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History of
Coinage and Currency
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

For some rime the Federal Reserve
Bank of Saint Louis and its branches
in Little Rock, Louisville, and Memphis have been gathering a collection
of currency and coin of historical or
unusual interest.
In gathering the collection now on
exhibit, it was found chat there had
also been acquired the elements of
the story of money, and chat these
were even more interesting, perhaps,
than the actual currency and coin.
These bits of information were put
together to cell a story which we
hope will serve to make the panorama familiar co you when you visit
our displays.
If you wish additional information
prompted by chis reading, we shall
be glad co answer your inquiries.
We wish co thank our many friends
who have assisted us in assembling
the collection and in compiling chis

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis




of Coinage


UMAN nature has changed
very little through the ages.
Man still gives up one form of
wealth so that he may have another.
Once this was called barter. The
method had its limitations and as
man became more civilized he began
to grasp intrinsic values. Of the various things about him, one was more
appealing for a number of r,easons.
He couched it and liked the feel of
it, or the color, and comparing it
with ocher things more or less attractive in degree he learned a scale of
Of hard things gold and silver,
Begin- because of their natural beauty,
ranked higher in his scale than anything else. When he reached a later
level of experience he fashioned his
small hoard of gold and silver into
ornaments, which he traded because
a demand for beauty had become a
part of his nature. Doing so, he
created a common medium of exDigitized for change
FRASERthat has since developed into

H - 2 Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

money. Its chief characteristics are:
acceptability, stability, transportability, durability, and divisibility.
Archaeology has parred the curtain Origin
of the centuries. We are told that of Coins
the Chinese were the first to use
coins and that India was next to
adopt them.
Herodotus, whose
means of information were limited,
gives ·the honor to the people of
Lydia. He assumes that the Lydians
probably inherited the idea from the
forerunners of the Egyptians, passing it on to the Greeks. The Lydians
used electrum, which was a mixture
of gold and silver. The Greek separated the two metals, and during
their Golden Age they struck coins
that are unrivalled artistically even
When Rome conquered the world
she mined her silver in Spain. After
Rome fell the coinage of Europe was
limited until the Thirteenth Century,
when new mines were opened at
Joachimsthal in Bohemia. (Joachimsthaler, the word for the coin, was
later abbreviated to thaler and then
corrupted to dollar). During the
Dark Ages Europe partially reverted
to a barter economy, which lasted
until the Fifteenth Century, when
Columbus discovered America and

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

new sources of both gold and silver
were found.
The Spanish Conquistadores mined
their silver in Columbia, Bolivia,
oh/ Exf
c angePeru, and Mex1co. Except or the
scattered fringe of Spanish settlers
in the Southwest, the early colonists
of North America had little, if any,
small change before the opening of
the Seventeenth Century. In our
southern colonies, especially in Virginia, tobacco took the place of real
money, and at the beginning in all
the colonies both powder and bullets
were legal tender. Graip, fish, and
furs were in common use as a medium of payment in young New England, and the shell-money, or wampum, of the Indians was accepted in
most business transaction~.
In 1651 the State of Massachusetts
authorized the first mint in this
country. It began operating in
Boston the following year. From this
mint came the earliest American
coins: copper and silver pence and
shillings, bearing crudely stamped
pictures of willows, oak&, and pinetrees. The Lord Baltimore coins,
with the exception of the copper
penny, were circulated in Maryland.
Like the coins of Massachusetts they
were all short weight. After the - 4 Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Revolution several of the states set
up their own mints, which served
until the United States Mint was
established in -Philadelphia by Act of
April 2, 1792. All of our coins were
struck by hand-press until 1836,
when a steam-operated coining-press
was introduced. With a few minor
alterations this method continued for
thirty-five years, when it was superseded by improvements that have developed into the techniques of today.
The nation's first cents and halfcents were struck in 1793. They
were copper and about the size of

Babylonian receipt for cattle recorded on
clay tablet older than Tutankhamen.

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Small present-day half-dollars and quarters.
Cha nge On the obverse they bore profile
Eag1es porrra1ts
• o f L1.berty-s he was some-

times surrounded by stars-and on
the reverse was the central legend,
"Half Cent" or "One Cent" enclosed
by a wreath. In addition, the halfcents bore on their reverses the fractional sign, "One Two-Hundredth."
The silver half-dime, half-dollar, and
dollar added dignity to our coinage
in 1794, and in 1795 the eagle and
half-eagle appeared, co be joined a
year lacer by the quarter-eagle. At
chat time the eagle was the gold and
the dollar the silver monetary unit.
The mocco, "E Pluribus Unum," was
first used on the half-eagle of 1795.
In 1796 our first quarters and tencent pieces appeared.
Trade dollars, which are slightly
Dollars larger than standard silver dollars,
were first coined in 1873. These
mongrel pieces, valued at much less
today, were minted in silver and intended co serve an international commerce, after export to China by
clipper ship, to compete with the
Mexican pesos current there at chat
rime. The expected commercial results were never realized in the
Orient, however, because too many
trade dollars went into circulation
at home. In 1887 they were with-

- 6
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

drawn from circulation altogether
and recoined as standard silver
The silver dollar of 1840 bore an Innovainnovation: the figure of Liberty tions
seated co right, and this design remained on all of our silver coins,
with the exception of the silver
dollar, until 1891. In 1849 Congress
authorized the coinage of a double
eagle and a gold dollar, the patterns
of which introduced yet another bust
of Liberty which is probably the
finest in design of the entire series.
Silver three-cent pieces of almost
paper thinness were circulated in
1851, but they were so small that
they were impractical. In 1853 the
three-dollar gold piece was added.
In the same year Congress reduced
the bullion content of silver coins
( except the silver dollar) so that it
would be no longer profitable co sell
silver coins in the bullion market.
Prior co this year silver coins had
disappeared from circulation as people sold them for their bullion content. After 1853, with an assured
monetay circulation from the lowest
coin to the highest, it was no longer
necessary to rely on foreign coins to
fill the void in the currency, and in
1857 the Government finally re
- 7
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

moved the legal tender status of
foreign coins. As a result, they soon
disappeared from circulation.
The famous head of Liberty with
a new head-dress, a feather bonnet,
became the "Indian Head" of the
one-cent piece of 1859. (This coin
has rapidly disappeared from circulation since the 1909 arrival of the
Lincoln head penny.) A new onecent piece, the "Flying Eagle," made
of copper and nickel brought an additional device in 1856, and in 1864
bronze two-cent pieces first used the
motto: "In God We Trust." Twentycent pieces came in 1875. Five-cent
pieces first appeared in 1866. The
obverse of these nickels bore a shield
like the obverse of the two-cent
piece of 1864, plus the motto, "In
God We Trust"; the reverse bore a
large "5" surrounded by thirteen
stars punctuated by rays. In 1867 a
five-cent piece that was identical, except for the rays, was circulated and
coined until 1883.
In that year Liberty Head nickels
first appeared. These were called in
almost at once because the reverse
bore a Roman "V" instead of the
statement "V CENTS." Thinly
plated with gold, they were passed
over the country as five-dollar gold - 8 Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

pieces by tongue-in-cheek counterfeiters. After they were called in an
almost identical five-cent piece was
issued, but this time the nickel bore
the word "CENTS" beneath the
Roman "V," in order to prevent
The many gold coins issued by Gold
private assayers form what is prob- Coinage
ably the most unusual series in the
numismatics of our country. The
first ones were issued in Georgia by
Templeton Reid, who established his
mint near the gold mines in Lumpkin County. The next co follow were
struck by two enterprising gentlemen, Christopher and August Bechtler. From 1831 to about 1842 the
Bechtler mint, located in Rutherford,
North Carolina, struck pieces from

Siamese porcelain piece used in gaming
of Bangkok-19th Century.
Digitized houses
-9Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Georgia and N orch Carolina gold to
the amount of more than two million
A little later on, when gold was
discovered in California and thousands of people swarmed westward
from all pares of the Union, there
arose an immediate need for a
medium of exchange that would be
easier to handie than clumsy bags of
gold dust. In 1849 a number of private firms began to issue coins to
meet this emergency and the State
Assayer began scamping ingots for
public use in 1850. That same year
in San Francisco, Moffat and Company was designated as United States
Assay Representative and the Government sent Augustus Humbert
from New York to place the official
Government scamp on Moffat and
Company's octagonal ingots.
Oregon and U cah coinage grew out
of a like necessity, first appearing in
At two uncomfortable periods during the nation's history, because of
economic depression and a stringency of silver, business firms had to
get along as best they could by issuing copper ( occasionally silver, sometimes brass) tokens redeemable in
legal money by the firms that used

-10Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

them. Prompted by the currency
question, the first of these substitutes
for "shin-plasters" were issued in
1834. They were dubbed "Jackson
Hard Times Cents" by popular approval. Made of copper, they did
resemble in size the Revolutionary
copper cent. There were two types:
one, strongly political, stamped with
partisan slogans, became the predecessor of the familiar contemporary
campaign button. The other bore
simply the advertisement of the merchant who issued ic. In 1863 there
was an enormous circulation ( well
over five thousand varieties) of these
curiosities. They have since come co
be called "Civil War Tokens." During the action between the states
these vagabond coins were passed
and acepted as one-cent pieces.
More than one hundred commemorative coins have been issued in the
United States, ranging in denomination from fifty cents to fifty dollars.
These commemoratives are usually
struck in silver and bear exceptional
medallion designs. All of them belong co recent years and they are
directly related to important anniversaries of the nation's history. In eacn
case, original, competitive designs are
before a trial-piece is
-11Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


struck and accepted. Our commemorative coins illustrate better than
any others the mechanical exactness
and regularity that mark the complete mathematical symmetry of the
modern coin. Perhaps the most beautifully executed of the total number
of United States commemorative issues are the Saint Gaudens twentydollar gold pieces of 1907, and the
six hundred round and octagonal
fifty-dollar gold pieces issued at San
Francisco.,.to commemorate the Pan.rma-Pacific Exposition of _19~5.

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



of Currency



INCE the days of barter the
problem of money has presented
itself to the governments of all
nations with every economic change
demanding a satisfactory solution.
The Greek philosophers Plaro and
Aristotle gave it their attention, and
the Venetian traveler Marco Polo
tells us that he found a system of
paper money in use in China under
Kublai Khan.

During the course of its financial The
education the United Scares has met Meaning
of Money
the panics of 1837, 1857, 1873, 1893,
1907, the •depression of 1921, the
market crash of 1929, and the banking holiday of 1933, and has come
to the realization that money itself
is not wealth. Money is but a representation of wealth. Mere paper
has little intrinsic worth, and minted
coins, while they may be attractive
to the eye of the beholder, cannot
shelter or clothe us or be eaten to
sustain us. Money, then, like the
wampum of the American Indian,

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

represents the value of a thing ( a
house, a jewel, land, food) and is exchangeable as payment for commodities, services, and debts by common
consent. le can be likened to a
ticket or a token, passing from one
person co another, chat facilitates
transactions of buying and selling.
The value of paper. money is sustained by faith, the solemn word of
the Government, and the face chat the
monetary authority assures the public
chat the quantity of such paper
money is subject to control. We do
not insist upon the repeated exchange of currency for coin in order
to believe.

to our time as the
Century, beaver pelts,
tobacco, wheat, corn, wool, and flax
were used as money right here in
America. But lee us thumb earlier.
Lee us go back co the beginning of
the scory.



Currency Eighteenth

In 1690, when some soldiers were
clamouring for their wages, Massachusetts Bay Colony found it necessary co issue paper money. From
time to time it was issued by ocher
colonies and lacer by the Continental
Congress during the Revolution. The
intention was to have this currency
equal current coin, but depreciation,

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

due to over-issue and the lack
of adequate redemption provisions,
caused it to become practically valueless. This unfortunate state of affairs gave rise to the Yankee expression "Not worth a continental!" Incidentally, the places for the first
Continental currency were engraved
by that man of story and song, the
silversmith Paul Revere. The first
paper money to be issued under the
authority of the colonial congresses
was dated May 10, 1775, but the
notes were not circulated until the
following year.
Alexander Hamilton, the first
Secretary of the Treasury, made his
famous monetary report in 1791, and
twelve months lacer the law which
established our monetary system and
our mint was approved.
Wars always cost a great deal of InterestBearing
money, and the War of 1812 was no Notes
exception. Our Government found
itself in the uncomfortable position
of the· man who needs a lot of cash
in a hurry. During the tourse of
the next few years several issues of
interest-bearing notes, none of which
was legal tender except to the Government, were printed co aid the
financing of a war that was to cost
one hundred million dollars when

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

the treaty of peace was signed in
1814. It was not intended that these
notes be passed as money.
When 1835 rolled around the
United States was almost out of debt
and had on deposit sufficient funds
to meet its outstanding obligations.
New states were being admitted to
the Union and the westward movement had begun. However, a financial panic took place in 183 7. To help
the situation, Congress authorized
the issuance of Treasury Notes each
year to 1843.
Population was on the increase;
trade was expanding into the new
and incredibly bounteous territories
of Louisiana, the Floridas, Texas,
California, and Oregon. When Texas
was annexed war with Mexico resulted almost at once. With the
signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe
Hidalgo, all that is now Nevada,
U cah, California, and parts of Wyoming, Colorado, Arizona, and New
Mexico, was transferred to us. A
twenty-million dollar deficit arising
as a result of chis war made it necessary for Congress co issue the
Treasury Notes of 1846.
Following the discovery of gold in
California in 1848, development of
the West was rapid. The increase in

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

the' production of the metal stimulated praaically all lines of industry
and commerce. Railroads expanded,
banks increased in number, prices
advanced, and speculation in land became rife. In 185 7 another financial
panic occurred, and once more the
Treasury was faced with the necessity of issuing promissory Treasury
Notes to meet its own obligations.
These Treasury Notes, issued between 1812 and the Civil War, as a
rule, bore varying rates of interest,
and it was not intended that people
use them as money. Some appear to
have been so used, but at no time
was there any volume of them in
circulation. The first paper money
designed for general circulation by
the Government of the United States
was authorized by the Acts of July
17 and August 5, 1861.
Before 1838 private b:mk charters Wild-Cat
were sometimes granted through Issues
political pressure. The banks of the
various states issued their own banknotes. In some instances they were
backed by securities deposited with
state officials, but the state itself
guaranteed nothing. The notes issued by the first and second Bank
of the United States also constituted
a large part of the paper money in

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

circulation. In 1838 New York passed a "free banking" law, and thereafter many independent state banks
sprang up all over the country. They
were owned, for the most part, by
the people of the communities in
which they were located, and their
business was local.
Until 1863 the notes of these state
banks circulated everywhere, although many of the institutions were
located in remote places where there
were wild-cats but few people. Such
bank-notes came to be called "wildcat" currency. The name was first
used in Michigan where a bank issued currency bearing the vignette
of a panther. This bank failed, and
the deposito[S, looking at their
worthless money, said in derision,
"Wild-cat money from a wild-cat
bank!" Many banks that failed came
co be called wild-cat banks. Finally,
on July 8, 1858, the Baltimore Sun
complained, "Certain it is that we
are overrun with a wild-cat currency
from all God's creation, and every
day or two we notice batches of new
issues scattered amongst us."
Some authorities hold that the
term "wild-cat" comes from the popular remark made about such banks
during this period: "In that forsaken - 1 8 Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

country it must be a wild-cat bank!
Only a wild-cat will find it."
Such is the story up to the time Greenof the Civil War when our "green- backs
backs" originated during Lincoln's
administration. In 1862 the Bureau
of Engraving and Printing was
founded at W ashingron and the first
United States Notes (greenbacks )
were placed in circulation.
The idea of unsecured legal tender
paper money tO be used by a debtor
to pay off his crediror was looked
upon as revolutionary by his contemporaries, but Salmon P. Chase, Secretary of the Treasury, fathered the
plan when the unprecedented expenses of the Civil War had to be
met by the hard-pressed Union Government. There was not enough of
either gold or silver in coin at that
time and it was impossible to borrow

First medium of exchange to follow
primitive barter in China.

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

sufficient money to meet the emergency. Later, when Chase became
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court,
greenbacks were declared to be lawful money.
In 1863 a national banking and
system was established by

Congress. The banks chattered under
this law were private concerns which
issued currency only to ninety per
cent of the par value of their holdings of Government bonds which,
with a five per cent redemption fund,
were deposited as security in the Federal Treasury. Besides providing for
a sound currency which would circulate at a uniform value, this legislation was intended to aid the Government in financing the war. In
1865 a tax of ten per cent was placed
on the notes of state banks, which
served to drive them out of circulation.

ConOn the other side of the Masonfederate Dixon line the seceding Southern

States, as well as the Confederate
Government, issued millions of dollars in paper money of various denominations, beginning in 1861. In
all there were over fifty different varieties of bills bearing designs of the
Confederate flag, a train of cars,
shields, portraits of Jefferson Davis,

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

and bales of cotton, to name but a
few of the illustrations. An issue of
one and two dollar bills appeared in
1862, and in 1863 a series ranging in
value from fifty cents to one hundred dollars. These were occasionally
printed on pink paper, using only
the face of the bill in certain cases,
because the plates for the reverses
were captured in the Northern blockade. Some of these bore picture~ of
Confederate buildings at Richmond,
Va., Nashville, Tenn., and Columbia;
S. C. The final issue of bills-from
fifty cents to five hundred dollarsappeared in 1864. Many of these
notes are still extant today. Some of
the issues can be bought from a collector for a few pennies.
Had you live at the opening of Fracthe Civil War you would have found tional
it rather difficult to procure change
to conduce small business transactions. If you had been a merchant,
for instance, you would have resorted
to the use of tickets and ocher substitutes for change when your customers paid with currency. This
emergency came about because payment in specie, or coin, was suspended January 1, 1862. Silver coins
disappeared from circulation, and
Congress had to provide for the diffi
- 21
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

culty by authorizing, first, the use of
postage scamps, then postal currency,
and, finally, fractional paper currency. The denominations of the
latter, bearing portraits of Washington, Spinner, Lincoln, and others,
ranged from three to fifty cents.
These media were humorously referred to as "shinplasters" because
they were so small.
After the financial panic of 1873 ,
steps were taken by the Government
Payment to resume specie payments. In 1875
the Resumption Act became a law,
which contained provisions for the
retirement of a portion of the greenbacks or legal tender notes, substitution of silver coin for the fractional
paper currency, free coinage of gold,
and resumption of specie payments,
on January 1, 1879. Uilder this act,
the Secretary of the Treasury gradually built up a substantial gold reserve for the legal tender notes. On
January 1, 1879, the Treasury offered
to redeem these notes in gold, but
none were presented for that purpose. The greenbacks were thereafter
on a parity with gold.

tion of


Silver certificates were first issued
in 1878. They are secured by silver
dollars and silver bullion. - 2 2 Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

In 1913 the Federal Reserve Sys- Federal
tem enters the picture with the pass- Currency
age of the Federal Reserve Act. The
act directed that Federal Reserve
Banks be established, required that
reserves of member banks be deposited with the Federal Reserve Banks,
and empowered the Reserve authorities to discount paper for member
banks, co engage in open market
operations, and to issue Federal Reserve N ores. These notes have supp lied the elastic character to our currency, and now constitute the major
portion of our circulation.
Federal Reserve Notes are liabilities of the Federal Reserve Banks
chat issue them. They are a prior
lien on the assets of the Federal Reserve Banks and are secured by the
pledge of specific collateral. The
notes must be backed by a specified
gold certificate reserve. They are
also obligations of the United States
Practically all money passes into
and out of banks at one time or
another. The Federal Reserve Banks
keep on hand a large stock of all
kinds of paper money and coin, from
which they supply member banks
and, through them generally, nonmember
-23Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Until the Federal Reserve Banks
were established, the means of furnishing currency were unsatisfactory.
The demand for increased circulation
could ,not always be met promptly.
The currency mechanism provided
by the System has worked satisfactorily-money moves into and out
of circulation aucomatically in response to the public demand.
Two issues of Federal Reserve
Bank Notes, backed by Government
bonds, and a redemption fund, have
been in general circulation. Like the
national bank notes and Treasury
notes of 1890, they are in process of
Value of
When the Federal Reserve Act
Reserve came into being America needed it;

America needed a banking system
with a policy and purpose that would
operate primarily for the public
good; a system that would maintain
adequate monetary conditions. and
promote economic stability.
From 1914 to the present, during
troubled years of change that have
affected many of the nations of the
world, the Federal Reserve System
has been a bulwark of strength to
the United States in meeting the
varying conditions that have arisen.

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Currency and Coins


LL of our paper money comes
from the Government's Bureau
of Engraving and Printing in Washington. The average life of paper
currency is approximately: ones, 6
months; twos, 11 months; fives, 13
months; tens, 18 months; twenties,
30 months. Higher denominations
usually last for longer periods.
At present the different kinds of
paper money are in these denominations: Silver Certificates, $1, $5,
and $10. United States Notes, $2
and $5. Federal Reserve Notes, $5,
$10, $20, $50, $100, $500, $1,000,
$5,000 and $10,000.
In order to effect economies, facilitate handling, and provide added
protection, effective July 10, 1929,
the size of paper currency was reduced and other changes were made.
The fibers were scattered throughout
the notes, instead of being localized
in two rows as formerly. Today
each denomination of the different
kinds bear the same portrait on the

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


face and the same emblem on the
reverse, as follows:


One and U.S. Seal
Lincoln Memorial
U.S. Treasury
White House
U. S. Capitol
Independence Hall
Five Hundred
One Thousand
Five Thousand
Ten Thousand

In 1935 the $1 Silver Certificate
presented for the first time on any
money the obverse and reverse of
the Great Seal of the United States.
The obverse of the Seal bears the
American Eagle with a shield, grasping an olive branch in one talon and
arrows in the ocher. The Eagle is
surmounted by 13 scars and the Latin
motto, "E Pluribus Unum," meaning
"One Out of Many" ( a translation
from Virgil) . The reverse of chis
Great Seal of our country having
many states shows an unfinished
pyramid which is taken to mean
"There is still work co be done." .
The eye placed in a triangular glory
symbolizes the all-seeing Deity. The
year of the Declaration of Independ
- 26
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

ence appears on the pyramid in Roman numerals. Above the eye is the
legend, "Annuir Coepri -," which is
rendered as "He (God ) favored our
undertakings." "Novus Ordo Seclorum," placed below, means "A New
Order For the Ages."
The reverses of all denominations
of all classes are printed in green, the
faces in black ink. Each kind has the
following distinctive color for the.
Treasury Seal and Serial Numbers
which appear on the faces of the
notes: Silver Certificates, blue; United
Stares N ores, red, and Federal
Reserve N ores, green. The
symbols on the Treasury Seal
were explained in the 1912 Annual Report of the Register as follows: "The 13 stars represent the 13

Glass weight bearing inscription in Arabic
used in weighing real coins in Egypt
about 1200 A. D.


Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

original colonies. Justice, the blind
goddess holding the balance, has always been a favorite with the devisers of state seals. The designers
of our Treasury Seal used the balance alone as an emblem of Justice.
Keys, in secular heraldry, have been
used from remote antiquity co denote
offices of state. The legend on the
Seal is 'Thesaur. Amer. Septenc.
Sigil.,' being an abbreviation of the
Latin, 'Thesauri Americae Septentrionalis Sigillum,' meaning The Seal
of the Treasury of North America.'"
Our Dollar Sign ( $) is believed
by most authorities to be a modification of the figure 8 which appeared
wound as a pennant around the Pillars of Hercules pictured on the reverses of old Spanish silver "pieces
of eight" used during the Seventeenth
and Eighteenth Centuries. These
pieces of Eight Reales had the same
value as our dollar.
By executive order of April 5,
1933,(a few weeks after the nationwide bank holiday) gold coin, gold
bullion, and gold certificates were
withdrawn from circulation, being
surrendered co the U niced Scates
Treasury for other forms of money.
The Gold Reserve Ace, approved
January 30, 1934, provided chat "no

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

gold coin shall hereafter be coined,
and ... all gold coin of the United
States shall be withdrawn from circulation.
Silver coins are: $1, half-dollar,
quarter, and dime. The minor coins
are the five-cent piece and the onecent piece. The more valuable coins
have milled edges to prevent shaving.
In order co make the coins harder
and to reduce the amount of abrasion,
alloy is added.
The silver dollar contains 371.2 5
grains of pure silver and 41.25 grains
of alloy; the half-dollar, 173.61
grains of silver and 19.29 grains of
alloy; the quarter, 86.805 grains silver and 9.645 grains alloy; the dime,
34.722 grains silver and 3.858 grains
alloy. The five-cent and one-cent
pieces are mixtures of copper with
ocher metals. It should be noted chat
the value of the bullion content of
all coins now circulating is considerably less than the face value of these
coins. Our coins have little intrinsic
commodity value.
All coins and currencies of the • Legal
United States are now legal tender Tender
for debts, public and private.

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

5th ed. 1963
Board of Govenocs of the Federal
Reserve System.

Members of staff of Board of Govenocs
of the Federal Reserve System.
(U.S. Treasury Dept.)
STATES 12th ed. 1936
D.R. Dewey
Studenski & Kcooss
Walter W. Jennings
R. B. W estecfield
W. Jiandolph Burgess
W. 0. Woods
V. S. Clack
Articles listed under United States
History, Currency, Money, Coins,
Silver, Numismatics.

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

The System
The Federal Reserve Act instituted a
great and vital banking system not simply
to aid the banking community alone, but
to give vision, scope and security to commerce and amP.lify the opportunities as
well as to increase the capabilities of our
industrial life ."-Quotation.

The District
The Eighth Federal Reserve District is
served by the Federal Reserve Bank of St.
Louis and its branches in Little Rock,
Arkansas; Louisville, Kentucky and
Memphis, Tennessee. It comprises all of
Arkansas, all of Missouri except the western tier of counties, the southern portions
of Illinois and Indiana, the western parts
of Kentucky and Tennessee, and the
northern half of Mississippi .
-31Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis