Communicated to the House of Representatives January 28, 1825.
Treasury Department, January 27, 1825.
Sir: In pursuance of the act entitled “An act regulating the currency within the United States of the gold coins of Great Britain, France, Spain, and Portugal, and the crowns of France, and five franc pieces,” passed the 29th day of April, 1816, I have the honor to transmit herewith a report of the Director of the Mint, giving the result of sundry assays made in pursuance of instructions from this Department.
I have the honor to be your obedient servant,
WM. H. CRAWFORD,
Hon. Henry Clay, Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Mint of the United States, Philadelphia, January 21, 1825.
Sir: Conformably to your general instructions addressed to this office, I have caused assays to be made of the foreign coins current by law in the United States, and now communicate the result.
The report of the assays exhibits the following proportions of pure gold and pure silver contained in the aforesaid coins, respectively:
|Of Great Britain, 22 carats, or 22 parts pure gold in 24.|
|Of Portugal,||21||carats,||315/16||grains,||or||2163/64||parts pure gold in 24.|
|Of France,||21||carats,||2½||grains,||or||215/8||parts pure gold in 24.|
|Of Spain,||20||carats,||3||grains,||or||20¾||parts pure gold in 24.|
|Crowns of France,||10||ounces,||18||pennyweights,||12 grains pure silver in 12 ounces.|
|Five franc pieces,||10||ounces,||16||pennyweights,||12 grains pure silver in 12ounces.|
|Spanish dollars,||10||ounces,||16||pennyweights,||pure silver in 12ounces.|
The gold assays were made of proportional parts of three pieces, and the silver assays of proportional parts of five pieces, of the latest dates procurable of the several coins assayed.
The standard of the gold coins of the United States being eleven parts fine and one part alloy, or 22 parts pure gold in 24, and the eagle of ten dollars containing, as by law established, 270 grains of standard gold, the following intrinsic values of the foreign gold coins now current, according to the standard of the United States, are severally derived from the above assays thereof:
|Standard United States,||100||cents||for||27||grains,||or||8889/100||cents per pennyweight.|
|Coins of Great Britain,||100||cents||for||27||grains,||or||8889/100||cents per pennyweight.|
|Coins of Portugal,||100||cents||for||272/100||grains,||or||8883/100||cents per pennyweight.|
|Coins of France,||100||cents||for||2747/100||grains,||or||8737/100||cents per pennyweight.|
|Coins of Spain,||100||cents||for||2863/100||grains,||or||8384/100||cents per pennyweight.|
On comparing these results with preceding assays of foreign coins, it will be observed that the gold coins of Great Britain are uniformly of the standard of the United States; that those of Portugal, though they approach the same standard very nearly, are, strictly, inferior; and that those of France and Spain are always decidedly inferior. It will also be observed that the values severally assigned to those coins by the act of March 23, 1823, under which they have a qualified currency, being made receivable in payments on account of public lands, agree very nearly with the average of all the assays thereof hitherto made.
The standard of the silver coins of the United States being 10 ounces, 14 pennyweights, 45/13 grains of pure silver in 12 ounces, and, the dollar of one hundred cents, containing, as by law established, 416 grains of standard silver, the following intrinsic values of the foreign silver coins now current, according to the standard of the United States, are severally derived from the above assays thereof:
|Standard United States,||11538/100||cents per ounce.|
|Crown of France,||11771/100||cents per ounce.|
|Five franc pieces,||11663/100||cents per ounce.|
|Spanish dollars,||11637/100||cents per ounce.|
The ordinary weight of the French crown now in circulation, as appears from the average of those received and weighed recently at the Mint, is 18 pennyweights, 13¼ grains; their intrinsic value, therefore, is 1091/5 cents. .
The ordinary weight of the five franc piece, as appears from the average of those recently weighed at the Mint, is 16 pennyweights, the intrinsic value corresponding to which is 93 cents 3 mills.
The intrinsic value of the Spanish dollar may be estimated at 100 cents 6 mills, the weight thereof being generally 415 grains, as assumed in the several acts of Congress making it a legal tender.
I am, with great respect, your obedient servant,
Hon. Wm. H. Crawford, Secretary of the Treasury.