Front Page Titles (by Subject) Legal Tender. - Money and the Mechanism of Exchange
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Legal Tender. - 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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Money must further be distinguished, according as it is or is not legal tender, or has or has not what the French call cours forcé. By legal tender is denoted such money as a creditor is obliged to receive in requital of a debt expressed in terms of money of the realm. One great object of legislation is to prevent uncertainty in the interpretation of contracts, and accordingly the Coinage Act defines precisely what will constitute a legal offer of payment on the part of a debtor, as regards a money debt. If a debtor tender to his creditor the amount of a debt due in legal tender money, and it be refused, the creditor may indeed apply for it, or sue for it afterwards, but the costs of the action will be thrown upon him.
But there seems to be no legal necessity that exchanges or contracts shall be made in money of the realm. At common law, contracts for the direct barter of two commodities, or for purchase and sale in terms of any kind of money, will be valid, provided it is clear what the terms of the contract mean. Accordingly, the sixth section of the Coinage Act (33 Vict. c. 10), while enacting that every contract, sale, payment, bill, note, transaction, or matter relating to money, shall be made or done according to the coins which are current and legal tender in pursuance of this Act, yet adds, "unless the same be made, executed, entered into, done or had, according to the currency of some British possession or, some foreign state."
If I understand the matter aright, then, every person is at liberty to buy, sell, or exchange in terms of any money or commodity whatsoever which he prefers; and the fact that certain coins, up to certain limits, are legal tender, only means that the state provides a definite medium of exchange and defines precisely what that is. The Act requires that English money shall be the money issued by the mint, in accordance with the terms of the Act. Of course it remains quite open to a creditor to receive payment in coins which are not legal tender, if he like to do so, and I presume there would be nothing to prevent him entering into a contract to that effect. If a man contracted to sell goods to the extent of £100, and to receive payment in bronze pence and halfpence, it would no doubt be a valid contract, although no single quantity of pence exceeding twelve pence is a legal tender.
The exact meaning of the term, legal tender, may of course vary from country to country, and the above remarks apply only to countries under the English law.