Front Page Titles (by Subject) Bronze Coin. - Money and the Mechanism of Exchange
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Bronze 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 was known, even in prehistoric times, that a small quantity of tin communicated hardness to copper, and the ancient nations were familiar with the use of bronze thus manufactured. The French Revolutionary Government melted up the bells of the churches seized by them, and the sous de cloche, as they were called, made from the bell metal, were superior to coins of pure copper. Yet curiously enough no modern government thought of employing a well-chosen bronze for small money, until the government of the late Emperor of the French undertook the recoinage of the old sous in 1852. This recoinage was carried out with great success.
Between the years 1853 and 1867 coins to the nominal value of about two millions sterling, consisting of 800 millions of pieces, and weighing eleven millions of kilograms (10,826 tons) were struck, in addition to a subsequent issue of about 200 millions of pieces. The experiment was in almost every way successful. The ten and five-centime pieces now circulating in France are models of good minting, with a low but sharp and clear impression. They were readily accepted by the people, although only weighing as much as the sous rejected in the time of the Revolution, namely, one gram per centime, and they are wearing well.
The bronze used consists of 95 parts of copper, four of tin, and one of zinc. It is much harder than copper, yet so tough and impressible that it takes a fine impression from the dies, and retains it for a long time. It cannot be struck except by a press of some power, and thus counterfeiting is rendered almost impossible. It can hardly be said to corrode by exposure to air or damp, and merely acquires a natural patina, or thin dark film of copper oxide, which throws the worn parts of the design into relief, and increases the beauty of the coin.
Bronze has since been coined by the governments of England, the United States, Italy, and Sweden, and it seems probable that it will entirely take the place of copper. The German government is now using bronze for the one-pfennig pieces.