Document No. 907.
Director of the Mint.
TREASURY DEPARTMENT, BUREAU OF THE MINT,
Washington, D. C., October 20,1886.
Hon. DANIEL MANNING,
Secretary of the Treasury:
SIR: The duties of Director of the Mint were entered upon by me at the beginning of the fiscal year ended June 30, 1886.
While the volume of the work executed during the same year by the several mints and assay offices of the United States was greater than that of the previous year, the total expenditure was less by $197,089.71. I proceed to exhibit in detail the performance of the mint service and its expenditures; this being my second annual report, the first having been made for a period under the administration of my predecessor.
The specific appropriations made by Congress for the support of the mints and assay offices of the United States during the fiscal year ended June 30, 1886, amounted to $1,169,350.
Of this amount there was expended $947,369.04, leaving unexpended in the Treasury of the United States of the specific appropriations the sum of $221,980.96, as shown in the following statement:
|Mint at Philadelphia||$2,767 11||$2,163 71||$31,118 84|
|Mint at San Francisco||60,345 41||14,913 30|
|Mint at Carson||19,204 88||50,914 50||28,009 41|
|Mint at New Orleans||87 68||3 75||2,103 39|
|Mint at Denver||514 30||3,264 25||2,742 72|
|Assay office at New York||421 20||2,090 50||3,382 53|
|Assay office at Helena||23 35||352 81||551 52|
|Assay office at Boisé||12 83|
|Assay office at Charlotte||874 40|
|Assay office at Saint Louis||1,118 57|
|Total||23,018 52||119,134 93||79,827 51|
In addition to the amount expended from the annual appropriations made by Congress for the support of the mints and assay offices, the sum of $119,976 was expended by two of the coinage mints from the indefinite general appropriation contained in the act authorizing the coinage of the standard silver dollar, passed February 28, 1878.
This amount was expended solely for defraying expenses incidental to the coinage of the silver dollar, as provided in that act.
For the support of the mints and assay offices, including the cost of the mandatory coinage of the silver dollar, the total expenditures from the two classes of appropriations, specific and general, during the fiscal year ended June 30, 1886, were, as exhibited in the following statement, $1,067,345.04.
|Institutions.||Salaries.||Wages.||Contingent.||Coinage of the
February 28, 1878
|Philadelphia||$41,550 00||$293,000 00||100,000 00||$434,550 00|
|San Francisco||41,900 00||235,000 00||50,000 00||326,900 00|
|Carson||29,550 00||60,000 00||25,000 00||114,550 00|
|New Orleans||31,950 00||74,000 00||35,000 00||140,950 00|
|Denver||10,950 00||14,000 00||6,000 00||30,950 00|
|New York||39,250 00||25,000 00||10,000 00||74,250 00|
|Helena||7,950 00||12,000 00||8,000 00||27,950 00|
|Boisé||3,000 00||5,000 00||8,000 00|
|Charlotte||2,750 00||2,000 00||4,750 00|
|Saint Louis||3,500 00||3,000 00||6,500 00|
|Total||212,350 00||713,000 00||244,000 00||1,169,350 00|
|Philadelphia||$38,782 89||$290,836 29||$68,881 16||$83,097 99||$481,598 33|
|San Francisco||41,900 00||174,654 59||35,086 70||251,641 29|
|Carson||10,345 12||9,085 50||1,990 59||21,421 21|
|New Orleans||31,862 32||73,996 25||32,896 61||36,878 01||175,633 19|
|Denver||10,435 70||10,735 75||3,257 28||24,428 73|
|New York||38,828 80||22,909 50||6,617 47||68,355 77|
|Helena||7,926 65||11,647 19||7,448 48||27,022 32|
|Boisé||3,000 00||4,987 17||7,987 17|
|Charlotte||2,750 00||1,125 60||3,875 60|
|Saint Louis||3,500 00||1,881 43||5,381 43|
|Total||189,331 48||593,865 07||164,172 49||119,976 00||1,067,345 04|
The total amount expended during the previous fiscal year was $1,261,601.29. Thus there was a reduction of expenditures in the mint service during the past fiscal year amounting to $194,256.25. A comparative statement of the coinage executed during the same years will presently be introduced. It was considerably greater during the last than the preceding year.
The reduction is exhibited in the following table:
|Salaries||$210,712 27||$189,331 48|
|Wages of workman||681,125 36||593,865 07|
|Contingent expenses||212,821 44||164,172 49|
|Standard silver dollar||156,942 22||119,976 00|
|Total||1,261,601 29||1,067,345 04|
In addition to the expenditures of the mints and assay offices, the expenses of the office of the Director of the Mint, including the salaries of officers and employés, expenditures for examinations of mints, for books and incidentals, and on account of Laboratory, were $34,197.85 in 1886, against $37,031.31 in 1885, a reduction of $2,833.46.
This reduction of expenditures is exhibited in the following table:
|Salaries of officers and clerks||$28,780 00||$28,346 22||$28,440 00||$28,000 00|
|Examinations of mints, &c||2,500 00||2,497 20||2,500 00||2,417 81|
|Collecting mining statistics||4,000 00||3,696 93||4,000 00||2,444 16|
|Laboratory||1,500 00||1,485 61||1,000 00||337 85|
|Books, pamphlets, &c||1,005 25||1,005 25||1,000 00||998 53|
|Total||37,785 25||37,031 31||36,940 00||34,197 85|
In addition to the amount expended at the mints from the standard silver dollar appropriation, there was expended at the Department, for daily quotations from London by telegraph of the price of silver, the sum of $918, which is the exact amount expended for the same purpose during the preceding fiscal year. Quotations so received are indispensable in making purchases of silver for the silver dollar coinage.
The total reduction of expenses effected in the adminstration of the mint service during the fiscal year ended June 30, 1886, from the expenditures of the prior year amounted, as already stated, to $197,089.71.
The appropriations for the fiscal year 1886-'87 amount to $1,092,100, against $1,169,350 for the fiscal year 1885-'86, being a reduction of $77,250. The appropriations for the fiscal year 1886-'87, as distributed among the various institutions, are exhibited in the following table:
|Mint at Philadelphia||$41,550 00||$293,000 00||$100,000 00||$434,550 00|
|Mint at San Francisco||41,900 00||170,000 00||40,000 00||251,900 00|
|Mint at Carson||29,550 00||60,000 00||25,000 00||114,550 00|
|Mint at New Orleans||31,950 00||74,000 00||35,000 00||140,950 00|
|Mint at Denver||10,950 00||14,000 00||6,000 00||30,950 00|
|Assay office at New York||39,250 00||25,000 00||10,000 00||74,250 00|
|Assay office at Helena||7,700 00||12,000 00||6,000 00||25,700 00|
|Assay office at Boisé City||3,000 00||5,000 00||8,000 00|
|Assay office at Charlotte||2,750 00||2,000 00||4,750 00|
|Assay office at Saint Louis||3,500 00||3,000 00||6,500 00|
|Total||312,100 00||648,000 00||232,000 00||1,092,100 00|
Paragraph 8, chapter 327, of Vol. I, Supplement to the Revised Statutes United States, provides as follows:
And refining and parting of bullion shall be carried on at the mints of the United States and at the assay office at New York.
And it shall be lawful to apply the moneys arising from charges collected from depositors for these operations pursuaut to law so far as may be necessary to the defraying in full of the expenses thereof, including labor, materials, and wastage; but no part of the moneys otherwise appropriated for the support of the mints and the assay office at New York shall be used to defray the expenses of refining and parting bullion.
Under this provision of law, which was passed originally in the appropriation act approved August 15, 1876, the charges for parting and refining bullion were so fixed at the several coinage mints and assay office at New York that collections should equal as nearly as possible the expenses of the operations. The charges have been reduced from time to time with the reduction of cost of acid and other materials consumed, and as rendered practicable by extension of the scale of operations. The charges collected from depositors have since the 1st of July, 1876, been deposited in the Treasury of the United States to the credit of a fund denominated "parting and refining appropriation." Monthly advances have been made from this appropriation to the officers in charge of the various institutions, by whom monthly accounts of expenses have been rendered.
During the last fiscal year the charges collected from depositors for parting and refining bullion amounted to $162,855.53, while the total expenditures were $167,571.97, so that the expenses exceeded the receipts by $4,716.44.
This was occasioned by a ruling of the First Comptroller that the proceeds of the sale of blue vitriol and spent acid should be covered into the Treasury on account of sales of by-products as old material, these by-products having previously been taken at their market value by dealers in acid in part payment, and credited in their accounts.
The sum deposited on this account during the last three quarters of the fiscal year was $17,178.81. Deducting this credit from the expenditures for last year leaves for net expenditures $150,393.16. The net profit of parting and refining amounted accordingly to $12,462.37.
The amount to the credit of the parting and refining fund in the Treasury of the United States at the close of the fiscal year 1885-'86, being the excess of the charges deposited to the credit of the fund over and above the amount drawn from the same for expenditures during the period of ten years commencing July 1, 1876, was $184,436.57.
The charges collected and the expenditures at each institution during the fiscal year 1885-'86 are exhibited in the following table:
|Mint at Philadelphia||$13,067 43||$6 060 76||$6,060 76|
|Mint at San Francisoo||56,355 91||58,662 76||58,662 76|
|Mint at Carson||47 86||939 80||939 80|
|Mint at New Orleans||763 09||1,411 36||1,411 36|
|Assay office at New York||92,621 24||100,497 29||*83,318 48|
|Total||162,855 53||167,571 97||150,393 16|
|*Value of blue vitriol and spent acid sold during the year, previously credited on bills for acid, $17,178.81.|
In the Appendix will be found the annual statement for the fiscal year showing the earnings from all sources at the mints and assay offices, as well as the expenditures and losses of all kinds.
The total amount earned was $6,032,680.39, of which $5,763,851 consisted of seignorage on silver dollars coined during the year, and $62.38 on subsidiary silver. The total expenses and losses of all kinds amounted to $1,429,591.82.
The total value of the gold deposited at the mints and assay offices during the fiscal year ended June 30, 1886, amounted to $49,606,534.65, of which amount $4,696,785.42 consisted of bars of the several institutions re-deposited, leaving the net value of the gold deposited $44,909,749.23 against $52,894,075.09 in the preceding fiscal year, a falling off of $7,984,325.86. Of the deposits of gold at the mints and assay offices for the fiscal year 1885-'86 the sum of $32,456,493.64 was classified as of domestic production, and $4,317,068.27 as foreign bullion; $393,545.28 consisted of United States gold coins remelted, and $5,673,565.04 of foreign coins. The remainder, $2,069,077, consisted of jewelers' bars, old plate and jewelry, and miscellaneous old material.
The total value of the silver, computed at its coining rate in standard silver dollars, which is the accounting rate at the mints, deposited, purchased and parted at the mints and assay offices of the United States during the last fiscal year amounted to $37,917,026.36 (32,584,944.61 standard ounces). Of this amount the sum of $2,422,843.12 (2,082,130.83 standard ounces) consisted of fine and unparted bars of the several institutions re-deposited, leaving the net value of the silver deposited, purchased and parted during the year $35,494,183.24 (30,502,813.78 standard ounces) against $36,789,774.92 (31,616,212.91 standard ounces) in the preceding fiscal year: being a falling off in the net deposits of silver of 1,113,399.13 standard ounces of the value of $1,295,591.68. Of the net value of the silver deposited for bars, parted from gold and purchased for coinage during the year, namely, $35,494,183.24, the sum of $32,454,644.56 was classified as of domestic production, $1,480,425.43 of foreign bullion, $279,292.39 United States coins melted, $812,664.50 of foreign coins, and the remainder, $467,156.36, of old jewelry, plate, &c.
A very marked increase is to be noticed in the deposits of gold bullion at the Mint at San Francisco. The total value of the gold, exclusive of re-deposits, deposited at this institution during the fiscal year 1886 amounted to $27,319,837.25, against $20,774,252.86 in the preceding year, an increase of six and a half millions. This is the first year since 1882 that there has not been a decline in the deposits of gold at this institution, the marked decline since 1881 exhibited on page 4 of my annual report for the fiscal year 1884-'85, having amounted in the four years ended June 30, 1885, to $8,072,438.07. This is now very nearly offset by the large increase during the last fiscal year.
The most marked falling off in gold deposits during the year was at the Assay Office at New York, where the value of the gold deposited, exclusive of re-deposits, mounted to only $13,791,632.29, against $26,419,503.11 in the preceding year, being a falling off of about one-half.
In the Appendix will be found a statement showing the value of the foreign gold coin, by denomination of pieces, deposited at the Assay Office at New York in each of the eleven fiscal years 1875-1885 inclusive: also, statements showing the value of the foreign gold and silver coins deposited at the Mint at San Francisco in each fiscal year 1879-1886 with the countries of their coinage.
The coinage of gold, performed exclusively at the mints at Philadelphia and San Francisco, amounted during the past fiscal year to 5,050,814 pieces, of the value of $34,077,380, against 1,748,158 pieces, valued at $24,861,123.50, in the preceding year. Of the gold coinage of the year, the sum of $27,080,000 was executed at the Mint at San Francisco; the rest at Philadelphia.
Of the gold coinage $4,871,680 was in double-eagles; $10,428,470 in eagles; $18,758,145 in half-eagles; $303 in three-dollar pieces; $10,215 in quarter-eagles, and $8,567 in dollars.
The silver coinage during the year amounted to 31,627,157 pieces, of the value of $30,022,347.95, against 31,699,096 pieces, of the value of $28,848,959.65, in the preceding fiscal year.
Of this amount $29,838,905 consisted of silver dollars, $3,052.50 of half-dollars, $3,626.25 of quarter-dollars, and $176,764.20 of dimes. The silver coinage was executed principally at the mints at Philadelphia and New Orleans. The Mint at Carson was closed during the entire year, although the coinage of 28,000 silver dollars is credited to that institution. This coinage was really executed prior to June 30, 1885, but not delivered by the coiner to the superintendent until after July 1, 1885, which brought it into this year's statement of coinage.
In addition to the gold and silver coinage, 1,706,651 minor coins were struck, of the value of $17,377.65. 1,696,613 pieces, of the value of $16,966.13, consisted of 1-cent bronze coins; 4,519 pieces, of the face value of $135.57, of 3-cent nickel pieces, and 5,519 pieces, of the face value of $275.95, of 5-cent nickel pieces. The minor coinage was executed at the Mint at Philadelphia.
The coinage executed was as follows:
|Minor coins||1,706,651||17,377 65|
In addition to the coinage executed by the mints, the value of the gold and silver bars manufactured during the fiscal year 1886 amounted to-
The production of bars in the previous fiscal year amounted to-
The production of gold and silver bars was less by $14,308,743.41 than in the preceding year.
Under the provisions of the act of May 26, 1882, the mints of the United States and the Assay Office at New York were authorized to exchange gold bars for deposits of gold coin. The value of the bars so exchanged during the year amounted to $31,598,748.81, of which over $31,000,000 was exchanged at the Assay Office at New York.
The following table exhibits the value each month of the fiscal year of the fine gold bars given in exchange for gold coin at the Mint at Philadelphia and the Assay Office at New York. The total value of the bars thus exchanged ($31,598,748.81) was largely in excess of the amount exchanged during the previous year, which was only $2,065,021.78. The large increase was occasioned by the demand for gold bars for export.
|July||$20,067 36||$89,696 28||$109,763 64|
|August||25,080 23||197,781 95||222,862 18|
|September||30,095 35||418,953 61||449,048 96|
|October||35,121 02||385,865 70||420,986 72|
|November||35,112 97||290,272 83||325,385 80|
|December||35,112 75||816,531 53||851,644 28|
|January||35,109 45||1,507,943 16||1,543,052 61|
|February||35,123 47||4,276,211 11||4,311,334 58|
|March||50,172 42||7,931,940 23||7,982,112 65|
|April||25,083 50||3,529,354 83||3,554,438 33|
|May||45,143 24||5,773,223 86||5,818,367 10|
|June||35,123 51||5,974,628 45||6,009,751 96|
|Total||406,345 27||31,192,403 54||31,598,748 81|
The number of medals manufactured at the Mint at Philadelphia during the fiscal year ended June 30, 1886, was 765, of which 54 were gold, 404 silver, and 307 bronze.
The number of medals sold during the year was 876, value $4,652.19; and of proof sets 3,358, value $4,515.92. A detailed statement of the same will be found in the Appendix.
The number of coinage and medal dies manufactured was 528, of which 183 consisted of gold coinage dies, 280 of silver; 28 of minor coinage, 26 of proof-coinage, and the others of medal dies.
The number of coinage dies manufactured for each of the coinage mints is exhibited in a table in the Appendix. Heretofore the cost of engraving these dies has been paid from the appropriation for the support of the Mint at Philadelphia, but under instructions as intimated in my previous report, has, since the commencement of the present fiscal year, been paid from the appropriation for the support of the mint to which the dies are furnished.
The number of ounces of bullion sent to the acid refineries of the coinage mints and the Assay Office at New York to be refined during the year was 7,246,795, from which was separated gold and silver bullion as follows:
This sum was against $37,050,049 in the previous year. In the value of the bullion required to be refined at the mints and assay offices during the year, there was a falling off of $9,264,043.
As pointed out in my special report on the Production of the Precious Metals for the calendar year 1885, it is apparent that a larger portion of the refined production of the mines of this country found its way to private refineries than heretofore. While most of the bullion, especially gold, was eventually deposited at the mints and assay offices of the United States, it was more in the nature of refined bullion than heretofore.
The following table exhibits the weight of the bullion sent to the refinery of each of the mints and of the Assay Office at New York during the year, and the weight and value of the precious metals extracted:
|Mint or assay office.||Gross
The act passed February 28, 1878, provided-
That there shall be coined at the several mints of the United States silver dollars of the weight of 412½ grains Troy of standard silver. * * * And the Secretary of the Treasury is authorized and directed to purchase from time to time silver bullion, at the market price thereof, not less than $2,000,000 worth per month, nor more than $4,000,000 worth per month, and cause the same to be coined monthly, as fast as so purchased, into such dollars.
Prior to the commencement of the present fiscal year the Director of the Mint was charged not only with the supervision of the details of the purchases of silver bullion, but also with the reception of weekly bids by telegraph for the sales of silver bullion to the government, to be considered by himself and the other members of the Commission constituted March 9, 1878, by order of the Secretary of the Treasury, for the purpose of considering and recommending to the Secretary purchases of silver bullion.
On July 10, 1885, I had the honor to address you a communication in which I recommended that all bids be addressed to the Treasurer of the United States, and that the executive duties of the Commission be transferred from this Bureau to the Treasurer, except so far as these duties were in actual relation with the mints. It was also proposed that bids be invited on two days of each week, instead of one day as previously, with a view of preventing combinations in the silver market unfavorable to the government. Both of these recommendations were carried into effect by your order of July 14, 1885, since which date bids for the sale of silver bullion in lots of not less than 10,000 ounces have been addressed to the Treasurer of the United States on every Tuesday and Friday either by telegraph or by letter. The practical details of all transactions remain, as heretofore, in charge of this Bureau.
The amount of silver purchased and delivered during the fiscal year 1885-'86 in the manner stated was 24,296,413.76 standard ounces, costing $22,547,582.60, being an average cost per standard ounce of $0.928002, or $1.031113 per ounce fine. The average London price during the same period, computed from daily cable despatches to the Bureau of the Mint, was 47.038 pence per ounce, British standard. This, at the average rate of sterling exchange, $4.8751, was equivalent to $1.03295 per ounce fine.
In addition to the purchases by the Secretary of the Treasury on the recommendation of the Commission, silver bullion was also purchased, under authority given the superintendents of the coinage mints to purchase lots offered of less than 10,000 ounces, at a price fixed from time to time by the Director of the Mint to conform as nearly as possible to the market price of silver. The amount of silver purchased in lots of less than 10,000 ounces by the officers in charge of the coinage mints during the fiscal year 1885-'86 was 239,174.56 standard ounces, at a cost of $221,707.65.
The silver contained in gold deposits, called "partings," is also purchased for use toward the specific requirements of law for the silver-dollar coinage, at a price fixed from time to time by the Director of the Mint. The amount of silver representing the charges on deposits of silver bullion for bars, as well as the minute fractions of the deposit over and above the value of the bar returned, is, by authority of the Secretary of the Treasury, also purchased for use in the silver-dollar coinage, at the rate of $1 per standard ounce. The total amount of silver purchased during the year in partings and charges and bar-fractions was 141,311.41 standard ounces, costing $129,436.93.
In addition, there was transferred from the Assay Office at New York to the Mint at Philadelphia during the year, for use in the coinage of the standard silver dollar, silver bullion amounting to 534,936.87 standard ounces, at a value or cost to the government of $550,232.83. This silver had accumulated at the Assay Office at New York from partings and bar-charges and fractions.
Thus it will be seen that the total amount of silver purchased in these different ways for the silver-dollar coinage during the fiscal year was 25,211,836.60 standard ounces, at a cost to the government of $23,448,960.01, the average cost per standard ounce being $0.930077, equivalent to $1.03342 per ounce fine.
In addition to the silver purchased for the silver-dollar coinage, the Melter and Refiner of the Mint at Philadelphia, under instructions from this Bureau, deposited with the Superintendent 1,980.12 standard ounces of silver bullion, costing $1,936.62, which was the exact amount and value of three silver bars missed by this officer during the fiscal year 1884-85, and supposed to have been stolen, reference to which was made on pages 14 and 20 of my report for the fiscal year 1885.
This amount, 1,980.12 standard ounces, costing $1,936.62, formed a portion of the stock of silver bullion used in the coinage of standard silver dollars during the year.
This, added to the amount above stated, 25,211,836.60 standard ounces, costing $23,448,960.01, gives as the total stock of silver bullion acquired for the silver-dollar coinage during the year 25,213,816.72 standard ounces, costing $23,450,896.63.
The purchases of silver bullion for the silver-dollar coinage during the year are exhibited in the following table:
|Mode of acquisition.||Standard
|Department purchases||24,296,413.76||$22,547,582 60|
|Purchases by mint officers||239,174.56||221,707 65|
|Partings, bar-charges, and fractions||141,311.41||129,436 93|
|Transferred from the Assay Office at New York||534,936.87||550,232 83|
|Deposited by Melter and Refiner of the Mint at Philadelphia||1,980.12||1,936 62|
The stock of silver bullion on hand at the several coinage mints July 1, 1885, available for the silver-dollar coinage was 3,731,901.12 standard ounces, costing $3,627,682.32 (not including 1,980.12 standard ounces, costing $1,936.62, carried in "suspense account.") There was delivered at the mints on purchases during the year as stated 25,213,816.72 standard ounces, at a cost of $23,450,896.63, making the total amount of silver applicable to the silver-dollar coinage 28,945,717.84 standard ounces, costing $27,078,578.95.
The number of silver dollars coined during the year was 29,838,905. The amount of silver consumed in this coinage was 25,642,808.98 standard ounces, costing $24,075,054. The silver wasted by the operative officers and sold in sweeps during the year was *44,413.20 standard ounces, costing $42,555.93, making the total consumption of silver during the year 25,687,222.18 standard ounces, costing $24,117,609.93. The balance of silver bullion on hand at the coinage mints June 30, 1886, available for the silver-dollar coinage was 3,258,495.66 standard ounces, costing $2,960,969.02.
The average cost of the silver consumed during the year was $0.938895 per ounce standard, equivalent to $1.04321 per ounce fine.
In addition to the purchases of silver for the silver-dollar coinage, the amount of silver parted from gold at the Assay Office at New York and received in payment of charges and bar-fractions during the year
Of the amount of silver partings and bar-charges purchased at the Assay Office at New York during the year, as above mentioned, 123,848.82 standard ounces, costing $116,088.80, were transferred to the Mint at Philadelphia, and are included in the silver purchases of the year as already stated.
The difference between this amount and the total amount transferred from the Assay Office at New York during the year (534,936.87 standard ounces, costing $550,232.83), viz., 411,088.05 standard ounces, costing $434,134.03, consisted of silver parted from gold at the Assay Office at New York and of silver received in payment of charges and bar-fractions prior to the commencement of the fiscal year 1885-'86.
At the average monthly price of silver, it was necessary to purchase during the fiscal year 25,642,462 standard ounces in order to obtain $2,000,000 worth of silver bullion monthly, as required by law. The amount actually acquired was, as stated, 25,211,836 standard ounces. It may be well to note that this latter amount represents the deliveries at the mints during the year on silver purchases (including the transfers and local purchases), and that the amount actually purchased (contracted for, including the transfers, partings, &c.), was, in round figures, 25,783,200, being slightly in excess of the minimum amount required by law to be purchased.
The deliveries during the year on purchases (25,211,836.60 standard ounces, costing $23,448,960.01) at the several mints are shown in the following table:
|New Orleans||7,894,800.52||7,299,612 81|
|San Francisco||300,328.84||271,221 61|
There has been no purchase of silver bullion for the silver-dollar coinage at San Francisco during the year except such silver as was necessary for the special requirements of its refinery, and the silver parted from gold deposits and contained in charges and bar-fractions on silver deposits for bars.
At the Mint at Carson the purchase of silver was suspended prior to the beginning of the fiscal year, the only silver purchased during the year amounting to 229.58 standard ounces, at a cost of $223.12, and consisting of partings and bar-charges. The purchase of silver, as well as the coinage of the silver dollar, has been confined exclusively to the mints at Philadelphia and New Orleans, where the silver could be more economically obtained and the coinage executed with greater advantage to the government.
No silver was purchased during the year for purposes of the subsidiary coinage.
Uncurrent silver coin, however, in the Treasury, weighing 115,169.65 standard ounces, possessing a coining value in subsidiary silver of $143,290.39, was transferred from the Treasury of the United States to the Mint at Philadelphia for recoinage into dimes.
The amount of silver bullion on hand at the mints July 1, 1885, available for subsidiary coinage was *37,144.16 standard ounces of the value of $45,958.71. Adding to this the amount of uncurrent silver coins transferred from the Treasury, the total amount of silver at the mints available for purposes of the subsidiary coinage during the year was 152,313.81 standard ounces of the value of $189,249.10. Of this there was consumed in the coinage of subsidiary silver 147,442.28 standard ounces, costing the mint $183,380.57, and making subsidiary silver of the face value of $183,442.95, being a profit of $62.38.
The character of the subsidiary coinage executed during the year was:
The balance of silver bullion on hand June 30, 1886 (all being at the Mint at Philadelphia), available for the coinage of subsidiary silver, amounted to 4,871.54 standard ounces, costing $5,868.53.
In explanation of the cost of the silver used in subsidiary coinage, as compared with that used in the coinage of the standard silver dollar, it is proper to state that most of the silver used in the coinage of subsidiary silver consisted of uncurrent silver coins in the Treasury. When coins of this description are transferred from the Treasury to a mint for re-coinage, the full coining value in subsidiary silver of the pieces transferred is allowed by the mint and becomes the cost to the institution by which such silver is coined.
There has been a demand for some time past for dimes. The mints have therefore been called upon to recoin other silver coins into dimes. The fact that there is a large accumulation in the Treasury of fifty and twenty-five cent silver pieces tends to indicate that the coinage of those denominations has been in excess of the requirements of the public.
The stock of subsidiary silver in the Treasury consists almost exclusively of these two denominations. It seems desirable, therefore, instead of buying silver for the coinage of dimes, for which there is a pressing demand, to re-coin the worn twenty-five and fifty cent pieces in the Treasury, and uncurrent three, five, and twenty-cent pieces which may be presented to the Treasury for redemption.
This could readily be done by act of Congress appropriating a sufficient amount to pay the loss on such recoinage, being the difference between the face value of the coins as received in the Treasury and the amount of silver which they will actually produce in coin when recoined.
In the accompanying table is exhibited in detail the distribution of silver dollars by the mints of the United States during the fiscal year.
It will be noticed that during the fiscal year 30,250,000 silver dollars were transferred from the coinage mints to the Treasury of the United States, and that there were actually paid out at the mints to individuals 11,361,979.
Owing to the very large amount transferred to the Treasury of the United States, the balance of silver dollars at the mints has, notwithstanding the coinage, been decreased during the year, being $50,482,787 on June 30, 1886, against $62,255,861 on June 30, 1885.
|Period.||Philidelphia.||San Francisco.||Carson.||New Orleans.||Total.|
|On hand June 30, 1885||10,834,087||32,029,467||3,170,308||16,221,999||62,255,861|
|Coinage of fiscal year 1886||20,463,905||47,000||28,000||9,300,000||29,838,905|
|Transferred to United States Treasury||10,000,000||3,100,000||17,150,000||30,250,000|
|Transferred from United States Mint at Carson||18,072|
|Transferred to United States Mint at San Francisco||18,072|
|In Mints June 30, 1886||27,974,020||19,229,530||3,279,237||50,482,787|
The seignorage on the coinage of silver dollars during the fiscal year - being the difference between the cost of the bullion and the face value of the pieces coined - amounted to $5,763,851. The seignorage on subsidiary silver coin manufactured at the Mint at Philadelphia amounted to $62.38. The total seignorage on silver coin manufactured during the fiscal year was $5,763,913.38.
The balance of profits on the coinage of silver remaining in the possession of the officers in charge of the coinage mints on the 30th June, 1885, was, as stated on page 9 of my report for the last fiscal year, $725,366.07. Adding to this the above-mentioned profits of the year - $5,763,913.38 - makes a total of $6,489,279.45 of silver profits to be accounted for by the mints during the fiscal year. Of this amount the sum of $167,763.42 was, paid for expenses in distributing the coin, all of which, except $457.85, was for silver dollars. In addition, the sum of $16,966.87 of the profits was used to reimburse the mints for the losses arising from the wastages of the melters and coiners in the manufacture of silver dollars, and the loss on the sale of silver in sweeps during the fiscal year.
The sum of $5,751,347.72 was deposited in the Treasury of the United States, as shown by the warrants in the statement of seignorage in the Appendix to this report, leaving a balance of $553,201.44 in the coinage mints at the close of the fiscal year, as follows:
|San Francisco||21,866 96|
|New Orleans||184,499 49|
The above balance was verified June 30, 1886, by representatives of this Bureau, who were sent to each of the coinage mints in operation, for the purpose of ascertaining by actual weight and count whether or not the officer in charge had in his possession the moneys called for by the books of the Treasury Department, as well as to superintend the annual settlement between the superintendent and the operative officers. Of this balance the amount at the Philadelphia Mint, $346,834.99, has since been covered into the Treasury by certificate of deposit No. 37286, and the balance at New Orleans, $184,499.49, by certificate of deposit No. 37129, leaving the remainder at the Mint at San Francisco, which it is expedient to keep at that institution. No silver coinage having been executed at that mint for the last eleven months of the fiscal year, it is necessary to retain a portion of the silver-profit fund to pay the cost of distributing the coin still on hand.
The seignorage on the coinage of silver from July 1, 1878, to the close of the fiscal year ended June 30, 1886, has amounted to $31,102,303.35. To this is to be added the balance on hand at the coinage mints July 1, 1878, the beginning of the fiscal year following the passage of the act authorizing the issue of silver dollars, This balance was $424,725.47. There is also to be added $9,237.54, refunded by Adams Express Company for overcharges in their bills for shipping silver dollars, and $4,560.30, consisting of surplus silver bullion and profits arising from the adjustment of silver values, which sum, while not strictly seignorage on silver coinage, was carried to the credit of the silver-profit fund. These items make a total of silver profits to be accounted for of $31,540,826.66.
Of this amount the sum of $651,541.65 has been paid for expenses connected with distributing silver coins. The sum of $187,917.02 has been paid for wastage in connection with the silver-dollar coinage and for losses on sale of sweeps attending that coinage, thus leaving the net profit for the eight years, including the balance in the mints on July 1, 1878, on the manufacture of silver coins, $30,701,367.99.
Of this amount the sum of $30,148,166.55 has been covered into the Treasury of the United States by covering warrants as profits on the coinage of silver prior to the close of the fiscal year ended June 30, 1886. The balance, amounting to $553,201.44, was, as previously stated, in the possession of the coinage mints at that date and verified by actual count.
Of that balance all except the amount at the mint at San Francisco has since been deposited in the Treasury of the United States.
In the Appendix will be found a statement showing in detail the profits on the coinage of silver during the fiscal year, and the disposition of the same.
At the date of the passage of the act authorizing the coinage of the standard dollar, February 28, 1878, the London price for silver was 55 pence per ounce, British standard, equivalent to $1.20566 per ounce fine, at which price the intrinsic value of the United States silver dollar, was $0.93¼.
At no time since the passage of the act has the price of silver reached 55 pence, the tendency having been steadily downward, with occasional temporary advances which were not maintained for any considerable time. During the past year the decline has been very marked, especially since January 1st of the present year.
On July 1, 1885, the London price of silver was 49¼ pence per ounce, British standard, equivalent to $1.07961 per ounce fine, while on June 30, 1886, the London price was 44 11/16 pence per ounce, British standard, equivalent to $0.9796, showing a decline during the year of over ten cents per ounce.
Since the close of the fiscal year there has been a further decline, until on July 31, 1886, the price of silver reached 42 pence per ounce, British standard, equivalent to $0.92068 per ounce fine, which was the lowest price silver has ever reached. At the latter price the bullion value of the silver dollar, measured by the market price of silver, was $0.712088.
The price has since advanced until at the present writing (October 20, 1886) it is 45 1/16 pence per ounce, British standard, equivalent at the par of exchange to $0.9878 per ounce fine.
In the Appendix will be found a table showing the ratio of silver to gold each year since 1687.
Also a table showing the highest, lowest and average price of fine silver in London and its equivalent in United States money each year since 1833.
Also a table showing the highest, lowest and average value intrinsically of the United States silver dollar measured by the gold standard, and the quantity of five silver purchasable with a United States silver dollar at the average London price of silver since 1873.
The deposits and purchases of gold and silver at the Mint at Philadelphia amounted during the year to $23,800,679.85, against $18,101,424.04 in the preceding fiscal year.
The coinage executed consisted of 24,997,460 pieces, of the value of $27,660,039.40, against 42,864,328 pieces, of the value of $18,509,280.25, in the preceding fiscal year. While the total number of pieces coined was less than in the previous year, owing to the falling off in the demand for minor coins, the number of pieces of gold and silver coined was largely in excess of the previous year, the falling off being in the minor coinage.
The gold and silver coinage executed, consisted of 23,290,809 pieces, of the value of $27,642,661.75. In addition there were struck 10,038 nickel pieces (five and three cent pieces), and from blanks ready prepared 1,696,613 bronze cents.
It will be understood that in comparison with the coinage of gold and silver pieces from crude bullion the striking of bronze pieces from ready-made blanks supplied by copper works is a simple operation. The excess in the number of pieces struck in 1884-'85 over the output for 1885-'86 was mainly of bronze pieces, viz, 17,572,120 in the former year, against 1,696,613 in 1886.
The Melter and Refiner operated on 1,396,820.218 standard ounces of gold during the year, with a wastage of 421.603 standard ounces. The same officer operated on 39,693,151.81 standard ounces of silver during the year, and at the annual settlement returned over and above the amount charged to him a surplus of silver during the year of 4,384.42 standard ounces. The same officer operated on 2,604,286.24 ounces of metals used in the minor coinage, with a wastage of 4,456.12 standard ounces.
The Coiner operated on 1,118,730.030 standard ounces of gold during the year, with a wastage of 24.541 standard ounces. The same officer operated on 39,005,873.90 standard ounces of silver bullion during the year, with a wastage of 3,413.63 ounces.
The work of the melting and coining departments of the Mint at Philadelphia during the past year has been on a scale never before attempted. The total amount of melting and refining, expressed in a tabular form, may be exhibited as follows:
|Coinage of gold||42¾|
|Coinage of silver||1,215|
|Refining gold and silver||18|
From the fact that the above weight of gold and silver is handled sixteen times while passing through the Melter and Refiner's hands, and fully as often in the coining department, it may be considered that upwards of forty thousand tons of gold and silver were handled by the operatives of the mint during the year.
The work of the assay department exceeded that of any previous year. As 12,867 melts of ingots were made for coinage during the year, and as these melts are always assayed in duplicate - and in doubtful cases in triplicate - it may be said that over 26,000 assays for silver coin alone were made. As all bullion received must be assayed, as a basis for paying the depositor, as well as for enabling the Melter and Refiner to calculate his melts, about 15,000 assays were made on account of silver bullion deposited and purchased.
The assays of gold ingots for coinage, while not nearly as large as in former years added some 1,500 assays to the work. The receipt of gold deposits was in advance of that of late years, and as these are assayed for silver as well as gold, duplicate and, in the majority of cases, triplicate assays were made. As a result, the total gold assays numbered over 21,000, making an aggregate of over 41,000 assays in silver and 21,000 assays in gold: a grand total of 62,000 assays.
It is believed that an amount of equally critical and accurate work has seldom, if ever, been performed in the same time with so small a force.
The engraving department, as usual, has been mainly occupied with the manufacture of dies for all the coinage mints.
The following table, prepared by its bookkeeper, exhibits the expenditures of the Mint at Philadelphia, as well as the output of coin and bars, for the fiscal years 1877-'86:
|1877||$35,762 33||$302,899 34||$81,668 28||$4,349 70||$21,480 36||$446,160 01|
|1878||34,850 00||284,572 31||67,645 93||4,387 19||53,953 41||445,408 84|
|1879||34,850 00||284,764 10||82,495 73||3,560 17||405,670 00|
|1880||33,632 87||287,645 92||75,333 43||10,934 41||86,221 43||493,768 06|
|1881||34,850 00||345,061 18||111,148 73||9,574 63||500,634 54|
|1882||33,424 72||369,235 46||129,073 26||6,126 82||537,860 26|
|1883||40,830 64||354,851 08||143,885 10||8,358 20||547,925 02|
|1884||40,503 18||358,845 70||118,980 26||10,309 27||528,638 41|
|1885||40,673 91||367,854 51||127,259 82||7,793 73||543,581 97|
|1886||38,782 89||375,511 94||69,145 91||6,052 76||489,493 50|
|Date.||Gold coinage.||Silver coinage.||Minor coinage.|
|1877||494,020||$9,803,564 00||34,145,200||$11,444,935 00||4,196,500||$62,165 00|
|1878||778,384||10,892,800 00||23,483,750||11,809,825 50||3,059,800||30,694 00|
|1879||936,564||11,329,352 00||12,125,850||12,124,882 50||9,620,200||97,798 00|
|1880||3,789,820||27,639,445 00||15,223,400||15,194,437 50||26,831,850||269,971 60|
|1881||7,275,926||49,809,274 00||9,174,820||9,125,966 75||38,335,665||405,109 95|
|1882||8,270,450||59,678,437 50||11,100,300||11,062,388 75||46,865,725||644,757 75|
|1883||941,680||7,729,982 50||18,798,076||12,325,470 15||60,951,526||1,428,307 16|
|1884||425,334||2,777,154 00||19,406,793||13,854,387 80||55,955,029||1,174,709 73|
|1885||453,469||2,952,563 50||17,800,099||15,029,159 95||24,610,760||527,556 80|
|1886||1,059,314||6,997,380 00||22,231,495||20,645,281 75||1,706,651||17,377 65|
|1877||$64,265 85||$86,399 09||$21,461,328 94|
|1878||61,753 83||101,739 26||22,896,812 59|
|1879||89,997 82||125,614 22||23,767,644 54|
|1880||145,200 85||83,668 67||42,332,743 52|
|1881||236,141 78||60,123 09||59,636,615 57|
|1882||238,878 96||146,163 05||71,770,626 01|
|1883||381,508 84||280,174 78||22,145,443 43|
|1884||521,095 65||54,282 11||18,381,629 29|
|1885||401,925 76||42,758 67||18,953,964 68|
|1886||524,875 72||23,379 17||28,208,294 29|
The execution of so large a proportion of the coinage of the year by the Mint at Philadelphia has not been without the necessity of resorting to expedients to meet the extra requirements imposed upon this institution.
At the beginning of the fiscal year the force of adjusters was increased by a second shift, with working hours from 4 to 10 p.m., an exchange of hours being made every week by the two shifts. This expedient became necessary for want of capacity in the adjusting-room, through the diversion some years ago of a part of its space for wardrobes and other conveniences. A division of the force of adjusters in this manner is not desirable. Steps have therefore been taken to vacate the space previously appropriated for other than practical purposes, and to provide for the same by erecting a loft above the present room, the work being executed by the mechanical force of the mint.
Preparations were made toward the close of the last fiscal year for a second shift in the Melter and Refiner's and Coiner's departments; a change which, however, did not go into effect until after the close of the year.
All mechanical labor performed in the mint during the fiscal year has been by the regular force of the mint. This circumstance becomes notable from the fact that for the six years previous to the beginning of the fiscal year over $54,000 was paid out to a single firm for extra mechanical labor, at an average daily rate of wages of $4.73, against the average rate of $3.25 paid the regular mechanical force of the mint.
However exceptional the year may prove as one in which no considerable expenditures for machinery have been incurred, I deem the fact as here implied worthy of note.
The act of Congress, providing for a new steam plant and engine outside of the mint-building, beneath the level of the court, did not pass until after the close of the fiscal year. The removal of this plant will provide space for the construction of coal vaults under the gangway on the west side, and also for the proper location of vaults for the storage of coin and bullion in the centre of the building, instead of along the outer walls as at present.
Reference was made in my last annual report to the fact that three silver bars, numbered 7087, 7093, and 7113, containing 1,980.12 standard ounces of silver, were missed by the Melter and Refiner during the fiscal year 1885, and that the value of these bars, $1,936.62, was carried in a suspense account opened for the purpose until the exact facts relative to their disappearance were ascertained.
On March 26, 1886, Dr. James C. Booth, the Melter and Refiner of the mint, deposited with the superintendent 1,980.12 standard ounces of silver bullion, closing out this suspense account.
While the Melter and Refiner of the Mint at Philadelphia was only technically responsible for the bullion stolen, it was necessary, in order to prevent a deficiency in the bullion fund, that he should place with the government silver in lieu of that stolen, which had been charged to him and for which he had receipted. It is to be hoped that Congress will reimburse the personal loss thus entailed upon this venerable and efficient officer.
In my report for the last fiscal year attention was invited to the exigencies of the storage of bullion and coin, with special reference to the Mint at Philadelphia, where two-thirds of the mandatory coinage of silver dollars is executed over and above the coinage of minor coin and the larger part of the subsidiary.
Without repeating the considerations there presented, it proves important to urge the same considerations, as the Department is again called upon to meet an emergency similar in kind to that described at the beginning of the last fiscal year. From the emergency at that time relief was found in the provision of two empty vaults connected with the vacant apartments in the United States post-office building in that city. These vaults were fitted for the reception of silver dollars and made ready for occupation about December 1, 1885. At the instance of the Department they were supplied with time-locks and metallic lattice work, and consigned to the Superintendent of the Mint at Philadelphia for the storage of silver dollars in excess of what could be kept at the mint, and the delivery of which to the Treasury or sub-treasury might not be called for.
The anomalous course has thus been forced upon the mint service of retaining the immediate custody, under the personal responsibility of the Superintendent of the Mint at Philadelphia, of the bulk of the output of that institution, instead of delivering the same according to custom to the United States Treasury. The anomaly is all the greater that the storage of this treasure is not upon the promises of the Mint itself, but in a separate building with separate environments, thus requiring a special watch for its safety.
Up to the 30th October, 1886, a date subsequent to that of this report and while it was in press, the amount of silver dollars thus stored in the post-office building was $20,250,000. This is the sum of the daily output of the mint for less than a year, the vaults of the mint proper, including a number of provisional vaults without special safety appliances, having been filled to repletion and in a manner very objectionable, from the fact that sufficient space for gangways has not been available for examination and count.
On the same date I forwarded you a communication from the Superintendent of the Mint at Philadelphia stating that the vaults in the post-office building will be completely filled at the end of twenty days, when they will contain some $21,500,000, and that no further space will be available for storage of silver dollars in the mint building except by recourse to the very objectionable expedient of piling solid vault No.6. This vault contains 1,733,000 pieces, which, from the circumstance that it is without safety appliances and that it is upon the outer walls of the building, are all that can be stored therein, with the usual requirement of gangway spaces necessary for purposes of examination and count.
Even if this vault be filled to its cubical capacity, storage can be found for the output of less than two months' work. The emergency is thus forced upon the attention of the Department either to provide space, with suitable safety appliances and guard, for the storage at Philadelphia of the further output of the mint, or else to provide for its transfer from time to time, at short intervals, to the custody of the United States Treasury.
The vaults in the United States post office building still remain in the custody of the Superintendent of the Mint at Philadelphia, owing to the impracticability of their transfer to the custody of the United States Treasury while open to the reception of the daily output of the mint. When these vaults, however, be finally filled, I have to recommend that the custody of the same be transferred to the United States Treasury.
Owing to the bulky character of the silver treasure, for the storage of which temporary and unsuitable expedients have had to be adopted at the Mint at Philadelphia, I took occasion in my last annual report to point out as the greatest danger to which this treasurer is exposed whatever, danger there be from popular disorder. In order to be prepared for any contingency of the kind, however remote, I undertook to secure, through the co-operation of the War Department, a suitable defensive armament for the Mint at Philadelphia. The armory was early in the year newly equipped with Gatling guns mounted on tripods and with repeating rifles, &c. An armorer has been detailed from the roll of the mint and a portion of his time given to the proper care of these arms.
The deposits and purchases of gold and silver at the Mint at San Francisco during the last fiscal year amounted to $29,011,690.38 against $25,399,707.10 in the preceding year. The increased deposits are very marked in the case of gold, the value of the gold deposited during the fiscal year 1886 being $27,320,134.72, against $20,774,459.97 in the preceding year, an increase of over $6,500,000. Prior to the year just ended there had been a marked and continued falling off in the deposits of gold at the Mint at San Francisco. The amount declined from $28,846,898.04 in 1881 to $20,774,459.97 in 1885, a total decline from 1881 to the close of the fiscal year 1885 of $8,072,438.07. The deposits of gold during the past year exceeded the value of the gold deposited at that mint any year since 1882.
The deposits and purchases of silver amounted to $1,691,555.66 during the fiscal year 1886, against $4,625,247.13 in the preceding year. This was owing to the fact that the coinage of silver at the Mint at San Francisco was, for prudential and economical reasons, discontinued the past fiscal year. The amount of silver received consisted exclusively of deposits for bars, silver parted from gold deposits, and the small amount purchased for granulating purposes in the refinery.
Fine silver bars of the value of $1,345,970.72 were manufactured at the Mint at San Francisco for depositors during the past fiscal year.
The coinage of the Mint at San Francisco during the fiscal year 1886 was, gold, 3,991,500 pieces of the value of $27,080,000, against 1,236,500 pieces of the value of $20,857,500, in the preceding fiscal year. The silver coinage consisted of 47,000 silver dollars and 20,662 dimes, of the value of $2,066.20, a total silver coinage of 67,662 pieces of the value of $49,066.20.
The Melter and Refiner operated during the year on 2,812,334.880 standard ounces of gold bullion and returned in settlement at the close of the year, over and above the bullion charged to him, 1,538.199 standard ounces. The same officer operated on 1,618,050.30 standard ounces of silver, and delivered in settlement an excess, over and above the amount charged to him during the year, of 3,376.27 standard ounces. Out of 935 melts of gold ingots made by the Melter and Refiner during the fiscal year, not one was condemned. This is one of the evidences of the care and skill with which the operations of the melting and refining department of the mint were conducted.
The following table exhibits the number of melts of ingots made and the number condensed each year at this mint from 1874-1886:
|Fiscal year.||Gold ingots.||Silver ingots.|
|Condemned per cent||.6||.1|
The Coiner of the Mint at San Francisco operated on 2,848,812.810 standard ounces of gold bullion during the year, and returned in settlement an excess of 124.654 standard ounces. The same officer operated on 65,709.70 standard ounces of silver, and delivered in settlement an excess, over and above the amount charged to him during the year, of 43.79 standard ounces.
As it is unusual for a Coiner to return an excess of bullion, it is proper to state that this excess arose from gold and silver recovered from old carpets in the adjusting room, which, being unfitted for further use, were burned and produced 171.672 standard ounces of gold and 44.37 standard ounces of silver. These carpets had been in use seven years. The value of the blanks handled in the room covered with these carpets during the period they were down, was, corresponding to the total coinage for the same period, namely, gold, $183,734,000, silver, $46,534,866.
The following statement exhibits the work of the Coiner's department of this mint during the last four years:
|Fiscal years.||Amount||Per cent.||Legal
|Per cent. of|
|Total and mean||98,241,000||4,956.427||372.370||7.5|
|Total and mean||16,157,865 90||27,160,954||1,449.47||5.35|
|Actual loss for four years last past:|
|Deduct for pro rata of proceeds of carpets, used seven years and destroyed:|
|Gold value||$1,705 60|
|Silver value||13 80|
|Net loss for the four years last past, coin value||6,511 30|
|Legal allowance on gold reported on||87,544 55|
|Legal allowance on silver operated on||24,844 45|
|Total allowance for four years past||112,390 00|
The value of the deposits and purchases of bullion at the Mint at New Orleans during the year was $9,318,643.37, against $10,243,397.18 in the prior year. The coinage, which consisted exclusively of silver dollars, amounted to 9,300,000 pieces, against 10,135,000 pieces coined in the preceding year.
The Melter and Refiner operated on 25,428.644 standard ounces of gold bullion, with a wastage of .956 standard ounce, and 16,370,688.77 ounces of silver bullion, with a wastage of 5,647.06 standard ounces.
The Coiner operated on 14,448,853.90 ounces of silver bullion, with a wastage of 1,826.65 standard ounces. No gold bullion was operated on by the coiner during the fiscal year.
The following statement shows the number of assays made at New Orleans, both gold and silver, during the fiscal year:
|Melted and refined fine gold||73|
|Melted and refined grain bars||134|
|Melted and refined fine silver||98|
|Total gold assays||744|
|Total silver assays||18,936|
The value of the deposits at the Mint at Carson during the year amounted to only $13,930.78.
From the table of coinage it appears that the Mint at Carson coined 28,000 silver dollars. This coinage was really executed in the previous fiscal year, but not having been delivered by the coiner to the superintendent before the close of that year, was necessarily included in the coinage of the fiscal year 1885-'86.
When operations were suspended at the Mint at Carson there were on hand in gold bullion 50,332.859 standard ounces, of the value of $936,425.17, and 666,832.99, standard ounces of silver bullion, costing $647,968.22. The amount of gold coin on hand was $20,120, and of silver coin $20,076.42.
The refined bullion, consisting of 28,563.526 standard ounces of gold, of the value of $531,414.44, and 258,241.46 standard ounces of silver, costing $250,935.12. was transferred to the Mint at Philadelphia.
The unrefined bullion, consisting of 21,694.546 standard ounces of gold, of the value of $403,619.46, and 407,017.49 standard ounces of silver, costing $395,501.88, was transferred to the Assay Office at New York.
The Superintendent's and Assayer's sweeps and flux-bars, containing 15.989 standard ounces of gold, of the value of $297.47, and 78.26 standard ounces of silver, costing $77.76, as well as the $20,120 in gold coin, and the $20,076.42 in silver coin, were transferred to the Mint at San Francisco.
The sweeps were sold, and contained 58.798 standard ounces of gold, of the value of $1,093.80, and 1,495.78 standard ounces of silver, costing $1,453.46.
The gold and silver coins reserved from the coinage of the Mint at Carson for the calendar year 1885, forwarded to the Mint at Philadelphia for trial at the annual assay, amounted to $220 in gold and $114 in silver coin. After they had been tested by the annual assay commission their value was transferred to the Mint at Philadelphia, thus closing out the stock of coin and bullion on hand at the Mint at Carson.
Owing to the difficulty in procuring silver bullion for delivery at the Mint at Carson at reasonable rates, coinage was suspended at that institution from March 1, 1879, to June 30, and from November 1, of the same year, to May 1, 1880, and from April to October, 1881.
For some time prior to March, 1885, Assistant Secretary French, Treasurer Wyman, and Director Burchard recommended acceptance of offers for sale of silver to be delivered at Carson only when the rates were such that the cost of transporting the resulting coin to the Atlantic coast, added to the price of bullion, would not exceed the cost at the Mints at Philadelphia and New Orleans.
The deposits of gold bullion at the Mint at Carson during the fiscal year 1885 amounted in value to $1,505,665, and the purchases of silver to $1,159,138. During the same year the coinage was:
|(Report Director Mint, 1885, pp. 56, 66.)|
On March 8, 1885, the Superintendent, Mr. James Crawford, died. Business was suspended and the mint closed, pending appointment and qualification of a successor, until April 1, when the new superintendent and new coiner assumed office.
March 28, the balance of the regular appropriation for "wages of workmen" being but $7,200 for four months' operations, the Director of the Mint, with the approval of the Secretary of the Treasury, ordered the suspension of coinage (which had not been resumed) for the remainder of the fiscal year 1885; also, that the force of clerks, workmen, &c., be reduced to the lowest possible limit. The receipt of bullion for "parting and refining," and local purchases of silver for the standard-dollar coinage, however, were allowed to continue.
May 8, by Department order, the Superintendent at Carson was instructed to discontinue the purchase of silver bullion until further notice.
May 30 the Secretary of the Treasury authorized the Treasurer of the United States to instruct the Superintendent of the Mint at Carson as well as Assayers in charge of the United States assay offices other than at New York that thereafter funds to be used by them for the purchase of bullion would be placed with the Assistant Treasurers at New York and San Francisco.
June 11 the Secretary further directed that no silver be purchased, except silver "parted" from gold and deposits of mutilated United States coin, and also that a charge be imposed on deposits of gold bullion to cover transportation to the Mint at San Francisco.
August 14 the Coiner, for want of occupation, was suspended by the President.
November 6 it was ordered that the Mint at Carson be closed to receipt of deposits, and clerks, assistants, and workmen be discharged.
November 16 the Melter and Refiner and the Assayer were suspended by the President.
The falling off in the business of the Mint at Carson, which led to the closing of that institution, will, in connection with the above statement, be exhibited by the fact that during the first three months of the fiscal year 1886 the deposits of gold at that institution had fallen to 518 standard ounces, from 23,333 standard ounces for the corresponding period of 1885.
It having been urged upon this Bureau that the prospects for business had become so greatly improved as to justify the reopening of the mint, I undertook to solicit, through Superintendent Garrard, from parties most interested in such a measure, some guaranty which might justify the Department in carrying out the recommendations looking to that end on the footing, at least, of an assay office.
The estimate by the Department for the expenditures of the Mint at Carson was for an amount sufficient alone for the proper custody of the building and its contents. But no such appropriation having been reported in the Legislative, Executive and Judicial Appropriation Bill, I took occasion, on 5th June, to submit the proposition whether it would not be well to suggest for the consideration of Congress an appropriation the same as that for the previous fiscal year. This was in view of the fact that representations had been made to the Bureau of the Mint of the readiness on the part of certain producers of bullion to deposit the same at the Mint at Carson instead of sending it to private refineries, on condition that certain benefits, which it was claimed are conferred by the law, but which during the year 1885 had been withdrawn from that institution in common with some others by the action of the Department, were restored.
The recommendation was made especially in view of the fact that the omission of the usual appropriation for the Mint at Carson would deprive that institution of the means to reopen either for the receipt of bullion or for coinage operations, if in the course of the year, at the discretion of the Department, it should be deemed expedient.
I took occasion also to say that it was doubtless true that the cessation of deposits at the Mint at Carson was largely due, first, to the payment of depositors by draft instead of in cash; and, second, to the collection of a transportation charge from depositors for the cost of transportation of refined bullion to the Mint at San Francisco, by express.
Up to the close of the fiscal year no guarantee could be obtained which seemed to justify, in the opinion of the Bureau, the resumption of operations at that mint even on a reduced scale.
Since the close of the fiscal year, however, representations have been made to this Bureau to show the existence of such conditions as might reasonably be expected to provide business for this mint conducted as an assay office. And claims have been urged on the Department of the right of producers within reach of this mint to deposit their bullion and to receive payment therefor in current funds.
In recognition of such claims it was decided to reopen this mint to depositors, and to provide for the payment of deposits in current funds.
On October 5, 1886, the President appointed Dr. David K. Tattle to succeed Mr. Stevens. as Melter and Refiner, and Mr. Joseph D. Ryan to succeed Mr. Hetrich as Assayer.
The deposits of gold and silver bullion at the Assay Office at New York during the year amounted to $22,559,482.11 against $35,248,421.34 in the previous year; a falling off of nearly $13,000,000.
The falling off in deposits of gold was chiefly in foreign gold bullion and coin.
The value of the gold bars manufactured during the year was $15,820,585.07, and of silver bars, $6,721,393.36.
The Melter and Refiner operated during the year on 929,770.775 ounces of gold, and returned at settlement an excess of 889.447 ounces, of the value of $16,547.85. The same officer operated on 5,920,653.13 ounces of silver bullion, with a wastage of 318.10 ounces.
The amount parted and refined at the acid refinery was 4,656,786 gross ounces, containing 540,041 standard ounces of gold and 3,831,572 standard ounces of silver. There were received from the acid refinery 540,408 standard ounces of gold and 3,654,582 standard ounces of silver. There was used in the parting operations, 1,729,327 pounds of sulphuric acid. There were sold 2,531,810 pounds of waste acid, and 321,477 pounds of blue vitriol, realizing $17,267.86.
The work of rearranging the apparatus in the acid refinery, commenced two years ago, was continued without interrupting regular operations. Great advantage has been obtained in increased convenience and healthfulness resulting from the changes which have been made.
The escape of acid fumes from the Assay Office at New York has been for many years a growing source of offence and annoyance as a result of the erection in its neighborhood of lofty edifices for office purposes, whereby the draft of the flues had, become impaired and the escaping gases deflected. Formal complaints of these gases as a nuisance have been repeatedly lodged with the Superintendent of the Assay Office and appeals made to this Bureau directly and through the Department. Much attention has therefore been given by all concerned to the removal of this difficulty through the introduction into the operations of the refinery of more effective appliances for the suppression of acid fumes by confining them within chambers and by dissolving them in water.
The following statement on this subject, from the Melter and Refiner, possesses technological importance as well as an interest for all who have been troubled by the escape of irritating gases, as it will go far toward showing the earnest efforts that have been made to remove all cause of annoyance and complaint:
In connection with the replacement of worn-out apparatus in the refinery at this office, enlarged and improved facilities have been provided for absorbing gases generated in the parting processes.
Since the completion, some months past, of the new system, complaints of annoyance from the fumes, previously not infrequent, have ceased. This and other considerations warrant the conclusion that the apparatus is successfully doing the work for which it was created. The initial item is a lead hood over the kettles in which solution of the metals in sulphnric acid takes place. This hood is a dome (not funnel-shaped, as formerly), 2 feet high and 2 feet 9 inches in greatest diameter. It forms nearly a circle with the pot, and is believed to have an advantage in its shape from the impinging of the ascending fumes upon the top of the dome causing a certain amount of condensation, thus lessening the quantity to be subsequently treated as well as the amount of acid to be used. Evidence of this is found in the fine rain of condensed acid frequently seen descending on the metal in the kettle. The hood is connected by a lead pipe 10 inches in diameter and of required length, with an alternating series of coke chambers (made of lead) and large vertical and horizontal lead pipes, and with an alkali box, and finally, at point of exit, with the main stack. There are in all five coke chambers, about 10 feet by 5 feet by 6&frac1/2; feet, in which the coke occupies about one-third the cubic space. There are eight vertical lead pipes, 16 inches in diameter by 24 feet long, six vertical lead pipes 20 inches in diameter by 24 feet long, and three horizontal lead pipes 20 inches by an average length of 30 feet. The alkali box is 25 feet long by 3½ feet high by 22 inches wide, and is so connected and operated that a saturated alkali solution is drawn out by an acid pump and forced up and over the box and rained down at successive points upon the fumes, already largely deprived of their acid quality. The chambers and pipes are each constantly and liberally sprayed with water, thus keeping the coke and all condensing surfaces cool, and supplying an absorbing element for the gases. The length of the entire apparatus, in a continuous line, would be over 500 feet, with the stack over 600 feet. The course of the fumes may be briefly traced as follows: From the dissolving kettles into the first coke chamber, thence into the second coke chamber, then into the series of 16-inch vertical pipes, up and down, and into the third coke chamber, on leaving which a horizontal 20-inch lead pipe 20 to 25 feet long conducts them to the next coke chamber, and so on, the idea being to alternate between the chambers and pipes. From the last coke chamber of the series the fumes pass into the alkali box and are drenched as before described with alkali solution, passing from thence into the series of 20-inch vertical and horizontal pipes, where they are still further sprayed with water, and are then discharged into the stack to mix with the waste steam from reducing and condensing houses. Careful inspection at the point of exit fails to detect any quality in the gases passing off that can be a source of annoyance.
There was used in the refinery last year over 1,700,000 pounds of sulphuric acid, a daily average of nearly 6,000 pounds. At the maximum of work the solution pots are charged with 1,800 pounds of metal each day, and three to four finishing pots are also in operation. This gives an indication of the large quantity of fumes which the apparatus described is taking care of, and so effectively that, as already said, complaints have apparently become a thing of the past. A sufficient supply of water is an indispensable element in the successful working of the system. An artesian well is about to be sunk on the premises, which, it is hoped, will adequately and economically meet all necessities in that direction.
The Mint at Denver, which is conducted and equipped only as an assay office, and the assay offices located at Helena, Mont.; Boisé, Idaho; Saint Louis, Mo., and Charlotte, N. C., received during the year deposits containing gold of the value of $2,677,910.44 and silver of the value of $141,224.08, being a total of $2,819,134.52, against $3,173,122.07 in the prior year, a falling off of over $350,000.
The falling off in deposits was mainly at the Mint at Denver and the Assay Office at Boisè. This was from the fact that an order issued by the Department, about the commencement of the fiscal year, required depositors of gold at those institutions to pay, in addition to the usual minit charges, the cost of transporting their bullion to a coinage mint for coinage. The expense had been at intervals heretofore defrayed from annual appropriations made by Congress for "freight on bullion and coin."
The cost to the Government for the maintenance of these five institutions, which from time to time were located for the convenience of the producers of gold and silver, will be exhibited by a statement for the year of their earnings and expenses of all kinds, including losses, as follows:
|Denver||$7,180 42||$24,428 73|
|Helena||5,292 29||27,022 32|
|Boisé||996 57||7,987 17|
|Charlotte||1,616 97||3,875 60|
|Saint Louis||703 67||5,381 43|
|Total||15,789 92||68,695 25|
The above earnings do not include the amount collected at these institutions in charges for parting and refining the deposits and for alloy, because such charges are afterwards paid into the coinage mint by the same institutions. Hence, taking into consideration only the legitimate earnings and the total expenses of all kinds, the entire cost to the Government of the five institutions during the fiscal year 1886 was $52,905.33.
Mr. R. B. Harrison, the Assayer in charge of the United States Assay Office at Helena, Mont., having resigned, Mr. Spruille Braden, the Assayer in charge of the Boisé Assay Office, was appointed to succeed him November 10, 1885. Mr. H. F. Wild was appointed to succeed Mr. Braden as Assayer in charge of the Assay Office at Boisé City.
Mr. Calvin J. Cowles, the Assayer in charge of the Assay Office at Charlotte, was suspended November 8, 1885, and Mr. Robert P. Waring appointed to succeed him.
The Senate of the United States having rejected the nomination of Mr. Posey S. Wilson as Assayer in charge of the Mint at Denver, Mr. George C. Munson was appointed to succeed him, and entered upon duty August 13, 1886.
The total value of the gold and silver wastage in the operative departments of the coinage mints during the fiscal year was $19,206.19. In addition, the loss arising from the sale of gold and silver bullion contained in sweeps during the year, being the difference between the assay value of the bullion contained in them and credited to the operative officerrs and the amount obtained from their sale, amounted to $17,137.25, making a total loss of $36,343.44. In addition there was lost at the New York Assay Office, on the sale of plumbiferous melts, the sum of $86.08, making a total loss of the precious metals during the year of $36,429.52. Against this loss is to be credited the value of the gold and silver returned by the operative officers of the several mints and the Assay Office at New York during the fiscal year in excess of the amount charged to them, amounting to $55,022.59, and the value of the gold and silver bullion contained in granules and sweeps recovered from the deposit melting-room, amounting to $11,368.46, making the total value of the surplus bullion recovered during the year $66,391.05. After paying all the losses incurred in the operations on bullion, as well as the technical loss on sale of sweeps in the operations of the coinage mints and the Assay Office at New York, during the year, there was over and above such losses an actual surplus in the value of the bullion recovered of $29,961.53. In addition there was a gain by the small assay offices, including the Mint at Denver, amounting to $5,326.33 during the year, on bullion purchased from depositors and consigned to coinage mints, this amount being the excess of the net value allowed by the mint on consignments over the amount allowed by the assay offices to depositors during the year. This gain arose very largely from the fact that while the same melting charge is imposed on the deposit of gold bullion at the assay office as would be imposed on such deposit if made at a coinage mint, the melting charge is only imposed at the mint on the aggregate of each consignment by the assay office. Adding this amount to the above-mentioned gain of bullion in the operations of the mints and of the Assay Office at New York during the fiscal year, namely, $29,961.53, gives the sum of $35,287.86, representing the gain in the handling of the precious metals during the year at all of the mints and assay offices of the United States over and above the total losses, actual and technical, in both their metalurgical and mechanical operations on bullion.
Beginning with the fiscal year, in pursuance of instructions from this Bureau, has been for the first time introduced at all of the mints and assay offices a system of accounts intended to classify all disbursements of the several institutions under the supervision of this Bureau, the Mint at San Francisco, as stated in my previous fiscal report, having been the only one of the institutions whose books had previously been kept upon a system admitting of such classification.
The statements on this plan from all the institutions in the mint service now on file in this Bureau admit for the first time of the presentation of cost sheets which will favorably compare with exhibits of other methodical manufacturing establishments. The exhibits for the larger institutions will be found in the text, while a tabulated statement including the smaller establishments will be presented in the Appendix of this report.
|Melter and Refiner's
|Acids||$320 96||$3,379 87||$3,700 83|
|Charcoal||$190 04||$2,335 21||2,525 25|
|Chemicals||$58 45||58 76||$227 46||6,085 72||30 75||6,461 14|
|Coal||12,886 56||194 00||2,126 70||15,207 26|
|Copper||10,653 13||10,653 13|
|Crucibles, covers, stirrers, and dippers||27 50||3,577 50||3,605 00|
|Dry goods||857 16||203 46||17 80||35 27||1,113 69|
|Gas||2,636 32||2,636 32|
|Gloves and gauntlets||10 50||1,964 61||1,304 00||3,279 11|
|Hardware||425 29||25||60||222 70||131 10||779 94|
|Ice||645 00||645 00|
|Iron and steel||107 93||59 09||13 63||180 65|
|Lumber||787 54||186 59||974 13|
|Machinery and appliances||83 31||31 14||114 45|
|Metal work and castings||82 87||1 35||3 12||87 34|
|Oils and belting||107 10||778 73||885 83|
|Repairs||465 26||247 71||473 23||8 00||1,194 20|
|Salt||36||65 55||65 91|
|Stationery, printing, and binding||123 00||12 75||15 25||151 00|
|Sundries||9,370 77||12 16||179 65||1,099 19||1,374 99||316 84||12,353 60|
|Wood||106 42||4,835 04||19 36||4,960 82|
|Zinc||384 12||384 12|
|Mittens and sleeves||286 00||1,042 75||1,328 75|
|Total||28,753 48||261 54||783 18||10,080 99||29,168 52||4,239 76||73,287 47|
|Salaries||38,782 89||38,782 89|
|Wages of workmen||373,759 73||1,829 00||375,588 73|
|Aggregate||441,296 10||261 54||783 18||10,080 99||29,168 52||*6,068 76||487,659 09|
|*Includes $8 due in 1885 for wages paid in 1886.|
|REMARKS. - "Assayer's materials" include matrasses, pipettes, dishes, &c. "Dry goods" include cost of materials for mittens, sleeves, toweling, coin sacks, scale covers, &c. "Sundries" include such articles as cannot readily be classified.|
|Coinage for the period: Gold, $6,997,380; silver, $20,645,281.75; minor coins, $17,377.65; total, $27,660,039.40. Bars manufactured: Gold, $529,017.64; silver, $26,825.06.|
|Melter and Refiner's
|Acids||$1,170 90||$43 50||$10 80||$20,203 56||$21,428 76|
|Charcoal||694 47||589 12||261 84||1,545 43|
|Chemicals||$371 41||$13 65||159 97||445 98||1,413 06||206 68||2,610 75|
|Coal||5,399 13||12 22||1,718 38||7,129 73|
|Coke||1,155 83||1,155 83|
|Crucibles, covers, stirrers and dippers||21 00||1,929 25||26 30||1,976 55|
|Dry goods||159 90||20 26||107 53||351 40||622 25||1,261 34|
|Gas||1,475 40||292 16||1,767 56|
|Gloves and gauntlets||132 00||12 00||405 50||165 00||714 50|
|Hardware||223 81||165 72||35 50||41 02||25 77||114 79||606 61|
|Ice||704 53||704 53|
|Iron and steel||25 15||18 40||140 91||33 79||218 25|
|Labor and repairs||190 00||416 62||51 19||712 81||662 74||192 00||433 19|
|3,502 28||939 51||2,406 27||8,641 23|
|Lumber||213 67||22 38||316 66||552 71|
|Machinery and appliances||1,400 00||35 10||1,435 10|
|Metal work and castings||69 25||41 47||277 00||383 93||126 85||898 50|
|Oil and belting||212 06||427 20||94 05||70 38||32 81||836 50|
|Salt||163 77||163 77|
|Stationery, printing, and binding||194 78||54 75||20 50||194 78|
|406 63||481 88|
|Sundries||2,621 96||2 75||5 60||70 60||382 80||78 54||3,162 25|
|Wood||496 40||1,795 00||71 25||346 80||2,709 45|
|Zinc||1,769 44||1,769 44|
|Loss on sweeps||357 09||344 62||701 71|
|Mittens and sleeves||61 80||1,182 06||1,243 86|
|Total||17,559 54||1,353 55||3,165 15||4,116 07||8,892 89||29,257 51||64,344 21|
|Salaries||25,300 00||6,600 00||5,000 00||5,000 00||41,900 00|
|Wages of workmen||63,247 95||21,080 50||67,908 24||22,418 00||29,405 25||204,059 84|
|Aggregate||106,107 39||1,353 55||30,845 65||77,024 31||36,310 89||59,662 76||310,304 05|
|REMARKS. - "Assayer's materials" include matrasses, pipettes, dishes, &c. "Dry goods" include cost of materials for mittens, sleeves, toweling, coin sacks, scale covers, &c. "Labor and repairs" include only temporary labor on repairs. "Sundries" include such articles as cannot readily be classified.|
|Coinage for the period: Gold, $27,080,000; silver, $49,066.20; total, $27,129,066.20. Bars manufactured: silver, $1,345,970.72.|
|Acids||$746 46||$491 78||$1,238 24|
|Charcoal||363 90||363 90|
|Chemicals||455 94||455 94|
|Coal||4,253 47||4,253 47|
|Coke||1,459 20||1,459 20|
|Copper||4,538 69||14 40||4,553 09|
|Crucibles, covers, stirrers, and dippers||4,044 15||4,044 15|
|Dry goods||552 72||54 00||606 72|
|Gas||2,556 04||2,556 04|
|Gloves and gauntlets||151 70||151 70|
|Hardware||521 24||2 50||523 74|
|Ice||1,220 50||1,220 50|
|Iron and steel||604 92||44 96||649 88|
|Labor and repairs:|
|Repairs||4,919 95||576 10||5,495 05|
|Labor||1,100 02||1,100 02|
|Lumber||855 17||855 17|
|Machinery and appliances||1,050 00||1,050 00|
|Metal work and castings||818 93||74 40||893 33|
|Oils and belting||1,093 20||1,093 20|
|Salt||3 00||10 40||13 40|
|Stationery, printing, and binding||240 90||240 90|
|Sundries||4,051 03||21 85||4,072 88|
|Wood||3,408 15||88 55||3,556 70|
|Zinc||31 42||31 42|
|Mittens and sleeves||705 53||2 00||707 53|
|Total||39,774 81||1,411 36||41,186 17|
|Salaries||31,862 32||31,862 32|
|Wages of workmen||103,996 06||103,996 06|
|Aggregate||175,633 19||1,411 36||177,044 55|
|REMARKS. - "Dry goods" include cost of materials for mittens, sleeves, toweling, coin sacks, scale covers, &c. "Labor and repairs" include only temporary labor on repairs. "Sundries" include such articles as cannot readily be classified.|
|Coinage for the period, silver, $9,300,000.|
|Gas||375 60||375 60|
|Hardware||36 55||208 00||244 55|
|Ice||35 91||35 91|
|Labor and repairs||229 00||356 00||585 00|
|Lumber||50 50||50 50|
|Oils and belting||12 50||12 50|
|Stationery, printing, and binding||8 00||8 00|
|Sundries||887 05||20 31||907 36|
|Loss on sale of sweeps||355 48||355 49||710 17|
|Total||1,990 59||939 80||2,930 39|
|Salaries||10,345 12||10,345 12|
|Wages of workmen||9,085 50||9,085 50|
|Aggregate||21,421 21||939 80||22,361 01|
|Bars manufactured: gold, $4,296.06; silver, $810.55.|
|Acids||$503 84||$17,383 13||$17,886 97|
|Charcoal||1,165 32||1,165 32|
|Chemicals||722 84||1,392 02||2,114 86|
|Coal||120 00||5,024 99||5,144 99|
|Copper||5,326 91||5,326 91|
|Crucibles, covers, stirrers and dippers||41 10||2,109 35||2,150 45|
|Dry goods||65 12||791 06||856 18|
|Freight and drayage|
|Gas||913 77||797 40||1,711 17|
|Gloves and gauntlets||552 30||552 30|
|Hardware||39 08||233 13||272 21|
|Ice||27 90||20 94||48 84|
|Iron and steel|
|Labor and repairs||450 00||1,812 25||2,262 25|
|560 95||4,386 84||4,947 79|
|Lumber||877 60||877 80|
|Machinery and appliances||56 85||1,718 22||1,775 07|
|Metal work and castings||153 32||2,549 73||2,703 05|
|Mittens and sleeves|
|Oils and belting|
|Salt||5 00||5 00|
|Stationery, printing, and binding||191 56||191 56|
|Sundries||2,766 14||2,993 73||5,759 87|
|Wood||231 00||231 00|
|Zinc||70 00||70 00|
|Total||6,617 47||49,435 92||56,053 39|
|Salaries||38,828 80||38,828 80|
|Wages of workmen||22,909 50||51,061 37||73,970 87|
|Aggregate||68,355 77||100,497 29||168,853 06|
|REMARKS. - "Dry goods" include cost of materials for mittens, sleeves, toweling, coin sacks, scale covers, &c. "Labor and repairs" include only temporary labor on repairs. "Sundries" include such articles as cannot readily be classified.|
|Bars manufactured: gold, $15,820,585.07; silver, $6,721,393.36.|
The following gentlemen were designated by the President as commissioners to test and examine the weight and fineness of the coins reserved at the several mints during the year 1885, pursuant to the provisions of Section 3547 of the Revised Statutes: Hon.. Isham G. Harris, United States Senate; Hon. James B. McCreery, House of Representatives; Thomas K. Bruner, Salisbury, N. C.; Prof. T. C. Chamberlin, Beloit, Wis.; Prof. Charles F. Chandler, Columbia College., New York; Prof. John A. Church, Prescott, Ariz.; Walter B. Devereux, Aspen, Colo.; H. L. Dodge, San Francisco; Prof. Thomas M. Drown, Institute of Technology, Boston; Prof. B. W. Frazier, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Penn.; Dr. W. P. Lawver, Bureau of the Mint, Washington; Prof. J. W. Mallet, University of Virginia, Charlottesville; Henry T. Martin, Albany, N. Y.; Prof. Ira Remsen, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore.
The ex officio members present were, namely: Hon. William Butler, Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern district of Pennsylvania; Mr. Herbert G. Torrey, the Assayer of the Assay Office at New York.
The commission met at Philadelphia on the 10th of February, I
Tests were made of the weight and fineness of the coins reserved from deliveries at each mint by the coiner to the superintendent in each month of the year.
The Committee on Counting reported as follows:
The packages of coins reserved for assay by the several mints, in accordance with Section 3539, Revised Statutes, were delivered to us by the Superintendent of the Mint at Philadelphia. The seals were found intact. The packages were opened and the coins counted in the following order:
- Gold coins from the Mint at Philadelphia, 917 in number, of the value of $5,910.50.
- Silver coins from the Mint at Philadelphia, 10,195 in number, of the value of $9,033.75.
- Silver coins from the Mint at New Orleans, 4,593 in number, of the value of $4,593. No gold coins were made at this mint.
- Gold coins from the Mint at San Francisco, 2,124 in number, of the value of $22,020.
- Silver coins from the Mint at San Francisco, 772 in number, of the value of $751.30.
- Gold coins from the Mint at Carson, 11 in number, of the value of $220.
- Silver coins from the Mint at Carson, 114 in number, of the value of $114; making a total of 18,726 coins, of the value of $42,642.55, as set forth in detail in the schedule accompanying this report.
The packages were opened, examined, and counted by ourselves, and upon comparison with the schedules sent to the Director of the Mint by the several superintendents, after correcting a few clerical errors, were found to be correct.
Such of the reserved coins as were required by the Committees on Weighing and Assaying, respectively, for their purposes, were taken indiscriminately from the parcels in which they were found, so as to include coins from at least two deliveries of different dates in each month of 1885, when two or more deliveries were made in such month. All of the reserved coins not so taken by either of the Committees on Weighing or Assaying were returned by us to the Superintendent of the Mint at Philadelphia, and the coins taken by the Committee on Weighing were subsequently returned to us and by us counted, verified, and delivered to the Superintendent of the Mint at Philadelphia. The bullion resulting from the coins taken by the Committee on Assaying was returned to us and by us delivered to the same officer.
The Committee on Weighing reported that-
The coins tested by them were all within the legal limit of tolerance.
Also, that, as required by Section 3549 of the Revised Statutes, the weights ordinarily used in the Mint at Philadelphia had been tested by the standard troy pound of the mint and found to be correct.
The Committee on Assaying reported that-
In accordance with the law and regulations governing this Commission, we have taken samples from the gold and silver coins reserved for assay at the mints of the United States, to wit, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Carson City, and New Orleans, as stated in annexed schedules, the samples representing the deliveries mentioned in the year 1885 from the coiners to the anporintendents, and have assayed the same in mass, and also the individual coins; that the greatest excess in the assay value of the gold coinage above the standard at the different mints (while the limit of tolerance is one-thousandth) is, at-
Philadelphia, .4 of .001.
San Francisco, no coin in excess.
Carson City, no coin in excess.
The greatest deficiency below the standard (the limit of tolerance being one-thousandth) is, at-
Philadelphia, .2 of .001.
San Francisco, .6 of .001.
Carson City, .2 of .001.
For silver, the maximum assay above the standard (the limit of tolerance being three one-thousandths) is, at-
Philadelphia, .2 of .001.
New Orleans, .9 of .001.
San Francisco .4 of .001.
Carson City, .4 of .001.
The greatest deficiency below the standard (the tolerance being three one-thousandths) is, at-
Philadelphia, 1.1 of .001.
New Orleans, .7 of .001.
San Francisco, 1.1 of .001.
Carson City, .9 of .001.
The Assay Committee has also tested the inquartation silver, the copper, and the lead used in assaying gold bullion, and found them free from gold. The weights employed were also tested, and found to be correct. The acid used for the humid assay of silver was carefully tested, and found to contain neither silver nor chlorine in perceptible quantity.
The committee therefore deems the assays exhibited in the foregoing schedules to be trustworthy.
It thus appears that no coin was found among those examined which deviated from the standard fixed by law beyond the legal tolerance.
Whereupon the Commission reported-
That the Assay Commission having examined and tested the reserved coins of the several mints for the year 1885, and it appearing that these coins are within the tolerance prescribed by law, the trial is considered and reported as satisfactory.
The trial of the coins by the Assay Commission showed that the average fineness of 428 pieces of the gold coinage of the mints at Philadelphia and San Francisco, melted in mass, was .899937, and of 39 pieces tested singly, .899894.
The monthly tests made during the year in the Assay Laboratory under my direction showed an average for 142 pieces, tested singly, of .899942, corresponding almost exactly with the results of the Annual Commission. The Commission ascertained that the average fineness of 1,600 pieces of the silver dollars coined at the several mints, melted in mass was .900040, and of 30 pieces tested singly, .899883.
The monthly tests made in the Laboratory of this Bureau showed an average fineness of 265 silver dollars, tested singly, of .900048. The result of both the annual and monthly tests served to demonstrate that the coinage of the year was very close to the standard fixed by law, notwithstanding the magnitude of the coinage operations of the year.
Pursuant to the provisions of section 3564 of the Revised Statutes of the United States, the values of the standard coins of the various nations of the world were estimated by me and proclaimed by the Secretary of the Treasury on 1st January, 1886. The values of said metallic currencies adopted in the custom-houses for the determination of foreign units of value on and after January 1, 1886, were as follows:
|Country.||Monetary unit.||Standard.||Par of exchange or|
in terms of U. S.
|Brazil||Milreis of 1,000 reis||Single gold||.54,6|
|British Possessions, N. A.||Dollar||Single gold||1.00|
|German Empire||Mark||Single gold||.23,8|
|Great Britain||Pound sterling||Single gold||4.86,6½|
|India||Rupee of 16 annas||Single silver||.35,7|
|Portugal||Milreis of 1,000 reis||Single gold||1.08|
|Russia||Rouble of 100 copecks||Single silver||.60,1|
|Spain||Peseta of 100 centimes||Double||.19,3|
|Tripoli||Mahbub of 20 piastres||Single silver||.67,7|
|United States of Colombia||Peso||Single silver||.75,1|
The method of estimating the value of these coins is explained in the following communication from the Computer of Bullion of this Bureau:
TREASURY DEPARTMENT, BUREAU OF THE MINT,
Washington, D. C., December 26, 1885.
SIR: I have the honor to transmit herewith a table showing the values of the standard coins in circulation in the various nations of the world.
The values of the gold coins have been ascertained by comparing the amount of pure metal in each as fixed by the coinage laws of the respective countries with that contained in the United States gold dollar. The values of the silver coins of the countries of the double standard as given at the same valuation as the gold coins of such countries with which they are interchangeable.
The values of the silver coins of countries in which silver is the standard of value have been estimated to be the market value of the pure silver contained in such coins based on the average price of silver bullion in London for the three months ending December 24, 1885, viz, 47.35795 pence per ounce, British standard, equivalent to $1.038141 per ounce fine.
E. O. LEECH,
Computer of Bullion.
DR. JAMES P. KIMBALL,
Director of the Mint.
The market value of silver at which the silver coins were computed on 1st January, 1885, was $1.099465 per ounce fine, and the rate at which the silver coins were computed for 1886 was $1.038141, a decline of over six cents per ounce fine in the price of silver during the year. This occasioned a change in the value given the following coins:
January 1, 1885.
January 1, 1886.
|Florin of Austria||.39,3||.37,1|
|Boliviano of Bolivia||.79,5||.75,1|
|Peso of Ecuador||.79,5||.75,1|
|Rupee of India||.37,8||.35,7|
|Yen of Japan I||.85,8||.81|
|Dollar of Mexico||.86,4||.81,6|
|Sol of Peru||.79,5||.75,1|
|Rouble of Russia||.63,6||.60,1|
|Mahbub of Tripoli||.71,7||.67,7|
|Peso of United States of Colombia||.79,5||.75,1|
The value of the gold bullion imported into the United States during the fiscal year 1886, as registered at the custom-houses, was $4,073,458, and the amount of gold bullion exported during the same period $27,365,090. The United States therefore lost by export of gold bullion during the year $23,291,632. Of the gold bullion exported, all except about $1,000,000 worth consisted of United States mint and assay office bars. The export of gold bullion seemed to commence in December, 1885, reaching its height in the month of March, when over $7,000,000 worth was exported, while the imports of gold bullion were almost entirely in the early part of the fiscal year.
The amount of gold bullion deposited at the mints and assay offices during the year, classified as "foreign bullion," was $4,317,068.28 against $4,073,458 registered at the custom-houses as having been imported - practically the same amount. This is important as affording additional evidence that the classification of bullion at the mints and assay offices as between foreign and domestic production is practically correct.
The import of gold coin into the United States during the year was-
|Of American gold coin||$1,687,231|
|Of foreign gold coin||14,982,660|
The amount of gold coin exported was, of American $5,400,976, and of foreign $10,039,941. Hence a net export of American gold coin of $3,713,745, and a gain by import of foreign coin of $4,942,719. The latter corresponds very nearly with the amount of foreign gold coin deposited at the mints and assay offices during the year, namely, $5,673,565.03. The excess of the foreign coins deposited at the mints over and above the amount registered as imported at the custom-houses may be assumed to have reached this country on the persons of immigrants and travelers.
The imports of silver bullion during the year amounted to $4,151,438, reckoned, presumably, at the commercial value of silver. The exports during the same year amounted to $18,693,313, of which $14,217,273 consisted of bullion not bearing the stamp of a United States mint or assay office. The net excess of the exportation of silver bullion over the importation of the same during the year was $14,541,875. The amount of silver bullion other than bars imported into the country was $1,872,628.
The imports of silver coin during the year amounted to-
The exports of American coin were $464,738, of which $354,848 consisted of trade-dollars. The exports of foreign silver coin were $10,315,918, the total silver coin exported being $10,780,656. The excess of the manifested imports of foreign silver coin over the manifested exports of the same amounted during the year to $2,862,671. The value of foreign silver coins deposited at the mints and assay offices of the United States to be melted amounted to $812,664.51. From this it seems that over $2,000,000 of foreign silver coin remained in the United States during the year.
The total imports of silver, including bullion and coin, foreign and domestic, amounted to $17,850,307 against $29,511,219 exported. The total imports of bullion and coin, gold and silver, during the year amounted to $38,593,656, and the total exports to $72,463,410.
In presenting an estimate of the stock of gold and silver coin in the United States, in my report for the fiscal year 1885, it was stated that, owing to the brief period which had elapsed since entering upon the duties of Director of the Mint, I was obliged, from lack of opportunity to make a full investigation of the subject, to accept with a slight change the estimate of my predecessor of the stock of coin in the United States on 1st of July of the previous year, as a basis for preparing an estimate for 1st July, 1885. The only change made by me in the estimate of my predecessor was a deduction from the stock of gold coin estimated to be in the country of $30,000,000, as a moderate estimate of the amount of gold coin consumed in the arts and manufactures in the seven years, 1874-'80, for which years no deduction had been made by the Director for the annual industrial consumption of United States gold coin.
Since my estimate of July 1, 1885, was prepared, I have been able to give more careful consideration to the subject of the stock of metallic money in the United States, and have been led to a further modification of the previous estimates of the Bureau.
In preparing a revised estimate of the coin circulation, I now further deduct the sum of $15,669,981, being the value of the gold bullion at the mints and the Assay Office at New York on June 30, 1873, and not deducted by the Director in making an estimate of the stock of coin in tbe United States. That is to say, this amount of bullion was included in the stock of coin on hand July 1, 1873.
It is true that over $10,000,000 of this amount, credited in the mint accounts as bullion, was light gold coin awaiting recoinage, but as this is included in the coinage of subsequent years, it is necessarily eliminated from the basis, namely, the estimate of Dr. Henry R. Linderman of the metallic stock in the country July 1, 1873. I have still further deducted the sum of $4,654,714, an error to this amount occurring in the excess of exports of gold coin over imports of the same during the fiscal year 1874. From the circumstance that Dr. Linderman's estimate was published November 1, 1873, the net exports as compared with the imports for the eight months subsequent to that date were taken, as now appears, whereas Dr. Linderman's estimate was for the date of June 30, 1873, and the net exports for the entire fiscal year 1873-'74 should have been taken.
Footing up the sum of these deductions - $20,324,695 - with the $30,000,000 deducted in my estimate July 1, 1885, we have a total deduction of $50,324,695 from my predecessor's estimate of the stock of gold coin in the United States.
The following revised estimate of the coin circulation of the United States, July 1, 1885, is appended:
|Estimated circulation July 1, 1885||$542,174,636||$278,824,201||$820,998,837|
|For bullion in Treasury, July 1, 1873, hitherto included in estimates of coin||$15,669,981|
|For error in exports for 1874||4,654,714|
|Revised circulation July 1, 1885||521,849,941||278,824,201||800,674,142|
In preparing an estimate of the stock of United States coin in the country July 1, 1886, I have, for reasons which appear to me decisive, followed the method heretofore employed by this Bureau, taking as a basis an ascertained amount or a conventional estimate of a given date and adding the increase every year by net coinage; that is, the coinage of the mints of the United States, less the deposits of United States coin for recoinage, together with the actual gain by import of United States coin, and deducting the actual loss by export of our own coin and an estimated amount, from the best ascertainable data, of the industrial consumption of United States coin.
In support of this method, it is to be considered, first, that the coinage of the country is a definitely known quantity; second, that the imports and exports of coin are now well classified at the custom houses.
All other estimates, so far as I am aware, are based on the estimated production of the mines of the country and on the total registered imports and exports of coin and bullion. Such estimates, therefore, assume for their principal component a quantity which has never been, and probably never can be, made a matter of positive statistics, and which, even when worked out to a close approximation in the special reports of this Bureau, has been a matter of contention as between different estimates put forth by other compilers.
As compared with estimates so compiled, it may be confidently claimed that an estimate based on the net coinage of the mints, and the net gain or loss of our own coin by import or export, with reasonable allowance for industrial consumption, is a more scientific and exact method of arriving at the actual stock of United States coin in the country.
The only factor in this estimate open to question may be said to be the amount of coin consumed in the arts and the amount brought in and taken out on the persons of immigrants and travelers. In regard to the industrial consumption, as more fully explained in another portion of this report, the greatest pains have been taken to obtain definite information on this subject. From the results of the most recent inquiries made under my own direction, I am of the opinion that the consumption of gold coin in the arts during the calendar year 1885 did not exceed $3,500,000, which, until better data are obtained, will be used as the estimate of the annual gold coin consumption of the United States.
In regard to the amount of gold and silver coin of our own coinage brought into the country and taken out by travelers, it is impossible to obtain definite information. It is not believed, however, that any considerable amount of gold coin is brought to these shores by immigrants on their persons, other than foreign coin, which, as a rule, is exchanged for United States money on arrival. This view has been strengthened by information from the coin brokers at Castle Garden and elsewhere in the city of New York. As a matter of fact the excess of the amount brought to this country by travelers over and above that taken out, or vice versa, can hardly appreciably affect the coin stock of the country.
The following is my estimate of the stock of United States coin in the country July 1, 1886:
|Revised circulation, July 1, 1885||$521,849,941||$278,824,201||$800,674,142|
|Coinage for fiscal year 1886||34,077,380||30,022,347||64,099,727|
|Less deposits for recoinage||393,545||272,715||666,260|
|Used in the arts||3,500,000||200,000||3,700,000|
|Estimated circulation July 1, 1886||548,320,031||308,784,223||857,104,254|
No deduction has been made in the above estimate for exports of trade dollars ($354,848) for the reason, as explained in my last annual report, that the entire amount of trade dollars supposed to be in the country has already been eliminated (as uncurrent money) from the estimate of the Bureau of the coin in the country.
The amount of trade dollars deposited at the mints during the fiscal year, and included in deposits of "United States coin," viz, $6,577, has for the same reason been deducted from the deposits of United States silver coin for recoinage.
The stock and ownership of the gold and silver coin in the United States July 1, 1886, are exhibited in the following table:
|Ownership.||Gold coin.||Silver coin.||Total gold|
|State banks, trust companies, and savings banks||§§31,255,789||132,016,392||43,242,952||175,259,344||464,117,130|
|Other banks and private hands||257,601,997|
|*Exclusive of outstanding gold certificates ($76,044,375).|
|**Exclusive of outstanding silver certificates ($88,116,225).|
|***Includes Treasury and clearing-house certificates ($68,313,430).|
|§Includes silver certificates ($1,812,290).|
|§§Reported to Comptroller of the Currency, November 1, 1885. Includes certificates.|
The amount of certificates, both gold and silver, held by the public has been deducted from the amount of coin in the Treasury and added to the stock of coin in active circulation, for the reason that these certificates represent coin in the Treasury, which can be used only in their redemption, and which, in reality, therefore forms a part of the actual coin circulation of the country.
In addition to the coin in the country July 1, 1886, there was gold and silver bullion in the mints and assay offices belonging to the Government and available for coinage, as follows:
|Gold bullion||$42,454,430 23|
|Silver bullion (cost)||3,468,620 67|
This amount added to the estimated stockof coin gives as the total stock of coin and bullion available for coinage July 1, 1886, the sum of $903,027,304.90. Assuming that the amount of coin and bullion is as stated above, and taking into consideration the other circulating mediums used as money, viz, gold and silver certificates, national-bank notes, and United States notes, the stock of money appears from the official statement of assets and liabilities of the Treasury, and from the statement of the Comptroller of the Currency as to the condition of the national banks to have been distributed, July 1, 1886, as follows:
|Classification.||In Treasury.||In National banks.||In other banks
|Subsidiary silver coin||28,904,681||2,913,304||43,242,952||75,060,937|
|United States notes||*41,118,316||79,656,783||225,963,362||***346,738,461|
|Fractional (paper) currency||2,667||452,361||6,499,059|
|*Includes $18,250,000, held as special deposit on account of currency certificates.|
|**Includes $26,867,000, gold clearing-house certificates.|
|***Includes old demand notes.|
|§Exclusive of amount estimated to have been lost or destroyed. Act June 21, 1879.|
While the revision of the Bureau's estimate here presented will tend toward results given by other authorities, such results appear to have been derived not entirely from actual statistics or official returns, but mainly from collateral information and personal belief as to the actual visible circulation of metallic money, as distinguished from what I have designated the potential circulation or the circulation of record. It will be obvious that as between the visible coin circulation of the United States and the potential circulation there must exist an uncertain quantity, corresponding to the amount of coin which is withdrawn not only through its subversive use in place of bullion by small manufacturers too numerous to canvass, but also through its more or less permanent sequestration in numismatical collections, by loss trom deperdition or waste, from undiscovered hidings, and from loss by conflagration on sea and land, and by shipwreck.
The efforts of this Bureau in estimating the stock of metallic money in the country have been directed solely with a view to arrive at some definite amount as shown by official statistics. The efforts have been unrestrained by anything like inclination or intention to establish or sustain any theory as to the actual amount existing.
The principal difference between the estimate of the stock of metallic money in the country by the Director of the Mint and the estimates by other authorities, is to be found in the item of industrial consumption. As the Bureau has spared no pains to obtain by personal inquiry the best information as to this amount, it may be claimed that the estimates of the Bureau in this respect are entitled to acceptance in lack of anything in the same line laying claim to equally careful and methodical treatment.
There is a tendency among some writers on the statistics of the precious metals, in computing the stock of metallic money in the country, to overrate the industrial consumption. In certain instances, when the estimates of this Bureau have been taken as a basis for such private estimates, it seems that allowances of one or another kind have been made, supplemental perhaps for incompleteness of returns to the Bureau. While it is doubtless true that some firms and persons using gold and silver have not been reached by the circulars of the Bureau, the number is believed to be comparatively small. Moreover, an increment covering their presumed transactions has usually been allowed for in the estimates of the Bureau itself, with the advantage of much special experience in the matter, which is not always set forth in its reports.
The reports to the Bureau may be claimed to fairly represent, within at least a small fraction, supplemented by its own estimate, the actual consumption in the industrial arts, and no further allowance can be warranted.*
In my special report to Congress on the Production of the Precious Metals in the United States during the calendar year 1885, the subject of the production of the mines of the United States during that year was fully treated. The basis and method of my estimate were given and explained. The estimated production of the mines of the United States for the calendar year 1885 was stated to have been as follows:
In the above, estimate silver was reckoned at its coining rate in silver dollars. This is necessary for several reasons, the principal one being that owing to the fluctuating price of silver it is impossible to form a comparison with previous years without the adoption of some uniform value.
As many of the reports on which the estimate is based, especially the custom-house returns, are given in value, it has been the practice to make the estimate of production in values instead of ounces.
The following table exhibits the production for the calendar year 1885, and approximate distribution of the same by states and territories:
|State or Territory.||Gold.||Silver.||Total.|
|Texas, Alabama, Tennessee, Virginia, Vermont, Michigan, and Wyoming||90,000||5,000||95,000|
In order to compare the estimated production for the calendar year 1885 with that of the previous year, the following table is inserted:
|State or Territory.||Gold.||Silver.||Total.|
|Texas, Alabama, Tennessee, Virginia, Vermont, Michigan and Wyoming.||84,000||90,000||5,000||5,000||89,000||95,000|
It will be seen that the production of gold increased during the calendar year 1885 over that of the previous year about $1,000,000, and that, notwithstanding the depreciation in the market value of silver, the total production of that metal in the United States increased from $48,800,000 in 1884 to $51,600,000 in 1885, an increase of $2,800,000.
This is a remarkable fact, as it was generally believed that the price of silver had reached such a point that the production would naturally decline. Considering this question, it is important to remember, as stated in my special report on production, that the conditions of supply are in the case of the precious metals not so dependent on the conditions of demand as in the case of other commodities. It is also well known that a very large portion of the silver product of the country is practically a by-product, incidental to the production of gold and the baser metals. In cases where the reduction of silver is alone for the recovery of that metal, a check to production has necessarily followed from the fall in its price. But in other and the more important cases where silver is recovered incidentally to the reduction of gold, copper or lead, the fall in price has had but little effect upon the production of the mines. While the fall in price naturally tends to reduce the number of producing mines and to discourage new silver-mining ventures, with the obvious effect, already ascertained as a fact, of turning the attention of miners from poorer to richer ores, and from deposits carrying largely silver to those carrying more gold, the output of the miscellaneous ores of the precious metals of the mines of the United States has been so great that the fall in the price has not yet had the effect of diminishing the quantity of silver produced, as compared with past aggregates.
Unless the decline in the price of silver is checked, either by improved economic conditions or by legislation, the day cannot be far distant when many of the mines of the United States at present producing silver will cease to be profitable, and a falling off in the production may be expected. A brief discussion of this subject will be found in my Report on the Production of the Precious Metals in the United States, 1885.
In the Appendix will be found a table showing the estimated value of the gold and silver produced from the mines of the United States from 1792 to the close of 1885.
Also a table, compiled by Dr. Soetbeer, estimating the annual production of the precious metals in the world since the discovery of America.
In the Appendix will be found a table giving the estimated production of the mines of gold and silver during the calendar year 1885, expressed in kilograms and dollars. This table has been compiled mainly from special information officially communicated to this Bureau on the part of foreign governments and from other authentic sources.
Tables will also be found giving estimates for 1882, 1883 and 1884, revised according to the latest information.
The estimated production of gold in the world during the calendar year 1885, in round numbers, amounted to $101,580,000, and of silver, calculated at its coining value, to nearly $125,000,000.
The production of gold in the world has remained almost steadfast for a number of years, as will be seen from the following table of the Bureau's latest estimates:
It is a curious fact that, notwithstanding the large depreciation in its value the production of silver in the world has progressively increased, as shown by the following table of the Bureau's latest estimate:
The production of gold in 1884 was stated in my report for the fiscal year 1885 to have been, in round numbers, $95,000,000. But official returns show that the production of Australasia was over $2,000,000 more than the amount put forth in my estimate, based upon deposits at the Melbourne and Sydney mints; and of Venezuela $1,300,000 more; thus increasing the aggregate of production for 1884 to almost $99,000,000. The production of gold for 1885 approximated $101,500,000, which is an increase of $2,500,000 from 1884.
The increase in the production of silver from $116,500,000 in 1884 to nearly $125,000,000 in 1885 was principally on the part of the United States and Mexico, the production of the former being $2,800,000 more than in 1884, and of the latter about $5,000,000.
Australia, for the first time, also appears as a producer of a considerable quantity of silver.
Heretofore Australia has been credited only with the silver parted from gold deposits at the Melbourne and Sydney mints. The official statistics for 1885 show a production of silver valued at $1,048,279 (United States coining value).
The United States still preserves the first rank among the nations of the world as the largest producer of the precious metals, its production of gold and silver for the calendar year 1885 having reached the sum of $83,400,000, out of a total production of $219,000,000, or about two-fifths of the production of the world.
The neighboring republic of Mexico occupies second place, with a recorded production of over $32,000,000. Australia comes next, with a production of nearly $31,000,000. Russia takes fourth rank, with a production of $26,000,000, principally gold. Bolivia is also a large producer, the production of silver in that republic being officially returned at $16,000,000.
In the Appendix will be found tables showing the consumption by the various countries of the world in coinage for the calendar years 1882, 1883, 1884, and 1885.
A table will also be found, compiled mainly from official communications, showing the coinage of the precious metals from the earliest ascertainable period, or, in some cases, from a period in which a new system of coinage was introduced.
The coinage of gold by the different nations of the world for the last few years is shown in the following table:
What proportion of the coinage consisted of new material, and what proportion of coins remelted and of old material used over, cannot be accurately ascertained. In the case of the United States the value of domestic gold coins deposited at the mints during the year was $370,358; of foreign coins $7,548,919; and of old jewelry, plate, &c., $1,860,397. As these values formed a portion of the coinage of that year, or else will enter into that of the following year, it seems that at least $9,500,000 worth of the gold coinage of the United States consisted of melted coins or old material used over.
In the case of the English coinage, the deposits of light-weight gold coin amounted during the year to about $6,000,000. Probably the great bulk of the English gold coinage consisted of coins remelted.
Of the European nations generally it appears that with the exception of Russia, which coins the production of its own mines, by far the larger portion of the coinages of gold consisted of coins melted down. This may be placed at about $8,000,000.
Some $24,000,000 of the $94,500,000 of gold consumed in coinage during the year appears to have consisted of old coins remelted and old material used over, leaving $70,000,000 as the value of the new gold used in coinage during the calendar year 1885.
Estimating the production of gold in the world at $100,000,000, would leave $30,000,000 for consumption of new material in the arts and manufactures.
The coinage of silver during the calendar year 1885 amounted to nearly $97,000,000. Probably not more than ten per cent. of this consisted of old coins or old material melted over. This would leave, say, nearly $90,000,000 for consumption of new silver in coinage. Estimating the production of silver in the world during the calendar year 1885 at about $124,000,000, would leave for industrial consumption $30,000,000, which would be larger than the entire amount of silver generally supposed to be consumed in the arts.
As the use of gold and silver as raw material in the arts and manufactures has become so important an element in the estimate of the production of the precious metals, and also in the estimate of the stock of metallic money in the country at any given period, I have continued the efforts of my predecessor to secure accurate statistics of the consumption of the precious metals in the United States by circular letters addressed to firms supposed to be engaged in the manufacture or repair of articles of gold and silver.
In response to 8,054 circulars sent out by the Bureau, replies were received from 4,380 of the number addressed, of which 2,707 reported a consumption of $11,152,120 in gold and $4,598,413 in silver.
The result of the inquiry is presented in the following tables:
plate, and other
|Gold and silver leaf||72||51||46||58,150||527,453||2,000||31,050||19,700||30,001||677,354|
|Dental and surgical instruments||154||98||47||3,970||149,186||100||14,942||2,400||4,188||174,786|
|Spectacles and opticals||383||217||79||52,707||62,420||642||16,269||314||2,291||134,643|
|Jewelry and watches||6,330||3,352||2,232||298,733||5,183,187||164,503||582,554||451,629||485,241||9,165,847|
|Gold and silver leaf||21,881||708||20||23,512||46,121|
|Dental and surgical instruments||4,682||107,717||1,401||7,057||4,450||2,494||127,801|
|Spectacles and opticals||2,587||42,424||155||2,750||210||942||49,068|
|Jewelry and watches||92,567||360,308||35,718||117,629||85,060||28,716||1,719,998|
|United States Coins||$2,827,378||$133,644||$2,961,022|
|Stamped United States or refinery bars||6,234,034||8,836,603||10,070,637|
|Old jewelry, plate, and other old materials||847,715||245,413||1,093,128|
|Native grains, nuggets, &c||502,893||103,272||606,165|
|Wire or rolled plate||561,187||216,773||777,960|
One of the most important results of this inquiry is the clear indication of a reduced consumption in the United States of the precious metals in the arts, and especially of a largely reduced consumption of United States coin. The consumption of United States gold coin reported in response to this inquiry amounted to $2,827,378, against $4,875,587 reported for the calendar year 1884, by almost exactly the same number of firms, a falling off of $2,000,000.
In order to ascertain definitely whether the large falling off in the consumption of gold, indicated to the Bureau by the returns of the recent canvass, in comparison with that of 1884 is attributable to an actual reduction in the use of the precious metals or to failure on the part of the Bureau to secure complete returns, a comparison has been made between the returns for the years 1883 and 1885. This comparison shows that some forty firms, each reporting a consumption exceeding $50,000 in value per annum, and comprising the largest gold and silver manufacturing establishments in the United States, reported to this Bureau a consumption during the calendar year 1885 of $3,891,245 gold and $987,248 silver, against reports by the same firms for the calendar year 1883 showing the use of $5,624,014 gold and $2,191,370 silver. Here, then, was an actual reported reduction by the same firms in consumption of gold and silver between the two years of $1,732,769 gold and $1,204,122 silver. A further examiuation of thr returns shows that the falling off has not been confined to large manufacturing firms, but has been general, and sufficient to account for the difference between the consumption shown by the last two inquiries, viz, for the years 1883 and 1885.
The following table exhibits the results of the four inquiries (the first, in 1879, being necessarily imperfect) made by this Bureau on the subject of the consumption in the United States of gold and silver in the arts:
|Character of material used.||1880.||1881.||1883.||1885.|
|United States coins||$2,408,768||$541,834||$3,315,882||$72,190||$4,875,587||$216,637||$2,827,378||$133,644|
|Stamped U. S. or refinery bars||5,511,047||2,749,190||6,171,817||3,127,432||7,137,661||4,552,172||6,234,034||3,836,603|
|Old jewelry, plate, and other old materials||876,641||221,951||847,715||245,413|
|Native grains, nuggets. &c||702,387||71,557||502,893||103,272|
|Wire or rolled plate||672,688||339,940||561,187||216,773|
The result of the inquiries for the years 1881 and 1885 are practically the same, while that of 1880 is but little less, a smaller number of consumers having reported. In 1883 the sum reported was of gold over $4,000,000 more, and of silver $2,000,000.
From the results of these inquiries I am led to conclude that the consumption of United States gold coin in the arts does not at present exceed $3,500,000 per annum.
The following table shows the industrial consumption of United States gold coin in the United States actually reported to the Bureau by persons and firms, and the estimates by the Bureau of consumption of United States gold coin for the same years.
|Year of published estimate.||Reported consumption
of year previous.
for fiscal year.
The following table exhibits the value of the gold and silver in bars furnished by the Government institutions and by private refineries to firms engaged in the industrial arts, during the calendar year 1885, so far as communicated to this Bureau:
|Deposits for large
bars not for use
small bars for use
|U. S. Assay Office at New York||$65,270 51||$439,932 05||$2,026,426 85||$579,289 41||$2,363,907 60||$5,474,826 42|
|U. S. Mint at Philadelphia||397,466 10||60,942 66||458,408 76|
|U. S. Mint at San Francisco|
|Private refineries||345,055 00||1,272,606 00||310,695 00||1,928,356 00|
|Total||807,791 61||439,932 05||3,299,032 85||950,927 07||2,363,907 60||7,861,591 18|
|U. S. Assay Office at New York||$63,391 72||$752,827 02||$3,680,588 00||$184,015 32||$4,680,822 06|
|U. S. Mint at Philadelphia||27,399 60||14,621 09||42,020 69|
|U. S. Mint at San Francisco||569 51||569 51|
|Private refineries||15,212 00||395,248 00||120,378 00||530,828 00|
|Total||78,603 72||752,827 02||4,103,225 60||319,583 92||5,254,240 26|
The value and classification of the deposits at the Assay Office at New York during the fiscal year ended June 30, 1886, for bars of gold and silver, presumably for use in the arts and manufactures, is exhibited in the following table:
|Classification of deposits.||Gold.||Silver.|
|United States coin||$215 78|
|Foreign coin||$103,720 67||72,761 31|
|Foreign bullion||502,872 05||730,728 34|
|Plate, etc||747,034 29||191,307 40|
|Domestic bullion||2,017,296 50||3,641,093 48|
|Large gold bars exchanged for gold coin, and redeposited for small bars, less the charges and fractions paid in gold coin||1,545,999 14|
|Large gold bars exchanged for coin, and taken by manufacturers||1,664,535 02|
|Total||6,581,457 67||4,636,106 31|
The following table exhibits the annual estimated consumption of gold and silver in the arts by the principal nations of the world. It does not include any consumption by India or the Eastern countries generally, or by Mexico or South American countries.
|United States (Burchard)||58,000,000||626,925||$13,000,000||3,697,250||$4,000,000||$17,000,090||$0 22.4||$0 07|
|England (mean of several authorities)||36,000,000||546,550||11,500,000||2,604,150||3,000,000||14,500,000||32.0||08.3|
|Switzerland (Lardy)**||2,846,000||321,500||6,600,000||835,900||1,000,000||7,600,000||2 31.8||35|
|Other countries (Soetbeer)||230,000,000||450,100||9,500,000||3,697,250||4,000,000||13,500,000||04.1||01.7|
|*Consumption as cited by Ottomar Haupt, "L'Histoire Monétaire de Notre Temps," Paris, pp. 21,22.|
|**According to the census of Switzerland of 1870, the annual production of watches in that try for that year was 1,600,000, representing a total value of 88,000,000 francs. 37,969 persons were reported to be engaged in the business of watch-making in the four cantons of Switzerland famous for that Industry. - Larousse Dictionnaire Universel, Vol. 14, p. 1221.|
The following table, converted from one by Dr. Adolph Soetbeer* embraces the result of his examination into the subject of the consumption of the precious metals in the arts by the various nations of the world, presumably for 1880:
|Countries.||Gross consumption of gold.||Deduction for old material used over.||Net consumption of gold.||Gross consumption of silver.||Deduction for old material employed.||Net consumption of silver.|
|United States||482,250||$9,969,000||10||434,025 00||$8,972,100||3,858,000||$4,987,200||15||3,279,300 00||$4,239,120|
|Great Britain||643,000||13,292,000||15||546,550 00||11,298,200||2,893,500||3,740,400||20||2,314,800 00||2,992,320|
|France||675,150||13,956,000||20||540,120 00||11,165,280||3,215,000||4,156,000||25||2,411,250 00||3,117,000|
|Germany||472,605||9,769,620||20||378,084 00||7,815,696||3,215,000||4,156,000||25||2,411,250 00||3,117,000|
|Switzerland||482,250||9,969,000||25||361,687 50||7,476,750||1,028,000||1,329,920||25||771,600 00||997,440|
|Austria-Hungary||93,235||1,927,340||15||79,249 75||1,638,239||1,286,000||1,662,400||20||1,028,800 00||1,329,920|
|Italy||192,900||3,987,600||25||144,675 00||2,990,700||803,750||1,039,000||25||610,850 00||789,640|
|Russia||96,450||1,993,800||20||77,160 00||1,595,040||1,286,000||1,662,400||20||1,028,800 00||1,329,920|
|Above countries together||3,137,840||64,864,960||2,561,551 25||52,952,005||17,586,050||22,733,320||13,856,650 00||17,912,360|
|All other civilized countries||160,754||3,323,000||20||124,600 00||2,658,400||1,703,950||2,202,680||1,286,000 00||1,662,400|
|Total||3,298,590||68,187,960||2,689,366 25||55,610,405||19,290,000||24,936,000||15,142,650 00||19,574,760|
It will be noted that the above table includes consumption of coin as well as of new material.
A further consideration of the same subject will be found in my report on the Production of the Precious Metals in the United States for the calendar year 1885.
In accordance with section 3564 of the Revised Statutes of the United States, which requires the Director of the Mint to estimate annually the values of the standard coins in circulation in the various countries of the world, it has been the practice of this Bureau each year since its organization to solicit, through the State Department, at the hands of representatives of the United States abroad, definite official information in regard to the standards of value and to the coins of countries to which they are accredited.
The Bureau has usually availed itself of this opportunity to seek additional information from foreign governments in relation to the production, consumption and movement of the precious metals. The information acquired in this way has added very largely to the value and usefulness of the annual fiscal reports of the Bureau.
In view of the great importance at the present time of accurate and complete information in regard to the monetary affairs of other countries, and with the object of communicating leading facts bearing on one of the momentous questions of the day, and with the further object of possessing itself of official data from which to supply the varied information constantly sought, officially and otherwise, at its hands, I have, during the present year, extended the scope of its previous inquiries.
The following is a list, of interrogatories sent to foreign governments the past year:
The above interrrogatories have met with full and very cordial response. Replies, as far as received, will be found in the Appendix to the present report.
The thanks of the Department are due to numerous diplomatic and consular representatives of this Government abroad for prompt and apt efforts to carry out the instructions of the Department of State as suggested by this Bureau.
The full replies cover not only technical matters of coinage, such as the denomination, weight, fineness and tolerance of coins, but also impart definite information in regard to the stock of the precious metals in the various countries, and as to the annual movement of the same.
Omitting all reference to answers of technical questions, I append a condensed statement of the contents of these papers, in so far as they relate to the coinage, production, circulation and movement of the precious metals, and to the correlative subject of metallic reserves and the issue of paper money.
Great Britain and Ireland. - Mr. Fremantle, Deputy Master of the Royal Mint at London, transmits, through the State Department, a communication embracing replies to the questions contained in the circular prepared at this Bureau:
|Gold coinage, calendar year 1885||2,973,453||$14,470,309|
|Total coinage from 1816, gold||252,788,000||1,230,192,802|
|Amount recoined from 1842||40,163,000||195,453,239|
|Net gold coinage||212,625,000||1,034,739,563|
|Silver coinage (subsidiary) from 1816||31,200,000||151,834,800|
|Imports, 1885, gold||13,450,000||65,454,425|
|Exports, 1885, gold||11,500,000||55,964,750|
|Bank notes outstanding||40,234,034||195,779,926|
In the Appendix will be found the text of the treasury minutes on the appointment of a royal commission to inquire into the changes in recent years in the values of the precious metals.
This action on the part of the British Government is rendered the more significant from the fact that Mr. Balfour, one of the leaders of the English Bi-Metallic League, is chairman of the commission, and Mr. Barbour, a well-known bimetallist, another member of it.
Australasia. - Mr. George Anderson, Master of the Branch Mint at Melbourne, transmits, under date March 15, 1886, a statement prepared at that mint from returns furnished by the governors of the various colonies, giving the production of gold and silver in Australasia from the earliest records up to the close of 1884.
He also presents, under date August 30,1886, a similar statement for the calendar year 1885.
The production of gold and silver in Australia and New Zealand during 1885 amounted to-
It will be noticed that the production of silver in Australia during the past year has been very much larger than in any preceding year. The total amount of gold and silver produced from the mines of Australia and New Zealand, according to this statement, from the earliest records up to the close of the calendar year 1885, has been-
An abridgement has been made from the pamphlet issued by Mr. F. O. Adrian of the Colonial Office, on the subject of the currency of the British Colonies, stating briefly the laws in existence as to legal-tender money, and the standard and the kind of money, both domestic and foreign, receivable in payment in such colonies.
The text of the agreement continuing the monetary convention concluded at Paris November 6, 1885, between the states of the Latin Union, has been translated at this Bureau from the official journal of Belgium, as well as the law by which Belgium gives its adhesion to the same. These will be found in the Appendix.
|Items reported.||Francs.||Equivalent in|
|Gold coinage, 1885||289,400||$55,854|
|Gold coinage for the Principality of Monaco||633,400||122,246|
|Gold coinage of France from 1795 to December 31, 1885||8,651,553,740||1,669,749,871|
|Silver coinage same period in five-franc pieces||5,060,606,240||976,697,004|
|Subsidiary silver coinage for same period||237,073,624||45,755,209|
|Production of mines during calendar year1884, silver||*5,905||245,412|
|Imports, gold, 1885||243,513,849||46,998,172|
|Bank notes outstanding:|
|Bank of France, December 31, 1885||2,918,050,745||563,183,793|
|Metallic Reserve Bank of France, same date:|
Minister McLane, in a telegram dated February 9, 1886, informs the Secretary of State that in a debate in the Chamber the government of France was asked to urge the reassembling of the international conference on the subject of the commercial value of silver, and that the Minister of Foreign Affairs stated that, while the government was not indisposed to negotiate on the subject, the present time was not favorable for such negotiation, and that thereupon the subject was indefinitely postponed.
The total Coinage of Belgium since 1832 has been as follows:
|Items reported.||Francs.||Equivalent in|
|Silver, five-franc pieces||495,678,210||95,665,894|
|National-bank notes outstanding December 31, 1885||367,423,810||70,912,795|
|Metallic reserve of national banks, same date:|
The translation from the official report of the Belgian mint of the laws governing the administration of the mint will be found in the Appendix.
|Items reported.||Francs.||Equivalent in|
|The total coinage of gold from the organization of the mint amounted to||5,000,000||$965,000|
|Total coinage five-franc planes, silver||10,478,250||2,022,302|
|Total coinage subsidiary silver||18,000,000||3,474,000|
|Imports of gold and silver, 1885||28,776,097||5,553,786|
|Exports of gold and silver||32,122,643||6,199,670|
|Circulation of cantonal and private banks, close of 1885||134,546,000||25,967,378|
|Metallic reserve in the, Treasury and in banks authorized to issue notes, same date:|
|Silver, five-franc pieces||20,920,285||4,037,615|
Hon. John B. Stallo, United States Minister, forwards, under date of March 9,1886, from Rome, replies to the questions relating to the coinage, production &c., of the kingdom of Italy, as follows:
|Items reported.||Liras.||Equivalent in|
|Gold coinage, 1885||3,294,680||$635,878|
|Gold coinage from the establishment of the Kingdom (viz, 1862) to 1885||418,324,300||80,736,589|
|Coinage five-franc silver pieces, same period||364,637,025||70,374,945|
|Subsidiary coinage, silver, same period||170,000,000||32,810,000|
|Importation gold, 1885||7,876,934||1,520,248|
|Paper currency outstanding December 31, 1885:|
In the Appendix will be found a decree taken from the official journal of Italy, under date of April 16, 1886, instituting a permanent commission on the state of the Monetary question.
Edward H. Strobel, secretary of legation at Madrid, forwards, under date of August 20, 1886, the response of the Spanish Minister of State to the interrogatories suggested by the Bureau of the Mint. Also a copy of the decree of October 7, 1868, reforming the monetary system of Spain. Also a translation of the instructions of December 16, 1858, prescribing new regulations in the mint.
|Items reported.||Pesetas.||Equivalent in|
The bank notes of the Bank of Spain outstanding August 13, 1886, amounted to 483,028,675 pesetas, equal to $93,224,534.
The official reply to the interrogatories of this Bureau has not been received from Anstria-Hungary at the date of this report.
In the Appendix will be found a communication, however, from Mr. James Fenner Lee, secretary of legation at Vienna, enclosing a statement showing the production of the precious metals in the kingdom of Hungary in 1884.
Two communications have been received from the German Empire through the Hon. George H. Pendleton, United States Minister to Germany, one under date of 21st January, and the other under date of May 20, 1886, containing answers to the interrogatories drawn up by this Bureau.
|Items reported.||Marks.||Equivalent in|
|Gold coinage 1885||8,148,920||$1,939,442|
|Silver coinage 1885||2,428,879||578,073|
|Total Imperial coinage to the end of 1885:|
|The estimated old thaler pieces in circulation (full legal tender-|
|Imperial coinage to the end of 1885:|
|Paper circulation Government notes (December 31, 1885)||137,527,795||32,731,615|
|The production of gold and silver in Germany during the year 1885, amounted to-*|
|Items reported.||Kilograms.||Equivalent in|
|Gold imports, 1885||16,664||$11,074,894|
|*A portion of this was obtained from foreign ores.|
Hon. Isaac Bell, jr., Minister Resident, furnishes, under date of February 23, 1886, the information called for by the circular of this Department.
|Items reported.||Florins.||Equivalent in|
|Gold coinage 1885||670,950||$269,721|
|Silver coinage (subsidiary)||200,000||80,400|
|Cold coinage since 1875||74,974,860||30,139,893|
|Full legal-tender silver coinage since 1847||461,233,433||185,415,840|
|Limited-tender silver coinage since 1847||8,846,147||3,556,151|
|Paper circulation at the close of 1885:|
|Gold circulation (estimated)||27,114,010||10,899,832|
|Full legal-tender silver circulation (estimated)||50,000,000||20,100,000|
|Subsidiary silver circulation (estimated)||7,549,334||3,034,832|
The principal of the national bonded debt of the Netherlands on 1st January, 1886, amounted to 962,771,150 florins, over 630,000,000 florins of which was funded at 2½ per cent. interest.
There is said to be a movement in progress on the part of the government looking to the consolidation of all outstanding bonds at 3½ per cent. interest, which is about the rate which the government securities at present pay investors on the basis of the market quotations at the Amsterdam Bourse.
Hon. Rasmus B. Anderson, Minister Resident and Consul-General at Copenhagen, under date of March 6, 1886, reports as follows:
|Items reported.||Crowns.||Equivalent in|
|Total gold coinage since May 23, 1873||34,754,640||$9,314,243|
|Subsidiary silver coinage since May 23, 1873||18,355,787||4,919,350|
|Net subsidiary coinage||18,152,237||4,864,798|
|Imports gold 1885||5,000,000||1,340,000|
|Exports gold 1885||6,250,000||1,675,000|
|Stock of gold (estimated)||30,000,000||8,040,000|
|Stock of limited-tender silver (estimated)||18,000,000||4,824,000|
|Government notes outstanding December 31, 1885||73,500,000||19,698,000|
The coinage laws of Denmark, forwarded by Mr. Anderson, have been translated and will be found in the Appendix.
A very valuable paper has been received from the Russian government showing in parallel columns the Russian coin system in existence up to the beginning of 1886 and the new law of 1886.
|Items reported.||Roubles.||Equivalent in|
|Coinage in 1885:|
|Total coinage since the year 1800 to January 1, 1885, gold||1,088,315,386||867,387,362|
|Full legal-tender silver, same period||231,999,244||139,431,545|
|Production of the mines during the year 1895:||Kilograms.|
|Imports gold and silver, 1865||6,795,163||6,415,744|
|Exports gold and silver||8,226,440||6,556,472|
|Stock of coin in the Imperial Bank and in the St. Petersburg mint on January 1, 1886:|
|Subsidiary silver in circulation||77,000,000||46,277,000|
|Imperial Bank notes outstanding January 1, 1886||1,046,433,349||834,007,379|
A translation of the Russian mint regulations has been made at the instance of this Bureau by Mr. Jeremiah Curtin, formerly secretary of the legation of the United States at St. Petersburg, and will be found in the Appendix.
Mr. E. H. Furnhjelm, of the Mint at Helsingfors, in Finland, reports, under date of December 14, 1885, that there was no coinage during that year at that mint.
Production of the precious metals from 1870 to 1884 was only 307 kilograms in gold.
About 400 kilograms of silver is annually extracted from copper ores.
The replies of the Royal Norwegian Government, under date of April 24, 1886, to the interrogatories of the Bureau, are tabulated as follows:
|Items reported.||Amount.||Equivalent in|
|Silver coinage, 1885||crowns||200,000||$53,600|
|Coinage since 1875:|
|Imports, gold and silver||crowns||1,011,100||270,974|
|Exports, gold and silver||do||396,000||106,128|
|Metallic reserve, Bank of Norway, December 31, 1885.|
|In treasury, silver||do||618,000||165,624|
|Paper issue, Bank of Norway.||do||37,147,500||9,955,530|
|Total coinage since 1873:|
|Total coinage from 1830 to 1873:|
|Subsidiary coinage. 1873-1885||do||15,642,786||4,192,266|
|Production of mines:|
|Export silver coin||crowns||119,500||32,026|
|Gold in country December 31, 1885||do||27,500,000||7,370,000|
|Silver in circulation||do||5,500,000||1,474,000|
|Subsididiary silver in circulation||do||15,000,000||4,020,000|
|Subsidiary silver in country||do||17,000,000||4,556,000|
|Paper money of Bank of Sweden||do||39,340,976||10,543,381|
|Total paper money||do||88,880,259||23,819,909|
|* Does not include ducats.|
Under date of October 4, 1886. Mr. Edgar Vincent, financial counselor of the Egyptian government, transmits from Cairo a report made to the Khedive on the monetary affairs of Egypt, and also a copy of a decree reforming the coinage system of Egypt.
An effort is being made on the part of the government to withdraw all the foreign silver coins in circulation in Egypt and to have them recoined into Egyptian silver coins. A statement is presented in the Appendix showing the result of the melting of the old Egyptian coins sent to the mint at Berlin.
It seems that Egypt has been a large purchaser of silver in Europe for this coinage, having purchased from December, 1885, to May, 1886, 50,000 kilos of fine silver.
The silver coinage executed from the recoinage and from the additional silver purchased amounted to 313,800 Egyptian pounds, ($1,551,113), most of which has been put in circulation.
Tables have been extracted from the report of the commission on the monetary reform in Egypt, showing the coinage of Egyptian money at Paris and Brussels since 1864, and also the total coinage of Egyptian moneys by pieces, and the amount at present in circulation.
Hon. Richard B. Hubbard, Minister to Japan, reports, under date May 5, 1886, the answers furnished by His Majesty's Finance Department to the several interrogatories of this Bureau:
|Gold coinage, 1885||1,004,005|
|Full legal-tender silver||4,297,479|
|Total coinage from establishment of Mint to close of 1885:|
|Net gold coinage||56,604,906|
|Silver* - full legal tender||35,576,105|
|Subsidiary silver coinage||21,175,185|
|Production of mines during the fiscal year 1885:|
|Imports of gold, 1885:|
|Exports of gold:|
|Imports of silver:|
|Exports of silver:|
|Estimated stock of gold coin in the country||88,791,983|
|Estimated amount of full legal tender silver||22,902,151|
|Estimated amount of subsidiary silver||33,728,658|
|Paper circulation December 31, 1885:|
* 32,578,853 (including 6,990 recoined) were in one-yen pieces, and 3,057,252 (including 643 yens recoined) were in silver trade coins weighing 420 grains.
Two communications have been received from Peking, one under date of March 16, 1886, from Mr. W. W. Rockhill, secretary of legation, and the other from Mr. Charles Denby, United States Minister to China, answering as nearly as possible the communications relating to that government. Mr. Rockhill's communication is accompanied by a memorandum tracing the interesting history of the coinage of China.
|Gold coinage, 1885||$423,250|
|Silver coinage, 1885||25,840,727|
|Coinage since establishment of Mint (1537):|
|Production of mines 1885 (estimated):|
|Exports, gold, 1885||896,483|
|Exports, silver, 1885||32,877,567|
|Bank notes in circulation, end of December, 1885||7,800,959|
|Items reported.||Soles.||Equivalent in|
|Silver coinage, 1885||1,766,000||$1,326,266|
|Gold coin, 1885||20,705||19,980|
|Production of the mines (estimated):|
|Stock of coin in the country (estimated):|
The production of gold in 1885 is estimated to have been 7,033 kilograms, equal to $407,413.
|Stock of gold coin (estimated)||$16,000,000|
|Stock of silver coin (estimated)||1,000,000|
|Metallic reserve of banks||9,317,930|
The Secretary of State transmits a report by the Chilian ministry of the Treasury to the Minister of Foreign Relations, bearing date "Santiago, July 29, 1886," in answer to the questions contained in the circular of this Bureau:
|Gold coinage, 1885||$77,580|
|Silver coinage (full legal tender)||528,043|
|Total coinage from 1872 to 1885:|
|Limited tender silver estimated to be in circulation at the close of the calendar year 1885||4,181,679|
|Paper money outstanding same date:|
|Production of mines, 1884:|
|Gold export, 1884||$52,470|
In the Appendix will be found a paper containing the text of a decree of the republic of Ecuador, changing the monetary system and establishing the "sucre," a silver coin of the weight of 25 grams and the fineness of .900, as the standard of value of that republic, in the place of the "peso," which has been the standard of value heretofore.
Hon. George W. Merrill, Minister Resident at Honolulu, furnishes, under date of March 2, 1886, answers upon the part of the Hawaiian government to the interrogatories contained in the circular of this Bureau.
No mint has ever been established in the Hawaiian kingdom, and no gold coinage has ever been executed for that government.
A silver coinage in 1883 was executed at the United States mint at San Francisco, $1,000,000, of which $500,000 was in one-dollar pieces, and the remainder in fractional silver pieces.
There are no gold or silver mines in the Hawaiian kingdom.
|Gold imports, 1885||$720,388|
|Gold exports, 1885||56,414|
|Net gain, 1885||663,974|
|Silver coin imported||$217|
|Silver coin exported||7,532|
The stock of gold coin is estimated at $1,000,000 and silver coin the same.
Government certificates outstanding December 31, 1885, $377,500.
In closing the fourteenth annual report of the Bureau of the Mint, I beg to recur to the expediency referred to in my last annual report, namely, of composing and maintaining the official and clerical staff of the Bureau with special reference to its peculiar requirements, and particularly that promotions be available in the Bureau itself rather than sought outside of it.
During the last year the Bureau has been more than once embarrassed by the transfer and promotion of clerks trained to the technical work of its own counting-rooms, on account of the limitations of its specific appropriations. In the expert character of the work required at the hands of the essential part of the clerical force, this Bureau is probably unlike any other bureau or division of the Treasury Department.
It would not, indeed, be impossible for such conditions to arise as would lead to great difficulty in the performance of the work of the Bureau through the loss of experience personal to a number of those now upon its roll, under the circumstance that no regular course can be followed for the advancement and retention of meritorious clerks.
I take pleasure in acknowledging the zeal and fidelity with which the work of this Bureau has been executed by its clerical staff during the past year, especially in the laborious preparation of its two annual reports, namely, the one here submitted and the Report on the Production of the Precious Metals for the calendar year 1885.
In this, as in the latter report, the editorial and statistical labors have been shared with the Computer of Bullion, Mr. E. O. Leech.
I am, very respectfully, yours,
JAMES P. KIMBALL,
Director of the Mint.