Wherever the expense of coinage is defrayed by the state, gold or silver coins, and gold or silver bullion, are very nearly of the same value. The saving of a heavy charge on account of seignorage might of itself afford a sufficient profit; and this would be derived, though the metal contained in the forged coins were of the standard purity. In time, however, the fixed price of gold became increasingly difficult for the United States to maintain. If we study history of money we shall find that all sorts of commodities like seashells, pearls, precious stones, tea, tobacco, cow, leather, cloth, salt, wine, etc. They have consigned it to banking establishments, and acquired credits in its stead; that is, they have acquired the right to draw upon and receive equal sums of money from these establishments. But this is not the case with bullion or anything else.
But anyone who does understand it will be better off because of making better-informed decisions. We learn from Dion Cassius, a contemporary of Severus, that the aureus was rated at twenty-five denarii, a proportion which Pinkerton thinks was always maintained under the emperors. In consequence, the silver currency consisted entirely of light, worn coins. Another disadvantage of metal casting is that it is extremely dangerous. The desire of uniting the different qualities of invariability of value, divisibility, durability, facility of transportation, and perfect sameness, doubtless formed the irresistible reasons which have induced all civilised communities to employ gold and silver as money. A dollar, for example, was defined as 23.
Most part of these proceed on the assumption that the pound is to be maintained as the integer, it being subdivided into tenths, hundredths, and so on, as in the French coinage. To insure the convertibility of bank-notes into coin, it has been proposed that they should not be issued except upon security being previously given for their payment. And in more modern times it has been reserved for the same reasons, and also, as a means of increasing the national revenue. Eg in India all coins in circulation today are token coins. In France, a different valuation of the precious metals produced a different effect. But when the power to issue notes is vested in different bodies, some of which may be little, if at all, affected by variations of the exchange, this is no longer the case. When there is any unusual demand for bullion in the arts, coin is melted down; and when, on the contrary, there is any unusual demand for coin, plate is sent to the mint, and the equilibrium of value maintained by its fusion.
The problem of uniformity of weight and purity of precious metals led to private and public coinage. These exact things no doubt are costly but overall printing cost is fairly low. During this transition period the values of debts, assets, and prices of goods and services were expressed in euros as well as in the local currency. To restore the metallic standard to the prewar price of gold in paper money, prices quoted in paper money had to fall. And it is doubtful, considering the vastly increased field for the employment of gold and silver, whether the supplies from California and Australia will speedily exercise any very material influence. This system of coinage, which is in every respect the same with that established in France by Charlemagne, had been introduced into England previously to the invasion of William the Conqueror, and was continued, without any alteration, till the year 1300, in the 28th Edward I.
The second problem is known as shrinkage, which also consists of holes scattered irregularly throughout the product. A modern war cannot be prosecuted by taxes or loans alone. They are usually of a baser metal than the standard, and are issued only in such quantities as are required to meet the need for small change in retail trade. It cannot influence most of the prices at which its citizens buy and sell. The prime monetary unit was a handful of unthreshed rice, called palay. The French government sold the foreign exchange for gold, draining gold from Britain and other gold standard countries.
The purity, however, as well as the weight of the aureus, was diminished. Governments and central banks tried for years to find a way to extend its life, but they could not agree on a solution. This, however, is the principal object of a standard; and it is sufficiently plain that nothing can be used as such unless it possess the same properties as the things with which it is to be compared. We do not now allude to variations in the value of bullion itself, against which it is impossible to guard, but to variations in the quantity of bullion contained in the same nominal sums of money. Before the art of metallurgy was well understood, the baser metals were frequently used as money.
Money has evolved through different stages according to the time, place and circumstances. The fact that a harvest is bad, that is, that the produce to be circulated by the intervention of money is diminished by rendering the latter redundant and reducing its value, makes it be exported to countries where its value is greater. The regulations under which gold and silver coins circulated in England previously to 1663, differed at different periods. It reflected 19th-century experience under metallic money standards. Different authors have defined paper profit the following words. And this is not the only loss.
Pound of pure gold weighed of pure silver. The occasional abundance and scarcity of pasture has a powerful influence over the price of cattle, which is still more seriously affected by the occurrence of epidemical diseases, and other contingencies. During his stay in Italy, Greaves weighed many consular denarii; that is, as he explains himself, denarii which were struck after the second Punic war and previously to the government of the Cæsars; and he found, by frequent and exact trials, that the best and most perfect of them weighed 62 grains English troy weight. Corn is sufficiently divisible; but its bulk is far too great in proportion to its value to admit of its easy transportation, and it also is of very different and not easily appreciated qualities. Elsewhere the gold standard reigned. Copper, however, is still advantageously used in the form of tokens, convertible into silver in very small payments. In periods of distress, however, when borrowers did not repay their loans or in case of overissue, the banks could fail.
This is a very important inquiry, both in a practical and historical point of view. The English princes did not, however, keep pace with the Scotch in the career of degradation. Coins and paper money both have advantages and disadvantages. A graduate of Oberlin College, Fraser Sherman began writing in 1981. Besides being best fitted to secure the principal advantages to be derived from the use of coins, our present system has the further and most important recommendation that it is in operation, and that all classes, even those who can neither read nor write, are familiar with its divisions, and employ it with the greatest ease and expedition.