Slike strani


[ocr errors]




VALUE. Crowns,


£462,476 Half crowns,


3,929,804 Shillings,


5,082,264 Sixpences,


1,458,115 Fourpences,


172,850 Three, two, and one penny,

1,290 COINAGE OF FRANCE. The coinage of gold from 1726 to 1780, was

957,200,000 livres. dio. 1781-85, estimated,

85,000,000 Do. do. 1736-94,


The coinage of silver from 1726 to 1791, was 1,966,402,000 livres.
There was coined in 30 and 15 sous pieces, (1791) 25,000,000 francs.
The decimal coinage previous to 1803 is not ascertained.


Type of Napoleon, 1803-14, fr. 523,024,440 fr. 897,830,055 fr. 1,415,854,495

Do. Louis XVIII. 1814-24, 339,333,060 614,530,110 1,004,163,170
Do. Charles X. 1924-30,

52,919,920 632,511,321 695,430,241
Do. Louis Philippe I. 1530-40, 177,367,740 1,229,440,566 1,406,808,306
1,147,644,160 3,364,612,052 4,512,256,212

8846,048. Ovo



Amount of coinage in Pieces, from 1803 to 1840.426.01

be fr. 204,431,440 RM2.44

GOLD. Forty francs, Twenty francs,

943,212,720 SILVER. Five francs,

3,231,045,450 I'wo francs,

57,057,608 One franc,

60,359,424 Half franc,

22,534,059 Quarter franc,

3,615,482 Total value in Francs,

4,512,256,212 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 population. ANNUAL COINAGE.

Present U. S. Cts. COUNTRIES.

In their own terms. In U. S. Dolls, Population. United States,

4,300,000 17,000,000 25.3 Mexico,

12,000,000 7,700,000 155-3 Colombia,

2,000,000 3,200,000 62.5 Peru, .

3,000,000 1,700,000 176.5 Cbili, .

400,000 1,500,000 26.7 Bolivia,

1,500,000 1,500,000 100 Brazil,

mlr. 69,000

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 Sweden, .

rxd. 650,000

690,000 3,000,000 23 Deninark, rgd. 210,000 125,000 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

per head.

small coin.



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

of small coin to large.
United States,
Under a half dollar,

I to 10-6
Great Britain,
All the silver,

1 to 66
Under five francs,

1 to 41
Under a thaler,

1 to 53
Under a rixdollar,

1 to 2:1 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 contradictory 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. [1842.]

In respect to the gold region of the United States, it was for a long time uncertain whether the amount sent to the mints was nearly the whole, or only a considerable share of the amount mined. The census of 1840 seenis to clear up this question.

It appears that in 1839
The number of persons employed in gold mining was

1,016 The amount of capital invested,

$234,300 The amount of gold raised,

529,500 of which Virginia produced $52,000, N. Carolina $256,000, S. 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 perhaps a safer estimate would be $700,000.


From the Edinburgh Review.


An Historical Inquiry into the Production and Consumption of the Precious

Metals. By William Jacob, Esq. F.R.S. 2 vols. 8vo. London: 1831. The subject Mr. Jacob has undertaken to discuss in the present work-the production and consumption of the precious metals from the earliest ages down to the present day—is one of great interest, but of still greater difficulty. Even in our own tiines, it is hardly possible to obtain any accounts that can be altogether relied on, of the supply of these metals; whilst the estimates of their consumption, framed by the most intelligent persons, differ so very widely, that it seems almost hopeless to attempt to deduce from them any practical conclusions. The farther we recede from the present century, these difficulties increase, until we reach the Greek and Roman period, when they seem all but insurmountable. In tracing the history of gold and silver in antiquity, Mr. Jacob has displayed much judgment and industry, and no inconsiderable learning. He has occasionally thrown a good deal of light on the condition of society; and his book will always be resorted to hy those who are anxious to investigate the real circumstances and situation of the most celebrated nations of antiquity. Still, however, we cannot help considering all attempts to form estimates of the quantities of the precious metals existing at different epochs in the ancient world, and during the middle ages, as little better than mere guesses; any one having it in his power, with a little ingenuity, to arrive at almost any conclusion he pleases. The authors of Greece and Rome paid hardly any attention to prices and revenues; and as their meagre and imperfect statements, when they do allude to them, have suffered more than any other part of their works from the errors of copyists, and refer to money of which neither the weight nor fineness can be accurately determined, they have become in the last degree intractable. The Abbé Barthelemy abandoned in despair the investigation of the prices of commodities at Athens; and even as respects Rome, our information is very limited and obscure. It has been usual in this country to place great contidence in the tables of Dr. Arbuthnot; but we did not expect that Mr. Jacob would have referred to them as if they were above suspicion. (Vol. i. p. 166.) An excellent scholar, well acquainted with such subjects, which he had studied with the deepest attention, has not hesitated to affirm, that the statements put forth by Arbuthnot, and others of his school, wont mis l'Histoire Ancienne, sous le support des valeurs, au même degré de vraisemblance que les contes de Mille et une Nuits !The grounds assigned by M. Garnier for this decided opinion were controverted by M. Letronne, in a very learned dissertation published at Paris in 1817. But in his Histoire des Monnaies, and in the notes to the last edition of his admirable translation of the Wealth of Nations, M. Garnier has, with great ability and address, vindicated his theory from the objections that had been made to it; and

t the clates in this actile indicate that if wees written in 183/m 2532

if he has not succeeded in completely establishing his own views, he has at any rate satisfactorily shown that no dependence can be placed on the common interpretations of the sums of money in the Classics. It is obvious, however, that until this preliminary difficulty be removed, and criteria be laid down for determining the values in modern money of the sums mentioned by ancient writers, little can be expected even from the most ingenious speculations as to the supply and consumption of gold and silver in remote ages. We may, perhaps, at some suture period, revert to this branch of the inquiry; but at present we take leave to dismiss it, and propose to contine our remarks principally to the occurrences of the present century. We do this, noi only on account of the superior interest inspired by what so immediately concerns ourselves, but because the last thirty years have witnessed some of the greatest changes that have ever taken place, both in the supply and consumption of the precious metals. In considering the effect of these changes, we shall have to advert to some practical questions of great interest and importance that have been agitated with respect to them. Mr. Jacob has touched on some of these; and the portion of his work which refers to the period to which we propose restricting our observations, is by far the most complete and satisfactory.

I. Since the discovery of America, the far greater part of our supplies of gold and silver have been derived from that quarter of the globe. From the moment that the American mines began to be wrought, down to our own times, the kings of Spain and Portugal levied a tax upon their produce; and it might have been supposed, that the amount of this tax would have afforded an easy and accurate measure of their productiveness at different periods. But these returns were studiously concealed from the public; and it is, besides, abundantly certain that large quantities of gold and silver found their way to market without paying the tax. Previously to the publication of the Essai Politique sur la Nouvelle Espagne, several estimates, some of them by individuals of great intelligence, had been framed of the importations of gold and silver from America. These, however, differed widely from each other; and their discrepancies sufficiently evince the defective information to which their authors had access; and in how great a degree their calculations were founded on conjecture and hypothesis. But all former estimates have been wholly superseded by the more extensive, laborious, and accurate investigations of M. Humboldt. Besides being acquainted with all that had been written on the subject, and having ready access to official sources of information unknown to all previous inquirers, M. Humboldt was well versed in the theory and practice of mining, and carefully examined several of the most celebrated mines. He was, therefore, incomparably better qualified for drawing correct conclusions as to the past and present productiveness of the mines, than any of those who had hitherto speculated upon such subjects. That his statements are in all respects accurate, it would be too much to affirm. Some of them have been suspected of exaggeration; and we are rather inclined to think that there are grounds for this suspicion; particularly as respects his accounts of the profits made by mining, and of the extent to which the supplies of the pre

[ocr errors]

cious metals may be increased. But this criticism applies, if at all, in a very inferior degree to the accounts M. Humboldt has given of the total produce of the mines, and the exports to Europe; and, making every allowance for the imperfections inseparable from such investigations, it is still true, that the statements in question, and the inquiries on which they are founded, are among the most valuable contributions that have ever been made to statistical science. “The facts and calculations of M. Humboldt,” says Mr. Jacob, “are presented to the public after so much consideration, and accompanied with so much discrimination and impartiality, that they may be in most cases implicitly adopted."-Vol. ii. p. 115.

According to M. Humboldt, the supplies of the precious metals derived from America have been as follows:

Dollars a year at an average. From 1492 to 1500,

250,000 1500 to 1545,

3,000,000 1545 to 1600,

11,000,000 1600 to 1700,

16,000,000 1700 to 1750,

22,500,000 1750 to 1803,

35,300,000 The extraordinary increase in the interval between 1750 and 1803, took place chiefly in Mexico. It was owing to a variety of causes ; among the principal of which, M. Humboldt specifies the increase of population in the country, the progress of knowledge and of industry, the freedom of commerce granted to America in 1778, the greater facility of procuring the iron and steel required in working the mines, the fall in the price of mercury, the discovery of the rich mines of Catorce and Valenciana, and the establishment of the tribunal of the mines. (Tome iii. p. 299.)

The following is M. Humboldt's estimate of the annual produce of the mines of the New World, at the beginning of the present century:

Annual Produce of the Mines of America at the commencement of the 19th


[blocks in formation]

Taking the dollar at 4s. 3d. this would give £9,243,750 as the total annual produce of the American mines. M. Humboldt further estimated the annual produce of the European mines of Hungary, Saxony, &c. and those of Northern Asia, at ihe same period, at about £1,000,000 more.

« PrejšnjaNaprej »