3d Congress.
No. 60
1st Session.


Communicated to the Senate, February 8, 1794.

February 8, 1794.


I have procured from the coiner of the mint, an estimate of the regular expenses of the copper coinage, which I have reason to believe is nearly accurate. I have enclosed a copy, supposing it might be agreeable to you.

With respect to the value of the precious metals, which ought at one time to go through the several operations of the mint, I must observe that no determinate quantity is absolutely necessary. It would, indeed, be most convenient to have at least one day’s work for the coining press. This we find to be about eight thousand pieces, which, if dollars, will be a large sum. But it is probable much of the silver wilt be coined into smaller pieces, and of course the value of a day’s work will be proportionably less.

If it shall be thought proper to allow a refiner for the mint, I beg leave to suggest the propriety of authorizing the President to direct security to be taken to such amount as he shall judge proper; it being well known that a man’s ability to give security depends much on accidental circumstances, little connected with either his qualifications or his moral character.

I am, sir, with great respect, your most obedient humble servant,


Mr. Cabot.

. . . . . . . .

The copper necessary for the coinage of 202 dollars, is equal to 600 lbs. avoirdupois weight.

This 600 lbs. (in blanks) requires 1,000 lbs.* weight of sheet copper, the clippings of which (viz: 400 lbs.) remain to be cast over again.

Hands Days. Dollars.
Cutting 1,000 lbs. out of sheets into slips, requires 2 1 2
Rolling do. do. 2 2 4
Cutting do. into blanks, do. 1 2 2
Annealing 600 lbs. do. do. 2 ½ 1
Cleaning do. do. do. 2 ½ 1
Milling do. do. do. 1 2 2
Coining do. do. do. 3 7 50
Quarter cord hickory wood, 1 50
Four horses, two days, 1 50
Salt, sal enixum, &c. for boiling copper, 1 00
$23 50
600 lbs. copper, make $202
600 lbs. do. cost 160
Difference in favor of coin, 42
Deduct expenses of coinage, 23 50
Leaves profit to the United States, $18 50

Mint of the United States, February 6, 1794.

* Too great allowance seems to be made for all possible accidents by which some of the pieces may be defaced in annealing, milling, or coming. From some pieces which I have examined, it appears that 1,000 pounds, cut to the best advantage, will produce at least 700 lbs. in cents, leaving only 300 lbs. to be cast into ingots and plated anew.

D. R.