Front Page Titles (by Subject) Composite Coin. - Money and the Mechanism of Exchange
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Composite Coin. - 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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It is said that Saint Louis, the great King of France, finding much want of small money to pay his soldiers, caused little pieces of silver wire, weighing nine and eighteen grains, to be fixed on pieces of stamped leather, and circulated for one- and two-dime pieces. The silver gave the value, and the leather served as a case or handle to preserve the small bit of metal from being lost. In recent times, composite coins, having a centre piece of silver and a rim of copper, were constructed on similar principles. A model penny of this kind has an agreeable appearance and a convenient size, but seems to be subject to several objections. The cost of coinage would be considerable; the coins could hardly be made so perfect that the centre would not come out sometimes; the contact of dissimilar metals would set up electrochemical action, and the copper would be corroded; and, lastly, it would be difficult to detect counterfeit silver pieces inserted by the forger. Composite coins of a similar character were struck in France under Napoleon I., about the year 1810, but were never circulated. Pennies formed of a copper centre with a brass rim have been employed in England, and tin pence, halfpence, or farthings, with a copper plug inserted near the centre, were long used, and are plentiful in numismatic cabinets.