Front Page Titles (by Subject) Gold. - Money and the Mechanism of Exchange
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Gold. - William Stanley Jevons, Money and the Mechanism of Exchange 
Money and the Mechanism of Exchange (New York: D. Appleton and Co. 1876).
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Silver is beautiful, yet gold is even more beautiful, and presents indeed a combination of useful and striking properties quite without parallel among known substances. To a rich and brilliant yellow colour, which can only be adequately described as golden, it joins astonishing malleability and a very high specific gravity, exceeded only by that of platinum and a few of the rarest or almost unknown metals. We can usually ascertain whether a coin consists of gold or not, by looking for three characteristic marks: (1) the brilliant yellow colour; (2) the high specific gravity; (3) the metallic ring of the coin when thrown down, which will prove the absence of lead or platinum in the interior of the coin.
If there remain any doubt about a metal being gold, we have only to appeal to its solubility. Gold is remarkable for its freedom from corrosion or solution, being quite unaffected and untarnished after exposure of any length of time to dry, or moist, or impure air, and being also insoluble in all the simple acids. Strong nitric acid will rapidly attack any coloured counterfeit metal, but will not touch standard gold, or will, at the most, feebly dissolve the copper and silver alloyed with it.
In almost all respects gold is perfectly suited for coining. When quite pure, indeed, it is almost as soft as tin, but when alloyed with one-tenth or one-twelfth part of copper, becomes sufficiently hard to resist wear and tear, and to give a good metallic ring; yet it remains perfectly malleable and takes a fine impression. Its melting point is moderately high, and yet there is no perceptible oxidation or volatilization of the metal at the highest temperature which can be produced in a furnace. Thus old coin and fragments of the metal can be melted into bullion at a very slight loss, and at a cost of not more than one halfpenny per ounce troy, or little more than one-twentieth of one per cent.