Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAP. X.: Of the unequal Coinage of our Moneys. - A Select Collection of Scarce and Valuable Tracts on Money
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CHAP. X.: Of the unequal Coinage of our Moneys. - John Ramsay McCulloch, A Select Collection of Scarce and Valuable Tracts on Money 
A Select Collection of Scarce and Valuable Tracts on Money from the Originals of Vaughan, Cotton, Petty, Lowndes, Newton, Prior, Harris, and Others, with a Preface, Notes, and Index (London: Printed for the Political Economy Club, 1856).
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Of the unequal Coinage of our Moneys.
THIS Title doth wholly depend upon the Mechanical part of making Money, which because I am unskilful in, I do handle with much scruple and retention, being forced to apply my self to what I read in others; and peradventure may in some points misunderstand, yet because this is a very main and principal cause of the exportation of Money I cannot omit it: And the first cause of the unequality of the coinage, is the greatness of the Remedies both of the weight and fineness: and I do find that some men of great experience and understanding even in this Mechanical part do hold, that the Moneys both of Gold and Silver may be made without any Remedy to be allowed either for weight or fineness. This I am sure that it doth appear by the Records of former times, that the Remedies allowed have been many times less than now they are, and have been heretofore very variable according to the favour or the skill which the Masters of the Mint did use to make their own Advantage: since Henry VIIths time, the Mint Masters have bin tied to account to the King for half the Profits of the Remedies allowed, by which means it is manifest that half the Remedies allowed might be cut off, and the Kings profits might be better recompenced upon the price of the Coinage. By the Indentures of the Second of King James, The Officers of the Mint are tied to account to the King for the whole profit of the Remedies; but then there is a clause that the King shall give them allowance for so much as they shall over-put above the standard, which clause seemeth to me very captious: But if all the inequality of the Moneys coined did consist in the Remedies, the matter were not so much; but the great profit which hath been made by culling of the Coins by Goldsmiths and Cashiers to Merchants and others, through whose hands great Sums of Money do pass, doth manifestly prove that the inequality of the Moneys is much greater than the allowance of the Remedies can make it; yet when I consider upon what great Penalties the Mint Master is tied, how exact a Course is set down by his Indenture, and observ’d for the Examination and Trial of his work, I cannot imagine much less find out, where the Error lieth, but that there is an Error, and such an one as deserveth strict Enquiry and Redress by the State, I am verily perswaded. The Mint Master knoweth exactly how many pieces he is to sheer out of every pound weight, but whether these pieces are shorn so equal to one another in weight, as there shall be no advantage in culling out the heaviest from the lightest, that is the Scruple: The course is this, out of every proportion of Silver and Gold coined, there is a piece taken at adventure, by certain Officers trusted, and put into a Pix* under their several Keys, and then at the years end, this Pix is opened in the Star Chamber, and telling out so many pieces as are to make a pound, they melt them and examine whether they hold the weight and fineness, within the Remedies required; which Course for the examination of the Fineness seemeth exact enough, but for the weight it may fall out that the pieces taken out of the several Proportions of Money coined, being melted together may hold the weight required within the Remedies, and yet the pieces of those several Proportions may differ in weight from one another, more than the Remedy allowed. The Remedies that are propounded for this inequality are divers:
Some think that it may be redressed by a strict and severe Course to be held with all those, through whose hands the work doth pass for the perfection of their works.
Others are much pleased with belief of some invented Engines, which have been by some work-men offered for a more perfect and exact coining of Moneys, than can be performed by the stamp, and the ways that are now practised.
Others find no so good way as by the Mill, whereof divers experiments have been made both in this Kingdom and in other parts. Of which, because I dare in my self deliver no Opinion, I will only translate what I find written by a French Author, a man of great practise and experience in these Mysteries, but because in some places he hath words of Art which admit of no translation, I must be fain use the original Terms: He saith, That against the Establishment of the Mill it is objected, that after the Invention of it, by reason of the great clipping that belongs to it; the Conductor of it was of Necessity to have an Augmentation for the Workmanship.
2. That the Ressorts, and Wheels, and Squares and Pieces, by which it is governed, are very subject to break and bruise one another.
3. That it wants Expedition, and dispatches but a little work.
4. That makers of false Money will easily counterfeit it.
5. That no man will undertake to make Money with the Mill, but at the same price which is paid for the marks for Silver Counters made with a Mill.
To which five objections I answer.
1. That the quantity of Clipping Mill Money, is no loss to the Farmer nor to the Workman, and is done without Pain, Charge or Travel; besides the Charge of the wasting is taken away, which is both an expence to the Master and to the Farmer: That the augmentation for the workmanship was not allowed for the new melting of the Clippings, but because there was no reason that the Masters of the Mill should without recompence give those several fashions to the work, which the work-man is paid for, and hath 3 sols allowed him upon the mark, and besides furnish great Cizers, three sorts of Hammers, Anvil and other Instruments. Now the Money being made in the Mill by the Industry of the Master who doth give other like fashions to the work, as the Minters now do, it was but reason to attribute the same right unto him. And in those places where Mill-Money hath remained in use, as at Pau and at Bearne, the fee of the work-man is attributed to the Master of the Mill, as likewise of the Carver and Graver, and that very justly.
2. For the Second Objection, That the Ressorts, Wheels, Squares, &c., are subject to breaking; It may be answered that at the new setting up of the first Mills, the Artisans were not so perfect and expert as they have shewed themselves since by Practice, since the Mills are grown common as now they are: There is nothing harder than to invent, nor more easie than to adde to things invented. There are Mills set up not only at Paris, but at Lyons, Tholouse, Aix, Amiens, Nants, Bordeaux, Poitiers, so that the use of them is now universal, for the Coinage doubles base and abject Money.
3. For the third Objection, That there is no Expedition in Mills, and that the work is not so soon dispatched as with the Hammer: It shall suffice to answer, That it proceeds from a Man that hath no experience in this Subject of Money, because that four Men bred and used to the making of Money in a Mill will do more work than twelve work-men or Moneyers with the Hammer.
4. For the fourth Objection, That the Counterfeiter of Money will imitate the Money made in a Mill: This Objection were credible if the author could produce one piece of Silver or Gold made in the Mill counterfeited since the Introduction thereof brought into France; and there is nothing that the counterfeiters of Money and their foster Fathers the Alchymists, do more fear and apprehend, knowing that they cannot suborn base and abject mettals, as Copper, Lead, Tinn, (the materials of Counterfeiters) for Gold or Silver, but that the piece will instantly be discovered, because the Moneys made in the Mill will always be equal and of like volume, greatness and thickness, because it all passeth by the same Coupier which cutteth equally, which cannot be the case with the Moneys made with the Hammer, (the Hammer not being governed with an equal force and measure, as in the Mill.) Neither can they be clipped, but that the exposer thereof will be discovered, taken and punished. And it may be avowed that the Teston made in the Mill hath not been seen clipped in France, the perfect representation of the King’s Image seeming to have been retained, and terrified the Clippers.
5. As for the last Objection, That no man will undertake to make Money in the Mill, but at the rate which is paid for the mark of the Silver Counters: This objection proceeds out of Ignorance, because the matter of Silver Counters is Argent le Roy, and therefore of greater fineness than the Money, and requires a greater charge to refine it to that title and degree. Besides the maker of Silver Counters must have a great diversity of Chisels, and Prints of a different sort from those of Moneys, and almost as many as there be different Noble men, Corporations, and Townhouses, that take pleasure to have their Arms or Devises engraven in Silver or Copper Counters; whereof sometimes the very square will cost 20 Livres, which shall serve only for one purse of two marks of Counters; and for proof thereof let the Masters of the Mills for coining of Doubles be called, and he will undertake for the same wages and fees that the Moniers have, to make the Moneys in the Mill. Thus far this Author: but as I said before, I undertook this Discourse of the Mechanical part of Money with Scruple, so I do leave it with Alacritie.