Page:Treatise on Currency and Banking.djvu/238

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be coined as fast as it is brought into the country; for if the holder of one hundred ounces can get it promptly coined at the mint into ninety-five ounces of pieces, which are declared by law to be a legal tender of the equivalent of sixteen hundred ounces of silver, it will be the same thing to him, whether he does so, or sells it in the market for sixteen hundred ounces of silver.

Secondly. In case gold and silver should vary in the market, and assume a greater difference than the new mint proportions of one to sixteen, the event attempted to be guarded against, then no more gold would be sent to the mint; for the possessor of one hundred ounces of that metal, who could exchange it in the market for even a small fraction more than sixteen hundred ounces of silver, would not be willing to have it coined into ninety-five ounces, which he could by law only pass for 1600 ounces of silver. As regards the coins which had been previously emitted, they would continue to circulate, until ninety-five ounces of them would sell as bullion for more than 1600 ounces of silver, and they would then be exported, because the possessor of them would in that case be able to sell them in the market for more than their legal value. This event, if the coins were new, would happen when the new market proportions should be about one to seventeen; but if they were old, clipped, or worn, it would not happen until afterwards.

Thirdly. A high seignorage on gold would operate as a bounty on counterfeiting, and might even be sufficient to induce ingenious rogues to manufacture gold coins of full weight and of the true standard.— This might be done to advantage in those countries from which we should derive our gold when restored to circulation, and we might perhaps import eagles of foreign manufacture of lawful weight and purity, at a cheaper rate than that at which they could be procured at our mint, in the same manner as, it is supposed, many a cask of copper cents has been imported.

Fourthly. If, however, on the other hand, gold, in-