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Monetary events --
1786 Establishment of the double standard in the United States with
a ratio of I to 15.25; that is, on the basis of 123.134 grains of fine gold for
the half-eagle or $5 piece, and 375.64 grains of fine silver for the dollar,
without any actual coinage.
1792. Adoption of the ratio of I to 15 and establishment of a mint
with free and gratuitous coinage in the United States; the silver dollar
equal to 371.25 grains fine, the eagle to 247.5 grains fine.
1803. Establishment of the double standard in France on the basis of
the ratio of 1 to 15.5, notwithstanding the fact that the market ratio was
then about 1 to 15.
1810. Introduction of the silver standard in Russia on the basis of the
ruble of 17.99 grains of fine silver, followed in 1871 by the coinage of imperials
or gold pieces of 5 rubles, of 5.998 grams, therefore with a ratio of
1 to 15. This ratio was changed by the increase of the imperial to 5 rubles
15 copecks, and later to 1 to 15.45.
1815. Great depreciation of paper money in England, reaching 26l/2
per cent in May. Course of gold, 5p 6s., and of silver 71.5d. per ounce
standard. In December the loss was only 6 per cent. Gold at this period
was quoted at 4p 3s., and silver at 64d.
1816. Abolition of the double standard in England, which had had as
its basis the ratio of 1 to 15.21, and adoption of the gold standard on the
basis of the pound sterling at 7.322 grams fine in weight. Coinage of
divisional money at the rate of 66d. per ounce. Extreme prices 4p 2s.
for gold and 64d. for silver in January; 3p 18s. 6d. and 59.25 d. in December.
1816. Substitution for the ratio of 1 to 15.5 in Holland, established
by a rather confused coinage, of the ratio of 1 to 15 7/8.
1819. Abolition of forced currency in England. Price of gold 3p
17s. 10.5d. and of silver 62d. per ounce in October, against 4p is. 6d. and
67d. in February.
Note. The price of silver given hereafter represents the average rate
per ounce standard that is, the mean between the highest and the lowest
price quoted during the year.
1832. Introduction of the monetary system of France in Belgium with
a decree providing for the coinage of pieces of 20 and 40 francs, which,
however, were not stamped. Silver, 59.75d.
1834. Substitution of the ratio of 1 to 16 for that of 1 to 15 in the
United States by reducing the weight of the eagle, $10 gold piece, from 270
grains to 258 grains.
1835. Introduction of the company rupee, a piece of silver weighing
165 grains fine, in India, in place of the sicca rupee. Creation of a trade
coin the mohur, or piece of 15 rupees containing 165 grains of fine gold.
Silver, 59 11/16d.
1837. Fineness of United States gold coins raised from 0.899225 to 0.900,
and silver coins from 0.8924 to 0.900, giving a ratio of 1 to 15.088 and
fixing the standard weight of the silver dollar at 412.5 grains. Silver,
1844. Introduction of the double standard in Turkey, with the
ratio of 1 to 15.10. Silver, 59.5 d.
1847. Abolition of the double standard in Holland by the introduction
of the silver standard on the basis of a 1 -florin piece, 0.945 gram fine
the coinage of which had already been decreed in 1839. Silver 59 11/16d.
1848. Discovery of the gold mines of California.
1848. Coinage in Belgium of pieces of 10 and 25 francs in gold, a
shade too light. These pieces were demonetized and withdrawn from
circulation in 1884. Silver, 59.5d.
1848. Replacing the ratio of 1 to 16 in Spain, which had been in force
since 1786, by that of 1 to 15.77.
1850. Introduction of the French monetary system in Switzerland,
without any actual coinage of gold pieces. Silver, 60 1/16d.
1851. Discovery of the gold mines of Australia.
1853. Lowering of the weight of silver pieces of less value than $1 to
the extent of 7 per cent in the United States and limitations of their legal tender
power to $5. Silver, 61.5d.
1853. Maximum of the production of gold reached in California when
it amounted to $65,000,000.
1854. Introduction of the gold standard in Portugal on the basis of
the crown of 16.257 grams fine. Before this period the country had the
silver standard, with a rather large circulation of gold coins stamped on
the basis of 1 to 15.5 in 1835 and 1 to 16.5 in 1847. Silver, 61.5d.
1854. Modification of the ratio of I to 15.77 in Spain by raising it to
i to 15.48, and by lowering the piaster from 23.49 grams to 23.36 grams fine.
1854. Introduction of the silver standard as it existed in the mother
country, in Java, in place of the ideal Javanese money and coinage of
colonial silver pieces.
1857. Conclusion of a monetary treaty between Austria and the German
states, in accordance with which 1 pound of fine silver (one-half a
kilogram) was stamped into 30 thalers or 52.5 florins of south Germany,
or 45 Austrian florins, resulting in 1 thaler equaling 1.75 German florins or
1 1/2 Austrian florins. Silver, 61.75d.
1861. Law decreeing the coinage of gold pieces of 10 and 20 francs
exactly equal to French coins of the same denomination in Belgium. Silver,
1862. Adoption of the French monetary system by Italy. Silver,
1865. Formation of the Latin Union between France, Belgium, Switzerland,
and Italy on the basis of a ratio of 1 to 15.5. Silver, 61 1/16d.
1867. First international monetary conference held in Paris.
1868. Adoption of the French monetary system by Roumania, with the
exclusion of the 5-franc silver piece, which was, however, stamped in 1881
and 1883. Silver, 60.5d.
1868. Admission of Greece into the Latin Union. The definite and
universal introduction of the French monetary system into the country was
effected only in 1883.
1868. Adoption of the French monetary system, with the peseta or
franc as the unit, by Spain. The coinage of alphonses d'or of 25 pesetas
was made only in 1876.
1871. Replacing of the silver standard in Germany by the gold standard.
Coinage in 1873 of gold pieces of 5, 10, and 20 mark pieces, the latter
weighing 7.168 grams fine. Silver, 60.5 d.
1871. Establishment of the double standard in Japan with the ratio of
1 to 16.17 by the coinage of the gold yen of 1.667 grams and of the silver
yen of 26.956 grams, both with a fineness of 0.900.
1873. Increase of the intrinsic value of the subsidiary coins of the
United States. Replacing of the double standard by the gold standard.
Reduction of the cost of coinage of gold to one-fifth per cent, the total
abolition of which charge was decreed in 1875. Creation of a trade dollar
of 420 grains with a fineness of 0.900. Silver, 59.25d.
1873. Suspension of the coinage of 5-franc pieces in Belgium.
1873. Limitation of the coinage of 5 francs on individual account in
1873. Suspension of the coinage of silver in Holland.
1873. Formation of the Scandinavian Monetary Union. Replacing of
the silver standard in Denmark, Sweden, and Norway by that of gold on
the basis of the krone. Coinage of pieces of 10 and 20 kroner, the latter
weighing 8.961 grams, with a fineness of 0.900.
1874. Introduction of the system of contingents for the coinage of
5-franc silver pieces in the Latin Union. Silver, 58 5/16d.
1875. Suspension of the coinage of silver on individual account in
Italy. Silver, 56 7/8d.
1875. Suspension of the coinage of silver on account of the Dutch
1875. Introduction of the double standard in Holland on the basis of
the ratio of 1 to 15.62 by the creation of a gold piece of 10 florins, weighing
5.048 grams fine, with the maintenance of the suspension of the coinage
1876. Great fluctuations in the price of silver, which declined to 46 3/4d.,
representing the ratio of 1 to 20.172, in July. Recovery, in December, to
58.5 d. Average price, 52.75d.
1877. Coinage of 5-franc silver pieces by Spain continued later, notwithstanding
the decline of silver in the market. Silver, 54.75d.
1877. Replacing of the double standard in Finland by that of gold on
the basis of the mark or franc.
1878. Act of United States Congress providing for the purchase, from
time to time, of silver bullion, at the market price thereof, of not less than
$2,000,000 worth per month as a minimum, nor more than $4,000,000 worth
per month as a maximum, and its coinage as fast as purchased into silver
dollars of 412.5 grains. The coinage of silver on private account prohibited.
Silver, 52 9/16d.
1878. Meeting of the second international monetary conference in
Paris. Prolongation of the Latin Union to January 1, 1886.
1879. Suspension of the sales of silver by Germany. Silver, 51.25d.
1879. Resumption of specie payment by the United States.
1881. Third international monetary conference in Paris. Silver,
1885. Introduction of the double standard in Egypt. Silver,
. Prolongation of the Latin Union to January 1, 1891.
1886. Great decline in the price of silver, which fell in August to 42d.,
representing a ratio of 1 to 22.5, and recovery, in December, to 46d. Modification
of the coinage of gold and silver pieces in Russia. Silver, 45 3/8d.
1887. Retirement of the trade dollars by the Government of the
United States in February. Demonetization of the Spanish piasters,
known as Ferdinand Carolus, whose reimbursement at the rate of 5 pesetas
ended on March 11. New decline of silver in March to 44d., representing
the ratio of 1 to 21.43. Silver, 44 5/8d.
1890. -United States- Repeal of the act of February 28, 1878, commonly
known as the Bland-Allison law, and substitution of authority
for purchase of 4,500,000 fine ounces of silver each month, to be paid
for by issue of Treasury notes payable in coin. (Act of July 14, 1890).
Demonetization of 25,000,000 lei in pieces of 5 lei in Roumania in consequence
of the introduction of the gold standard by the law of October
27. Silver, 47 11/16d.
1891. Introduction of the French monetary system in Tunis on the
basis of the gold standard. Coinage of national gold coins and billon.
Silver, 45 1/16d.
1892. Replacing of the silver standard in Austria-Hungary by that of
gold by the law of August 2. Coinage of pieces of 20 crowns, containing
6.098 grams fine. The crown equals one-half florin. Meeting of the fourth
international monetary conference at Brussels. Production of gold reaches
its maximum, varying between 675,000,000 and 734,000,000 francs. Silver,
1893. Suspension of the coinage of silver in British India and of
French trade dollars on individual account. Panic in the silver market in
July in London, when the price fell to 30.5d., representing the ratio of 1 to
30.92. Repeal of the purchasing clause of the act of July 15, 1890, by the
Congress of the United States.
1895. Adoption of the gold standard by Chile.
1895. Russia decides to coin 100,000,000 gold rubles in 1896.
1896. Costa Rica adopts the gold standard.
1896. Russia decides to resume specie payments.
1897. Adoption of the gold standard by Russia and Japan.
1897. Peru suspends the coinage of silver and prohibits its importation.
1898. Ecuador limited the tender of silver coins to the amount of 10
1899. India adopted the gold standard at the rate of 15 rupees to 1
pound sterling (British standard).
1900. United States adopted the gold standard.
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