Front Page Titles (by Subject) Metallic and Nominal Values of Coins. - Money and the Mechanism of Exchange
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Metallic and Nominal Values of Coins. - 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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Metallic and Nominal Values of Coins.
It has been usual to call the value of the metal contained in a coin the intrinsic value of the coin; but this use of the word intrinsic is likely to give rise to fallacious notions concerning the nature of value, which is never an intrinsic property, or existence, but merely a circumstance, or external relation (see p. 9). To avoid any chance of ambiguity, I shall substitute the expression, metallic value, and I shall distinguish this from the nominal, customary, or legal value, at which a coin actually does, or is by law required, to exchange for other coins.
There are two ways in which the metallic value of a coin may be reduced below its nominal value, namely, by reducing either the weight or the fineness of the metal. English silver coin is still maintained at the "ancient right standard "of 11 oz. 2 dwts. in the troy pound, which has existed from time immemorial. By the Act of 1816 the silver coins which had previously been, in theory at least, standard money, were reduced in weight by 6 per cent., and thus rendered token money, which they still continue to be. In France and other countries belonging to the Monetary Convention, the smaller silver coins of two francs, one franc, and fifty centimes, have been converted into tokens by reducing the fineness of the silver from 900 to 835 parts in 1000. It does not seem to be a matter of any importance which mode is adopted; but the English mode, so long as it does not render the coins inconveniently small, is perhaps slightly the better, because some persons can satisfy themselves as to the weight of a coin, but none are able to test its fineness, unless they are professional assayers.
It need hardly be stated that coins which circulate by law in one country as tokens may be accepted in other countries at their metallic value.