20th Congress,
2d Session.



The Assays of Foreign Coins
The Year 1828.

January 14, 1829. Read, and ordered to be printed.

Treasury Department,,
January 12th, 1829.

Sir: I have the honor to transmit, herewith, a copy of the annual report of the Director of the Mint, giving the result of assays of foreign coins made at that institution during the past year.

I have the honor to be, Very respectfully, Your obedient servant,


Hon. the President of the Senate of the U. States.

Mint of the United States,
Philadelphia, December 31st, 1828.

Sir: Conformably to general instructions from the Treasury Department, assays have been made of the foreign coins, current by law in the United States, and the result thereof is now respectfully communicated.

Foreign Gold Coins.

From the Assayer’s report, it appears that the gold coins of Great Britain and Portugal contain 22 parts of fine gold in 24 parts; that the gold coins of France contain 2119/32 parts of fine gold in 24 parts, and those of Spain 2013/16 parts of fine gold in 24 parts.

Standard gold of the United States contains 22 parts of fine gold in 24 parts, and the eagle of ten dollars contains 270 grains of standard gold, which is in proportion of 8889/100 cents for one penny-weight. The value, therefore, of the gold coins of Great Britain and Portugal, according to the above assay, will be 8889/100 cents per penny-weight; that of the gold coins of France 8725/100 cents per penny-weight; and that of the gold coins of Spain 849/100 cents per penny-weight.

The above value for the gold coins of Great Britain, corresponds with that from former assays. With respect, however, to those of Portugal, France, and Spain, the average of numerous assays made in 1826, gave results slightly differing from the above, and which may be considered as expressing the intrinsic values of those coins; they are as follows: for the gold of Portugal, 8876/100 cents per penny-weight; for those of France 8737/100 cents per penny-weight; and for those of Spain 8428/100 cents per penny-weight.

Foreign Silver Coins.

Spanish milled dollars, it appears from the Assayer’s report, contain 10 ounces 15 penny-weights and 12 grains of fine silver in 12 ounces, conformably to the average of former assays.

Standard silver of the United States contains 10 ounces 14 penny-weights, 45/13 grains of fine silver, in 12 ounces; and the dollar of the United States contains 416 grains of standard silver, which is in the proportion 11538/100 cents for one ounce. The value, therefore, of Spanish milled coins, according to the above assay, will be 1161/10 cents per ounce. Their value by tale, taken promiscuously, of the various dates presented in circulation, may be estimated at 1000 cents 3 mills.

The legal currency of the crowns of France, and five franc pieces, having ceased, no special assay of those coins has been made on this occasion. The intrinsic value of the former, it may, however, be proper again to state, is 117 cents 7 mills per ounce; and that of the latter, 116 cents 4 mills per ounce. The ordinary value of the French crowns, by tale, may be estimated at 109 cents 3 mills, and that of the five franc pieces at 93 cents 2 mills.

I am, with great respect, Your obedient servant,


Hon. Richard Rush,
Secretary of the Treasury.