it is found, that our dollar converted into bullion, or into diminished pieces ; and the and its parts, when reduced by attrition, so that their decirculatiog money consists as before, in great part
, of dimi. vices and inscriptions are pot wholly obliterated, but nished coins. The only effectual remedy is to abolish the would be entirely effaced by a slight farther diminution, cause which banishes entire coins; and a total suppression lose the proportions of their respective full weights, which of diminished coins must be accompanied or followed, by follow : a recoinage of all or great part of the money of the The dollar loses' five and seventy-six buodredths per country. This remedy, inconvenient as it is, then becomes centum. the less evil ; and in other countries, it bas oftey been The balf dollar loses six and seventy-two hundredths found necessary.
21st Cong. 1st Sess.)
On the Current Coins,
The quarter dollar loses seven and sixty-eight hun- ent rates of diminution for the different coins, would be dredths per centum.
too complex, and would afford very little advantage. UpThe dime loses nine and one teoth per centum. der the restrictions now proposed, qur coins diminished only The ball dime loses ten and one fifth per centum. by ordinary use will be legal money during the following
When our silver coins are diminished in any degree periods : greater than these respective rates, they are destitute of The eagle, about two hundred years. the impression of the miot; and for that reacou alone are The half eagle, about one hundred years. upfit for farther circulation.
The quarter eagle; about sixty-seven years. The impression of the mint being essential, coins which The dollar, about two hundred years. have lost that impression should cease to circulate ; but The bulf dollar, about one hundred years. this criterion does not also decide that all diminished The quarter dollar, about fifty-seven years. coins which retain the marks of the mint, may circulate The dime, about thirty-three years. with safety and advantage to the public. Other conside The half dime, about lwenty years. rations evince that the degree of diminution at which Though the object of giving to the public the use of coins sbould cease to circulate, ought to be less than the coins for a long period, and that of arresting their currenrates indicated by the mere fact that so much of the im. cy wben their further circulation would be pernicious, are pression of the mint remains, that the character of the not fully compatible with each other, they may be, to a coins is still discernible.
great extent, reconciled. When we seek a particular The preceding rates of the loss of weight by attri- rule, which shall harmonize these objects according to tion, in our silver coins, are the utmost limits of diminu- their just importance, our choice candot be determined tion, within which, the marks of the miut are visible; and by exact science; and some rule avoiding extremes, ap.' though within these limits, the impression of the midt is prouching if not attaining the desired medium, and prodiscernible, yet when these coins are reduced to these misiog probable success, must be selected. The rule now limits, they are exceedingly defaced and their beauty is proposed seems well adapted to the intended end ; it is lust.
deemed eligible, and it may be safely adopted and pur: Some of the modes of artificial diminution, such as bor- sued, upiil experience shall suggest a niore beneficial ing and sweating, subtract much of the weight of coins, regulation. and yet leave their devices and inscriptions, with little or This re-triction will protect creditors from payments in Do alteration.
coins much' diminished; will check the circulation of The various mischiefs resulting from diminished coins such coins; and will tend to preserve to the public the take place, when coins are dimninished in a degree much use of our best coins. less than the rates of diminution which they will undergo, When our monetary system and the mint were estawithout losing entirely the impression of the mint. Ablished, it was justly conceived to be an esseutial part of small difference of weight between coins of the same de- the system of national money, that the currency of foreign nomination is sufficient to afford profit by exchanges, to coins should cease. It was expedient, that the foreign engage the trader in coins, io bis operations, and to con- cuing, which were then the money in use, should be sufsign coins of full weight to the cruci)le or to exportation. fered to eirculate, until the mint should be in operation The pernicious effects of diminished coins are the great and able to issue our own coins ; and the term of three evil against which provision is to be made; and the years was regarded as a period, at the end of which we only adequate remedy is, to remove so far as may be ought to dispelise with all foreign coins, and abolish their practicable, the source of gain which must always exist, currency. Thirty-eight years have since elapsed ; and we where there is any considerable difference of weight, be bave not yet dispensed with foreign coids, as legal tween current coins of the same denomination. bigh importance of this object renders it necessary, that Our laws have at different times legalized certain forthe diminution which shall put an end to the circulation of eigo coins; but all these laws were intended to be tempocoins, should be a very small part of their full weigbt. rary, and most of them were expressly limited to short
The measure now proposed, being not to suppress ab. periods, which have expired. The only foreign coins solutely the circulation of diminished coins, but to check which are now a legal tender, are Spanish dollars and the their currency, by depriving them of the character of parts of those dollars. legal money, they may nevertheless circulate by con Some Spanish dollars are still coined by the mint of sent; and the degree of diminution, at which such coins Madrid; but with this exception, the coinage of Spanish shall cease to be legal, may, without inconvenience, be dollars and their parts bas entirely ceased. Nope, or very low.
few, of these rennt Spanish coins reach this coup'ry. Still, the rate of diminution at which coins shall cease Our great supply of Spanish coins bas always been to be legal, should not be so low, as to coufine them to a derived from the American countries, formerly Spanish very short term of circulation.
and now independent; and the Spanish dollar and its From careful examination of our own coins and those of parts now current in this country, were coined by the other countries, the loss of weight sustained by our coine mints of Mexico, Peru, and other American countries, by ordinary use, during a period of fifty years, is esti. while those countries were subject to the dominion of mat-d, as follows:
Spain.-Since those countries have become independent, The eagle loses about one per ceutum.
they have instituted new coins for themselves; and The balf eagle loses nearly two per centum.
though their coins are in some re-pecis formed upon the The quarter eagle loses about three per ceptum. model of the Spanish dollar, they deviate variously, from The dollar losts about one per centum,
that example ; and the devices and external marks of The balf dollar loses nearly two per centum.
these coins are entirely different from those of the Spanish The quarter dollar loses about three and a half per dollar. centum.
Few or none of the Spanish coins now in this country, The dime loses about six per centum.
have been fabricated within the last fifteen years; a very The half dime loses about ten per centum.
large portion, probably one balf of them, had been fabriIt is proposed that our coins shall not be a legal tep-cated and were in use, before the year 1792, wben vur mint der, when they are dimidi bed in weight more than one was established ; anid nenrly all of ibem have been in use, twenty-fifth part or four per centum of their full weight; during various periods, from twenty to one huudred and that this rule shall be applied to all the coins. Differ- l years.
All these Spanish coins are reduced in various degrees sought to be ascertained. When the Spanish dollars and from their original weights. All of them have been re- their parts now in our circulation are consid-red in their duced by use, and many of them also by artificial mcans ; aggregate quantity, it is estimated that at this time, the and many of these coins are exceedingly diminished. It eutire mass is at least six per centum less in actual weight is estimated that these Spanish coins now in our circula than the full weight of our own silver coins. tion are at this time less in weight than their original full Whatever may be the exact average of this disparity, weights, by the following proportions :
great numbers of these Spanisb coins are now reduced in The dollar about one per centum.'
weight, far below any average of the diminution of the ag. The balf-dollar, about three per centum.
gregate quantity; great numbers of them are exceedingly The quarter-dollar, about six per centum.
inferior in intrinsic value, to our own coins of like deponiThe eighth of a dollar, about eleven per centum. vations; and this portion of these Spanish coins is quite The sixteenth of a dollar, about pineteen per centum. sufficient to "perate with powerful effect upon the coins of
These are averages of the rates of diminution of these our own mint. several coins ; many of them of each denomination be The Spanish dollars, which are now a legal tender, are ing reduced more, and many less, than these estimated those, of wbich the actual weight is not less than sevenrates.
teen pennyweights and seven grains; and the parts of the In the year 1826, various foreigo coins were examined | Spanish dollar are not a legal tender, unless they have and weighed at the mint: the results were laid before the like proportional weight. There are very few Spanish Senate in January, 1827: and according to those results, dollars and not many Špinish half dollars pow in our cir the diminution of these Spanish coins is somewhat less culation : and of those now in use, a few have the weight than it is stated to be by the estimates now made. The tbus requisite to make them legal money. All or almost examination of the miut was undoubtedly faithful and ac all the Spanish quarter dollars are below the requisite curate ; but the results which it then presented, are sub- weight; and most of them are reduced below that ject to the uncertainty which belongs to the estimates weight. The eigbibs and sixteenths of the Spanish dolnow made, and to all statements of such facts. It being lar are still more diminished ; and all of them are far beimpossible to examine all the coins in circulation, all that low the weight required to make them a legal tender. can be done, is to examine, carefully, a great number of of all these coins," a very small portion, pot perhaps them;
and to deduce from their various degrees of dimi- amounting to a bundredth part, may bave the weight Dution, an average, which will probably be also the ar- prescribed by the law now in force; and these alone, are erage of the diminution of the coins of the same kind, now legal money. The regulation by wbich Spanish not examined. Such an examination and such a deduc dollars and their parts are thus legal money or not, action of averages, were made by the mint of 1826; and a cording to their actual weight, was established in 1798. similar proceeding has been the foundation of the esti- The legislature of that time were justly sensible of the mates now made. But the coins examined by any per- mischief which would follow, if such of these coins ás are 800, at any time or place, may be in their average, more inferior to our own in weight, should circulate as equal to or less diminished than an exact average of all the like them in value; and by this regulation, they intended to coins in circulation : and it is believed that the Spanish exclude such inferior coins from currency. Experience has dollars and their parts which were examined by the mint shown that this discrimination of law, is without efficacy in 1826, must have been somewhat less dimivished than in fact. If the existing law were enforced in practice, such the residue of these coius circulating in all parts of the of these coins as are below the requisite weight, would not United States. Minute differences between Averages re- circulate. A very different consequence lakes place; and sulting from particular examinations are, however, of lit in practice, all these coins are equally current, without retle importance, where the results of all examinations cougard to their actual weight. From the fact that some of cur in showing the general state of the fact of diminution. ihese coius have the weigbt requisite to make them legal
An average of another kind will exbibit the diminu- money, and from custom, inatteplion or the inconvenience tion of these coins, in one view. Of these Spanish cuiod of weighing coins, all of them are curren by tale, at full Dow in our circulation there are very few dollars, and values. The actual weight of these coios is a test of their the half dollars are pot dumerous. The quarters, eighths, value, used only by those who by means of lighter coins, and sixteenthe, are very bumerous ; they form a consider withdraw heavier coins from circulation : and in the indiscriable portion of the circulating cuins; their aggregate mipate currency of all these coins by, tale, the large por: amount very far exceeds the amount of dollars and half tion of them which is much reduced in weight, has ample dollars ; and these minor coins are the pieces which are scope for the mischiefs which diminished coins never fail most diminished.
An average of the diminution of all to produce. these Spanish dollars aud their parts, deduced from the İbe mint of the United States, from its commencement several amounts of the coins of each denomination be to the first day of the present year, bas issued coins lieved to be dow in our circulation, and their respetive amounting to the following sums : rates of diminution, is estimated to be nearly seven per
8,691,530 00 centum of the original weight and value of the aggregate Silver coius,
25.266,077 90 quantity
Total amount of gold and silver coide, 33,957,607 90 The Spanish dollars and their parts coined at different Copper coins, about
539,530 00 times, were not entirely uniform in weight; and the origi The coins of all kinds now in the United States are espal full weight of some of these coips, was such, that the timated to amount to about twenty-three millions of dolu intriusic value of the dollar was equal to a dollar and lars. Of this amount, it is estimated that about fourteen nearly a cent of our money. The proportions in which millions consist of our own coius ; about five millions of these coins of different emissions and different original Spanish dollars and their parts ; and about four millions weights, constitute the total som now in our circulation, of various other forego coins. caugot be determined with any accuracy ; but some of Of the gold and silver coins issued by our mint amountthese coins originally a little more valuable than our own ing nearly to thirty-four millions of dollars, a portion not silver coins. are a part of the mass. Hence, the degree exceeding fourtren inillions of dollars now remains in this of diminution of these Spanish crios does not express country, in the form of coins; and this portion consists al with entire accuracy the actual difference of weight, be- most whülly of the coins of silver. tween them and our own coins : and the actual weight of Our gold coins are withdrawn from circulation, chiefly these Spanish coins at this time, is de important fact) by the operation of a particular cause, not dow discussed.
21st Cong. 1st Sess.)
On the Current Coins.
More than one-third of our silver coins have departed | understvod by the inbabitants of the local scene where it from circulation,
prevails, is little known by others. These denominations Almost all the early silver coins of our mint have disap- with their various significations, bad existed in many of peared. Our silver coins now current, are principally the States, before the establishment of our national system those issued within the last ten years; and of these, the of money; and they had been applied to the Spanish sil. greater portion are of the most recent emissions. ver coins, wbich were then the most common money of
Our silver coins are to a great extent, treated as bul- the country. The same denominations are still continued lion; and whether they are converted into bullion, or by custom; and this usage is prolonged by the presence pass into manufactures, or are exported, they are lost to and currency of the Spanish coin, with which the depomithe use of the community, as coins.
Dations of pounds, shillings, and pence, have been so long The diminished Spanish coins are neither converted associated. When these Spanish coins shall disappear, the into bullion, nor exported, nor used in manufactures; and denominations of pounds, sbillings and pence will soon they continue in circulation.
cease; prices and debts will be stated in dollars and The Spanish coins circulating as equivalent to our own cents; and not only will our coins be uniform, but we shall coins of like nominal value, are chiedy the instruments, also enjoy in practice, the great convenience of a uniform by_which our own coins are withdrawn from circulation. expression of values in the national money, in every part
By means of these Spanish coins, of very reduced of the United States. weight, our own coins of full weight or very slightly re. While these Spanish coins are legal money, they will duced, are procured and converted into bullion, or used not be converted into our own coins. The possessor of as bullion in manufactures or for exportation. The iner- these coins can gain nothing by their recoinage, when they itable consequence of coins current at the same value, are equal in weight to our own coins; and when they are while they are not of the same weight, takes place ; the inferior in weight, but still equal in current value, he will excess of intrinsic value of our own coins, over that of certainly not employ the miot to convert bis diminished the diminished Spanish coins, is gained by somebody; coins into a less number of pieces. our own coins disappear; and the lighter Spanish pieces It has been said that we are not ready to dispense with continue in circulation.
these Spanish coins, because our own coins have not yet Some other causes bave slightly contributed to with taken their place in circulation. Our own coins have not draw. our silver coins from circulation, but these minor taken their place in circulation, because these foreign coins causes are inadequate to the magnitude of the effect have had the currency and the sanction of law which which has been produced. The silver coins issued by they now possess : and while they enjoy this powerour mint have exceeded the amount of all the coins now ful protection, they cannot be replaced by our in the United States; and the portion of these silver coins
. Not only will these Spanish coins continue to circoins, which has disappeared, is a sum greater than the culate, but diminished as they now are, they will to a amount of all the foreigo coins now in this country. An great extent, expel our own coins from circulation. If amount not less than eleven millions of dollars of our sil- the currency of these Spanish coins cannot be disconver coins has been withdrawa from circulation; and the tinued without some inconvenience, that inconvenience concurrent use of Spanish coins inferior to our own coins will be transient; will be soon succeeded by the great be. in weight and intrinsic value, but of equal value in cur. nefit of sound and uniform coins of our own mint; and rency by tale, has been the principal cause of this fact. will be itself the price, without wbicb, that benefit cannot Though a large amount of our coins bas disappeared,
be obtained. the increasing emissions of the mint would soon supply
It is in our power to possess a sufficient supply of our their place, if our own coins could remain in circulation
. Without employing the means which are necessary to the
own coins; but we never can enjoy this great convenience Our silver coins would remain in circulation, if they were end. We are in no want of gold and silver; and in a not incessantly displaced by diminished Spanish coins; and while this cause shall exist, it will be impossible to country so rich, industrious
, and commercial, there never retain any great quantity of our silver coins in currency.
can be any deficiency of these metals, of long duraThe injury already done by these Spanish coins has have been, during the four years which are specified, 28
tion. Our recent imports and exports of gold and silver, been great; and if they could suffer no farther diminu- follows: tion, they would continue to produce like mischief, in futuro. "But these coins must become still more reduced tieth day of September, 1825.
From the thirtieth day of September, 1824, to the thirby longer circulation; and as they shall decrease in weight, they will more and more banish our own coins
Imports, 6,150,765 dollars, from circulation. As diminished coins, they cannot be
Exports, 8,797.055 dollars. tolerated: their currency is incompatible with the due tieth day of September, 1826;
From the thirtieth day of September 1826, to the thirprogress and success of our own system of money; and it is indispensable to the preservation of our own coins, that
Imports, 6,880,966 dollars. the currency of these Spanish coins should cease.
Exports, 4,098,678 dollars.
From the thirtieth day of September, 1826, to the thirIo many parts of our country, prices and debts are ex- tieth day of September, 1827; pressed in dollars and cents, according to our legal no
Imports, 8,161,130 dollars. menclature of money and our own coins; but in other
Exports, 7,971,306 dollars. parts of the republic, prices and pecuniary sums are, to a From the thirtieth day of September, 1827, to the thirgreat extent, expressed in pounds, shillings and pence, tieth day of September, 1828 ; and especially in shillings and pence. Pounds, abillings,
Imports, 7,489,741 dollars. and pence are merely a money of account, yukpown to
Exports, 7,550,439 dollarg. our laws; and to state accurately the value of our own These great quantities of the precious metals are brought coins ip this money, calculations involving small fractions into our country, and when bere, are ready to satisfy any are necessary.
This inconvenience alone is great. A demand, internal or foreign, which may exist. They much greater evil is, that these pounds, shillings and are now exported soon after they arrive. Any por; pepce, are of four dissimilar kinds, in different States and tion of the gold and silver imported, which may be replaces; each of them making different divisions of the quisite for å supply of our own coins, may be retained fur Spauish dollar, and its parte, into shillings and pence; that objeet; but this purpose capuot be, accomplished, and each of thuna discordant imaginary moneye, though without rendering our own coins necessary for the uses
On the Current Coins.
[21st Cong. Ist Sess.
of money. Coins are converted into bullion, and bullion seaports ; where they are held rather as articles of mer. is converted into coins by the mint, at the pleasure of chandize, than as circulating coins. The minor coins and every possessor of coins or bullion; the object of either especially the quarters, eighths, and sixteenths of the conversion, is gain ; and the possessor of bullion will not Spanish dollar, are io active circulation in all parts of our employ the mint to coin it, unless coins are more valuable country. These coins being in common use, great numbers than the upcoined metal. A demand for coins for the of thein will circulate by consent, after they sball cease to offices of money. renders them more valuable than be legal money; as all of them now circulate freely, when bullion; and an adequate supply of coins can never be very few of them are a legal tender. No great quantity obtained and held in circulation, otherwise than by an of these Spanish coins will be presented for re-coinage, at effective demand for coins as money.
any particular time. This measure will therefore produce Whatever may be the amount of the coins possessed by no inconvenient pressure upon the community or the mint; the community, and whether the offices of money are per and its practical effect will be, that these Spanish coins formed wholly by coins, or partly by coins and partly by will be gradually withdrawn from circulation, and graducredit in the forms of paper money, it is of the highest ally replaced by our own coins. moment, that the coins which are ibe only legal movey, We are not prepared for the immediate operation of the should be uniform and current, according to their true rule by, which our silver coiis less than a dollar, will not values.
be a legal tender for payment of large sums. To depend upon foreign coins for our ordinary domestic coins are withdrawn from circulation, soon after they are use, is unworthy of ourselves and our coudition. We issued from tbe mint; and we have very few dollars of have all the reasons of policy wbich induce nations to es- our own miut, now in currency. delay which
may edtablish and coin money for themselves : we bave all the able us to provide a suitable amount of dollars or of dolmeans for coining our own mupey: our own system of lars and gold coins, must therefore be allowed. The promoney, our mint and our own coins, are no longer, in posed regulation should be now established, that all may their infancy : and the just pride of national character prepare for its effect; and the time assigned for the comshould now discard the foreign coins which were from mencement of its operation, should be sufficieotly remote Decessity adopted and used by the country, in its colonial to allow requisite preparation, and sufficiently near to im. state.
pose the necessity and give the impulse, without which The currency of these Spanish coins must now be abol preparation will not be made. ished, or at least be checked. As these coirs are widely Tbé values of gold and silver, in their relation to each diffused, and cannot be immediately replaced in circulation other, now established in our coins, are different from the by our owo coins, it would be too rigorous to probibit. at relative values of these metals in commerce, the legal once their currency by consent. Their circulation may be valuation of gold being too low, and that of silver too checked, by depriving them altogether of the character high. Our gold coins are withdrawn from circulation, of legal money, and this is the measure which is now chiefly by the operation of this erroneous proportion. This recommended. Being in familiar use, these coins will subject is now under examination by the Secretary of the still to a great extent circulate by consent; and though Treasury, in pursuance of a resolution of the Senate ; and any circulation of these coins will be pernicious, their it is believed, that by suitable regulations the convenience currency, by consent of parties, may for sume time longer of gold coins may be secured to the country: But if this be tolerated.
object should not be attained, and our coins shall hereafter Our mint is in a very satisfactory state. Its officers pos- cousist as they now do, of silver, the coins of this metal sess all the skill requisite for their stations ; the modern -hould be such as are best adapted to public convenience. improvements in the art of coiping bave been adopted; Witbout the regulation now proposed, dollars will not and the machinery proper for fabricating all our coins, is be coined. or if coined, will not "remain in circulation ; provided, and is in use. The establishment is complete and the dollar, the largest silver coin authorized by in all the faculties of a national miot; and being complete law, the unit of our system of money, will be known in its organization, its capacity to issue coins may be only as a money of account, not represented by any sensieasily enlarged Our coiuage bas hitherto been pero ble object. formed in an edifice extremely unsuitable for the opera Had this regulation been in force from the commencetions of a mint ; but
under this disadvantage, the mint has ment of our system, we should now have in currency a been able to coin without much delay, all the gold and due proportion of the higher coins. All our coins having silver which have been presented for coinage. Io pur- been indiscriminately legal for all the purposes of money, suance of a recen provision of law, a new edifice for the the causes which subtract large coins from circulation bave use, of the mint is now in a course of construction ; and had untestrained operation; and we are now almost dethis structure will afford ample accommodation for all the stitute of the higher coins wbich our system bas wisely operations of a great minte It will be completed in Jab- authorized. uary or February, 1831 ; and the miot will be established When this regulation shall be in force, a portion of the and is full operatiou in the new edifice, before the fourth current coins must consist either of dollars, or of dollars day of July, 1831. The mint is now able to fabricate and and gold; but this portion will probably be no great part issue coins to the amount of five millions of dollars in a of the agglegate amount of our coins. Large sums will year; and it will soon be able to coin ten millions of dol- from convenience be in general received and paid as they lars in a year, or any greater sum which our wants may now are, iu paper money. An amount of dollars and gold require.
or of dollars sufficient for all the exigencies which are The proposed regulations concerning the legal tender likely to arise from the operation of this rule, may be of the copper coins, and the legal tender of diminished coined within two years. That an interval may be allowcoins of silver and gold, may, without inconvenience, bave ed, which shall be amply sufficient for all necessary preimmediate operation..
paration, in respect both to the convenience of the comIt is proposed that the regulation by which Spanish munity and the ability of the mint, the fourth day of July, dollars and their parts will cease to be a legal teuder. 1833. is proposed as the time when this regulation shall sball take effect on the fourth day of July, 1831. Before take effect. that time, all these Spanish coins uow in the United Our system of money is in the main excellent ; and in States, may be recoided, if they should be present-d to most of its great principles, no innovation can be made the mint, for that purpose. Alnost all the Spanish dol with advantage. But it is not perfect, and it is susceplars dow in this country, are collected in the commercial 'tible of, much improvement. The design of shis report