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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
Daniel C. Roper, Secretary
BUREAU OF FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC COMMERCE
Frederick M . Feiker, Director
+

Trade Promotion Series—No. 149

THE MONETARY USE OF
SILVER IN 1933
BY

HERBERT M. BRATTER
Finance and Investment Division

UNITED STATES
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
WASHINGTON: 1933

For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, Washington, D.C.




Price 10 cents

CONTENTS
Page

Foreword _

VI
INTRODUCTION
Page

Silver as a standard of value
Silver as a medium of exchange.__
Silver as legal tender and subsidiary money
Silver certificates
Attributes of a subsidiary coinage;
fiduciary coin
Limits within which gold-standard
countries may freely employ
silver
Where silver is a preferred medium
of exchange
Where silver coin is not in circulation
Statutory limits on subsidiary silver coinage

1
1
2
2
2
3
4
4




5
5
7
10
11
12
13
14
14
14

4

SURVEY

Abyssinia. See Ethiopia.
Aden and Protectorate
Afghanistan
Alaska. See United States.
Albania
Algeria
Anglo-Egyptian Sudan
Angola
Antigua. See Leeward Islands.
Argentina
Australia
Austria
Azores
Bahamas
Barbados
Belgian Congo
Belgium
Bermuda
Bolivia
Brazil
British Baluchistan. See British
India.
British East Africa
British Empire
British Guiana
British Honduras
British India
British North Borneo
British Oceania
British Somaliland
British West Africa
British Virgin Islands. See Leeward Islands.

Page

More silver legally issuable in
many countries
Changes in fineness—Sales of demonetized silver
Net consumption in coinage, 1900
to 1931, by selected countries. _
Silver in reserves of central banks.
Recent exchange rates
Paper currency statistics
Gold reserves of world
Leading silver-producing countries _ _
Coinage in colonies, mandated
areas, and spheres of influence.
Conversion equivalents

BY

Pa g e

15
15

16
16
17
17
18
18
19
20
20
21
21
21
22
22
23
24
25
26
26
27
31
32
32
32

COUNTRIES
Page

Brunei
33
Bulgaria
33
Canada
35
Canary Islands
35
Cape of Good Hope.- See Union
of South Africa.
Cape Verde Islands
36
Ceylon
36
Channel Islands (Guernsey and
Jersey)
36
Chartered Company of Mozambique. See Mozambique.
Chile
37
China
38
Chosen
43
Colombia
43
Comminio. See Malta.
Costa Rica
45
Cuba
47
Curacao. See Netherland West
Indies.
Cyprus
47
Cyrenaica. See Libya.
Czechoslovakia
48
Danzig, Free City of
49
Denmark
49
Dominica. See Leeward Islands.
Dominican Republic
50
Dutch Guiana. See Netherland
West Indies.
Ecuador
50
Egypt
52

IV

CONTENTS
SURVEY BY COUNTRIES—Continued
Page

Eritrea
Estonia
Ethiopia
Falkland Islands
Fiji Islands
Finland
France
Free City of Danzig. See Danzig,
Free City of.
French Colonies
French Equatorial Africa
French Guiana
French Indo-China
French Oceania
French Somaliland
French West Africa
French West Indies
Gambia. See British West Africa.
Germany
Gibraltar
Goa
Gold Coast. See British West
Africa.
Gozo. See Malta.
Greece
Greenland
Guadeloupe. See French West
Indies.
Guam. See United States.
Guatemala
.
Guernsey. See Channel Islands.
Haiti
Hawaii, Territory of. See United
States.
Hedjaz, and dependencies
Honduras
Hong Kong
Hungary
Hyderabad
Iceland
Iraq
Irish Free State
Italian Somaliland
Italy
Jamaica
Japan
Jebel Druze, Government of. See
Syria.
Jersey. See Channel Islands.
Kenya. See British East Africa.
Kwantung Leased Territory. See
China.
Latakia, Government of.
See
Syria.
Latvia
Lebanese Republic. See Syria.
Leeward Islands
Liberia
Libya
Liechenstein
Lithuania
Luxembourg, Grand Duchy of
Macao
Madagascar
-—




52
53
54
55
56
56
56
58
60
58
58
59
60
60
60
60
62
62

63
63

63
64
64
65
66
68
69
70
70
71
72
72
74
74

75
76
77
77
77
77
78
78
78

Page

Madeira
Malta
Manchuria. See China.
Marquesas Islands. See French
Oceania.
Martinique.
See French West
Indies.
Mauritius
Mexico
Midway Islands.
See United
States.
Mongolia
Montserrat. See Leeward Islands.
Morocco, French Zone
Morocco, Spanish Zone
Mozambique
Natal. See Union of South Africa.
Nejd. See Hedjaz.
Netherland India
Netherland West Indies
Netherlands
New Caledonia
New Guinea, Eastern
New Hebrides, British and French
Condominium of
Newfoundland
New Zealand
Nicaragua
Nigeria. See British West Africa.
Norway
Nyasaland
Orange Free State. See Union of
South Africa.
Palestine
Panama
Panama Canal Zone
Papua. See New Guinea, Eastern.
Paraguay
Pargana of Spiti. See British
India.
Persia
Peru
Philippine Islands
Poland
Pondicherry
Portugal
Portuguese East Africa.
See
Mozambique.
Portuguese Guinea
Puerto Rico. See United States.
Reunion
Rhodesia, Northern
Rhodesia, Southern
Rio de Oro
Rumania
St. Kitts-Nevis. See Leeward Islands.
Salvador
—
Samoa (American). See United
States.
Samoa, Western
___
San Marino, Republic of
Sarawak
Siam

79
79

79
80
82
83
83
85
85
87
87
88
88
89
89
89
91
92
92
93
93
95
95
95
96
98
101
102
102
104
104
104
105
106
106
107
108
108
109
109

V

CONTENTS
S U R V E Y BY

COUNTRIES—Continued
Page

Sierra Leone. See British West
Africa.
Society Islands. See French Oceania.
Sonthal Parganas. See British
India.
South West Africa, British Mandated Territory of
Spain
Straits Settlements
Sunjab du Alexandrette.
See
Syria.
Surinam.
See Netherland West
Indies.
Sweden
Switzerland
Syria
Taiwan
Tanganyika.
See British East
Africa.
Tibet
Tobago. See Trinidad.
Transvaal.
See Union of South
Africa.




110
111
112

114
116
117
118
118

Page

Tra van core
Trinidad
Tripolitania. See Libya.
Tunisia
Turkey
Uganda. See British East Africa.
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
(Russia)
Union of South Africa
United Kingdom
United States
Uruguay
Vatican City
Venezuela
Virgin Islands
Wake Islands. See United States.
Windward Islands
Yap. See United States.
Yugoslavia
Zanzibar

119
119
119
120
121
122
123
126
132
134
135
136
136
136
137

Stock of silver in various countries. 138
Addendum
141

FOREWORD
The prominence lately assumed by silver in discussions of world
currency, make the present study of the position of the metal in the
world's monetary systems particularly timely. This is a strictly
factual bulletin, prepared in the Finance and Investment Division
from information in its files and the Department's library, supplemented by reports submitted specifically for this study by a considerable number of representatives of the Departments of State and
Commerce in foreign countries. The present bulletin is one of
several studies of silver made by the same author, the most recent
one, The Silver Market, Trade Promotion Series No. 139, being
principally a treatment of the economic aspects of the production
and distribution of silver.
The position of silver in the monetary systems of most countries
is distinctly subordinate. Very few countries have silver as their
standard of value, namely, China, Hong Kong, Macao, and Tibet.
Even China now legally impedes the free movement of silver in certain forms into and out of the country. Several other countries rely
on silver as their chief medium of exchange, but do not make it
their standard of value, having adopted some form of the gold
standard de jure or de facto. British India and Persia come under
this category. Contrary to an impression held by some persons,
neither these two countries, nor Australia, New Zealand, Mexico,
or any other Latin American country employ silver as standard of
value.
In a number of countries, the study shows, considerable stocks of
silver are held. While those of China and India are the most important and the best known, there are significant supplies of the
metal in circulation or in the monetary reserves of Spain, Germany,
France, the United States, and other countries. The bulletin contains detailed information on the legal provisions relating to silver,
on the position of silver in the reserves of banks of issue, the circulation of silver coin, the attitude of foreign countries toward
silver, and the possibility of increased use thereof without new legislation. The survey not only covers foreign countries, but includes
a detailed description of the position of silver in the United States
currency system.
F R E D E R I C K M. F E I K E R , Director,
Bureau of Foreign amd Domestic Commerce.
APRIL

1933.

VI




THE MONETARY USE OF SILVER IN 1933
INTRODUCTION
This study of the present use of silver throughout the world is presented by countries, the subject being examined under four heads: (1)
Present legal provisions; (2) possibility of increased use of silver
without new legislation; (3) attitude toward silver; (4) present employment of silver. Obviously, the position of silver in the currency
systems of the world varies greatly, and it is not possible conveniently
to tabulate the results of the present investigation. None the less,
certain general observations become possible, and these are presented
in the pages immediately following, together witli certain data
believed pertinent. At the end there is a summary table.
SILVER AS A STANDARD OF VALUE

Silver is the standard of value in but few countries today. The
full silver standard exists where silver is the standard of value;
where in effect free coinage (i.e., coinage unlimited as to maximum
amount) exists for the metal; where silver is unlimited legal tender;
where there is ready interchangeability of the other currency of the
country with silver, with no maximum limit as to quantity; and where
there is full freedom to import and export silver. There is scarcely a
silver-using country in the world, except Hong Kong, which fulfills
all these requirements. China, last important stronghold of silver,
has certain restrictions on silver imports and a duty on certain silver
exports, but these technical impairments of the silver standard are
not serious in that country's case. Other countries which may be
classed as on the silver standard are Macao and Tibet. The currency
in use in Ethiopia and Afghanistan is silver, but there are restrictions
on the movements of the metal. Persia, British India, Ceylon, and
Mexico are not on the silver standard, contrary to the belief in some
quarters. The four countries just mentioned, also Ethiopia, and all
other countries not on the silver standard are normally on some form
of the gold standard, or have recently taken steps toward adoption of
gold.
SILVER AS A MEDIUM OF EXCHANGE

There is evidently little inclination abroad to use silver in other
than a subsidiary capacity. But this capacity is an important one.
All countries require various low-denomination coins, a purpose for
which silver is peculiarly suited. The metal is durable, attractive,
and easily recognizable. Moreover, it is neither too rare nor too
plentiful for the purpose, and it lends itself readily to the technical
processes of minting. There are, however, certain limitations in
the employment of silver as a subsidiary currency metal, as indicated
below.
l




2

M O N E T A R Y USE OF SILVER I N

19 3 3

SILVER AS LEGAL TENDER AND SUBSIDIARY MONEY

Although silver is relegated to the position of a subsidiary metal
in most countries of the world, there is no uniformity as to its status.
In a few gold-standard countries where, ipso facto, free coinage of
silver does not exist, silver currency is unlimited legal tender de
jure. Such is the case in British India, Ceylon, Mexico, Netherland
India, Netherland West Indies, Netherlands, Persia, Siam, and
Spain; and smaller countries and colonies like Aden, British East
Africa, British Somaliland, British West Africa, Goa, Hyderabad,
Pondicherry, Travancore, Zanzibar, and the Spanish colonies. Silver currency is unlimited legal tender by specific provision of law
or by custom in Hong Kong, where the nearest approach to the
full silver standard exists, and in China (including Manchuria),
Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Liberia, Macao, Mongolia, and Hedjaz.
In the United States silver subsidiary coin is limited legal tender,
but the so-called standard silver dollars and the silver certificates
which represent them are full legal tender except where otherwise
specified in the contract.
Subsidiary silver coin, while limited in legal tender, is as a general rule accepted by Governments in tax and other payments without limit as to amount. In this way, if not otherwise, the demand
for the different denominations of money in circulation can be
adjusted.
SILVER CERTIFICATES

In addition to the United States, countries employing currency
certificates redeemable only in silver include British India, British
Somaliland, Ceylon, China (including Manchuria), Colombia,
Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Goa, Hong Kong, Hyderabad, Kwantung
Leased Territory, Macao, Morocco, Netherlands, Panama,1 Philippine Islands,1 Pondicherry, Travancore, and Zanzibar.
In Spain and the Spanish colonies the notes of the Bank of Spain
may be classed as silver certificates, not because they are not redeemable in gold, but because, in practice, the Bank of Spain redeems
them in silver coin, which is its prerogative.
With reference to the above lists, distinction should be made between those countries where silver is full legal tender and those, like
the Netherlands, where the certificates are redeemable in the limitedlegal-tender currency only. Again, a separate list might be made
of those countries whose notes are redeemable in silver coin (e.g., the
rupee) itself ultimately, in normal times, redeemable in gold. The
silver certificates of the United States fall into this category not
by specific provision of law, but by the general tenor of the goldstandard act of 1900.
ATTRIBUTES OF A SUBSIDIARY COINAGE; FIDUCIARY COIN

A coinage is subsidiary when the minting thereof is legally limited
as to amount; when its value as currency is—by law—greater
than its value as metal; when it is limited as to legal tender; when it
is convertible, in reasonable quantities, into the standard money
1 American silver certificates are used in such Caribbean countries as the Virgin Islands,
Cuba, Panama and the Canal Zone, British Honduras, etc. They also circulate in the
Philippine Islands, where silver certificates are locally issued as well.




3 M O N E T A R Y USE OF SILVER I N

19 3 3

of the country; and when its denominations are smaller than the
monetary unit of the country. All subsidiary money is fiduciary,
because its value as currency rests on the public's faith in the Government's ability to maintain such value. Coin which has all the abovelisted attributes, except that of being smaller in denomination
than the unit, is not subsidiary, but is fiduciary.
It is desirable that fiduciary coins have a value as bullion sufficiently low to avoid their being melted down, upon a forseeable rise
in the price of their principal metal, for example, silver. If they
should be withdrawn from circulation and melted, great public
inconvenience might result. This, indeed, has happened in our
own history, as witness the scarcity of silver coin during the Civil
War. Moreover, during the period of an abnormally high price
of silver in 1919-20 the same thing threatened to occur again, when
the price of silver at one time rose slightly above the bullion value
of our subsidiary silver coinage. To avoid a recurrence of this risk
Neil Crothers, in his book, Fractional Money, states (p. 289) : " The
proper remedy is to reduce the proportion of pure silver in the coins,
with a proportionate increase in the copper. The size, design, and
wording need not be changed. This plan involves no delays whatever.
The only significant change in the coins is an alteration in color.
In 1920 England adopted this method, delaying so long after the
crisis had arrived that a law was hastily passed reducing the fineness of the silver coins from 92% percent to 50 percent."
While it is desirable to mint subsidiary coin with a seigniorage
sufficiently large to avoid such danger, the content of subsidiary
coin should be sufficiently valuable, as bullion, to avoid temptation to
counterfeiters. Against the latter risk there are, of course, certain
other protective devices.
LIMITS

WITHIN

WHICH GOLD-STANDARD COUNTRIES
FREELY EMPLOY SILVER

MAY

Since in every country there is normally a certain minimum
demand for currency as a medium of exchange, it is possible within
that limit to vary the character of the money, whether metal or
paper, with the utmost freedom. Such stock of money may consist in whole or part of commodity money, or it may be entirely
fiduciary. Within this limit nations may safely substitute copper
for nickel, nickel for silver, or silver for gold-secured paper without affecting the price level. Recently, as this study shows, this
principle has been resorted to in Germany, France, Colombia,
Cuba, Mexico, Poland, and Spain, as a device to improve the gold
ratio. The same principle made safe the substitution in many
countries of base metal coins or small notes for silver during the
World War scarcity of the metal. Countries which did this were,
for example, the Netherlands, Japan, Straits Settlements, France,
Belgium, and Greece.
From this it does not follow that there is no other limit to the
amount of silver coin which may be issued. Experience of the United
States proves that when coins become too cumbersome a more convenient medium of exchange is demanded. Also, in Germany, where
large quantities of 5-mark silver pieces were lately put in circulation,
there has arisen much complaint of the inconvenience occasioned by
the forced acceptance of the heavy coins, and steps are now being



4

M O N E T A R Y USE OF SILVER I N

19 3 3

taken to substitute smaller coins. It appears that in modern countries
accustomed to the use of banknotes and checks, there is a practical
limit to the amount of metal which may be put into circulation.
WHERE SILVER IS A PREFERRED MEDIUM OF EXCHANGE

In certain less-advanced countries, on the other hand, a large part
of the population shows a distinct preference for silver rather than
paper currency. Particularly is this the case in the backward countries of Africa and Asia, and occasionally in tropical countries, where
paper money is in danger of destruction by insects. Countries in
these categories are those of the Arabian peninsula, Afghanistan,
Algeria, Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, British (and other) India, Ceylon,
China (with some local exceptions), Eritrea, Iraq, Mexico, Netherland India, Persia, and Syria.
WHERE SILVER COIN IS NOT IN CIRCULATION

In several countries there are no silver coins in active circulation.
Among these are Albania, Argentina, Belgian Congo, Belgium,
Denmark, Finland, Paraguay, and Turkey. For a number of years
prior to the latter part of March 1933 no silver had circulated in
France, and practically none in any French colony except French
Indo-China and Pondicherry. The recent issuance of silver by the
French Government will undoubtedly be followed by the circulation
of the new coins in the colonies where the coinage system of France
applies. (See French Colonies.) Turkey, as mentioned elsewhere,
is expected soon to issue silver coins.
STATUTORY LIMITS ON SUBSIDIARY SILVER COINAGE

Subsidiary silver coinage in various countries is limited either
according to the discretion of the treasury or a currency board, or by
specific restriction in the currency law. In the United States, United
Kingdom, and most other countries silver is minted only as demand
for such coin arises; the law places no limit on the amount of
subsidiary currency.
On the other hand, various countries specifically limit by law the
amount of subsidiary coin. The limit may be so much per capita, or
it may be a specific figure. In some cases the law specifies how
much coin of each metal may be issued. In other cases the proportion of silver coin to total subsidiary coin is subject to variation at
the discretion of the mint or treasury authorities. Germany, for
example, limited the amount of silver coin to 30 reichsmarks per
capita; Latvia, to 30 lats per capita; and Lithuania, to 6 litas per
capita; while Poland limited the total of silver, nickel and copper
coins to 320,000,000 zlote, of which 140,000,000 zlote were to be of
silver.
A third group of countries issues silver coin irregularly, in amounts
and denominations specified by separate enactment. Thus, France
in 1928 passed a law authorizing the issuance within a certain time
of 3,000,000,000 francs in silver 10- and 20-franc coins, details of the
law being subsequently amended. In Italy the legal authorization
for silver coinage specifies the amount of each denomination which
may be put into circulation.



5 MONETARY USE OF SILVER I N

19 3 3

In some countries, particularly colonies, new issues of silver coin
cannot be made without authorization from abroad. Greece, for
example, requires the approval of the International Financial Commission, which was established before the World War to protect
foreign loans made to Greece.
Nearly all countries have, at one time or another, passed special
legislation for the issuance of commemorative coins. Such issues
may fall within the limits defined in the law, or they may be
authorized in addition to the coinage previously provided.
MORE SILVER LEGALLY ISSUABLE IN MANY COUNTRIES

While a considerable number of countries have limited by law the
amount of silver currency, not all such countries have in circulation
all the silver legally issuable. Thus, if necessary, a certain additional amount of silver could be put into circulation there. In other
countries, where there is no legal limit, more silver may be issued
without formality. The general practice, however, is to issue silver
coin only as public demand for subsidiary money requires. Countries where, it is believed, the use of silver coin may be increased
without new legislation include the following. It should be borne
in mind that the law is not always definite on this point and that it
is frequently a matter of opinion whether new legislation would be
necessary. In a few cases exact information is not on hand.
Afghanistan
Albania
Anglo-Egyptian Sudan
Argentina (?)
Australia
Austria
Belgium 2
Brazil
British Honduras
British India
Bulgaria
Canada
Ceylon
Chile
China
Costa Rica (?)
Czechoslovakia
Ethiopia
France 2
French Indo-China
Goa

Greece
Hedjaz
Honduras
Hong Kong
Hungary
Hyderabad
Iraq
Irish Free State
Italy 2
Japan
Latvia
Liberia
Liechenstein
Lithuania
Mauritius
Mexico (?)
Nejd
Netherland India
New Zealand
Newfoundland (?)
Nicaragua

Palestine
Panama
Persia
Peru
Philippine Islands
Poland
Pondicherry
Portugal 2
Salvador
Sarawak
Siam (?)
Spain (?) 2
Straits Settlements
Sweden
Tibet
Union of Soviet Socialist
Republics
United Kingdom 2
United States 2

CHANGES IN FINENESS—SALES OF DEMONETIZED SILVER

The amount of silver in monetary use in a country is naturally
affected by a change in the fineness of the silver coins. The widespread lowering of the fineness of coins after the World War and
the large sales of demonetized silver which followed are frequently
alluded to. The more important changes in this respect were designed to prevent melting of the coins by the public. Again,
the fineness of the silver coins may be altered in order to make the
silver currency more popular. It seems very likely that such a
change may soon be made in German coinage, where in March a
plan was reported under consideration to alter the 5-mark coin and
withdraw the 1-mark silver piece. Under the proposal all the exist2

Including colonies and territories where currency of mother country circulates.




6

M O N E T A R Y USE OF SILVER IN 1 9 3 3

ing 5-mark silver pieces would be withdrawn from circulation and,
in their place, there would be issued 5-mark coins smaller in size
but with the same silver content.
From 1919 to 1932, inclusive, it is estimated no less than 541,000,000
fine ounces of silver obtained from demonetized coin have been sold
on the world market. The principal single source of this silver since
1927 has been British India. Important amounts have been sold by
the United Kingdom, French Indo-China, France, Siam, Belgium,
the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Mexico, and Egypt. For
convenience the following table, brought down to date, is republished
from Trade Promotion Series No. 139, The Silver Market.
ESTIMATED

SALES OF DEMONETIZED

SILVER, 1 9 2 0 - 3 2 ,

ACCORDING TO COUNTRY

OF

ORIGIN
[Millions of fine ounces]
Other
United
European
Kingdom
countries

Year

1920_ _
1921
1922
1923
1924
19251926 .
1927..
1928
1929
1930
1931 _
1932

. .

6.5
24.0
25.0
2.0
7.0
.7
1.2
5.5
10.0
(3)
(3)

.

81.9

Total

27.0
1 30.0
19.0
20.0
18.0
23.0
2 7.0
2 8.0
2 32.0
2 10.0
2 3 22.0

British
India

French
IndoChina

Other
Total, all
countries countries

5 11.6

9.2
22.5
35.0
29.5
35.0
24.0

12.0
20.0
6.4
10.0

* 27.4
6 1.0

27.0
36.5
43.0
45.0
20.0
30.0
7.7
18.4
60.0
67.0
71.5
68.5
46.6

227.6

155.2

48.4

28.4

541.2

1 Germany accounted for 8,000,000 of this total.
2 Of the 79,000,000 ounces reported as sold by Europe from 1926 to 1930, inclusive, 66,000,000 came from
France and 13,000,000 from Belgium.
3 In 1930 and 1931 additional supplies came to London from Europe and from the debasement of British
coinage. These were all used in the manufacture of coin for other countries and are not shown in this
table.
4 20,000,000 ounces from Siam, 4,200,000 from Mexico, and 2,900,000 from Egypt.
5 Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
6 Near Eastern sales.
NOTE.—Estimates given in this table are those of Handy and Harman, New York City. The 1932 estimates are subject to revision.

The fine content of the silver coinage has been lowered since 1919
by various countries, including:
Austria
Brazil
Bulgaria
Canada
Ceylon
Chile
Costa Rica 3
Czechoslovakia
Danzig
Estonia
France

French Indo-China
Germany
Greece
Hungary
Irish Free State
Italy
Japan
Latvia
Lithuania
Mexico
Netherlands

Netherland India
Persia
Peru
Poland
Portugal
Rumania
Siam
Straits Settlements
Switzerland
United Kingdom
Yugoslavia

The use of silver as currency has been discontinued since 1914 in
the following countries: Belgium,4 Denmark,4 Finland, Norway, Turkey,4 and until March 1933, France.5
3
1
5

Law of Sept. 7, 1917.
Including colonies.
Expected soon to issue silver coins.




7 M O N E T A R Y USE OF SILVER I N

19 3 3

Regarding sales of demonetized silver, countries which may sell
such silver in the near future include British India, British West
Africa, Estonia, Germany, Guatemala, Netherlands, Siam, and the
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
In contrast with the above, Czechoslovakia and Turkey are likely
to use silver for coinage in the near future, while a well-known
Buenos Aires economist has recommended that Argentina employ
some silver in its currency system. Coinage programs involving
silver are now under way for China, Czechoslovakia, France, Iraq,
New Zealand, Persia, Poland, Portugal, and Yugoslavia. Silver
coinage programs for Germany, French Indo-China, Panama, Colombia, Cuba, and Danzig were recently completed.
NET CONSUMPTION IN COINAGE, 1900 TO 1931, BY SELECTED
COUNTRIES

In the following review of the consumption of silver in coinage
China is not included because of the inadequacy of statistical data
and because coinage is not the sole index of monetary consumption
in a country where silver in a variety of forms passes as currency,
while coins circulate on the basis of their value as bullion.
During the 30-year period from 1900 to 1929 the largest net consumption of silver in coinage was that of British India (863,400,000
fine ounces), followed by the United States (236,000,000 ounces).
These two countries absorbed over half the total for the 15 selected
countries tabulated below. Russia and Mexico followed (with approximately 150,000,000 fine ounces each), in turn followed by Germany, Japan, French Indo-China, and Austria and Hungary considered as a unit.
The consumption of silver for coinage purposes by the 15 countries
was subject to considerable variation from year to year. In the
United States, for example, net coinage of silver was heaviest in
1900-1904, and during the years of Pittman Act purchases, from
1920 to 1926. British India's coinage demand, also, was irregular,
varying with economic conditions in that country. Apart from the
unusually heavy demand (497,000,000 ounces) during the war and
post-war period 1916-20, the heaviest net coinage consumption in
India took place in the years 1903-7, when 233,000,000 fine ounces
were coined by the mints. Since 1922 there has been a net annual
return of silver from circulation.
Russia's coinage between 1900 and 1929 was very irregular. The
heaviest consumption by the mint occurred in 1904, 1915-16, and
1924r-25. Mexico coined substantial amounts in 1900-1901, 1903, and
1920-24. Germany's net consumption was largest in the years
1924-26 and Japan's in 1917, when the large amount of 67,200,000
fine ounces (net) was consumed.
During the 5-year period 1927-31 the average annual net consumption by the selected countries was in some cases larger than
the annual average for the period 1900-1929. In others, however, a
" net consumption " had been displaced by a " net withdrawal from
circulation as the accompanying table shows. Thus, whereas British India's net consumption averaged almost 29,000,000 fine ounces
per annum in the 30-year period, analysis of the 5-year period ended
1931 shows an average return from circulation of 24,000,000 ounces



8

M O N E T A R Y USE OF SILVER IN

19 3 3 8

per annum, with the return in the depression year 1931 reaching
almost 40,000,000 ounces. In the United States annual net consumption averaged close to 8,000,000 ounces from 1900 to 1929; from 1927
to 1931 the average was only 1,640,000 ounces: and during both 1930
and 1931 there were net withdrawals from circulation totaling
4,600,000 ounces.
The Soviet's consumption showed a small decline in the 5-year
period 1927-31, while latterly—as stated elsewhere—the Government has been withdrawing silver coin for exportation. An unofficial estimate puts sales of demonetized silver by the Union, of Soviet
Socialist Republics in 1932 at 11,600,000 fine ounces. Mexico's statistics show an average net withdrawal from circulation, amounting
to 560,000 ounces in 1927-31. This average was slightly smaller than
the net withdrawal in the year 1931 alone. Mexico's coinage activity
of 1932 is, of course, not included in these figures. Germany's large
net consumption for coinage during 1931 (18,000,000 ounces) made
the 5-year average 8,340,000 ounces, compared with one of 4,530,000
ounces during the 30 years ended 1929. Japan showed average net
withdrawals of 180,000 fine ounces during the more recent period;
the United Kingdom, 5,180,000 ounces; France, 4,460,000 ounces; and
Italy, 1,120,000 ounces. It is noteworthy that in 1931 the United
Kingdom showed a net consumption of 5,300,000 ounces and France
7,800,000 ounces in contrast to withdrawals from circulation in the
years immediately preceding. The most marked increase was in the
case of Germany. In all other cases studied, 1931 does not compare
favorably with 1927-31.
A comparison of the 1927-31 figures with those for 1900-1929
shows increases in the annual average net consumption in the cases
of only three countries, Germany, Persia, and the Netherlands. A
similar comparison of 1900-1929 with the year 1931 shows increased
net consumption in only Germany, United Kingdom, and France.
COMPARISON OF AVERAGE N E T CONSUMPTION OF SILVER) FOR COINAGE, BY SELECTED
COUNTRIES, D U R I N G REGENT PERIODS AND D U R I N G 1 9 3 1
[In millions of fine ounces]

Net consumption
in coinage, 19001929

Country

British India
United States of America
Russia
Mexico.
__
__
Germany
Japan
French Indo-China
Austria and Hungary
United Kingdom
Persia . _
France
Netherlands
Australia
.
Canada
_
Italy
Total

.
.

- 2 3 . 98
1. 64
4. 66
-.56
8.34
-.18
2. 76
3. 68
-5.18
3. 42
-4.46
2.14
.26

!

28.78
7. 87
5. 06
5. 01
4. 53
4.41
3. 97
4. 02
2. 53
1.54
.84
.61
.50
.48
.24

;

2,111.6

70. 39

- 8 . 58

!
!

1

!

_

Net consumption
in 1931
(subject
to revi1900-1929 1927-31 1 sion) 1

863.4
236.0
151.7
150.4
135.9
132.4
119.0
120.6
75.9
46.3
25.2
18.4
15.0
14.3
7.1

. . . ___
- -

__

Average net consumption per annum

I
|
i

-39.6
-4.4
-.8
18.0
-3.8
.9
5.3
7.8
-5.5

-1.12
-22.1

i The minus sign indicates net withdrawal of coin from circulation.
Source: 1900-1929, Y . S. Leong, Brookings Institution (table on p. 88 of Trade Promotion Series No.
139, The Silver Market, by Herbert M . Bratter); 1927-31, from annual reports of the Director of the Mint.




M O N E T A R Y USE OF SILVER I N

19 3 3

9

The second table submitted herewith shows detailed figures on
coinage of silver and withdrawal by the mints of 24 countries, as
reported to the United States Bureau of the Mint. Also shown are
the totals for the world, as reported to the mint. As the figures show,
the country which consumed the largest amount of silver in coinage
during the period 1927-31 was Germany, which took 41,700,000
ounces in 1930. The other principal net consumers of silver for
coinage purposes, in the order of amount consumed were Union of
Soviet Socialist Republics, Persia, Austria, Fren,ch Indo-China,
Netherlands, and Poland. Those countries in which the most silver
returned from circulation in the period 1927 to 1931 were British
India, United Kingdom, France, Netherland India, Italy, and
Mexico.
SILVER COINAGE BY SELECTED COUNTRIES FROM 1 9 2 7 TO 1 9 3 1 ,
(In millions of fine ounces.

Country and item

Germany:
Coinage _

A minus (—) sign indicates withdrawal from monetary use)

1927

7.1
.1
7.0
Net consumption in coinage
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics:
Coinage
Withdrawn from circulation _
_
Net consumption in coinage
Persia:
3.8
Coinage..
Withdrawn from circulation
3.8
Net consumption in coinage
Austria:
11.7
Coinage.
4.5
Withdrawn from circulation
7.2
Net consumption in coinage
French Indo-China:
7.4
Coinage
.7
Withdrawn from circulation
6.7
Net consumption in coinage
Netherlands:
.1
Coinage
.1
Withdrawn from circulation
_
Net consumption in coinage
- ___
Poland:
Coinage
Withdrawn from circulation
Net consumption in coinage
United States:
8.3
Coinage
.
• 2.3
Withdrawn from circulation
6.0
Net consumption in coinage
Czechoslovakia:
Coinage
Withdrawn from circulation
Net consumption in coinage
Bulgaria:
Coinage __ _ _ _ __
Withdrawn from circulation
Net consumption in coinage. _ _
Hungary:
1.8
Coinage
Withdrawn from circulation
_ _
1.8
Net consumption in coinage
Greece:
Coinage
Withdrawn from circulation
Net consumption in coinage
French Morocco:
Coinage
Withdrawn from circulation
Net consumption in coinage
1

Subject to revision.




INCLUSIVE

1928

1929

1930

6.3
1.9
4.4

4.2
1.5
2.7

7.8

12.3
2.7
9.6

1931 i

5-year 5-year
total average

15.5

18.3
3
18.0

41.7

8.34

23.3

4.66

7.8

15.5

11.4
3.7
7.7

10.1
5.4
4.7

.9
.9

17.1

3. 42

5.5
1.6
3.9

2.9
1.0
1.9

1.9
1.2
.7

l.'l
.2
.9

14.6

2. 92

7.0
.2
6.8

3.3
.2
3.1

1.0

7.7
11.5
-3.8

.13. 8

2. 76

2.3
1.1
1.2

11.0
9.8
1.2

13.8

10.7
16.2
-5.5

10.7

2.14

1.2
-1.2

6.6
.8
5.8

5.0
.8
4.2

1.1
.2
.9

9.7

1.94

6.4
2.9
3.5

6.2
2.9
3.3

1.9
2.1
-.2

.5
4.9
-4.4

8.2

1. 64

.4

1.4

2.3

1.7

.4

1.4

2.3

1.7

5.8

1.16

2.6

2.6

2.6

2.6

5.2

1.04

3.8

.76

2.9

2.9

.58

.1
-.1

1.6

.32

1.0
1.0

1.0
13.8

1.9
.9
1.0
2.9

1.7
1.7

10

M O N E T A R Y USE OF SILVER I N

19 3 3

SILVER COINAGE BY SELECTED COUNTRIES FROM 1 9 2 7 TO 1 9 3 1 ,
(In millions of fine ounces.

A minus (—) sign indicates withdrawal from monetary use)

Country and item

Australia:
Coinage.
Withdrawn from circulation
Net consumption in coinage
Union of South Africa:
Coinage
Withdrawn from circulation
Net consumption in coinage
Switzerland:
Coinage
Withdrawn from circulation
Net consumption in coinage
Irish Free State:
Coinage.
Withdrawn from circulation
Net consumption in coinage
Japan:
Coinage
Withdrawn from circulation
Net consumption in coinage
Mexico:
Coinage
Withdrawn from circulation
Net consumption in coinage
Italy:
Coinage
Withdrawn from circulation
Net consumption in coinage
Netherland India:
Coinage
Withdrawn from circulation
Net consumption in coinage
France:
Coinage
Withdrawn from circulation
Net consumption in coinage
United Kingdom:
Coinage
*
Withdrawn from circulation
Net consumption in coinage
British India:
Coinage
Withdrawn from circulation
Net consumption in coinage
Total, above countries:
Coinage
Withdrawn from circulation.
Net consumption in coinage
Total, all countries reported to the mint:
Coinage
Withdrawn from circulation
Net consumption in coinage
2

INCLUSIVE—Contd.

1927

2.0
.5
1.5

1928

1929

1930

1931

5-year 5-year
total average

1.0
.5
.5

.5
.6

2

1

.2

.10

1.5

1.2
.3

1.7
.5

1.2
.1

4.4
5.0
-.6

2.2
2.1
.1

1.6

19.0
25.8
-6.8

5.4
9.9
-4.5

1.6
.8

10.0
-7.2

9.0
18.9

-.18

.2
6.4

1.6

4.8

.1

2.8

-.02

1.
-1.0

.1
43.2
-43.2

-. 1

-1.6

.5
1.9
-1.4

-.1

.04

5.0
5.0
10.0
19.3
-9.3

1.0

3.6
2.7
-1.12
(2)
7.6
2 -7.6

8.1
8.1
2.3
7.1
-4.8

5.7
7.3
-8.6

- 1 . 72

-22.3

-1.6

-4.46

7.8
7.8
5.3
5.3

-25.9

2.1

-.3

14.2
-13.4

-28.2

29.2

.6
39.0
-38.4

67.0
47.4
19.6

70.3
109.0
-38.7

83.4
76.2
7.2

69.4
65.0
4.4

84.5
-18.2

356.4
382.1
-25.7

143.7
54.9

216.1
113.1
103.0

185.4
88.2
97.2

179.9
81.2
98.7

70.5
89.5
-19.0

795.6
426.9
368.7

41.7
-39.6

73. 74

For 1930, coinage for the Netherlands and Netherland India was reported in one figure.

Source: Annual reports of the Director of the Mint.

SILVER IN RESERVES OF CENTRAL BANKS

Analysis of the percentage of silver in total metallic holdings in
18 foreign banks of issue, by 5-year periods, shows a decline of approximately 17 percent between 1900-1904 and 1905-9; 26 percent
during the next 5 years; and 42 percent during the World-War quinquennium. The following is based on statistics compiled by Y. S.
Leong, of Washington, D.C.




M O N E T A R Y USE OF SILVER I N

19 3 3

11

SILVER I N T H E METALLIC RESERVES OF 1 8 FOREIGN CENTRAL B A N K S

Percent
of total
metallic
holdings
(average)1

5-year period

1900-1904._
1905-09
1910-14

24.5
20.4
15.1

Percentage
change
from preceding
5-year
period

-16.7
-26.0

5-year period

1915-19
1920-24 _ _
1925-29

Percent Percentage
of total
change
metallic
holdings from preceding
(aver5-year
age)!
period
8.7
9.1
7.1

-42.4
+4.6
-22.0

1 For each 5-year period the proportion of silver in the holdings of each bank was averaged, and from such
averages an 18-country average was computed. Detailed 5-year averages by countries, as compiled by
Mr. Leong, were published in Senate Document No. 8, 73d Cong., 1st sess.

During the 30 years covered by the above figures, details of which
were published in an appendix to Trade Promotion Series No. 139,
The Silver Market, the proportion of silver in total metallic holdings declined in all but 4 of the 18 countries. Those which showed
a net increase were Denmark, Japan, Russia, and Switzerland,
whose actual silver holdings were and still are relatively small.
In all countries where silver coin actively circulates, the central
banks have on hand some silver as till money. Usually, however,
in gold standard countries the law governing the central banks'
reserves makes no provision for silver, but there are certain exceptions. Central banks at present specifically authorized by law to
include silver in their minimum metallic reserves against notes or
demand liabilities in general include those of—
Albania
Bolivia
China
Colombia
Guatemala
Hungary

Japan
Manchuria
Netherland India
Netherlands
Peru
Poland

Spain
Union of South Africa
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
United Kingdom

In addition to the foregoing list, which applies to central banks,
silver is included in the monetary reserves of the treasuries or banks
of British India, Ceylon, Ethiopia, Goa, Hong Kong, Mexico, New
Zealand, Pondicherry, Siam, Straits Settlements, and the United
States.
RECENT EXCHANGE RATES

The par value of the monetary unit of each country is shown in
the text of the bulletin, following the name of the country. Exchange rates for April 15, 1933, for the currencies of the more important commercial nations, are shown in the following table issued
by the Federal Reserve Board.
172120—33




2

12

M O N E T A R Y USE OF SILVER I N

19 3 3

NOON B U Y I N G R A T E S FOR CABLE TRANSFERS I N N E W Y O R K

Value in United States money
Country

Unit
quoted

Mint
par

Rate
quoted

Value in United States money
Country

SOUTH

Cents

Cents

Schilling..
Belga
Lev
Koruna...
Krone
Pound
Markka...
Franc..
Reichsmark.
Drachma
Pengo
Lira
Florin
Krone
Zloty
Escudo
Leu
Peseta
Krona
Franc
Dinar

14.07
13.90
.72
2. 96
26. 80
486.66
2. 52
3.92
23.82
1.30
17.49
5.26
40.20
26. 80
11.22
4.42
19. 30
26.80
19. 30
1. 76

i 14.0800
14.1125
i. 7150
2.9833
15. 5166
348. 5000
i 1.5400
4. 0305
23.9640
.5816
i 17. 4500
5.1762
41. 0166
17. 7920
i 11. 2000
i 3.1400
i. 6012
8. 7216
18. 4260
19. 7866
i 1. 3820

Dollar..
Peso...
....do-

Austria
Belgium
Bulgaria
Czechoslovakia
Denmark.
England
Finland
France
Germany
Greece
_.
Hungary
Italy
Netherlands
Norway
Poland
...,
Portugal
Rumania
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
Yugoslavia

100.00
100 00
49. 85

CITY

Unit
quoted

Mint
par

AMERICA

Cents

83. 7767
99.9333
2
()

.60

Argentina..
Brazil
Chile
Colombia..
Uruguay...

Gold peso
Milreis
Peso
do
do

96.48
11.96
12.17
97. 33
103. 42

ASIA

Hong Kong
China (Shanghai)
India
Japan

Dollar-

3 33. 42

Yuan..
Rupee _
Yen....

3 21. 71
36. 50
49. 85

Pound.
doDollar..
Pound.

486. 66
486.66
< 40. 66
486. 66

OTHER COUNTRIES

Australia
New Zealand.
Singapore
South Africa

NORTH AMERICA

Canada.
Cuba—
Mexico-

Nominal.
No quotation.
Silver content of unit multiplied by New York price of silver on April 15, 1933, which was 28% cents
per fine ounce.
i Legally equivalent to 7/60 of 1 English pound.
Parity represents 7/60 of quotation of pound in New York
on April 15, 1933.
1

2
3

PAPER-CURRENCY STATISTICS

Students of the monetary use of silver may find of interest the
following statistics, showing the outstanding note issue of the principal banks of issue as of the end of 1932. The figures, which
represent local currency in millions, are taken from the Federal
Eeserve Bulletin for March 1933. The figures do not include notes
issued by governments.
Country

Albania
Australia
Austria
Belgium
Bolivia
Brazil
Bulgaria
Canada
Chile.
China...
Colombia
Czechoslovakia
Denmark
Danzig, Free City of
Ecuador
Egypt
Estonia
Finland
1

End of November 1932.




Note
issue

Issuing bank

National Bank of Albania
Commonwealth Bank of Australia
Austrian National Bank
National Bank of Belgium
Central Bank of Bolivia
Bank of Brazil
National Bank of Bulgaria
The commercial banks
Central Bank of Chile
Central Bank of China
Bank of the Republic of Colombia.
National Bank of Czechoslovakia..
Danish National Bank
Bank of Danzig
Central Bank of Ecuador
National Bank of Egypt
Bank of Estonia
Bank of Finland

Franc
Pound
Schilling
Belga
Boliviano
Milreis
Lev
Dollar
Peso
Yuan
Peso
Koruna
Krone
Gulden
Sucre
Pound
Kroon
Markka

__

.

13.1
46.2
914.0
3,627.0
i 36.1
170.0
2,635.0
115.0
488.0
i 35.2
22.5
6, 267.0
332.0
36.5
24.0
i 19.0
31.2
1, 085. 0

M O N E T A R Y USE OF SILVER I N

Country

13

19 3 3

Issuing bank
Bank of France
Reichsbank
Bank of Greece
National Bank of Hungary
Bank of Italy
Bank of Japan
Bank of Latvia
Bank of Lithuania
Bank of Java
._
Netherlands Bank
Bank of Norway
Central Bank of Peru
Bank of Poland
Bank of Portugal
National Bank of Rumania
Bank of Spain..
Bank of Sweden
Swiss National Bank
Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey
South African Reserve Bank
Bank of England
("Federal Reserve System
\ National banks
Bank of the Republic of Uruguay..
National Bank of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia...

France
Germany
Greece
Hungary
Italy
...
Japan
Latvia
Lithuania
Netherland India
Netherlands
_.
Norway
Peru
Poland
Portugal
Rumania
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
Turkey
Union of South Africa
United Kingdom
United States
Uruguay
Yugoslavia

Unit
Franc
Reichsmark.
Drachma
Pengo
Lira
Yen
Lat
Litas
Florin
do
Krone
Sol
Zloty
Escudo
Leu..
Peseta
Krona
Franc
Pound
do
do
Dollar
do
Peso.
Dinar.

2 Federal Reserve notes and Federal Reserve bank notes.
At the end of March 1933 the corresponding
amount was $3,638,300,000.
3 National bank notes in circulation on March 31 totaled $878,808,000.

GOLD RESERVES OF WORLD

For purposes of comparison there is given herewith a statement
of the gold reserves of central banks and governments, as given in the
Federal Keserve Bulletin for March 1933. The figures apply to the
end of January 1933, and are in millions of dollars.
End of
January
1933

Country

United States
Canada
Europe:
Austria
Belgium
Bulgaria
Czechoslovakia
Denmark
England
France
Germany
Greece.
Hungary
Italy....
NetherlandsNorway
Poland
Portugal
Rumania
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
Union of Soviet Socialist
Republics
Yugoslavia
6 other countries




4,074
84

3, 916
81

21
362
11
51
36
602
3, 221
196
7
17
308
413
39
57
i 25
57
436
55
477

21
371
11
51
36
836
3,152
176
9
17
331
381
40
55
30
58
436

31
i 29

i 68 8
,1

Total, Europe
1

End of
March
1933

Preliminary.

368
31
1 31

Country

Latin America:
Argentina
Chile
Colombia
Peru
Uruguay
5 other countriesTotal, Latin America...
Asia and Oceania:
Australia
India
Japan
Java
New Zealand.
Siam
Turkey
Total, Asia and Oceania
Africa:
Algeria
Egypt
South Africa
Total, Africa
Grand total, 49 countries
2 August 1932.

End of
January
1933

249
10
12

i 11

42
162
212
42
25
30
10
523

33
79
i 11,925

14

M O N E T A R Y USE OF SILVER I N

19 3 3

LEADING SILVER-PRODUCING COUNTRIES

As having a possible bearing on the attitude of various countries
toward silver, there is given herewith a list of the leading producing
countries, with the amount of their estimated mine production in
millions of fine ounces (troy) in 1932. These countries produced
80.6 percent of the world total.
Mexico
United States
Canada
Australia
Peru

69. 3
24. 8
16. 5
6. 5
6. 3

British India (Burma)
Total, 6 countries

6.0
12,9. 4

Total, world

160.6

Source : American Bureau of Metal Statistics; world total as estimated by Handy and
Harman.

COINAGE IN COLONIES, MANDATED AREAS, AND SPHERES OF
INFLUENCE

In connection with the detailed information which follows, it
should be borne in mind that changes affecting the coinage of the
United Kingdom will affect those countries using British coins.
(See British Empire.) Similarly, the recent issuance of silver coins
in France, in accordance with the 1928 law, implies the circulation of
silver in all French colonies using the French coinage system—
although they did not have silver in circulation when this investigation was made. (See French colonies.) Changes in the United
States coins are reflected in the circulation not only of those territories and possessions under our control,6 but also of foreign countries like Cuba, Panama, British Honduras, and Honduras, where
American money customarily circulates along with the local currency. A similar statement may be made concerning the coinage
of Portugal, which circulates in Angola, the Azores, Goa, Madeira,
Mozambique, and Portuguese Guinea ; that of Italy, which circulates
in Eritrea, Italian Somaliland, Libya, San Marino, and Vatican
City; that of Japan which circulates in Chosen, Taiwan, Kwantung
Leased Territory, the South Manchuria Railway Zone, and the mandated islands of the Pacific; and that of the Netherlands, Belgium,
Spain, Denmark, Australia, New Zealand, etc., in the colonies or
mandated areas pertaining to them.
CONVERSION EQUIVALENTS

The troy pound is divided into 12 ounces, each of 20 pennyweights
(dwts.). One pennyweight equals 24 grains. Thus:
1 dwt. =
24 grains.
20 dwts.= 480 grains=1 ounce (troy).
240 dwts. =5,760 grains= 12 ounces ( t r o y ) = l pound (troy).

The following equivalents will be found useful in making conversions from troy to avoirdupois:
1 gram

=15.432 grains =0.03215 ounce troy=0.03527 ounce
avoirdupois.
1 grain
=0.0648 gram.
1 ounce troy
=31.104 grams.
1 ounce avoirdupois =28.35 grams.
1 kilogram
—2 pounds 8 ounces 3 pennyweights troy=15,432
grains.
1 pound avoirdupois =14.5833 ounces troy.
6

See footnote 19 on p. 126.




SURVEY BY COUNTRIES
ADEN AND PROTECTORATE
The monetary unit is the British Indian rupee, divided into
16 annas. The rupee has a par value of approximately $0,365.

In Aden the rupee is unlimited legal tender.
Apart from British Indian currency, in the territory surrounding
Aden, the Maria Theresa dollar is still widely used, both this coin and
the rupee being legal tender in all transactions.
AFGHANISTAN
The official unit of currency in Afghanistan is the silver
afghani, commonly known as the Afghan rupee. The afghani is
divided into 100 pul. The Afghan rupee has no fixed par value in
terms of gold.

Present legal provisions-—The official decree establishing the currency in Afghanistan was issued in 1925.
According to American Consul Renwick S. McNiece, of Karachi,
September 11, 1930, " it has been impossible to obtain a copy of the
law relating to legal tender in Afghanistan. An informant, who
is in a position to know, states that the Afghan Government will
accept for taxes and customs duties only its own coins, i.e., amani
(gold), afghani (silver), and kabuli (silver). The latter is a coin
of old standing, 11 kabuli being equivalent to 10 afghani. Other
currency circulates freely in the country, and there are always
native exchange dealers (sarafan) who have shops in the compound
of the customs house (gumruk) at Kabul who will provide legal
tender in exchange for other forms of money * * *.
" There are no laws prohibiting the importation of silver or
gold or foreign currency of any kind. Exportation of gold and silver
in all forms is strictly prohibited and, if detected, results in the
confiscation of the intended export."
The Afghan currency system includes, in addition to the coins
mentioned, silver half afghanis (called nim afghani) and 20-pul
silver pieces.
Both the gold amani and the silver afghani are 0.900 fine. The
nim afghani is 0.500 fine. The silver content of the afghani is
believed to be about 140.625 grains (troy).
Possibility of increased me of silver without new legislation.—
More silver currency could be issued with little formality.
Attitude toward silver.—Consul McNiece reported in 1930 that
" when the afghani was first issued it was the intention gradually
to do away with the kabuli. This is still the intention of the Government, but apparently no date has yet been set for withdrawing
the kabuli rupee from circulation."
Present employment of silver.—Foreign coins and notes circulate
freely. Old silver coins, known as gajrees, circulate freely in Afghanistan, as in Persia. Coins circulate on the basis of their value as




15

16

M O N E T A R Y USE OF SILVER I N

19 3 3

bullion. While the foreign coins mentioned above have wide use,
it is not possible to indicate the extent of their circulation in a
country where there are no statistics of monetary stocks.
Silver kabuli currency circulates in denominations of 5 kabuli,
2% kabuli, 1 kabuli, y2 kabuli (called nim kabuli), and 20-paisa (also
called 1 thanga or 1 abbasi). There are 60 paisa in 1 kabuli.
ALBANIA
The monetary unit is the Albanian franc, divided into 5 leks.
The franc has a par value of approximately $0.1930.

Present legal provisions.—The currency law of July 1925 provides
for silver coins in denominations of
1, 2, and 5 francs, but these
coins are not now in circulation, although silver coins were minted
for Albania by the Italian mint in 1926. Silver coins (crowns)
issued by nearby countries before the World War are still to be
found in Albania, where they circulate at their bullion value, more
or less.
Details as specified in the 1925 law are shown in the following
table: 7
Fineness

5 francs
2francs
1 franc l _ .
H franc 1
1

_. .

Gross
weight
in gram?

0.900
.835
.835
.835

Denomination

25.0
10.0
5.0
2.5

Legal
tender
limit
Francs

50
50
50
50

It is believed this coin was not struck in 1926.

Albania's note-issue reserve, which must be at least 33*73 percent,
may include silver.8 The balance sheet of the National Bank of
Albania for the last report date in November 1932 showed gold
amounting to 5,508,000 francs, foreign exchange totaling 29,891,000
francs, and a note circulation of 12,272,000 francs. No silver was
reported.
A law of January 1922 prohibited the exportation of silver coin
or bullion.
Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation.—
The National .Bank of Albania is entrusted with management of
the currency, and could issue silver without new legislation.
Attitude toward silver.—There has been no intimation of legislation which would affect the monetary use of silver in Albania.
Present employment of silver.—Silver coin in circulation at the
end of 1931 totaled 8,579' francs and, in the central bank, 250,187
francs.
ALGERIA
The monetary unit is the Algerian franc, divided into 100 centimes. The franc has a par value of approximately $0.0392.

Present legal provisions.—The Bank of Algeria is the medium
through which the paper and metal currency is issued, according
7 Monetary Units and Coinage Systems of the Principal Countries of the World, 1929,
p. 20.
8 Federal Reserve Bulletin, July 1932, p. 437.




M O N E T A R Y USE OF SILVER IN

17

19 3 3

to a 1930 report, which stated that the coinage was regarded as
temporary, being inscribed " Chambers de Commerce de France
The law makes silver coins legal tender to 250 francs, but none
are now in circulation.
There is no general restriction on the movement of silver, other
than the statutory customs duty.9
Attitude toward silver.—When France issues silver coins, they
will probably circulate in Algeria. It has been reported that the
natives would incline to hoard them.
Present employment of silver.—No silver is now in circulation
in Algeria. Prohibited from circulation are (since 1894) Italian
fractional silver coins; (since 1903) silver coins not current in the
country of issue; and (since 1909) Greek silver coins. At the end
of 1931 the Bank of Algeria held silver totaling 53,000,000 francs.
ANGLO-EGYPTIAN SUDAN
The monetary unit is the Egyptian pound, divided into 100 piasters. The Egyptian pound at par equals approximately $4.9431.
The currency is at present pegged to the pound sterling at the
ratio of approximately £E97% equals £100 sterling.

Present legal provisions.—Except that British and Australian
shillings and florins of the King George V issue are accepted at 5
piasters and 10 piasters, respectively, the general provisions of the
existing currency laws in the Sudan are in the main similar to
those in force in Egypt. The legal tender of silver is limited to 200
piasters.
A proclamation published on June 15, 1923, removed the embargoes on gold and silver exports.
Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation.—
The present use of silver for monetary purposes cannot be extended
in the Sudan without legislation.
Attitude toward silver.—No legislation in this connection is at
present contemplated.
Present employment of silver.—For hoarding purposes silver is
preferred to bank notes, owing to the clanger of the latter being
destroyed by white ants or fire. However, it is thought that there
is not much hoarded silver in the country at the present time.
At the end of 1931 silver in the Sudan was estimated as follows:
In Government treasuries, £E845,393; in the banks, £E7,745; and in
circulation, £E921,215.
ANGOLA
The monetary unit is the angolar, divided into 20 macutas.
angolar has a par value of approximately $ 0 . 0 4 4 2 .

The

The currency is issued by the Junta da Moeda da Angola (Council
of the Coinage of Angola). Coins and notes of 1 angolar and
higher denominations are unlimited legal tender; smaller currency is
legal tender to 20 times its face value.
The exportation of Angola coins is prohibited.
9 In 1 9 3 0 this was reported by Consul Oscar S. Heizer as equivalent to $ 0 . 1 0 United
States currency per 2 2 0 pounds gross weight for silver bullion and $0.0665 per 220 pounds
for coin.




18

M O N E T A R Y USE OF SILVER I N

19 3 3

ARGENTINA
The monetary unit is the gold peso, divided into 100 centavos.
At par 1 gold peso equals approximately $0.9647. The Argentine
gold peso and paper peso are linked at this ratio: 1 gold peso
equals 2.27 paper pesos, thus giving the paper peso a par value of
approximately $0.4244. The subsidiary coins represent fractions
of the paper peso, which, like the gold peso, consists of 100 centavos.

Present legal provisions.—There are no general provisions in
Argentine law for the use of silver as currency, and no silver is in
circulation. (The currency in actual circulation consists of paperpeso bills and nickel coins of 20, 10, and 5 centavos. Cooper
2-centavo coins are in limited circulation, being used chiefly for
making change at the post and telegraph offices.)
Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation.—It
is believed that silver coins could be issued by the authorities without
amendment of the existing laws by executive decree.
Attitude toward silver.—Argentina does not produce over 15,000
ounces of silver per annum, and there is, therefore, little likelihood
that a sentiment in favor of silver per se will develop. The public
has shown no particular objection to the use of silver coins, but there
is certainly no public demand for them.
That silver may be issued is indicated by Dr. Alejandro E. Bunge,
a leading Argentine economist, in a statement of December 31, 1932,
entitled " Second Memorandum on the Exchange Problem in Argentina." Dr. Bunge states: " It seems that unanimous approval has
been won for a scheme to coin small silver currency of 50 centavos,
and 1- and 2-peso values, up to a proportion between 15 and 20 percent (as in the United States and England) of the circulation. This
would allow the retirement of 200,000,000 pesos in notes (all the
" p e s o " issue and a portion of other denominations). The drop in
the price of silver at this time is extraordinary to the extent that it
reaches only one fifth of the nominal value represented by the coin
itself (said coins have reached value at certain times higher than
their nominal value). The high cost of reprinting the notes would
be reduced, particularly on the 1-peso notes, the printing of which
is considered to be extremely high. The gold guaranty remaining
after paying the cost of the silver and the coining would reinforce
the gold guaranty on the remaining balance of paper currency.
Since this remainder would amount to some 30,000,000 pesos gold,
the present ratio of 44 percent of the gold guaranty would be increased to 51 percent."
Sir Otto Niemeyer's report on the rehabilitation of Argentine
finances, made public in April 1933, recommended that coin be substituted for paper currency of denominations smaller than 5 pesos.
AUSTRALIA
The monetary unit is the Australian pound, divided into 20
shillings of 12 pence each. The pound has a par value of approximately $4.8666. At present it is on the sterling exchange
basis at the ratio of approximately £125 Australian to £100 sterling.

Present legal provisions.—Silver currency is regulated by the
Coinage Act (No. 6) of 1909, an act relating to currency, coinage, and




M O N E T A R Y USE OF SILVER IN" 19 3 3

19

legal tender. The act, insofar as it affects silver money, makes the
following provisions:
Issuance of silver coins is controlled by the treasury.
Silver coins are legal tender for a payment of no more than 40 shillings.
The Governor General may determine the dimensions, denominations, and
least current weight of Australian coins: may direct that any coins, other than
silver or bronze, shall be current and be a legal tender for the payment of any
amount not exceeding the amount specified in the proclamation and not exceeding 5 shillings; and may revoke or alter any proclamation previously made.

The act is accompanied by a schedule of standard and least current
weights of Australian coins, as also details of fineness and remedy
allowance. It fixes the fineness of the silver coinage at 0.925. Following are the approximate gross weights of the Australian coins in
grams: Florin, 11.3104; shilling, 5.6552; sixpence, 2.8275; threepence, 1.4138.
Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation.—
From the text of the law there appears to be no restriction on the
amount of silver coins which may be put into circulation.
Attitude toward silver.—No legislation affecting the monetary use
of silver has been proposed and, so far as is known, none is contemplated. Australia's coinage system being patterned after Great
Britain's, it does not seem likely that Australia would alter the monetary use of silver unless to make it conform with that in Great
Britain. It will be recalled that, unlike Australia's silver coinage,
Great Britain's is now only 0.500 fine.
Present employment of silver.—Coinage of Australian silver currency in the year ended June 30, 1928, amounted to £305,000. In the
four succeeding years the figures were: £128,000, £61,000, £237,000,
and £289,000. These figures are gross, making no allowance for withdrawals from circulation of British silver coins or for replacement
of worn Australian coins. The Australian mints commenced to coin
silver in 1910, the total amount issued by the treasury from the beginning of operations to June 30, 1932, being £7,427,000. Worn Australian coins withdrawn from circulation from 1910 to December 31,
1930, amounted to £3,126,000, while British silver withdrawn to June
30,1932, totaled £1,816,000. Since 1930, when the rate for remittances
on London went to a substantial premium, appreciable amounts of
British silver have been exported privately so that practically no
British silver is now in circulation.
A press report from Wellington on April 19 stated that New
Zealand banks had received notice from London that the Bank of
England would no longer accept at par British silver coins shipped
from New Zealand or Australia.
At the end of 1929 the stock of silver coin and bullion held by
banks in Australia totaled £2,402,527.
AUSTRIA
The monetary unit is the schilling, consisting of 100 groschen.
One shilling at par equals approximately $0.1407.

Present legal provisions.—The main provision relating to the monetary use of silver in Austria is contained in article 86 of the statutes
of the Austrian National Bank. That article reads in part as follows:
The entire note circulation, including call liabilities, insofar as it exceeds
the amount of Government loans, A, B, and C, must be fully covered by the
following assets.



M O N E T A R Y USE OF SILVER I N

20

19 3 3

The first four categories of assets do not refer to metal cover. The
fifth category is the following:
By coins of the Republic of Austria in possession of the Austrian National
Bank; silver coins may, at the discretion of the bank, also be accounted with
their silver value [that is, at their market value as bullion] as a part of the
bank's Barschatz [holdings of precious metals and foreign! exchange].

The minting of silver coins is controlled by the Austrian Treasury, but their issuance, as appears below, depends on the central
bank.
The law of December 20, 1924, authorized the issuance of 4 silver
coins, 1 for export only. The 3 coins issued for use in Austria
are the 2-, 1-, and ^-schilling pieces, 0.640 fine and having gross
weights of 12, 6, and 3 grams, respectively. The fourth coin authorized is the Maria Theresa dollar, weighing 28.0668 grams, 0.833^
fine. The first 3 coins are legal tender in payments not exceeding
50 schillings.
Possibility of increased use of silver ivitkout new legislation.—The
Austrian National Bank has not taken advantage of the provision
which places no limit on the use of silver in the currency reserves.
Attitude toward silver.—No legislation which would affect the
monetary use of silver is contemplated. Silver coins can be put into
circulation only by the Austrian National Bank, which has indicated
no intention to put any considerable amount of silver into circulation
in the near future. This disinterest in silver is confirmed by
Austrian financial experts writing in Viennese newspapers.
Present employment of silver.—The total circulation of silver coins
in Austria on October 31, 1932, amounted to 83,161,590 schillings,
of which 2,806,773 schillings were in possession of the National Bank.
The National Bank holds no silver bullion and only a very small
amount of Maria Theresa silver trade dollars, which are used in
various parts of Africa and Near Eastern Asia.
The circulation of silver mentioned above compares with the
Austrian National Bank's note circulation of 903,000,000 schillings.
AZORES
The monetary unit is the escudo, divided into 100 centimos.
The par value of the escudo is approximately $0.0442. (See
Portugal.)
BAHAMAS
The monetary unit is the pound, divided into 20 shillings of 12
pence each. The pound has a par value of approximately $4.8666.

Present legal provisions.—Under the British Currency Act of
November 29, 1883, the British monetary system applies to the
Bahamas.
Possibility of increased use of silver ivithout new legislation.—
The volume of silver in circulation depends simply on the demands
of business.
Attitude toward silver.—No change in the present use of silver
is likely.
Present employment of silver.—United States silver coins and
other forms of United States currency circulate generally, although
not legal tender.




M O N E T A R Y USE OF SILVER IN" 1 9 3 3

21

Silver coins struck in London for the Bahamas include 1-, 2-, and
2y2-shilling pieces.
BARBADOS
The monetary unit is the pound, divided into 20 shillings of 12
pence each. The pound has a par value of approximately $4.8666.10

Present legal provisions.—British currency has always been used
in Barbados. Exportation of British silver, except by the Colonial
Treasurer, is prohibited under the Trade Act of 1910.
Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation.—
The volume of silver in circulation depends simply on the demands
of business.
Attitude toward silver.—No change in the present use of silver
is likely.
Present employment of silver.—About £150,000 in British silver
was estimated to be in circulation in 1930, according to a consular
report. Replies to questionnaires sent out by the United States
Bureau of the Mint indicated that silver in Barbados at the end of
1930 totaled (face value) $507,000 United States currency.
BELGIAN CONGO
The monetary unit is the Congo franc, divided into 100 centimes.
The franc has a par value of approximately $0.0278.

Present legal provisions.—No provision for silver is made in the
currency law.
Attitude toward silver.—No intention to issue silver coinage has
been reported.
Present employment of silver.—No silver circulates in the Belgian
Congo.
BELGIUM
The monetary unit is the Belgian franc, divided into 100 centimes.
The franc, being one fifth of a belga, has a par value of approximately $0.0278.

Present legal provisions.—The monetary law makes no specific provision for silver, and no coins of that metal are in circulation. The
subsidiary coinage of Belgium is governed by the royal decree of
October 26, 1926, "Arrete Royal Relatif a PEmission, par l'Etat, de
Monnaies Divisionnaires Destinees a Remplacer les Petites Coupures
Mises en circulation par la Banque National de Belgique." This
decree was published in the Moniteur Beige of October 28, 1926.
There is nothing in the decree which prevents the issuance of silver
coins, the matter being left to the decision of the Ministry of Finance.
Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation.—
Despite the foregoing, there is no likelihood that silver coins will
be minted in the near future.
Attitude toward silver.—The present nickel, copper, and nickelcopper coins in circulation appear to be satisfactory, and to substitute
silver would be considered by many wasteful. It is worth noting,
however, that certain individuals in Belgium have been advocating
10 A unit of account, the British West Indies dollar, equivalent to 4s. 2d. sterling is in
use, but it is not coined.




M O N E T A R Y USE OF SILVER I N

22

19 3 3

the replacement of the 50-franc banknotes with silver coins. At
present this project has not developed sufficient strength to indicate
its adoption. On November 15, 1932, there were 572,000,000 francs
in 50-franc notes in circulation.
Present employment of silver.—By a decree of July 30, 1932, published in the Moniteur Beige of August 4, the Belgian 5-franc,
2-franc, 1-franc, and 50-centime silver coins were demonetized as of
August 1, 1932. Actually, these coins have not been in circulation
since the war, as they were at that time hoarded for their value as
bullion and, later, gradually bought up by the treasury.
Neither the Belgian Government nor the National Bank of Belgium
holds any silver, the last remaining stocks having been sold about
3 years ago.
BERMUDA
The monetary unit is the pound, divided into 20 shillings of 12
pence each. The pound has a par value of approximately $4.8666.

Present legal provisions.—Since January 1, 1842, when the Act of
June 22, 1841, became effective, the British currency system has
applied in Bermuda. Movements of silver are not restricted.
Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation.—
The volume of silver in circulation depends simply on the demands
of business.
Attitude toward silver.—No change in the present use of silver is
likely.
Present employment of silver.—American money circulates freely.
BOLIVIA
The monetary unit is the boliviano, divided into 100 centavos.
The boliviano has a par value of approximately $0.3650.

Present legal provisions.—The currency is governed by the monetary reform law of July 11, 1928, put into effect by decree of May 2,
192*9,11 and by the law of December 7, 1929. Under the 1928 law,'old
and new silver coins were made legal tender in payments not exceeding 10 bolivianos, and unlimited legal tender in payments to the
Government. The law lists the new silver pieces shown in the
following statement:
1 boliviano; 0.800 fine; gross weight, 15.0 grams.
% boliviano; 0.800 fine; gross weight, 7.5 grams.
y5 boliviano; 0.800 fine; gross weight, 3.0 grams.

By the law of December 7, 1929, the Government renounced, for
a period of 40 years, the right to issue silver coins in favor of the
central bank. Under this law the need for small money will be
supplied by the bank which will issue not over 7,000,000 bolivianos
of 1-boliviano notes, secured by a 50 percent reserve in gold.
The statutes of the Central Bank of Bolivia, which call for a
50 percent gold and gold-exchange reserve against demand liabilities, permit the inclusion of silver to the extent of one fifth.12
Article 17 of the 1928 law provides that the Government, through
the Minister of Finance, shall meet without delay the demands of
11 The text of the law appears in the Annual Report of tne Director of the United
States Mint for 1929, pp. 136-137.
12 Federal Reserve Bulletin, July 1932, p. 437.




23

M O N E T A R Y USE OF SILVER IN" 19 3 3

the central bank for the issuance of silver and minor coins against
the delivery at La Paz of legal gold coins and notes of the bank
convertible at par. Article 18 provides that the law enter into
force on the day of its promulgation, insofar as it refers to the
coinage of silver.
By the law of January 7, 1924, an export tax is charged on silver
ore graded according to its value in London; 0.40 boliviano for each
kilogram of fine silver when the London quotation for silver does
not exceed 20 pence per standard ounce troy. The tax increases with
higher values. Importation of silver in ore or bullion is free of
duty.
By laws of 1904 and 1905 exportation of silver money is free, but
importation is forbidden. Silverware exports are charged a duty
of 8 bolivianos per kilo, but articles of artistic or historical interest
may not be exported. Various surcharges are added to duties.
Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation.—
The 1928 law apparently indicates no limit to the amount of subsidiary silver which may be issued. From the fact that in 1931 and
1932 several bills calling for silver coinage ^ e r e introduced, it would
seem to follow that new coinage is dependent upon special
legislation.
Attitude toward silver.—The above-mentioned bills were not approved. Apparently the main interest in coinage centered in copper,
rather than silver, pieces. It is said that in Bolivia, where the currency has depreciated, the tendency is to use paper or baser metals,
rather than silver.
Present employment of silver.—Until the war, silver circulated in
denominations of 1 boliviano and 50, 20, and 10 centavos, but today
only a few of these—the 50- and 20-centavo pieces minted in 1908—
are encountered. These two pieces weigh 10 and 4 grams, respectively, and are 10/12 fine. Under the 1908 law there were struck, in
1909, 700,000 bolivianos of 50-centavo pieces and 300,000 bolivianos
of 20-centavo coins.
At the end of 1932 the Central Bank of Bolivia held 174,000 bolivianos in Bolivian silver coin. Other banks held about 6,400
bolivianos.
The Indians, forming well over half the population of the country,
undoubtedly hoard a considerable amount of silver, and show some
preference for silver coins over paper or nickel money. Their hoards
are believed to be more of the rare old coins than of the 1909 minting. A very large proportion of the silver coins are perforated,
having been used in necklaces or tied together for hoarding.
BRAZIL
The monetary unit is the milreis, divided into 1,000 reis.
milreis has a par value of approximately $0.1196.

The

Present legal provisions.—According to a law (no. 4182) of November 13, 1920, silver may apparently be coined in any amount,
provided that an equal amount of paper money be retired. At the
same time, it is reported from Brazil, coinage of silver is limited
by the law of December 31, 1912, to 15 percent of the paper currency
circulation.




24

M O N E T A R Y USE OF SILVER IN

19 3 3

The budget law (no. 4632) of January 6, 1923, fixed the fineness
of Brazil's silver coinage to correspond with that in force in Great
Britain, namely 0.500. This was reaffirmed in Decree No. 15936 of
January 24, 1923.
A decree (no. 21358) of May 4, 1932, authorized the issuance of
commemorative silver, copper, and nickel coins, and set no limit
thereon, other than to fix the legal tender maximum for this issue
at 40 milreis.
Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation.—In
the opinion of the director of the Brazilian mint, there is no limit
on the issuance of silver. In any case, should a legal obstacle be
encountered, the coinage of additional silver could be provided by
decree. If the 1912 law be regarded as limiting the coinage of silver,
the maximum issue would be about 45,000,000 milreis, or between
8 and 9 times the present circulation of about 5,500,000 milreis.
Attitude toward silver.—Brazil provides comparatively little silver
(the yield in 1931 amounting to only 10,000 ounces) and there is no
particular preference for the metal. The only motive which might,
conceivably, induce the Government to coin silver would be the seigniorage. It is pointed out, however, that such profit is greater in the
case of subsidiary coins of other metal. The present circulation of
copper and nickel coins is estimated at 10 times that of silver. The
increased employment of silver as subsidiary money appears unlikely. So, also, does the use of silver as a monetary reserve.
Present employment of silver.—As stated above, the circulation
of silver coins is estimated at 5,500,000 milreis. During the three
years 1927-29, the coinage of silver amounted to 2,000,000 milreis.
Not all of this is circulating, since much is hoarded in the interior,
or lost.
Under the provisions of legislation prior to the decree of May 4,
1932 (mentioned above), the legal-tender limit for silver coins is put
at 20 milreis. Decree No. 5413 of 1889 provided for 2- and 1-milreis
and 400-reis silver coins of 0.917 fine; Law No. 559 of 1898, for 4-, 2-,
and 1-milreis and 400-reis silver coins of the same fineness; various
laws from 1905 to 1913 for 2- and 1-milreis and 500-reis silver coins
0.900 fine; and legislation in 1920, 1922, and 1923 for 2-milreis coins
0.900 and, later, 0.500 fine.
BRITISH EAST AFRICA (KENYA, UGANDA, AND TANGANYIKA) 13
The monetary unit is the East African shilling, divided into 100
cents. The principal unit used in foreign exchange transactions
is the pound sterling. The par value of the East African shilling
is approximately $0.2433.

Present legal provisions.—The law provides for only two silver
coins, the shilling and the 50-cent piece; these are unlimited legal
tender. The currency is controlled by the East African Currency
Board, which maintains a stable rate of exchange between British
East Africa and London.
There are no restrictions on the importation or exportation of
silver in any form.
In Uganda, since the substitution of East African currency for
the florin currency in January 1922, the latter continues to be legal
13

See also Zanzibar.




M O N E T A R Y USE OF SILVER I N

25

19 3 3

tender, although being withdrawn from circulation. (The florin of
100 cents made its appearance in 1921 as a substitute for the British
Indian rupee and was accompanied by the shilling, which was to
replace the half rupee.)
Present employment of silver.—As of June 30, 1931, the stock of
silver in circulation in British East Africa was reported by the currency board as £3,184,984, made up of £2,897,020 shilling currency,
£68,964 " florin and rupee currency
and £219,000 " in currency
strong room."
Silver in circulation in Tanganyika at the end of 1931 was reported
as 10,684,301 shillings and silver " in stock " as 22,936,105 shillings.
British silver circulates in the coastal towns and cities at a small
discount.
BRITISH EMPIRE
See United Kingdom and the other principal dominions and
colonies, which are separately treated in this bulletin.

The British coinage system is used in a large part of the British
Empire. According to British Under Secretary of State Amery,
in a statement made in Parliament on February 26, 1920, British
silver coinage is legal tender in the following 27 dominions, colonies,
and protectorates:14
Country

Legal-tender

limit

Australia
Up to 40s.
Bahamas
No limit.
Barbados
No limit.
Basutoland15
_
Up to 40s.
Bechuanaland (a protectorate of the Union of South
Africa)
Up to 40s.
Bermuda
No limit.
British Guiana
No limit.
Falkland Islands
No limit.
Fiji Islands (and rest of Oceania)
Up to 40s.
Gambia
No limit.
Gibraltar
Up to 40s.
Gold Coast
No limit.
Grenada
No limit.
Jamaica (including Turks and Caicos Islands)
No limit.
Leeward Islands
No limit.
Malta
Up to 100s.
New Zealand
Up to 40s.
Nigeria
No limit.
Nyasaland
Up to 40s.
Rhodesia
Up to 40s.
St. Helena
Up to 40s.
St. Lucia
No limit.
St. Vincent
No limit.
Sierra Leone
No limit.
Swaziland
Up to 40s.
Trinidad (including Tobago)
No limit.
Union of South Africa (including the mandated terUp to 40s.
ritory of Southwest Africa and Wales Bay)

According to the Bureau of the Mint, the British coinage system
is in use in the following additional places: British East Africa (including Kenya, Uganda, and Tanganyika), Guernsey, Jersey, Papua
(New Guinea).
14 Congressional Record, Senate, May 30, 1932, p. 11524.
The comments in parentheses
have been added by the author and are not included in the original statement.
15 Governed by the High Commissioner for South Africa.




26

M O N E T A R Y USE OF SILVER I N

19 3 3

The following is according to the Monthly Review of the Standard Bank of South Africa for December 1932: " Since the departure of Great Britain from the gold standard in September 1931
British and South African silver coins have continued to circulate
in the Union on the basis of equal value. In consequence, however,
of heavy importations of the former from Rhodesia and overseas
to obtain the exchange advantage, the Government decided to withdraw from circulation all British silver, and as from January 15
(1933) the latter will cease to be legal tender in the Union, and will
realize only its current exchange value." 16
BRITISH GUIANA
The monetary unit is the British Guiana dollar, divided into
100 cents. The British Guiana dollar has a par value of approximately $1.0138.

Present legal provisions.—Both the pound sterling and the United
States dollar are legal tender, the British Guiana dollar being
pegged to sterling at 4 shillings 2 pence. Silver may not be exported without the governor's permission.
Attitude toward silver.—There seems to be no intention to change
the present monetary use of silver.
Present employment of silver.—The British Guiana dollar is
issued only in the form of paper notes. The recognized currency
includes British silver coins and a local silver bit, or 4-penny piece.
In 1926 the royal mint struck 30,000 of these pieces for British
Guiana.
According to the Bureau of the Mint, in 1930 silver in British
Guiana banks and the treasury was, at face value, equivalent to
$205,000 United States currency.
BRITISH HONDURAS
The monetary unit is the British Honduras dollar, divided into
100 cents. The British Honduras dollar has a par value of $1.

Present legal provisions.—The currency was established by British Honduras Ordinance No. 31 of 1894, now chapters 35 and 36
of the Consolidated Laws of British Honduras, 1924. The silver
money in use includes United States coins other than the standard
silver dollar, these coins being accepted at par, and the coins named
in the 1894 ordinance which are shown in the following table:
Denomination

50 cents
25 cents..
10 cents.
5 cents

_ _ _
. . .

_ .

_ _ _

_ . . - - - - - - - ...

Fineness

.
...

. _
.
- - - - - - - - _
...

-

_ ___
-_-____
.
- _

0.925
.925
.925
.925

Gross
weight
Grams

11. 6205
5.8102
2. 3241
1.1620

Silver is limited in legal tender to $10.
Possibility of increcosed use of silver without new legislation.—
Article 5 of the coinage ordinance states that " subsidiary coins may
16

For details see Union of South Africa.




M O N E T A R Y USE OF SILVER I N

19 3 3

27

be from time to time coined for British Honduras, under the directions of the master of the mint, of the metals, denominations,
weights, and finenesses (if any) specified in the third schedule to this
ordinance."
Article 6 states: " If the Governor of British Honduras at any
time requests that any new subsidiary coins, whether of silver, nickel,
or mixed metal be coined, and the treasury and a secretary of state
approve such request, those new coins may be so coined under the
direction of the master of the mint."
Attitude toward silver.—No report has been received to indicate
any intention of altering the subsidiary position of silver in the
monetary system.
Present employment of silver.—In addition to the coins mentioned
above, British coins are tendered occasionally, as when a British
warship calls.
The 5-cent silver piece is now rarerly found in circulation.
BRITISH INDIA 17
The monetary unit is the rupee, divided into 16 annas. The
rupee has a par value of approximately $0,365. British Indian
coins are in use in Ceylon, British Somaliland, Zanzibar, Pemba,
Mauritius, and elsewhere, but are being withdrawn from circulation in Iraq (which see). The monetary unit in Ceylon
is the rupee, but fractional coins differ from those in use in British
India. (See Ceylon.) In Mauritius, the rupee is divided into
100 cents and " cent" coins are in use. Mauritius employs silver
coins in denominations of one, one half, one fifth, and one tenth
rupee. In Zanzibar silver coins in the denomination of one eighth
rupee are issued; these coins in silver content are proportionate to
the rupee silver piece.

Present legal provisions.—The British Indian " company " rupee
was established in 1835 by the East India Company, to replace the
sicca rupee. The company rupee was replaced by the Government
rupee in 1862, but the weight of the coin was left unchanged at 180
grains (11.66 grams) and the fineness at 11/12. This has continued
to be India's standard coin, although, with the closing of the mints
in 1893, the silver standard was abandoned in favor of the sterlingexchange standard. Since 1899 the rupee's exchange value has been
officially pegged in terms of sterling, but at a ratio altered from time
to time.18
According to the Indian currency amendment act (no. 4) of 1927,
which became effective April 1 of that year, rupees are redeemable
in gold or, at the option of the controller of the currency, in the
equivalent in sterling for immediate delivery in London, at the rate
of 21 rupees, 3 annas, 10 pies per tola of fine gold. (One tola equals
three eighths ounce troy, or 180 grains.) However, conversions are
limited to a minimum of 1,065 tolas of gold or the equivalent in
sterling.19
17 Including British Baluchistan, Sonthal Parganas, and the Pargana of Spiti.
See also
Ceylon, Goa, Hyderabad, Pondicherry, and Travancore.
18 Space does not permit a discussion here of the workings of the gorld, or sterling,
exchange standard in India. The reader is referred to the Report of the Royal Commission on Indian Currency and Finance, par. 30.
See J. Laurence Laughlin, A New
Exposition of Money, Credit, and Prices, pp. 4 7 1 - 4 7 2 .
19 Based on price which Bank of England is by law required to pay for gold in London.
For excerpts from the 1927 act, see Annual Report of the Director of the United States
Mint, 1928.

172120—33




3

M O N E T A R Y USE OF SILVER IN 1 9 3 3

28

Under the same act the Government stands ready to buy fine gold
in minimum quantities of 40 tolas (15 ounces troy).20 On September
21, 1931, with the suspension of the gold standard in the United
Kingdom, the Government, by Ordinance No. VI, suspended the obligation to sell gold or sterling on demand. Ordinance No. V I I of
September 24 repealed Ordinance No. VI and restricted sales of gold
or sterling to normal trade requirements, etc. Ordinance No. VI of
January 30,1932, repealed all restrictions embodied in Ordinance No.
VII of 1931.
Silver coinage is governed by the Indian coinage act of 1906, as
amended. Act No. IV of March 6, 1918, replaced the 2-anna (one
eighth rupee) silver piece by a nickle-copper coin. Act No. X X I of
1919 provided for similar nickel-copper 4- and 8-anna pieces, which
were issued from 1919 to 1922. Since then issuance of these denominations exclusively in silver has been resumed.21
Details of British India's silver coinage in circulation are shown
in the following table:
Gross weight
Denomination

Fineness

Legal tender limit
Grams

1 rupee
}/2 rupee
34 rupee
yB rupee

0.916%
.916%
.916%
. 916%

11.6638
5.8319
2.9160
1.4575

Grains
180.0
90.0
45.0
22.5

Unlimited.
Do.
1 rupee.
Do.

Although minting of silver one eighth rupee pieces was discontinued in 1918, they continue to be legal tender and are, therefore,
included in the table. They are being gradually withdrawn from
circulation whenever presented at the currency offices and treasuries.
In fact all silver coins minted prior to 1876 are being so withdrawn.
No restriction is placed on the exportation of coin or bullion. On
imports of silver an import duty of 7% annas per ounce was
assessed in 1931, a corresponding excise duty being levied on silver
mined in India.22
India's currency reserve may be divided into two parts: (a) The
paper-currency reserve and (b) the gold-standard reserve.
20 At a fixed price per tola of 21 rupees, 3 annas, and 10 pies.
21 Current details of coinage are published annually in the Report of the British Indian
Controller of the Currency.
22 The following history of the duty is reprinted from the Silver Market, Trade Promotion Series No. 139, pp. 4 3 - 4 4 :
" A n import duty on silver was first levied in India in 1894, at the rate of 5 percent ad
valorem. This was increased in 1910 to 4 annas per fine ounce, and in 1920 was
abolished entirely. In February 1930 the Indian Government announced the restoration
of an import duty on silver, amounting to 4 annas (then about 9 cents) per ounce troy,
without allowance for alloy or impurity. Exported silver was made subject to a drawback of the full duty. The new measure took effect Mar. 1, 1930. The chief object of
the duty was to raise revenue. A t the same time it gave a certain advantage to the
Indian Government in the sale in India of silver taken from the currency reserve. On
Mar. 17 a bill was introduced, levying on newly mined Indian silver an excise duty
equivalent to the import duty. The bill subsequently was passed, and made retroactive as
from Mar. 17.
" The continued need for additional revenues' resulted in an increase in the duty on
silver from 4 annas to 6 annas per ounce, effective Mar. 2, 1931.
On Sept. 29, 1931,
there was presented to the Indian legislative assembly a bill providing a surcharge of 25
percent on existing duties, which raised the duty on silver, both the import and excise,
from 6 annas to 7 % annas per ounce. The measure became effective provisionally on
Sept. 30, pending passage by the assembly and approval by the governor general.' On
Nov. 28, 1931, the measure was passed by the assembly and received the approval of the
governor general."
It is still in effect.




M O N E T A R Y USE OF SILVER IN" 19 3 3

29

(a) The paper-currency reserve is governed by section 19 of the
Indian paper currency act ( X of 1923) which provides for a
reserve in gold and silver amounting to not less than 50 percent of
the total note circulation, the balance to be held in " rupee " and
" sterling " securities. Not over 50,000,000 rupees of the reserve may
be held in gold in England. Sterling securities in the reserve must
be securities of the United Kingdom, maturing not over 1 year from
the date of purchase. Rupee securities must be securities of the
Government of India, and may not exceed 200,000,000 rupees. Of
this amount, not over 120,000,000 rupees may represent so-called
ad hoc securities, created by the Government of India for the purpose of securing an expansion of the currency, and issued to the
controller of the currency. When it is desired to contract the currency on account of a slack season or for special purposes, as to
strengthen the exchange through firm interest rates, this is effected
by contracting the ad hoc securities.23
(b) The gold-standard reserve has been built up from the profits
on the coinage of rupees plus (until April 1923) interest on securities
held therein.24
Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation.—
The Indian Government is the sole currency authority in British
India and may increase the circulation of silver without special
authorization. Article 4 of the Indian coinage act of 1906 states :
" The following silver coins only shall be coined at the mint for issue
under the authority of the governor general in council * * *."
Attitude toward silver.—The Royal Commission on Indian Currency and Finance (Hilton-Young commission) in 1926, in recommending the gold-bullion standard for India, also advised that the
Government, over a 10-year period, reduce its stock of silver held
in the treasury from the approximately 850,000,000 rupees held on
April 3, 1926, to a maximum of 250,000,000 rupees, or a reduction
from approximately 292,200,000 fine ounces to only 85,937,500 fine
ounces. This recommendation was adopted as a policy of the Government, which, between 1927 and March 1932, sold 127,581,564
fine ounces of the metal. Notwithstanding these sales, a large net
return of rupees from circulation has more than replaced the silver
sold, so that the Government's holdings of the white metal at the
end of 1932 totaled 1,106,600,000 rupees, or the equivalent of
380,394,000 fine ounces.
It appears to be the policy of the Government to sell silver in
accordance with the 1926 recommendations, but without creating
undue disturbance in the silver market. Naturally, the sales are not
announced beforehand. The attitude of the Government toward
silver was expounded by the finance member, Sir George Schuster,
23 To provide for seasonal or exceptional needs, such as crop movements, the currencyauthority is allowed by statute to issue currency notes as emergency currency to the
Imperial Bank of India to the limit of 120,000,000 rupees against hundis, or internal
bills of exchange.
With the exception of this emergency currency, the amount of currency notes in circulation may not exceed the total of the reserve in metal and securities, excepting that 50-rupee or 100-rupee notes which have not been presented for 40
years, or 1,000-rupee notes which have not been presented for 100 years after their issue,
need not be considered as being in circulation, for the purpose of the reserve. They are
considered as having been issued on the credit of the revenues of India and, if ever
presented, are to be paid out of those revenues.
24 The interest is now credited to the revenues of the Government as is the similar
interest: earned by the paper currency reserve.
(See Report of the Royal Commission
on Indian Currency and Finance.
1926, vol. I, p. 6.)




30

M O N E T A R Y USE OF SILVER I N

19 3 3

in his budget speech on February 28, 1931. Because of the importance of India in the silver market, the remarks are here quoted
in full.
I announced in my budget speech last year that the Government of India
would be prepared to cooperate with other silver interests if any practical
scheme could be devised for controlling the production of new silver and
the sale of new and existing stocks. Unfortunately, the only response to my
offer has been on the lines indicated in certain utterances which have appeared
in the press by representatives of the main producing interests in America.
In general, these gentlemen propose that their own production of new silver
should remain unrestricted, but that governments and others who hold large
stocks of silver should refrain from realizing their holdings, and leave the
world's markets free for the new production. Now, whatever criticisms nonofficial members in this house may have made in the past on our policy of
selling silver, I am sure that they would not expect the Government of India
to part with the country's rights by acceding to any such one-sided
arrangement.
The demand that the Government of India should refrain from selling is,
indeed, an astonishing proposition when the facts are studied. For, in fact,
the whole world depends on India as a consumer. In the five years ending
March 31, 1930, India absorbed about 540,000,000 ounces of silver or 108,000,000
ounces per annum. According to present indications, her absorption, even in
the current year, will be up to this average, so that the total absorption in
six years will be about 650,000,000 ounces. As against this, the Government
of India have sold out of their own holdings a total of only about 90,000,000
ounces since 1926. Yet it is suggested that even this moderate realization is
to stop, and that India is to stand aside and keep her own home market free
to absorb the production from the mines of Mexico and the United States.
This is clearly an unacceptable idea, and, however anxious we may be—as,
indeed, we are—to help, we must, as a condition of cooperation, secure fair
consideration of India's interests. In the meanwhile wTe must retain a free
hand.
We must also ask ourselves whether cooperation is likely to lead to the
desired result. The more I study the matter the mpre convinced I am that
the fall in the price of silver is part of a much wider movement, and the
more doubtful I become whether silver can be dealt with successfully in isolation. The fall in silver prices, in fact, has not really been out of relation
to that in the case of other metals. Taking the price of silver, tin, lead, spelter,
and copper on March 31, 1926, and treating these prices as 100, the figures
for the various metals at the end of January 1931 were 46.3 for silver, 41.4
for tin, 44.8 for lead, 38.1 for spelter, and 78.1 for copper. Therefore, with
the sole exception of copper, all these metals had fallen more than silver.
Without going into further details, these facts alone indicate that, although
a fall in silver prices may have wider results—owing to its currency uses—than
a fall in the prices of other metals, nevertheless the causes that fall
may be the same. Any action which does not touch the causes of the disease
is hardly likely to provide a sound remedy. The conclusion to which this leads
me is that, if there is to be an international conference of any kind for dealing with silver, it would be of far greater value to the world if it could also
deal with all those other factors in the present world situation which might
be affected by international cooperation. I believe that such international
cooperation is needed, and that India can play a very important part in it.
But the development of this idea would take me into a wider sphere than I
can traverse tonight. I hope to find other occasions for its discussion.

Regarding Indian hoarding of the precious metals, the matter
has been discussed in previous publications of this bureau.25 As to
the native attitude toward gold or silver as the standard of value
opinion seems to be divided.
26 See Trade Information Bulletin No. 457, The Bombay Bullion Market, by Don C.
Bliss, Jr., and Trade Information Bulletin No. 682, The Price of Silver, Trade Information Bulletin No. 742, The Silver Market in 1 9 3 0 ; and Trade Promotion Series No. 139,
The Silver Market, by Herbert M. Bratter.




31

M O N E T A R Y TJSE OF SILVER IN" 1 9 3 3

Present employment of silver.—Apart from the information on
this subject given above, the following information relative to rupees
in circulation and in the Government reserve is pertinent.
It was estimated that rupee pieces in circulation totaled 2,870,000,000
in 1928.2* In 1931 the corresponding estimate was 1,433,000,000
rupees.27 No actual statistics of the circulation are available. From
1835 to 1923, inclusive, whole rupees were issued to a total of
6,475,695,779. Since 1923 none have been coined.
On December 31, 1932, notes in circulation were valued at 1,748,008,000 rupees. This represented a slight decrease from the previous
year, when the circulation was 1,793,031,000 rupees. The reserve
on December 31, 1932, was as follows: Silver coin, 978,295,000
rupees; gold bullion, 186,774,000 rupees; silver bullion, 128,341,000
rupees ; and securities, 454,598,000 rupees. The percentage of metallic reserve to circulation was 73.99 as against 72.14 percent on
December 31, 1931. During 1932 there occurred a decline in silver
coin which, on December 31, 1931, had stood at 1,150,442,000 rupees.
The gold bullion, however, showed a large increase over the 45,645,000 rupees held at the end of 1931. Silver coin and bullion held
by the treasury in recent years is shown by the following table.
The rupee figures may be converted into fine ounces by multiplying
by 0.34375.
SILVER HOLDINGS OF INDIAN TREASURY AT E N D OF E A C H Y E A R SINCE 1 9 1 4
[In millions of rupees]

End of—

1914
1915
1916
1917_
1918
1919
1920
1921
1922
1923

Holdings
of coin
and
bullion
298.7
294.2
173.6
190.5
321.3
436.7
610.9
739.7
860.0
866.1

.

Net annual
change

-4.5
-120. 6
+16.9
+130.8
+115.4
+174. 2
+128. 8
+120. 3
+6.1

Holdings
of coin
and
bullion

End of—

1924_
1925
1926
1927
1928_
1929_
1930
1931
1932

_ .
__

Net annual
change

807.6
833.3
1,035. 2
1,085. 3
1, 008. 8
1, 080. 5
1,199. 9
1, 229. 9
1,106. 6

-58.5
+25.7
+202.9
+50.1
-76.5
+71.7
+ 118.4
+30.0
-123.3

BRITISH NORTH BORNEO
The monetary unit is the Straits dollar, divided into 100 cents.
The par value of the Straits dollar is approximately $0.5678.

Present legcA provisions.—Ordinance No. 3 of January 2, 1914,
established the Straits dollar as the monetary unit in British North
Borneo.
A subsidiary 25-cent British North Borneo silver piece is minted
0.500 fine. It weighs approximately 2.85 grams and is legal tender
to the amount of 5 Straits dollars.
All Straits Settlements money is legal tender in British North
Borneo.
G. Findlay Shirras in the Economic Journal (London), December 1929.
Mr. Shirras
described tlie rupee-census method in the Journal of the Royal Statistical Society (London), July 1920.
27 Estimated by C. S. Rangaswami, of Calcutta.




32

MONETARY

USE OF SILVER I N

19 3 3

No foreign subsidiary coins other than those of the Straits Settlements may be imported, except in quantities of $1 or less.
Present employment of silver.—It was estimated in 1980 that there
were about 34,000 Straits dollars in North Borneo 25-cent silver
pieces in circulation. Few Straits Settlements coins are in circulation in British North Borneo. The stock of silver at the end of
1931 was reported to the United States Bureau of the Mint as 32,000
Straits dollars, of which the amount in the treasury was 17,449.
BRITISH OCEANIA
The monetary unit is the pound sterling, divided into 20 shillings
of 12 pence each. The par value of the pound sterling is approximately $4.8666.

Present legal provisions,—See United Kingdom.
Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation.—See
United Kingdom.
Attitude toward silver.—See United Kingdom.
Present employment of silver.—Both British and Australian coins
circulate in British Oceania.
BRITISH SOMALILAND
The monetary unit is the British Indian rupee, divided into 16
annas. The rupee has a par value of approximately $0,365.

Present legal provisions.—The Indian coinage act of 1906 and all
other British Indian currency laws are in force in British Somaliland. in accordance with Somaliland orders in council of 1917 and
1920.
Under the exports and imports ordinance, 1920, exportation of
silver coin or bullion from British Somaliland is prohibited, except
by special permission of the treasury.
Present employment of silver.—At the end of 1931 silver coin in
the treasury totaled £188,280, and in circulation £911,720.
BRITISH WEST AFRICA
GAMBIA, GOLD COAST, NIGERIA, AND SIERRA LEONE

The monetary unit is the West African pound, divided into 20
shillings of 12 pence each. The West African pound has a par
value of approximately $4.8666.

Present legal provisions.—The law makes all United Kingdom and
West African silver coins legal tender to any amount. Four denominations of West African silver coins were introduced in 1913,
namely, two-shilling, one-shilling, sixpence, and threepence pieces.
These coins were of the same weight and fineness as the then corresponding coins of the United Kingdom. In 1920 the fineness was
lowered from 0.925 to 0.500.
Under authority granted by the Act of August 21, 1924, the West
African Currency Board controls the importation and exportation
of all currency into British West Africa. No currency can be
imported or exported without a permit from the board.




33

M O N E T A R Y USE OF SILVER IN" 1 9 3 3

Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation—The
issuance of new silver currency could be accomplished without new
legislation, by substituting silver for other forms of money.
Attitude toward silver.—The increased employment of silver for
currency purposes seems to be unlikely.
Present employment of silver.—The silver coins current in British
West Africa are United Kingdom and West African silver coins in
denominations of two shillings, one shilling, sixpence, and threepence. The West African silver coins introduced in 1913 are being
withdrawn from circulation and replaced by nickle-bronze coins.
On June 30, 1929, West African silver coins in circulation were
reported as approximately £2,228,000. As of the end of 1931, silver
coin in circulation in the Gold Coast was reported as £200,000; in
Nigeria, £179,542; and in Sierra Leone, £6,000.
No figures are available on the circulation of United Kingdom
coins in West Africa, but it is known that they are not in general
use, and are being withdrawn.
Regarding the withdrawal of silver from circulation, the Treasurer of Nigeria in this report for the fiscal year 1928-29 stated:
" Silver coin to the value of £173,458 was withdrawn from circulation during the year, of which £118,023 was shipped to the United
Kingdom to be melted down; £10,000 was exported to Liberia and
£40 to the Gold Coast." 28 Exports of silver coin in 1929-30 totaled
£266,505 (face value) and in 1930-31 £359,248. The total shipped
from 1913-14 to June 1931, inclusive, was £10,718,580, made up of
£4,610,300 in United Kingdom silver coin, and £6,108,280 in West
African silver coin.
BRUNEI
The monetary unit is the Straits dollar, divided into 100 cents.
The par value of the Straits dollar is approximately $0.5678.

Present legal provisions.—See Straits Settlements. According to
Enactment No. 5 of 1908 the Resident has the power to prohibit, by
public notification, importation and exportation of coin.
Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation.—No
special coins are minted for Brunei.
Attitude toward silver.—No intention to change the present system
has been reported.
Present employment of silver.—While a few Sarawak and British
North Borneo coins circulate in Brunei, Straits Settlements coins
predominate. Coins in denominations of 20 cents or less are legal
tender in amounts of 2 Straits dollars.
BULGARIA
The monetary unit is the lev, divided into 100 stotinki.
lev has a par value of approximately $0.0072.

The

Present legal provisions.—The currency was stabilized by the Law
for the Stabilization of the Lev and Monetary Circulation in the
Kingdom of Bulgaria, published December 3, 1928. The law
28 The £2,228,000 figure mentioned above compares with a total currency circulation of
over £13,612,000.




34

M O N E T A R Y USE OF SILVER

IN

19 3 3

repealed earlier laws of 1880, 1897, and 1919. By it silver coins in
payments other than to the Government are limited in legal tender
to 2,000 leva.
The 1928 law provided for silver coins as shown in the following
statement.29 The original law made the coins 0.680 fine, but a
subsequent amendment reduced this to 0.500.
100 leva; 0.500 fine; gross weight, 20 grams.
50 leva; 0.500 fine; gross weight, 10 grams.
20 leva; 0.500 fine; gross weight, 4 grams.

Article V of the law of 1928 states: " The nominal value of the
metal coin put into circulation shall not exceed 300 leva per person,
as determined from the last census results."
Trade in and exportation of silver, silver coins, and silver salts
is unrestricted, as provided in article 9 of the 1928 law.
According to the 1928 law, " the coinage of silver pieces, as well
as that of the small-change money of common metals, shall be in
accordance with articles 8 and 73 of the national bank law on the
recommendation of the Minister of Finance and authorized by a
royal decree to be published in the Official Gazette. The Bulgarian
National Bank shall have the right to return to the State treasury
coins in any amount it may find necessary, and the State treasury
shall pay the bank for the nominal value of the coins so returned."
Up to the 300 leva limit, mentioned above, new coins may be issued
without new legislation. (Bulgaria's population in 1931 was
estimated at 6,031,000.)
Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation.—
Since coin minted amounted to only 1,241,000,000 leva in March
1933, several hundred million leva of coin may be issued without
new legislation.
Attitude toward silver.—The 1928 law keeps silver in a subsidiary
position, and no change in this respect seems likely. There is no
intention of increasing the present silver coinage, which apparently
is entirely adequate for the needs of the country.
Present employment of silver.—In July 1929 it was decided to
mint 580,000,000 leva in silver, out of metal held by the National
Bank of Bulgaria in the form of old Bulgarian coins.
Bulgarian silver currency in circulation was reported as follows
in March 1933, the actual amount of silver used in its manufacture
totaling 80,314,621 grams.
Face

20 leva
50 leva
100 leva
Total.

value

in

leva

200,159, 820
451, 400, 000
155, 622, 300
807,182,120

The 807,182,120 leva compares with a total of 1,240,572,120 leva
for all metallic money, including silver. In citing these figures,
Consul John McArdle reported from Sofia on March 10, 1933, as
follows:
Up to September 30, 1930, the National Bank of Bulgaria held as a currency
reserve, with gold, a certain amount of silver coins of different mints, valued
at 169,962,190 leva. According to the register of the bank, these silver coins
20

Annual Report of the Director of the Mint, 1929, p. 151.




M O N E T A R Y USE OF SILVER I N

19 3 3

35

weighed 93,954,162 grams, the content of fine silver being placed at 80,149,375
grams. The coins, on the basis of the prevailing price of silver, were sold
to the treasury for 128,532,802 leva, or at the approximate rate of 1.60 leva
for one gram of fine silver. The treasury also purchased in the open market
approximately 400,000 grams of silver, valued at 784,980 leva. Thus, the total
amount of fine silver available totaled 80,639,375 grams, valued at 129,317,782
leva, which was used in minting the present silver coinage of the total face
value of 807,182,120 leva.
It should be noted that from September 30, 1930, silver ceased to serve as a
currency reserve of the National Bank of Bulgaria.

The coinage circulation figures compare with a note issue of
2,426,000,000 leva at the end of January 1983.
CANADA
The monetary unit is. the Canadian dollar, divided into 100
cents. The Canadian dollar has a par of $1.

Present legal provisions.—The 1910 Currency Act as amended
to date governs the monetary use of silver. The act provides for
silver coins in denominations of $1, and 50, 25, 10, and 5 cents, all
0.800 fine and legal tender for payments of not over $10. The law
provides that, ordinarily, coining shall be done at the Ottawa branch
of the Royal Mint.
The Minister of Finance may from time to time issue, out of the
consolidated revenue funds, such sums as may be necessary for the
purchase of bullion in order to provide supplies of coin for the
public service.
The Governor in Council may from time to time by proclamation determine the dimensions of and designs for any coin, denominations, remedy, etc., and revoke or alter any proclamation previously made. The latter proviso would seem to give him very wide
powers.
Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation.—
Because the Governor in Council has considerable latitude, as described above, it appears that the monetary use of silver could be
extended without further legislation.
Attitude toward silver.—Despite the foregoing, there is evident
no tendency to increase substantially the issue of silver coins, and
no legislation involving the monetary use of silver is believed to be
contemplated.
Present employment of silver.—Canadian silver coins in circulation totaled approximately $28,159,500 on October 17, 1932. This
was an increase of almost $427,000 within a year. The increase, it
is explained, was caused by the replacement of American silver
coins withdrawn from circulation because of the premium on the
American dollar.
It is of interest to note that the mint at Ottawa passed from
British to Dominion control on December 1, 1931, and is now the
Royal Canadian Mint, a branch of the Canadian Department of
Finance. With this change, the right to coin sovereigns was
abandoned.
CANARY ISLANDS

The monetary system of Spain applies to the Canary Islands.




36

M O N E T A R Y USE OF SILVER I N

19 3 3

CAPE VERDE ISLANDS
The monetary unit is the escudo, divided into 100 eentimos. The
escudo has a par value of approximately $0.0442.

Present legal provisions.—The Portuguese coinage system applies
to the Cape Verde Islands. (See Portugal.) The coins are identical,
excepting for the additional wording " Cabo Yerde."
The issuance of coin is controlled by the Banco Nacional Ultramarino, which by Decree No. 17154, of July 26, 1929, became the
bank of issue for all Portuguese colonies other than Angola, this
privilege to run for 30 years, beginning August 5, 1929.
CEYLON
The monetary unit is the rupee, divided into 100 cents.
rupee has a par value of approximately $0,365.

The

Present legal provisions.—The standard coin of Ceylon is the
British Indian rupee, as provided by the Ceylon coinage order of
February 6, 1892. The fineness of the subsidiary coins is as provided in the law of August 19, 1919, prior to which these coins were
minted 0.800 fine. Silver coins are listed in the following table,
the Ceylon coins being minted for the Ceylon Government by the
Royal Mint.30
Gross
Fineness weight in Legal-tender limit
grams

Denomination

British Indian rupee
British Indian half rupee
British Indian quarter rupee
50 cents
25 cents. _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
10 cents

_

0.916%
. 916%
. 916%
.550
.550
.550

11.6638
5.8319
2.9160
5.8319
2.9160
1.1664

None.
5 rupees.
5 rupees.
5 rupees.
5 rupees.
5 rupees.

Under the Ceylon Paper Currency Ordinance of 1884 Ceylon currency notes are redeemable in rupees. The notes are unlimited legal
tender.
Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation.—The
1892 coinage order provides that subsidiary coins may be minted
from time to time for the Colony. It adds: " If the Governor of
the Colony from time to time requests any new coins of less value
than the rupee * * * and the commissioners of Her Majesty's
treasury approve such requests, those new coins may be so coined."
Attitude toward silver.—The natives have for generations treasured silver along with gold, and there is a strong sentiment in favor
of silver. The Government is, of course, influenced by opinion in
Great Britain, the currency being definitely linked to the pound
sterling.
Present employment of silver.—Ceylon subsidiary silver coins outstanding at the end of 1931 were reported to total 10,343,534 rupees,
while silver in the treasury was reported as 16,778,692 rupees.
CHANNEL ISLANDS (GUERNSEY AND JERSEY)
The monetary unit is the pound sterling, divided into 20 shillings
of 12 pence each. The par value of the pound sterling is approximately $4.8666. (See United Kingdom.)
a0 According to Monetary Units and Coinage Systems of the Principal Countries of the
World, 1929, p. 33.




37

M O N E T A R Y USE OF SILVER IN" 1 9 3 3

CHILE
The monetary unit is the peso, divided into 100 centavos.
peso has a par value of approximately $0.1217.

The

Present legal provisions.—Under the Decree Law No. 104 of
July 1, 1932, future silver coinage will be limited to the 1-peso piece
weighing 6 grams, 0.400 fine. Other silver coins are to be withdrawn. (In November 1932 such other coins outstanding, according
to the Chilean Mint, amounted to 14,536,944 pesos, mostly 1-peso
coins.31) Due to variations in the value of the Chilean peso since
1914, the silver coinage has at times been worth less as money than
as bullion. Therefore legislation affecting silver has been frequent.
From 1914 to 1924 there were coined 15,000,000 pesos of 1-peso coins
weighing 9 grams, 0.720 fine. In 1924 there were issued 10,000,000
1-peso coins of the same gross weight, but only 0.500 fine.
Under Decree Law No. 606 of October 14,1925, four denominations
of silver coins were authorized, namely, y 2j 1, 2, and 5 pesos, all
0.720 fine and legal tender for payments of not over 50 pesos. The
law was modified on December 31, 1926, so as to reduce the number
of coins to three (a 5-peso piece 0.900 fine, a 2-peso piece 0.500 fine,
and a 1-peso piece 0.500 fine). The law was further modified on
November 28, 1928, so as to limit the silver coins to 1- and 2-peso
pieces, both 0.720 fine.
Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation.—The
law apparently sets no maximum on the coinage of silver. Seemingly, minting depends on various circumstances. The central bank
has recently had to issue 7,245,000 pesos of 1-peso notes because of the
shortage of subsidiary currency. (The maximum of such notes
which the bank may issue is 20,000,000 pesos.) These notes, it is expected, will eventually be replaced with silver coins, when exchange
becomes stable. The shortage of coins is explained by the activity
of speculators, who melt down coins and export the demonetized
metal whenever the exchange market favors such procedure.
It is believed that no material coinage of silver will take place for
some time.
Attitude toward silver.—The employment of silver for subsidiary
currency is viewed favorably in Chile, since the country produces
the metal in modest quantities. (In 1931 its mine output was approximately 372,000 fine ounces.)
Law No. 5146, which was published in Diario Oficial of March 25,
1933, provides for the minting of 1-peso coins of nickel. Presumably the new coins will gradually displace silver coins of the same
denomination now in circulation.
Present employment of silver.—According to the United States
Bureau of the Mint, Chile's monetary stock of silver at the end of
1931 consisted of 12,540,353 pesos in circulation and 6,515,543 held
in the treasury and central bank.
On March 27, 1933, Commercial Attache Ealph H. Ackerman reported from Santiago that silver in circulation consisted of the following: 141,655 5-peso coins minted under Law No. 4111', containing
22y2 grams of fine silver each, and totaling 708,275 pesos in value;
713,798 2-peso coins minted under Law No. 4111, containing 9 grams
of fine silver each, and totaling 1,427,596 pesos in value; 11,407,643
81

See comment below, under " Present Employment of Silver."




38

MONETARY USE OF SILVER IN

19 3 3

1-peso coins with a fineness of 0.500, containing 4.5 grams of fine
silver, totaling 11,407,643 pesos in value, of which 3,889,669 were
minted in accordance with Law No. 4111. There have also been
minted 4,000,000 1-peso coins having a fineness of 0.400, minted in
accordance with Decree Law No. 104. No silver coins were minted
in accordance with the provisions of Decree Law No. 606 and Law
No. 4468.
CHINA 32
The monetary unit of the Nationalist Government is the yuan,
divided into 100 fen [cents]. The yuan, being silver, has no fixed
par value in terms of gold.

Present legal provisions.—China's currency system is complicated,
and may best be described without making detailed reference to the
numerous coinage laws promulgated since the overthrow of the Empire in 1911 or to the various local currencies.
While the greater part of China's small business is conducted with
copper as the medium of exchange, the country's principal currency
metal is silver, which may be said to be the standard of value. In
certain sections silver circulates principally in the form of yuan
coins, while in others, bullion in the form of " shoes " of sycee comprises the main medium of exchange in large-size business transactions.33 Bank notes secured by silver are extensively used in the
larger cities.
It may be said that practically throughout China, silver in almost
any form is money. In this sense China can be said to have free
coinage. Until April 1933 there were no important restrictions on
the importation or exportation of silver, imports of foreign silver
coins alone being prohibited.34 A great part of China's business
is done by means of different taels. A tael, called " liang" in
Chinese^ may be described as a local Chinese " ounce " of silver,
varying in content according to locality. The principal taels in
use at the beginning of 1933 were: The Shanghai tael, used in and
32 The use of silver in Hong K o n g and
Mongolia is described in separate s e c t i o n s ;
the use of silver in Manchuria is described at the end of this section.
33 Thus, according to an article in the Chinese Economic Journal for February 1933,
the tael had been a more popular monetary unit in Shanghai than the yuan, but in the
interior of China business is done largely in terms of yuan. This explains why bar
silver was more frequently minted into coin than cast into sycee. " Shanghai has long
been known as the place where dollars accumulate, but as a matter of fact Shanghai is
mainly a tael-using port, and the accumulation of yuan is made possible only because its
geographical position makes it a convenient center for distribution. Moreover, bar silver
is often more profitably minted than converted into sycee, on account of the higher price
of the yuan ; as compared with its bullion value. Only when yuan have depreciated to
such an extent that they are quoted at a lower level than that of their silver content, are
they melted into sycee. But then [sycee being manufactured from coin] there would be
less demand for bar silver, and its reexport to the United States would most probably
take place, as was the case in 1932 when the tael-yuan exchange fell to an unprecedented
low rate. * * * Sycee has practically disappeared from Chinese cities and, according to one expert's estimate, of the total sycee in China—100,500,000 Shanghai taels—
there was approximately 100,000,000 Shanghai taels in Shanghai."
34 This restriction, imposed in 1930, was directed chiefly at the flow of French IndoChinese piasters which had been occasioned by the stabilization of that unit commencing in
the latter part of 1929. Such imports into China, however, normally do not form an
important part of China's silver imports.
A local prohibition of exports of silver coin was announced by the Cantonese authorities
in the latter part of 1932. On Oct. 5 Finance and Commerce [Shanghai] reported : " D u e
to the outflow of small-coin silver from Canton to Shanghai for arbitrage reasons, the
Cantonese authorities are realizing that, out of the 70,000,000 yuan small coin of the
Sun Yat Sen type, only 45,000,000 are left. The remainder has disappeared, the bulk
having found its way to the melting pots of the Shanghai loofangs. * * * At the
close of September the Canton Government issued an order prohibiting the export of
silver. No person is permitted to bring out of Kwangtung silver coins exceeding 50
yuan in value."




M O N E T A R Y USE OF SILVER IN" 19 3 3

39

around Shanghai; and the haikwan tael, not a currency but a unit
used only by the Chinese Maritime Customs in the collection of
export duties and for statistical valuation of imports and exports.
According to a cabled report from Shanghai, Chinese banks, exchanges, and business firms on April 6, 1933, discontinued the use
of the tael as a unit of value and of sycee as a medium of exchange,
in accordance with the order of the Central Government of China.
Thus, the new yuan replaces tael currency. The use of the haikwan
tael has also been discontinued, according to an announcement made
on March 10, 1933, by the Chinese Maritime Customs.
The principal coin of China is the yuan, which has hitherto
varied somewhat in weight or fineness but which now is minted at
the new Shanghai mint35 to weigh 26.6971 grams 0.880 fine.
The mint accepts silver for coinage into yuan at 71% Shanghai tael
cents36 per yuan.37 Operations at the new mint commenced March
1, 1933.
It is emphasized that China is a vast country and no single currency system applies to the whole. The currency laws of the central Government are not enforceable throughout the country. In
South China, for example, the provincial mints have been coining
silver intermittently as the local authorities see fit. A large part of
the so-called " small money " silver coins which have been issued in
China during recent years have been minted in Kwantung Province.
These coins, purporting to be one fifth or one tenth yuan, actually
contain an amount of silver less than proportionate to that contained in the unit, and hence circulate at approximately their value
as bullion only. In all, there were in 1930 approximately 10 provincial mints coining silver, copper, or both. In August 1932 the
central Government ordered all provincial mints to close, but how
many have done so is not known.
Shanghai Customs Notification No. 1290, dated April 7, 1933, reads
as follows:
The public is hereby notified that in accordance with Government instructions from April 6 this year a duty of 2 1 / i percent ad valorem will be levied
on export abroad of silver sycee, silver bars, silver ingots, silver slabs and
silver in mass. This duty, however, will not be levied on export abroad of
central mint bars.

Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation.—
There is no legal restriction on the amount of silver coin which the
Government may issue. Should new legislation be required, it could
be quickly and easily enacted.
35 This central Government mint, which is entirely equipped with American machinery,
is said to be the largest in the world.
36 A " tael-cent " is one one hundredth of a tael.
37 On this point Finance and Commerce of Jan, 4, 1933, commented as follows: " The
conversion rate of 7 1 % tael ce'ntsi per yuan is slightly higher than would be indicated by
the silver content of the coin. The new yuan will contain 69.92305 tael cents of silver.
Mint charges to be added to this are estimated at 1% percent, or 1.22365 Shanghai tael
cents. This makes a total of 71.14670 Shanghai tael cents. This last-mentioned figure
should be the official conversion rate between Shanghai taels and the new yuan for contracts or obligations entered into previously in terms of taels. That a higher quotation
has been adopted as the official conversion rate is explained by two reasons :
" 1. A t the close of 1932 the actual rate of exchange in Shanghai as between taels and
yuan was higher than 71.15 and it is Deemed advisable not to disturb the market ratio
unnecessarily.
" 2. The above-mentioned 1 % percent minting charge is only approximate.
During
continuous minting operations a 1% percent minting charge would probably cover costs.
In the beginning, however, the cost of coinage will necessarily be higher for some time to
come, and it is, therefore, but reasonable to give the mint some leeway by setting the rate
at 7 1 % cents."




40

M O N E T A R Y USE OF SILVER I N

19 3 3

Attitude toward silver.—Although the Kemmerer Commission's
recommendation that China take steps leading to the eventual adoption of the gold standard have the approval of Chinese authorities,
the accomplishment of that transition is at present not within the
reach of China. An essential requirement would be the accumulation of a fund to stabilize the exchange value of the new currency.
It is evident that the authorities at Nanking have been making
every effort to unify the currency, a step which will be necessary
before the chief Kemmerer recommendation can be carried out.
Among the measures of unification reported from time to time have
been the creation of the customs gold unit February 1, 1930 38; the
completion of the Shanghai Mint and commencement of its operations on March 1, 1933; the introduction into circulation of the new
yuan coin immediately thereafter, accompanied by the abolition of
the antiquated haikwan tael; and the declaration of an embargo on
gold exports on May 15, 1930. It is the intention of the Government
to abolish the tael system of currency as rapidly as possibly.
Notwithstanding these measures, it will probably be a long time
before the currency can be put on a gold basis. Even when that
objective is attained it seems safe to predict that China will continue
to use vast quantities of silver in its currency system.
Present employment of silver.—Among the Chinese silver coins in
use in China may be listed the following " dollars " : The Sun-Yatsen, Yuan-Shih-kai, dragon (over a dozen kinds), Kwangtung,
Szechwan, and the Kweichow. Subsidiary silver coins comprise a
very limited quantity of half^uan pieces, mostly of YuanShih-kai variety; 20- and 10-cent pieces, the 20-cent pieces being
mostly of Canton mintage, but some also of the Yuan-Shih-kai
mark; some Kwangsi, Yunnan, and Szechwan 20-cent pieces; and
Yuan-Shih-kai, Dragon, and provincial 10-cent pieces. These 20and 10-cent pieces are current in varying degrees in various sections
of the country, and are accepted basically on their intrinsic value
as bullion. They are accepted by the customs at varying rates.
For instance, in one community six and a fraction 20-cent pieces
will exchange for a yuan, whereas in another community five and a
fraction will be considered equivalent to a yuan—the fractions being
paid in coppers.39
Eduard Kann, Shanghai silver authority, estimated the quantities
of various yuan circulating in China, as follows :40
Yuan

Imperial "dragon dollars" out of a total of 280,350,000
Republican yuan minted from bar silver until 1930
Republican yuan minted from bar silver during 1931
Republican yuan minted from sycee until 1930
Republican yuan minted from sycee during 1932
Republican yuan minted from melted foreign dollars and imported
silver
Total Chinese yuan
Estimated foreign "dollars" in circulation
Grand total

,

200,000,000
735,443, 000
32, 720, 000
400, 000, 000
59,062,000
200,000,000
1,627,225,000
80,000,000
1,707,225,000

38 A
bookkeeping unit rather than a currency. Some customs-gold-unit notes were
issued, but they have not proven popular.
39 A list of silver coins in use in various regions in China forms Appendix C of the
Currency Report submitted to the Chinese Government on Nov. 11, 1929, by the Commission of Financial Experts headed by Prof. E. W . Kemmerer.
40 Finance and Commerce (Shanghai), Jan. 27, 1932.




41

M O N E T A R Y USE OF SILVER IN" 19 3 3

Foreign silver coins, which were circulated freely in China, are
now infrequently encountered. The most common was the so-called
" Mexican dollar a peso coin formerly minted in Mexico.41 Hong
Kong, or British dollar coins were formerly used quite commonly
in South China, but in recent years they have been largely replaced
by the more convenient Hong Kong dollar notes. Some "Mexican
dollars " and " Saigon dollars " are still in use.
The stock of silver in China was, in December 1932, estimated
at 1,600,000,000 fine ounces by Commercial Attache Julean Arnold,
one third of the amount mentioned being held in Shanghai. Eduard
Kann, of Shanghai, at about the same time estimated China's stock
of silver . at 2,000,000,000 fine ounces, with holdings at principal
places as follows: Shanghai, 530,000,000 ounces; Manchuria, 100,000,000 ounces; Tientsin, 100,000,000 ounces; Hankow, 50,000,000
ounces; and Hong Kong, 150,000,000 ounces. Shanghai's stock of
silver consists of metal in circulation or in private hoards, and that
held by the banks. The latter silver falls into three categories—
coin, bar silver, and sycee. Thus, on March 11, 1933, Shanghai
banks held 161,300,000 fine ounces in the form of sycee, 220,000,000
yuan of silver coin, and 12,120 bars (each weighing approximately
1,050 fine ounces). The total weight of the three classes was
approximately 345,020,000 fine ounces. Comparative figurfes for
recent dates follow:
SILVER HELD BY SHANGHAI B A N K S ON RECENT DATES

Date

Jan. 1,1929
Jan. 1, 1930
Jan. 1,1931
Jan. 1, 1932
Jan. 1, 1933

Sycee, in
Coin, in
thouthousands of
sands of
fine
yuan
ounces

Number
of bars

101,000
126,000
153,000
168,000
217,500

5,740
7,620
2,760
3, 660
6,280

62,000
85,600
92,400
55,650
146,000

; Total in
thousands of
fine
ounces
147,195
192,388
214.929
190,884
321.930

Source: American Bureau of Metal Statistics.

The figures in the foregoing table compare with a total of about
260,000,000 yuan, representing outstanding note circulation of the
banks in Shanghai.
(The reader may be interested in referring to Currency, Banking and Finance in China, by Frederic E. Leer published in 1926 as Trade Promotion
Series No. 27 (copies may be obtained at 30 cents from the Superintendent of
Documents, Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C.) ; see also, the
Currencies of China, by Eduard Kann, Shanghai, 1926. A suminary of the
recommendations of the Kemmerer Commission of Financial Experts in 1929
as relating to China's currency system was published by the Finance and
Investment Division, Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce, as Special
Circular No. 335 under the title " The Kemmerer Recommendations for Currency Reforms in China.")
KWANTUNG LEASED TERRITORY

In the Kwantung Leased Territory, the Japanese coinage system
applies.
41

The U.S. Bureau of the Mint states that this coin weighs 27.07 grams and is 0.9027

fine.




42

M O N E T A R Y USE OF SILVER I N

19 3 3

MANCHURIA

Present legal provisions.—Although Manchuria's currency for
years consisted principally of paper notes, the changes inaugurated
in 1932 are designed to give the country the silver standard until
such time as the gold standard can be adopted.
To " unify and stabilize " the currency of Manchuria, the Central
Bank of Manchukuo was established June 15, 1932. Not only are
its notes designed to replace the numerous kinds of paper money
previously issued in Manchuria—a process already commenced—but
the bank is intended to be the sole medium for the issuance of coin
as well. Article X I V of " the law of the central bank of Manchukuo " states that the central bank shall issue notes and coins as provided in the currency law, article I of which reads:
The right of minting and issuing coins belongs to the Government. The Government shall instruct the Central Bank of Manchuria to carry it out.

The law provides that the monetary unit shall be 23.91 grams of
pure silver, the unit to be known as a " yuan." 42 The yuan is divided decimally into tenths, called " chio"; hundredths, called
" f e n " (in English, cents); and thousandths, called " li." The
law provides that for paper notes there shall be a reserve of at least
30 percent in gold and silver bullion, reliable foreign currencies, and
deposits with foreign banks in gold and silver accounts. It also
provides for nickel and copper coins. Although the law makes no
provision for silver coins, it was reported from Mukden in December
1932 that the central bank would soon open the Mukden mint for the
coinage of subsidiary silver 5-, 10-, and 50-cent pieces, similar in
appearance to the Japanese coins.
The regulations governing the readjustment of the old currency
provide (art. 9) : " Silver bullion (silver ingots and silver yuan
included) shall not, because of these regulations, be used as currency
for circulation."43
A premium on the new Manchurian paper currency was reported
in December 1932 by Assistant Trade Commissioner Louis C. Venator at Mukden. He stated:
The new central bank has restricted the issue almost to the point of scarcity
and has undertaken the free sale of silver yen or Chinese exchange at a
favorable rate whenever doubt regarding the new currency has appeared in
the market.

Silver-yen notes have long been issued in Manchuria. These
notes, called by the Chinese yin piao or chao piao, are currency
notes issued by the Dairen (Manchuria) branch of the Yokohama
Specie Bank. They circulated exclusively in Manchuria.
The notes were first temporarily issued at Newchang in 1900;
after the Russo-Japanese War they were issued in redemption of
the silver military notes which had been issued in large quantities
in Manchuria by the Japanese forces, and they have been issued
at Dairen continuously since 1903. In recent years there have been
only a limited amount of silver-yen notes in circulation—just below
6,000,000 silver yen of them in 1929.
42 The symbol for thisi yuan isi M¥, according to am announcement of the central bank
effective Nov. 1, 1932.
43 According to a report to the Finance and Investment Division dated Oct. 24, 1932.
See, also, Japan Advertiser of Oct. 26, 1932. A printed pamphlet issued in Mukden in
December, however, makes no mention of this article, " The Central Bank of Manchukuo
and Laws Relating Thereto with Appendix




43

M O N E T A R Y USE OF SILVER IN" 19 3 3

Silver-yen notes are not converted into silver-yen coins, but are
in practice converted into exchange on Shanghai (and sometimes
other Chinese centers), in taels, at a rate of exchange announced
from time to time by the Yokoha,ma Specie Bank. Such rate is
usually very close to parity between the old silver-yen coin and the
Shanghai tael.
The mechanism for the stabilization of the Manchurian currency
in relation to the Shanghai tael is embodied in the following regulations as reported in October 1932.
EXCHANGE RATE BETWEEN

T H E PAPER, CURRENCY AND SILVER BULLION
SILVER DRAFT NOTES

OR FOREIGN

1. In accordance with article 10 of the currency laws, when paper currency
is used for the exchange of silver yuan, the rate given below s,hall be used
for the calculation: Paper currency 100 yuan shall equal 100 yuan silver.
2. In accordance with article 10 of the currency laws, when paper currency
is used for the exchange of foreign silver draft notes, the rate given below
shall be used for payment of silver draft notes payable at Shanghai: Paper
currency 100 yuan shall equal Shanghai taels 71.
3. In accordance with article 11 of the currency law, when silver bullion
(silver ingots and silver dollars included) is used to meet payment in paper
currency as required by the business at Shanghai of the Central Bank of
Manchuria, the rate given below shall, be used for calculation in issuing draft
notes payable at places where the head and branch office (of the bank) is
located: Shanghai taels 73.50 shall equal 100 yuan paper currency.
4. When the head and branch offices of the Central Bank of Manchuria use
silver bullion to demand the issuance of paper currency, silver yuan 100 shall
be calculated as 100 yuan paper currency; while other silver bullion shall be
calculated at the rate given below: Shanghai taels 74 shall be the equivalent
of the silver bullion equal to paper currency yuan 100.
5. The rates provided in articles 2, 3, and 4 may be altered by orders of the
Government.
6. These regulations shall come into effect from the day of promulgation.

Attitude toward silver.—According to an item published in the
Japan Advertiser of October 29, 1932:
Vice Governor Kyoroku Yamanari of the Central Bank of Manchukuo states
that there is some discussion in Japan as to the relative merits of the gold
standard and the silver standard as the basis for Manchukuo's currency
system. For the present he regards the silver standard as best, stating that
it was adopted with the understanding that the gold standard would be
substituted in the future.

Present employment of silver.—Relatively little silver has been
in circulation in Manchuria during recent years. Since the creation
of a premium on the new notes (as mentioned above) considerable
quantities of Chinese yuan coins have been moving from China
to Manchuria, where in great part they find their way to the vaults
of the central bank.
CHOSEN

The coinage laws of Japan apply to Chosen.
COLOMBIA
The monetary unit is the peso, divided into 100 centavos.
peso has a par value of approximately $0.9733.

The

Present legal provisions.—The law governing silver coinage provides 44 for silver coins, 0.900 fine, in denominations of 1 peso and
Fiscal Code, book II, chap. I, arts. 131, 132.
172120—33




4

44

M O N E T A R Y USE OF SILVER I N

19 3 3

50, 20, and 10 centavos and having a gross weight of 25 grams per
100 centavos face value. Legal tender is limited to 10 pesos.
Decree No. 1889 of October 23, 1931, authorized the minting of
2,000,000 pesos of silver half-peso coins. Under this decree the
Monetary Commission on January 19, 1932, authorized the issuance
of 200,000 50-centavo pieces, to be struck from demonetized silver.
The Bank of the Republic has important powers in connection
with the currency. The organic act of the bank (Law No. 25 of
1923, art. 21, par. D) provides that the Government must respect the
opinion of the bank's board of directors regarding the issuance of
subsidiary coins.
Under the terms of the law regulating the Bank of the Republic,
a reserve of 40 percent in gold and gold-exchange must normally
be maintained against the note issue. Silver is permitted to be
held to a limited extent. The Federal Reserve Bulletin of July
1932 described the reserve requirements as follows:
Foreign exchange may cons'st only of demand deposits. During present
emergency reserve against notes may fall to 30 percent without enforcement
of penalties provided by law. An additional reserve equivalent to 25 percent
of deposits must be held in form of legal currency, including gold, silver,
and other types of money (silver not to exceed one half).

Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation.—•
From article 132 of the fiscal code it appears that special legislation
would be necessary for the issuance of additional silver coinage,
which would be subject as well to the provisions of the organic act
of the Bank of the Republic just referred to.
Attitude toward silver.—In 1932 it was reported that certain Colombian senators favored the increased use of silver in the form
of silver certificates. It is believed however, that the proposal is
not viewed with favor by the authorities and that no material increases in the monetary use of silver is contemplated so long as no
extraordinary demand for inflation of the currency arises. Thus,
referring to the issuance of silver coins and certificates mentioned
below under " Present employment of silver", the Ninth Annual
Report of the Bank of the Republic for 1931-32 stated:
The serious situation in which the Government found itself on account of
the depression led, no doubt, the board (of the bank) to approve this measure,
which constituted a valuable fiscal expedient under such difficult conditions,
although it was not without serious objection in relation to the currency
circulation of the country.
As a matter of fact, in my previous report I addressed attention to the excessive volume of fractional coinage in relation to the amount of banknotes
in circulation, comparing it with the policy followed by other countries in
this respect; which excess has been aggravated by this new issue and by the
continued decline in the volume of notes in circulation.
It is true that the silver certificates issued by the bank as authorized by law
82 of 1931, amounting to $3,050,000 in circulation on June 30, have helped to
overcome the difficulty of handling the metal coinage, since they have been
readily accepted by the public in 1- and 5-peso denominations without detriment to the bank's own notes. But the facility [sic] of circulation accorded
to this new medium of exchange may prove an incentive to thoughts of further
use of silver issues, as fiscal expedients, which in course of time may lead
us to a dangerous state of bimetallism, thereby undermining the foundations
of our sound monetary system.




45

M O N E T A R Y USE OF SILVER IN" 1 9 3 3

Present employment of silver.—-In 1931, 2,000,000 pesos of new
silver coins were issued.45 Thereafter, 4,850,000 pesos of silver certificates were put into circulation, but since these were secured completely by silver coins withdrawn from circulation, their issuance
represented no increase in the monetary use of silver. On October
31, 1932, money in circulation included 4,600,000 pesos of silver certificates and 6,951,000 pesos of silver coins, or 11,551,000 pesos in all.
The relative use of silver and other forms of money may be seen from
the following statement of circulation which applies to June 30, 1932:
Pesos

Goldi coin
Gold bullion
Silver coin and certificates
Nickel coin
Paper money

6, 340, 000
2,443,000
11, 551,000
2, 000,000
27,182,000

Total

49, 516, 000

Since some of the gold is held in the reserves of the Bank of the
Republic, the net figure representing total money in circulation
becomes 40,748,000 pesos.
COSTA RICA
The monetary unit is the colon, divided into 100 centimos.
colon has a par value of approximately $0.25.

The

Present legal provisions.—Under the provisions of a law of July
10,1923, the 50- and 25-centimo silver coins then in circulation were
called in and restamped. In other words, their face value was
doubled to bring them into relation with the new value of the colon,
which in 1922 had been fixed by law at 25 cents United States currency. The following is the text of the above decree and that of
January 19, 1924:
DECREE NO. 93, OF J U L Y

10,

1923

Article 1. The Banco Internacional de Costa Rica in accordance with clause
(a) of article 5 of Decree No. 4, of May 17, 1922, shall credit to the account
of the Government the sum of 1,472,242 colones, the equivalent of double the
face value of the minted silver which it received from the administration
of the revenues for disposal for account of the Government in accordance
with said law.
Article 2. The Banco Internacional shall restamp this minted silver at double
its original value, and shall retire from circulation an amount in bills which
shall be equal in value to that represented by the silver placed in circulation
in accordance with this law.
Article 3. The silver coins of the country at present in circulation shall be
received in payment of taxes and duties at double their face value until 3
months after the date of this law, and after this period shall be redeemed
for their intrinsic value in relation with bills, computed on an exchange basis
of 4 colones to $1, as fixed by the Caja de Conversion.
Article 4. The silver coins received by Government offices in accordance
with the above article may be restamped as before indicated, or exported to
be sold, as the needs of circulation may demand.
Article 5. The restamped silver shall be legal currency and shall be received
without restriction of any nature by the Government in payment of duties and
taxes, but the public is not obliged to receive it in amounts in excess of 50
colones.
« Decree No. 1889, Oct. 23, 1931.




46

M O N E T A R Y USE OF SILVER I N
DECREE OF J A N U A R Y

10,

19 3 3

1924

Considering:
1. That law no. 93, of July 10, 1923, provides that the Banco Internacional
de Costa Rica shall restamp and place in circulation at double their face values
the silver coins of the country which were delivered to it by the Administracion
Principal de Rentas;
2. That although the restamping of the 25- and 50-centimo pieces is being
accomplished without serious difficulties, the same would not occur with the
5- and 10-centimo coins, owing to their flimsy and worn condition;
3. That a silver coin 0.650 fine and weighing 3.45 grams would be equal to
one half of the value of a coin which now circulates with a value of 50 centimos,
and that, therefore, the minting of such coin would respond to the end pursued
by Decree No. 93, and would be the most convenient form of obviating the
difficulties in complying with the laws that are presenting themselves, and at
the same time would result in providing a public commodity;
It is decreed:
The Banco Internacional de Costa Rica shall proceed to melt all the coin
received, and also the defective 25- and 50-centimo pieces and the not restamped
silver disks, and to mint with this material 25-centimo coins 0.650 fine and
weighing 3.45 grams.

Under a law published in La Gaceta of November 7, 1931, the
Banco Internacional de Costa Rica was authorized to issue 1,493,713
colones worth of silver certificates, this being the total value of the
restamped coins authorized by the law of 1923. The bank may put
in circulation silver certificates to the amount of silver held in its
vaults. Their circulation depends upon the currency needs of the
moment. By a further provision of the 1931 law, the issuance of
119,013 colones worth of silver coins was authorized, without the
necessity of withdrawing from circulation a corresponding amount
of silver certificates.
Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation.—On
this point no information, other than that given above, is at hand.
Attitude toward silver.—No measures affecting the monetary use
of silver are before the Congress and such legislation is unlikely for
the near future. The attitude of the officials in the Banco Internacional is to limit the use of silver to that already outstanding.
The exchange value of the colon is maintained by limitation of
the circulating medium and it is, therefore, believed by those in
authority that the issuance of additional silver currency would be
inadvisable.
Present employment of silver.—The circulation of silver on February 22, 1933, was as follows :
Colones

1 colon
50 centimos.
25 centimos.

489, 924
536, 962
466, 827

Total.

1, 493, 713

Of these, there were in circulation 929,693 colones, while 564,020
colones were held in the Banco Internacional de Costa Rica.
Of the 1,400,000 colones of silver certificates issued, 835,980 colones
were held by the Banco Internacional of Costa Rica and 564,020 were
in circulation. It will be noted that the amount of silver certificates
in circulation equals the amount of silver coins in the vaults of the
Banco Internacional de Costa Rica.
There is no restriction on the movement of silver into or out of
the country.



47

M O N E T A R Y USE OF SILVER IN" 19 3 3

CUBA
The monetary unit is the peso, divided into 100 centavos.
par value of the peso is approximately $1.

The

Present legal provisions.—Cuba's silver coinage is governed by the
law of October 29, 1914. This law provides for 1-peso, and 40-, 20-,
and 10-centavo silver coins, the total issue of which may not exceed
12,000,000 pesos. The fineness of the silver coins is fixed at 0.900,
and their gross weight as follows: 1 peso, 26.7295 grams; 40 centavos,
10 grams; 20 centavos, 5 grams; and 10 centavos, 2.5 grams.
Silver coins are full legal tender in payments of not more than 10
pesos, and legal tender to the extent of 8 percent for payments in
excess of 10 pesos. In November 1932 it was reported that the Government was accepting silver coins in the payment of all taxes to the
extent of one third. This was being done as a temporary and unofficial arrangement to ameliorate the disparity which had developed
in the relative values of the paper money (United States currency is
the sole paper money in Cuba) and Cuban silver coins.
Possibility of increased use of silver without new- legislation.—
The present use of silver money cannot be extended without amending the law. The entire $12,000,000 of silver money authorized has
been coined and is in circulation.
Attitude toward silver.—On May 8 the President was reported as
recommending a bill which would permit the coinage of an additional 6,000,000 pesos in silver, and the issuance thereagainst of an
equal amount of silver certificates. The press reported such a bill
would be readily passed.
Present employment of silver.—In April 1932 the Government
called for bids for the minting of 3,550,000 silver pesos and 36,860
pesos of 25-centavo silver coins. With the completion of that program, Cuban silver coinage is at present outstanding to the full
extent of the 12,000,000-peso limit set by law.
The disparity between Cuban silver coins and the paper money
in circulation was explained by the fear that the Government might
resort to inflation, and also by the fact that Cuba's position on
international account had tended to draw out of Cuba large sums of
paper money, thus making the silver currency in circulation relatively redundant. The silver money first went to a discount early
in 1932. The maximum discount was about 5 percent. In November 1932 the discount was reported as fluctuating between 1% and
2y2 percent.
CYPRUS

The monetary unit is the British sovereign, divided into 180
piasters. The sovereign is worth approximately $4.8666.

Present legal provisions.—Silver coinage in Cyprus is governed by
the Cyprus coinage order of 1900, as published in the Cyprus Gazette
of February 6, 1901. It went into effect January 1, 1901.
The order provides for silver coins, 0.925 fine, of four denominations : 18, 9, 41/2, and 3 piasters, having gross weights of 174.54, 87.27,
43.63, and 29.09 grains, respectively. These coins are legal tender
up to 540 piasters. (In addition to the coins mentioned, commemorative 45-piaster silver pieces were issued in 1927.)
The currency order empowers the High Commissioner to procure,
by proclamation, the issuance at any time of coins of a value not



48

M O N E T A R Y USE OF SILVER I N

19 3 3

exceeding 45 piasters, whether of silver or other metal or metals.
British silver coins are not legal tender in Cyprus.
Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation.—In
view of the powers given to the High Commissioner by the currency
order of 1900, it would be possible to increase the silver coinage at
any time upon publication of a proclamation.
Attitude toward silver.—No legislation is contemplated which
would affect the monetary use of silver in Cyprus, and the Government does not take any special attitude toward the employment of
silver, as opposed to that of gold, in the currency system, beyond
fixing a limit of legal tender.
Present employment of silver.—The position of silver in the monetary system of Cyprus is shown by the following statement of the
estimated circulation in Cyprus of sovereigns and Cyprus currency,
which applies to the end of 1931:
Gold46
Silver
Government notes

£60,000
147,500
426, 207

Total

633,707
CZECHOSLOVAKIA

The monetary unit is the koruna (crown) of 100 hellers.
par value of the koruna is approximately $0.0296.

The

Present legal provisions.—The law of June 9, 1932, effective June
27, lists three silver coins: The 5-, 10-, and 20-koruna pieces. Only
the first two mentioned are as yet in circulation. The 5-koruna coins
are 0,500 fine and the 10-koruna coins, 0.700 fine. Their respective
gross weights are 7 and 10 grams. The issue of subsidiary coin of
all kinds (silver and other metals) is limited to a maximum of
1,200,000,000 koruny. The issue must conform to actual requirements. To this end the treasury must keep all forms of money
readily interchangeable, redeeming the fractional money in other
forms of currency whenever the national bank finds itself holding
over 10 percent of the outstanding issue of any given denomination
of coin for a period of 6 months.
Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation.—It
is intended to replace gradually with silver coin the 10- and 20koruna notes of the National Bank outstanding (Nov. 1, 1932) in the
total amount of over 542,400,000 koruny. Apart from this, it is estimated that about 140,000,000 koruny of silver coins might be issued
within the maximum of 1,200,000,000 koruny fixed by law. The replacement of the small bank notes would require about 8,690,000 fine
ounces of silver and the remaining 140,000,000 koruny—if issued
two thirds in the form of 10-koruna pieces and one third in the form
of 20-koruna pieces—would recjuire about 2,520,000 fine ounces,
making possible the total additional consumption about 11,210,000
fine ounces.
Attitude toward silver.—Inasmuch as the 1932 law entails expansion of the monetary use of silver, it is believed unlikely that there
will be any further increase in the near future. The general attitude
46

This estimate is purely nominal.




M O N E T A R Y USE OF SILVER IN" 19 3 3

49

seems to be against any further increase in the use of silver, particularly such as would involve any sort of remonetization.
Present employment of silver.—At the end of 1931 the National
Bank of Czechoslovakia held 1,407 koruny in silver coin and 6,444,322 koruny in silver bullion, its note circulation on that date being
approximately 7,679,000,000 koruny.
DANZIG, FREE CITY OF
The monetary unit is the gulden, divided into 100 pfennige.
The gulden has a par value of approximately $0.1947.

Present legal provisions.—The gulden, equal to one twenty-fifth
of the pound sterling, was made Danzig's monetary unit by the law
of October 20, 1923. The coinage law of November 20, 1923, established four silver coins, which have since been demonetized. The
silver coins were made legal tender to not over 60 gulden.
The old silver coins of Danzig, namely, the
1-, 2-, and 5-gulden
pieces, all 0.750 fine, were demonetized in March 1932, and on June
30, 1932, they ceased to be accepted by the Government offices. Commencing in January 1932 new coins were put into circulation to
replace those withdrawn. Of the new coins, only two are silver,
the denominations being 2- and 5-gulden, weighing 10 and 15 grams
gross, respectively. Both are 0.500 fine. The total issue of fractional coins is limited to 10,000,000 gulden, of which 2,500,000
gulden may be 2-gulden silver coins and 4,300,000 5-gulden silver
coins.
Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation.—
Since the maximum circulation of silver coins has been fixed, issuance of silver beyond the limits mentioned would require special
legislation.
Attitude toward silver.—Recent changes in the coinage law indicate that the Government is content to limit the use of silver to
2- and 5-gulden coins.
Present employment of silver.—The limits of silver coinage are
set forth under " Present legal provisions " above. At the end of
1931 the stock of silver coin was reported as 10,000,000 gulden, of
which 3,730,917 gulden were held by the Bank of Danzig and the
rest were in circulation.
Danzig's new coins are manufactured by the Prussian State
Mint.
DENMARK
The monetary unit is the krone (crown), divided into 100 ore.
The par value of the krone is approximately $0,268.

Present legal provisions.—The existing Danish currency law of
February 15, 1924, makes no provision for the monetary use of
silver.
Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation.—
In view of the above, silver money could not be issued without special legislation.
Attitude toward silver.—There is no sentiment in favor of the
employment of silver currency in Denmark. It is held that the
existing coinage satisfies the public's requirements just as well as




50

M O N E T A R Y USE OF SILVER I N

19 3 3

silver would, and there is, therefore, no justification in minting or
using silver.
Present employment of silver.—The Bank of Denmark's holdings
of silver totaled 5,710,000 kroner at the end of 1931, compared with
gold holdings of 144,268,000 kroner and a note issue of 346,489,000
kroner.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
The monetary unit is the United States dollar.

Present legal provisions.—The United States gold dollar was
adopted as the standard of value in 1897. A decree of June 2, 1900,
made United States currency legal tender in the Dominican Repute
lie, in the proportion of 70 parts gold and 30 parts silver. Dominican silver coins were made equivalent to American, at the ratio
of 100 centavos equals 20 cents. The " 30 parts silver " may be made
up of nickel and copper to the extent of one sixth.
American paper currency of all kinds, silver certificates included,
is accepted in any amount for payments to the Government or individuals.
Movements of silver are unrestricted.
Present employment of silver.—No Dominican silver has been
coined for many years, possibly not since 1897.
Along the border of Haiti, coins and notes of that country circulate in the Dominican Republic.
There are no available statistics that show the extent of the use
of silver. At the end of 1929 Dominican banks held $182,738 in
"American silver", $101,159 in "Dominican silver", $129,260 in
American gold, and $1,419,210 in American notes. It is assumed
that the two items of " silver " really include minor coin as well.
The Bureau of the Mint reports that, at the end of 1931, banks and
the Dominican Republic Treasury held silver to a face value of
$282,000 United States currency.
ECUADOR
The monetary unit is the sucre, divided into 100 centavos.
sucre has a par value of approximately $0.20.

The

Present legal provisions.—The monetary law of March 4, 1927,
provides for silver coins as follows: 47
Denomination

2 sucres
1 sucre
Yi sucre.

-

Fineness

-

_
-

0.720
.720
.720

Gross
weight
in grams
10.0
5.0
2.5

By the terms of article 19 of the 1927 law, the central bank was
authorized to apply to the Minister of Finance whenever it considered new issues of silver money advisable, and the Minister of
47 For the text of the law, see Annual Report of the Director of the U.S. Mint, 1927,
pp. 1 4 0 - 1 4 1 .
This law was affirmed on Oct. 29, 1928, by the Constitutional Government,
and published June 15, 1932, in the Registro Oficial.




51

M O N E T A R Y USE OF SILVER IN" 19 3 3

Finance was authorized to contract for the coinage of silver money
as deemed by him to be necessary. Since March 19, 1928, such
contracts must have the express authorization of the legislature,
if by their execution the amount of silver and minor coins held by
the Minister of Finance shall be caused to exceed 500,000 sucres.
Silver coins are full legal tender for all payments to the Government but only to the amount of 10 sucres for private payments.
Old issues of silver coins continue to be legal tender at their face
value to the amount of 10 sucres.
The 1927 law repealed all earlier currency laws.
On May 23, 1930, the Registro Oficial carried the text of a presidential decree of May 17, reading in part as follows:
Considering that the constantly increasing retirement of the 1- and 2;-sucre
notes of the former banks of issue is causing a growing shortage of subsidiary
currency which is prejudicial to commercial transactions, as shown by reports
from banks and treasurer's ojiices received by the treasury administration;
that the quantities which the supreme decree of September 5, 1927, provided * * * were not all coined, and there is consequently still a balance
to be minted; (the President) decrees:
ARTICLE 1. The Central Bank of Ecuador, as agent of the Government,
shall cause to be minted the rest of the silver ordered in the supreme decree
of September 5, 1927, making a contract for this purpose with the * * *
Philadelphia Mint * * * for the coinage of additional amounts not in
excess of the uncoined balances, namely:
Sucres

100,000 2-sucre pieces
400,000 1-sucre pieces
155,000 y2-sucre pieces

200', 000
400, 000
77, 537

Total, 655,060 pieces
677,530
ART. 2. For the additional coinage mentioned, the Central Bank shall use
the 73,485.14 ounces of silver deposited in the Philadelphia Mint, and also
any part necessary of the sum of 20,932 sucres and 90 centavos authorized,
which the bank is holding for the Government's account and which it shall
send to the Philadelphia Mint.
ART. 3. In regard to weight, fineness, diameter, thickness, and other specifications, the coins shall be minted in absolute conformity with the provisions
of the supreme decree of September 5, 1927 * * *.
AJIT. 4. The Government shall deposit and keep the new coins in the custody
of the Central Bank until the needs of commerce require that they be put in
circulation.
*

*

*

*

*

*

#

ART. 7. Executive Decree No. 90, issued April 28 last, dealing with the
same matter, is amended to this effect.

There are no restrictions on the movement of silver into or out of
the country.
Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation—
From the above, it appears that the issuance of silver beyond the
limits therein stated would require new legislation.
Attitude toward silver.—No report has been received to indicate
any prospective legislation affecting the monetary use of silver in
Ecuador.
Present employment of silver.—Some old silver coins issued under
the law of November 4, 1898, are in circulation and are legal tender
according to the 1927 law, but they are seldom seen. Old coins are
retired as received by the Government.
The monetary stock at the end of 1929 was 34,700,000 sucres, of
which new silver coin accounted for 4,253,000 sucres. The United



52

M O N E T A R Y USE OF SILVER I N

19 3 3

States Bureau of the Mint reported that, at the end of 1931, Ecuador's stock of silver and minor coin totaled 7,830,855 sucres, of
which 4,561,624 sucres were in circulation, and the remainder held
in banks and the treasury. According to data supplied by the director of the treasury, the silver coinage in circulation on December
31, 1932, amounted to 5,177,530 sucres. As the Government's figures
include all silver coins outstanding, the amount is slightly higher
than that shown in the central bank's statement for all coins in circulation (5,011,520 sucres), which includes only those estimated to
be in actual circulation.
EGYPT
The monetary unit is the Egyptian pound, divided into 100
piasters. The par value of the Egyptian pound is approximately
$4.9431.

Present legal provision.—The laws governing the monetary use of
silver are: The decree of November 14, 1885; and Law No. 25 of
1916.
The 1885 decree limited the issuance of silver to 40 piasters per
capita. It provided for seven denominations of silver coins, 0.833%
fine, giving to the finance minister the authority to fix the quantities
of each category of coin issued within the 40-piaster per capita
limit. The legal tender of silver money was limited to 200 piasters.
The 1916 law made certain changes. It reduced the list of silver
coins to four: The 20-, 10-, 5-, and 2-piaster pieces. It made the
pound sterling legal tender in Egypt at a rate to be fixed by the
finance minister, and in a separate article, authorized the latter
to admit to circulation foreign moneys and fix their legal tender.
Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation.—
Without new legislation the circulation of silver could not be materially increased. The 40-piaster per capita limit, with Egypt's
present population of about 15,000,000, would permit a silver circulation of 6,000,000 Egyptian pounds. The figures cited below
indicate no room for expansion within this limit.
Attitude toward silver.—No legislation is contemplated, which
would effect the monetary use of silver in Egypt. The Government's attitude toward silver is one of indifference. Since the currency unit is linked to the pound sterling, it is unlikely that any
change would be made in the coinage without the advice of the
British Government.
Present employment of silver.—Silver coins outstanding on December 31, 1932, totaled 4,158,000 Egyptian pounds. The national
treasury held 2,000,000 Egyptian pounds additional, for use in meeting seasonal demands for small money. The corresponding figures
for other forms of money outstanding were: Paper currency,
18,802,000 pounds; nickel coin, 792,000 pounds; bronze coin, 37,000
pounds.
(Egyptian currency circulates in the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan,
which see.)
ERITREA
The monetary unit is the Italian lira, divided into 100 centesimi.
The par value of the lira is approximately $0.0526.

By royal decree of June 18, 1925, the Italian lira is the only legal
tender in Eritrea. Special silver coins for the colony were estab


M O N E T A R Y USE OF SILVER IN" 19 3 3

53

lished, namely, the 10-lira piece weighing 12 grams, and the 5-lira
piece weighing 6 grams; both coins 0.835 fine. The rupia, a silver
coin, is stabilized in value at 8 lire.
In 1918 the Italian mint struck a special silver Eritrean dollar
(tallero dTtalia) weighing 28.0668 grams, 0.835 fine.
ESTONIA
The monetary unit is the kroon [crown], divided into 100 senti.
The par value of the kroon is approximately $0.2680.

Present legal provisions.—The monetary law of May 3,1927, which
became effective at the beginning of 1928, authorized 1-kroon and
2-kroon subsidiary silver coins at least 0.500 fine, to be legal tender
up to 50 krooni.
Under the present currency law, the total of 1- to 50-centi coins
must not exceed 3 kroons per capita, and that of 1- and 2-kroon
pieces must not exceed 6 kroons per capita. For this purpose the
population as determined in 1922 is used, namely, 1,107,059. ^
Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation.—
No increase in the monetary use of silver without new legislation
seems likely in view of what follows below. It is stated, however,
that approximately 200,000 special 1-kroon silver coins will be struck
in 1933 to commemorate the Tenth Estonian National Singing Festival. Silver for these 1-kroon coins will be obtained from the surplus left in the treasury from the minting of the 2-kroon pieces in
1930. The remainder of the 1-kroon issue will very likely be minted
of aluminum and bronze.
Attitude toward silver.—Owing to the fact that the 2-kroon piece
has been readily counterfeited, the Government recently initiated
steps to amend the currency law so as to allow the replacement of
the present silver coins with pieces of baser metal. It is proposed
to authorize the minting of 1- and 2-kroon coins " of silver of a fineness of at least five hundred thousandths, or else of some other
metal." The Government in 1932 requested the Bank of Estonia to
secure the League of Nation's approval of the proposed amendment.
Such approval was received late in December, although the league
pointed out that Estonia was under no obligation to seek such
approval.
On March 2, 1933, the finance committee of the Riigikogu (State
Assembly) approved the above proposal, and ratification by the
assembly in plenary session was expected to follow very shortly.
It was stated by the Ministry of Economic Affairs in March 1933,
that the 2-kroon silver pieces of the 1930 issue now in circulation
will not be withdrawn under the amended currency law, but will
continue to remain legal tender currency.
Present employment of silver.—The 2-kroon piece, 0.500 fine, is
the only silver coin in circulation. On May 1, 1932, there were in
circulation 2,018,368 krooni in silver. This represents approximately
195,000 fine ounces of silver.
The proposed change in the currency law would affect paragraphs
4, 5, and 8, of the 1927 law. It would give the treasury the right
to decide whether to use silver, and, if so, what coins to mint of
silver.




54

MONETARY USE OF SILVER IN 19 3 3
ETHIOPIA
The monetary unit is the Maria Theresa dollar, with various
fractional parts as described below. The Maria Theresa dollar,
being silver, has no fixed par value in terms of gold.

Present legal provisions.—There appears to be no formal monetarylaw. Currency is issued according to the decision of the Government. In March 1931 the Government levied an excise tax on certain articles, both imported and domestic, with the object of raising
funds to take over the Bank of Abyssinia and establish a goldstandard currency known as the Ethiopian gold pound. The unit
was to have the same par value as the pound sterling, and to be
divided into 10 silver dollars, in turn divided into 20 besas. The
bank was taken over by the Government in October 1931 but whether
any other progress has been made in issuing the new currency is not
known.
The principal medium of exchange is the Maria Theresa silver
dollar, a silver trade coin which is minted in Vienna and circulates
in various places in the Arabian peninsula and northern Africa.48
The Maria Theresa dollar weighs 28.0668 grams 0.833i/3 fine. It is
the only currencj^ generally accepted throughout Ethiopia.
According to reports from Minister Resident Addison B. Southard, Addis Ababa, dated February 7, 1931, and January 24, 1933, the
fractional silver coins in circulation include half and quarter dollars,
and the T V d o l l a r coin called timoon, guerche, or mehalek. According to the Bureau of the Mint, however, the coin is equal to
one twentieth of a Maria Theresa dollar.49 The mint lists also the
now rarely seen Menelik dollar, issued in 1897, and gives the following details of the silver coinage:
Denomination

Maria Theresa dollar (thaler)
Menelik dollar (thaler)
Half [menelikl dollar (alad)
Quarter [menelik] dollar (roul)
Twentieth [menelik] dollar (timoon or piaster)

Fineness

!

0.833H
.835
.835
.835
.835

Gross
weight in
grams
28.0668
28. 0750
14. 0375
7.0188
1. 4038

!

Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation.—The
Emperor has the power to order changes in the currency system at
will.
Attitude toward silver.—Paper notes in the values of 5, 10, 50,100,
500, and 1,000 Maria Theresa dollars, are issued by the Bank of
Ethiopia, secured by reserve of silver dollars to the full value of
notes outstanding. These paper notes are fairly well accepted in
the main towns, but are usually avoided by the peasants and less
literate masses of the population, who prefer the hard metal coin.
According to American Minister Southard, in his report of January 24, 1933, the Financial Adviser's program of currency reform
The Maria Theresa dollars all bear the date 1780, regardless of the date of issuance.
See Monetary Units and Coinage Systems of the Principal Countries of the World,
1929, p. 19.
Tate's Modern Cambist states that the timoon is nominally worth one
twentieth of a dollar, but actually circulates at a higher value.
48

49




M O N E T A R Y USE OF SILVER I N

55

19 3 3

contemplates first the establishment of a decimal system of fractional coins to take the place of the present fractional units. He
has proposed the minting and circulation of nickel coins in the
values of one twentieth, one tenth, one fifth, and one half of a silver
dollar. This project has been approved and the Government has
purchased in London £50,000 worth of nickel sheets from which the
coins are to be locally stamped, and the first shipment of this nickel
is reported en route. He anticipates that the new nickel' coins will
be ready to put into circulation before summer. With that end in
view the Government has begun to retire the present fractional coins.
Other items in the Financial Adviser's program for Ethiopian
currency reform include paper notes of $1 and $2, and an eventual
gold reserve upon which to base a national gold-standard currency.
These two items have been approved by the Emperor in theory,
but not yet in fact. There is some doubt as to whether the peasants
will accept $1 and $2 paper notes in place of the Maria Theresa dollar coins, for they are not accustomed to paper money. The gold
standard move must await the accumulation of gold reserves, an
accumulation which may require several years.
Present employment of silver.—Merchants consulted in 1931 estimated silver and other metal currency in circulation as between
27,000,000 and 40,000,000 Maria Theresa dollars. A report to the
United States Bureau of the Mint gave the silver stock at the end
of 1931 as follows: In treasury, 6,000,000 Maria Theresa dollars; in
banks, 4,000,000; in circulation, 35,000,000; total, 45,000,000. Notes
of the Bank of Abyssinia in circulation at that date amounted to
about 1,740,000 Maria Theresa dollars. Foreign money in circulation
was negligible in quantity.
While there is no currency law and hence no legal-tender limit, in
practice the subsidiary coins are not accepted in amounts exceeding
$10.

_

_

'

The Ethiopian Government has no formal or fixed policy as regards the restriction of the importation and exportation of gold and
silver. As gold is subject to an export tax it must be declared at
the customs when shipped. The Ethiopian Government occasionally restricts the importation or exportation of Maria Theresa dollars for short periods, usually for the purpose of influencing exchange when it has foreign remittances to make or receive, but no
printed decrees or laws are made available. Often the restriction
is accomplished by oral instruction of the Emperor to the officials
immediately concerned. At present both imports and exports of
Maria Theresa dollars are prohibited.
Maria Theresa dollars struck by the Vienna Mint in 1931 totaled
1,266,600.
FALKLAND ISLANDS
The monetary unit is the pound sterling, divided into 20 shillings
of 12 pence each. The pound sterling has a par value of approximately $4.8666.

Present legal provisions.—British currency is used in the Falkland
Islands. (See United Kingdom.)




56

M O N E T A R Y USE OF SILVER I N

19 3 3

FIJI ISLANDS
The monetary unit is the pound sterling, divided into 20 shillings
of 12 pence each. The par value of the pound sterling is approximately $4.866'6.

Present legal provisions.—Fiji's currency is regulated by Fiji
Ordinance No. 9 of 1913, as amended by Ordinance No. 2 of 1917,
No. 19 of 1918, No. 23 of 1920, No. 9 of 1921, and No. 1 of 1922.
Both British and Australian silver coins circulate in the Fiji
Islands.
Proclamation no. 9, of February 25, 1931, prohibited the importation of silver coin in amounts exceeding £2, except under license.
Under present regulations the exportation of gold or silver coins or
bullion is controlled by the Government of Fiji, and can be done
only under license issued by the Governor. The importation of
foreign subsidiary coins is permitted.
Possibility of inm1 eased use of silver without new legislation.—
Silver coins are constantly brought in by travelers, and are periodically exported.
Attitude toward silver.—The natives and resident British Indians
seem to prefer silver to paper money. The half-crown piece is not
popular and is not in general circulation.
Present employment of silver.—In 1930 silver coin in the islands
was estimated at £76,469, of which about £51,469 was held in the
banks.
FINLAND
The monetary unit is the markka, divided into 100 pennia.
markka has a par value of approximately $0.0252.

The

Present legal provisions.—The present monetary law, which dates
from December 21,1925, makes no provision for silver coinage.
Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation.—
None.
Attitude toward silver.—When the Finnish Republic came into being in 1919 the Bank of Finland had on hand silver coins to the
amount of 535,600 finnmarks and silver bullion valued at 25,000
finnmarks. That silver has since been sold to silversmiths within the
country, sales having been completed in 1926. Even when the law
permitted the circulation of silver, that is from 1919 to 1925,50 none
was circulated by the Government. There is, therefore, no indication that the Government is inclined to use silver for monetary purposes, and no legislation to that end is contemplated. The authorities are said to consider that there is no need for the employment of
silver and that the use of silver would involve an unnecessary
expense.
Present employment of silver.—The Bank of Finland at the end
of 1931 held silver to a total of 44,300,000 finnmarks.
FRANCE
The monetary unit is the French franc, divided into 100 centimes.
The franc has a par value of approximately $0.0392.

Present legal provisions.—Article 7 of the French monetary or
stabilization law of June 25, 1928, provided the following:
50 During this period the coinage was regulated by laws of Aug. 9, 1877, of the Grand
Duchy of Finland.




M O N E T A R Y USE OF SILVER I N

19 3 3

57

Iii replacement of the Bank of France notes of 5, 10, and 20 francs, which
will be withdrawn from circulation before December 31, 1932, the date from
which they will cease to have legal tender, there will be fabricated at the
administration of the mint, for the account of the state, silver pieces having
a nominal value of 10 and of 20 francs, of a fineness of 0.680 for an amount the
total of which cannot exceed 3,000,000,000 francs. The weight of the silver
money is fixed as follows: 10 grams per 10-franc piece; 20 grams per 20-franc
piece.

Article 10 of the appropriations law promulgated December 31,
1932, prolonged until the end of 1933 the date for the completion of
the program set forth above.
According to the monetary law of June 24, 1928, the old French
silver coins were demonetized. The silver coins mentioned in the
present law are to be legal tender up to 250 francs. The gross weight
of the coins to be issued is 20 grams for the 20-franc piece and 10
grams for the 10-franc piece.
Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation.—
Under the existing law 3,000,000,000 francs in silver were on March
27, 1933, issuable without further legislation.
Attitude toward silver.—Over 1,225,300,000 francs of 10-franc
silver pieces and 64,680,000 francs of 20-franc silver pieces had been
minted by December 15, 1932, both being put into circulation commencing March 27, 1933. There was considerable demand that the
Government mint 5-franc silver coins, but early in February 1933
it was decided to issue nickel 5-franc pieces, rather than silver
(art. 68 of the March " provisional twelfth " law).
A bill known as Chamber Document No. 991 and dated December
6, 1932, was introduced to authorize the striking of 5-franc silver
pieces and for other purposes. Although the bill failed to pass in
its original form, but was enacted in amended form on December 31,
1932 (as referred to above), the expose des motifs which accompanied it is of interest in connection with the official attitude toward
silver. The expose referred to the desire for clean and durable
money (instead of the small notes at present circulating) and, in
asking for the postponement of the date for compliance with the
1928 law (i.e., the provision cited above), the Government envisaged
placing the coins in circulation prior to the date fixed for total
withdrawal of the small paper notes. This operation, it was stated,
would improve the situation of the Bank of France.
In urging the striking of a 5-franc coin of silver, the expose recommended it as a means of avoiding rising prices because of the absence
of a coin smaller than the 10-franc piece and larger than the 2-franc
piece. The expose referred to doubts concerning the opportunity of
creating a nickel piece, adding that " only the striking of 5-franc
silver pieces will effect the complete utilization of the silver stock
held by the treasury which permits the issuance of 3,000,000,000
francs of silver money. It goes without saying, in fact, that for the
total of 20-, 10-, and 5-franc pieces, we would not exceed the limit of
3,000,000,000 provided by the law of 1928 and established in relation
to the amount of the circulation of small paper notes. In the event
of the adoption of a 5-franc nickel piece, a part of the silver stock
of the treasury would remain without employment and could not
therefore be sold without a very appreciable loss."
The attitude of those who favored nickel was set forth by M. de
Ramel, a member of the finance committee, in l'Information of



58

monetary "use of

silver

in

19 3 3 58

March 3, 1933. His contention was that the issuance of nickel coins
is more profitable to the state.
Present employment of silver.—French holdings of silver at the
end of 1931 and 1932 were approximately as shown in the following
table, the holdings of the Bank of France being in new coin minted
in accordance with the 1928 law:
End of—
Item i
1931

Held by Bank of France on own account
Held by Bank of France on government account
Held by government on own account

1932

Ounces

Ounces

29, 553,971
5,193,994
31,416,510

20, 623,066
14,112,119
32,903,944

Total held on government account
Total held on Bank of France account

36,610,504
29,553,971

Grand total
1

47,016,143
20, 623,066
67,639,209

66,164,475

As used herein, the word "government" means the Administration of Coins and Medals.

FRENCH COLONIES

The French coinage system applies to Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia,
French West Africa, French Equatorial Africa, and the islands of
Reunion and Comoro, in Africa; to French Guiana and the French
West Indies (St. Pierre and Miquelon, Martinique, and Guadeloupe) in America; and to the French Establishments of Oceania.
FRENCH GUIANA
The monetary unit is the French franc, divided into 100 centimes. The franc has a par value of approximately $0.0392.
(See France.)

Present legal provisions.—The French monetary law of June 25,
1928, applies to French Guiana.
Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation.—
See France.
Attitude toward silver.—See France.
Present employment of silver.—No silver is in circulation. The
United States Bureau of the Mint, however, reports that at the end
of 1930, the banks and the treasury held silver to a value of $194,000
United States currency.
FRENCH INDO-CHINA
The monetary unit is the piaster, divided into 100 cents.
piaster has a par value of 10 French francs, or $0,392.

The

Present legal provisions.—According to a decree of July 8, 1895,
which slightly reduced the weight of the piaster to 27 grams, fractional coins of proportional weights were issued. These coins were
all 0.900 fine. On April 14, 1898, the fineness of the silver i/5-piaster
and xVpiaster coins was lowered from 0.900 to 0.835 and, on June
9, 1921, to 0.680. In this form these two fractional coins are still
in circulation. A decree of August 12, 1930, states that these coins
shall continue to be legal tender as determined by the earlier laws,
but that their fineness, weight, tolerance, and diameter may be
modified by the Governor General in council.



monetary "use of

silver

in

19 3 3

59

According to a decree of May 31, 1930, published in the French
Journal Official of June 1, 1930, the piaster has been placed on
the franc-exchange basis,51 but the 1-piaster silver coins retain their
unlimited legal-tender quality. A decree of August 12, 1930, published August 18, fixes the fineness of the silver piaster at 0.900 and
its weight at 20 grams.
At the end of December 1931, the old 27-gram piaster silver
pieces were demonetized, and any of them acquired by the Banque
de l'lndo-Chine since then have been paid for at their value as bullion. The only silver now enjoying legal tender is the new piaster
coin.
Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation.—The
number of silver coins in circulation could be increased without new
legislation.
Attitude toward silver.—The Government shows no inclination to
put more silver into circulation. It is held that the inhabitants of
French Indo-China in general prefer paper to silver money, although
silver bullion is imported for use in making ornaments, etc. Some
of the bullion is hoarded.
Present employment of silver.—In February 1933 it was reported
that there were 3,957,000 of the new piaster coins in circulation.
The Colony's total stock of the new coins was about 16,000,000 piasters, the difference between that figure and the 3,957,000 in circulation in February 1932 represents coins in the vaults of the Banque
de l'lndo-Chine. New piasters struck by the French Mint during
1931 totaled 13,288,273. No information is on hand as to the circulation of fractional silver coins, the last of which were struck in Paris
in 1930, namely, 5,576,331 twenty-cent pieces and 6,607,520 ten-cent
pieces. The corresponding figures for 1929 were 643,750 and 5,830,820;
and for 1928, 794,289 and 1,592,863.
The figure of 3,957,000 piasters mentioned above compared with
approximately 1,500,000 in the fall of 1932. The increase in circulation is due to the demand from the Province of Laos, where the
natives do not trust banks and bury their money in the ground in
bamboo boxes. It is principally for the latter purpose that they
demand silver. They used to bury the bank notes in the same way,
but often found them partly eaten up by ants and other insects, and
if the numbers were not legible, the notes could not be redeemed.
The 16,000,000 piasters held in Indo-China represents all of the
new piaster coins struck in Paris. The coins were sent to IndoChina in May 1932.
From the beginning of 1929 to the end of 1932 French Indo-China
is estimated to have sold 48,000,000 fine ounces of demonetized silver.
FRENCH OCEANIA
SOCIETY, MARQUESAS, AND OTHER ISLANDS

The monetary unit is the French franc, divided into 100 centimes. The franc has a par value of approximately $0.0392.

Present legal provisions.—The French coinage system applies to
French Oceania.
51

De facto stabilization was accomplished at the end of 1929.
172120—33




5

60

monetary "use of

silver

in

19 3 3 60

FRENCH SOMALILAND
The monetary unit is the French franc, divided into 100 centimes. The franc has a par value of approximately $0.0392. (See
France.)
FRENCH WEST AFRICA AND FRENCH EQUATORIAL AFRICA
The monetary unit is the French franc, divided into 100 centimes.
The franc has a par value of approximately $0.0392.

Present legal provisions.—By decrees of the governors of the two
colonies, dated June 26, 1928, the currency system of France is in
effect in these territories. The law contains no provision for the
circulation of silver. (See France.)
There is no restriction on the importation of gold or silver coin
or bullion.
Attitude toward silver.—See France.
Present employment of silver.—No silver is in circulation. Formerly, Maria Theresa dollars and Belgian coins circulated in the
northern part of French Equatorial Africa but they were fast disappearing, according to a report in 1930.
FRENCH WEST INDIES (GUADELOUPE AND MARTINIQUE)
The monetary unit is the French franc, divided into 100 centimes.
The franc has a par value of approximately $0.0392.

Present legal provisions.—The French monetary law of June 25,
1928, governs the currency of the French West Indies.
Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation»
See France.
Attitude toward silver.—According to a 1930 consular report, the
use of silver or gold is not contemplated in the French West Indies.
(See France.)
Present employment of silver.—No silver coins are in circulation
in the French West Indies.
GERMANY
The monetary unit is the reichsmark, divided into 100 reichspfennige. The reichsmark has a par value of approximately
$0.2382.

Present legal provisions.—German coinage is governed by the law
of August 30, 1920, as amended to date. Silver coinage is limited to
30 reichsmarks per capita, or a maximum of about 1,800,000,000
reichsmarks, the limit having been raised from 20 reichsmarks in
July 1931. The coins, 0.500 fine, are issued in denominations of
1, 2, 3, and 5 reichsmarks and are legal tender in payments not
exceeding 20 reichsmarks. These coins weigh, respectively, 5, 10, 15,
and 25 grams.
Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation.—
An appreciable increase in the monetary use of silver by Germany
is not possible without new legislation.
Attitude toward silver.—While there is no inclination in Germany
to use silver as a standard of value, not even in conjunction with




m o n e t a r y

"use

of

silver

in

19 3 3

61

gold, in the last 2 years the law has been amended to permit the
increased use of silver for subsidiary purposes. This measure is
justified in part by the relief it has afforded to the Eeichsbank's
reserve ratio, and in part by the revenues which come to the Government in the form of seigniorage on the coinage. Unlike the Eeichsbank's note issue, which must be secured by reserves of gold and
foreign exchange, the Government-issued coinage requires no reserve.
Present employment of silver.—Under the 1931 law extending the
per capita circulation of silver to 30 reichsmarks, a total of about
1,800,000,000 reichsmarks in silver may be issued.52 The reported
circulation as of October 31, 1932, was 1,676,000,000, leaving only
about 124,000,000 reichsmarks as issuable. That these coins will be
put in circulation is now regarded as unlikely, for the reason that
the public has objected to the too-plentiful supply of 5-mark coins
and the withdrawal from circulation of the small-denomination
paper money. Because of that objection the Government is reported to be considering the substitution of a smaller silver coin for
the 5-mark piece. At the same time it is preparing for the substitution of nickel coins for the present small-denomination silver coins.
The following figures apply to silver coins in monetary use:
End o f —

Millions of reichsinarks

1924
1928
192 9
193 0
193 1
1932 (October)

262.3
872. 9
915. 5
964. 9
1,371.6
1,676.0

Of the total stock of money, coins (of all metals) comprised 14
percent at the end of 1929 and 24 percent at the end of June 1932.
The budget showed profits derived from silver coinage as 415,000,000 reichsmarks in the year ended March 31, 1932.
According to a report dated January 30, 1933, the German Government holds only negligible amounts of silver at the mints. Silver
coin held by the Eeichsbank usually varies from about 200,000,000
reichsmarks at the beginning of the month to 350,000,000 at the end.
According to the American consulate at Berlin (June 7, 1932) :
After the war, when the paper mark began to depreciate in value, silver
coins were hoarded and bought up privlately. The silver thus acquired was
consumed in industry and otherwise, a relatively small amount coming into
the Government coffers. The Government still buys demonetized coins of that
period as bullion, but the amount is negligible. It is stated that none of the
silver derived from demonetized coins or from present standard coins retired
from circulation has been sold by the Government, inasmuch as the metal
has been continuously consumed by the Government. The silver coins shown
as exports in the German trade statistics represent mintings for Danzig and
coins collected in local trade across the border. Silver coins then in circulation represented over 116,600,000 fine ounces.

The most recent development affecting German coinage was an
amendment to the currency law of August 30, 1924. The amendment, which was published March 22, 1933, adds to the list of coins
which may be minted of base metals, the 1-mark piece. This is in
keeping with the intention of the Government, referred to briefly
above, to withdraw the approximately 256,200,000 silver 1-mark
pieces outstanding. These silver coins represented about 20,600,000
52

The population of the Saar region is omitted from this calculation.




monetary "use of

62

silver

in

1 9 3 3 62

tine ounces of the metal. Reporting on this subject, Consul Sydney
B. Redecker wrote from Hamburg on March 15 that a plan under
advisement called for the complete withdrawal of the existing
5-mark silver pieces and their replacement by new 5-mark pieces
the size of the present 3-mark coins; the withdrawal of the current
3-mark silver pieces; changes in the 2-mark silver pieces; and the
replacement of the 1-mark silver coins by nickel coins of the same
denomination. The change would make available for sale by the
Reichsbank a total of 1,300,000 kilograms of fine silver, produced
by the melting down of 3-mark and other pieces, and a demand for
1,700,000 kilograms of nickel for the issuance of the new 1-mark
coins. The consul further stated:
The size and weight of the 5-mark pieces are causes of great inconvenience
to the public and it seems certain that the Government will take cognizance
of the public's dissatisfaction by withdrawing these coins and issuing other
more convenient coins in lieu thereof. Various criticisms have been made
regarding the harmful effects which it was feared would be caused by reducing the size of 5-mark coins to that of the present 3-mark pieces, but, it is
pointed out in this connection, the smaller 5-mark coins will have the same
silver content as the existing 5-mark pieces, w^hich are only 0.500 fine. Thus,
the silver content of the new and smaller piece would be increased to 0.620.
The huge amount of coin now in circulation in Germany is evident from the
fact that the total issued by the Reichsbank represents, nominally, almost half
as much as the note issue. Of the total coins in circulation at the end of
January (after deducting stocks held by the Reichsbank), 789,900,000 comprise 5-mark silver pieces; 269,600,000, 3-mark silver pieces; 213,600,000,
2-mark silver pieces; and 256,200,000, 1-mark silver pieces.62*
GIBRALTAR
The monetary unit is the pound sterling, divided into 20 shillings of 12 pence each. The par value of the pound sterling is
approximately $4.8666.

Present legal provisions.—An order-in-council of August 9, 1898,
effective October 1 of that year, made the pound sterling the monetary unit in Gibraltar.
Possibility of increased use of silver without ne%o legislation—
No special coins are minted for Gibraltar.
Attitude toward silver.—See United Kingdom and Spain.
Present employment of silver.—Both British and Spanish currency circulates freely in Gibraltar, Spanish coins forming about
half of the total.
GOA

The monetary unit is the rupia, divided into 16 tangas.
rupia has a par value of approximately $0,365.

The

The silver currency in circulation consists of 1-rupia coins, British
Indian rupees, and British Indian fractional coins. Fractonal rupia
coins have been minted but all are at present held by the Banco
Nacional Ultramarino. The latter coins are in denominations of
8, 4, and 2 tangas. Most of the metallic currency in circulation is
British Indian. The rupia coin has the same weight and fineness
as the British Indian rupee.
The rupia is legal tender to any amount; the smaller silver coins
are limited in legal tender to 1 rupia.
The note issue is secured by a metallic reserve of at least 33%
percent.
B2a

See Addendum, p. 141.




monetary "use of

silver

in

63

19 3 3

GREECE
The monetary unit is the drachma, divided into 100 lepta.
drachma has a par value of approximately $0.0130.

The

Present legal provisions.—The law provides for subsidiary silver
coins in denominations of 20 and 10 drachmas, 0.500 fine. All
Greek coins are legal tender for all private and Government debts,
with apparently no limit as to amount. Law No. 4546 of April
16, 1930, abolished the export tax on Greek silver coins.
Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation.—
Additional silver coins could not be minted without the permission of the International Financial Commission, a pre-war body
established to protect foreign loans made to Greece.
Attitude toward silver.—No legislation affecting silver coinage
is contemplated, and there appears to be no interest in silver. There
is, however, much interest in the stabilization of the currency in
terms of gold.
Present employment of silver.—In addition to the new 20- and
10-drachma coins, some old silver coins, dating from before the
stabilization of the currency, are in circulation, and enjoy extralegal recognition. On October 31, 1932, Greek silver coinage outstanding was reported as approximately 188,000,000 drachmas.
Greek coins are minted abroad, and 117,000,000 drachmas in unissued
silver coin are in the hands of the authorities.
GREENLAND
The monetary unit is the Danish krone (crown), divided into
100 ore. The par value of the krone is approximately $0,268.
(See Denmark.)
GUATEMALA
The monetary unit is the quetzal, divided into 100 centavos. The
quetzal has a par value of $1. In addition to the fractional coins
mentioned below, there are copper " peso" and " centavo" coins
which circulate at 60 pesos per quetzal.

Present legal provisions.—The law provides for subsidiary silver
coins in five denominations—1 quetzal, and 50, 25, 10, and 5 centavos,
0.720 fine and legal tender to 10 quetzales. The central bank may
legally include silver in its reserves. According to Legislative Decree No. 1379 of 1924 (art. 9), and Legislative Decree No. 1824 of
May 6, 1932 (art. 7), the silver coinage may not exceed 2,000,000
quetzales.
The law governing the central bank requires that institution to
keep, against its notes and deposit liabilities, certain specified reserves in gold and gold exchange. One thirtieth of these reserves
(40 percent against notes, 25 percent against deposits for 30 days
or less, and 100 percent against special deposits) may be composed
of silver.
Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation.—
There is no likelihood that additional silver will be required, since
the Government contemplates demonetizing certain coins.
Attitude toward silver.—The most popular coin is the quarterquetzal. The half-quetzal and one-quetzal silver coins have proven



64

monetary "use of

silver

IN

19 3 3 64

unpopular, and the Government expects to demonetize them together
with certain old silver coins still used in Oriente and Peten. Some
of the quarter-quetzales also may be withdrawn from circulation.
On the other hand, a small additional supply of 5- and 10-centavo
pieces will probably be required.
No legislation involving a net increase in the employment of silver
as currency is contemplated.
Present employment of silver.—The silver coins expected to be
withdrawn include 10,000 quetzales and 400,000 half-quetzales. Old
silver in circulation is estimated at 50,000 " realitos " plus a few old
silver pesos. The present circulation of quarter-quetzales is estimated at 3,960,000 pieces. The latest complete estimate of the circulation of all silver coins is 1,512,445 quetzales, as of the end of
1930. Of that sum, the central bank held 305,442; other institutions,
14,237; and the general public, the remainder.
HAITI
The monetary unit is the gourde, divided into 100 cents.
gourde has a par value of $0.20.

The

Present legal provisions.—The present parity of the gourde was
established by a law of August 26, 1913. The following table shows
the coins that are provided by the law.
Denomination

1 gourde
SO cents
20 cents

Fineness

__

0.835
.835
.835

Gross
weight
Grams

25.0
12.5
5.0

Denomination

10 cents
5 cents

Fineness

0.835
.835

Gross
weight
Grams

2.5
1.0

to a considerable extent. The Bureau of the Mint placed Haiti's
and hence circulates freely.
Present employment of silver.—Haitian silver coins are not in general circulation. United States silver coins, however, do circulate
to a considerable extent. The Bureau of the Mint placed Haiti's
stock of silver in the banks and treasury at $17,000, United States
currency, as of the end of 1931.
HEDJAZ, NEJD, AND DEPENDENCIES
The monetary unit is the Saoudi ryal, theoretically divided into
11 qarsh miri or 22 qarsh darij. The subsidiary silver coins, however, are called % and
ryal. The Saoudi ryal theoretically has
a par value of approximately $0.4867.

Present legal provisions.—There is no formal currency law in this
area. On January 23, 1928, the Saoudi ryal was made the monetary
unit. The Government has frequently announced in the newspaper
Um al Kura that the public must accept the silver 1,
and %
Saoudi ryal at the fixed rate of 10 ryals per British gold sovereign.
But, despite the Government's wishes, that valuation does not prevail, and the silver coins fluctuate daily. At the end of 1932 the
value of these coins on local markets was at the rate of 20 ryals per
sovereign. Indeed, the Government itself does not accept ryals at



monetary

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65

the proclaimed rate, and only the scarcity of media of exchange keeps
their value as high as it is. The Government prohibits the importation of Maria Theresa dollars.
Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation.—
There is no restriction upon the issuance of silver coins.
Attitude toward silver\—There are no prospects of legislation
affecting the monetary use of silver in the Saoudian Arabian Kingdom. It is unlikely that silver will be displaced by other forms of
money at any time in the near future.
Present employment of silver.—The Saoudi ryal and the fractional
silver coins are 0.830 fine, and have a gross weight of approximately
24.05 grams per ryal. They are full legal tender. Their circulation
in May 1932 amounted to 1,500,000 ryals, divided as follows: Ryal
coins,'1,200,000; half-ryals, 300,000; quarter-ryals, 600,000. These
coins circulate only in the Hedjaz. In Nejd the Maria Theresa
dollars still circulate.
HONDURAS
The monetary unit is the lempira, divided into 100 centavos.
United States currency is used in Northern Honduras. The par
value of the lempira is $0.50.

Present legal provisions.—By Decree No. 102 of April 3, 1926, as
amended by Decree No. 114, dated March 9, 1931, published in an
official pamphlet entitled Leyes que Regulan la Conversion Monetaria, three silver subsidiary coins are provided. These coins, all
0.900 fine, are in denominations of 100, 50, and 20 centavos, weighing
12.5, 6.25, and 2.5 grams, respectively.
The 20-centavo silver coin is legal tender up to 5 percent in any
one payment, unless otherwise agreed. No maximum limit is specified as to the legal-tender properties of silver or other money 50
centavos and above in denomination.
The law specifies that the coins must be guaranteed by a reserve of
at least 50 percent in gold.
On April 28, 1931, the President of Honduras, in accordance with
the terms of Decree No. 114, issued currency regulations which,
among other things, provided (art. 6) that " the minting of silver
and minor money may not exceed 1,500,000 lempiras excepting as
provided in articles 7 and 8 of these regulations. Any increase in the
coinage will require the approval of the monetary commission mentioned (in the currency law)."
Article 7 of the regulations states that " new silver money may be
coined and issued only in exchange for gold money or American
paper money in accordance with article 4 of Legislative Decree No.
169 of March 28, 1930, as modified by Decree No. 114 * * *."
Article 9 states: " The foregoing restrictions are not applicable in
case of recoinage, whereby there may be minted and issued whatever
quantity of silver, copper, and nickel money may be necessary, * * *." It is further provided that the amount of such
coins shall not exceed in face value the amount of the coins withdrawn.
Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation.—
Apart from recoinage, the issuance of silver is restricted to 1,500,000
lempiras, excepting in the case of recoinage or in exchange for gold
money.




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Attitude toward silver.—It is the purpose of the authorities to
keep the silver currency redeemable in gold. The necessity of maintaining a reserve of at least 50 percent in gold places an automatic
limit upon the issuance of silver. It is intended to issue 800,000
lempiras more of subsidiary coin, eventually bringing the total of
silver and nickel pieces to 3,000,000 lempiras. It is unlikely that any
additional silver will be issued.
So far, the various old silver coins which have been retired have
been the sole source of the silver used for the new coinage, and the
monetary commission charged with the issuance of the new money
does not contemplate the use of any other silver.
Present employment of silver.—With the exception of United
States currency, which circulates as legal tender in northern Honduras,53 the three silver coins mentioned above replace the old Honduran peso and sol and other Central American subsidiary coins
previously used in Honduras.
At the end of 1932 the amount of silver coins in circulation was
approximately as shown in the following statement:
Lempiras

1 lempira
50 centavos
20 centavos

750,000
800, 000
350, 000

Total

1, 900', 000

The only other lempira coins issued were some 300,000 lempiras of
nickel pieces, no gold or copper having been minted under the new
law.
HONG KONG
The unit of currency is the Hong Kong (British) dollar, divided
into 100 cents. The Hong Kong dollar, being on the silver standard,
has no fixed parity in terms of gold.

Present legal provisions.54—On April 27, 1842, Mexican and other
republican dollars were proclaimed the standard currency of the
colony. By a proclamation of 1863, Mexican dollars and other silver
dollars of equivalent value that might from time to time be authorized became the only legal tender of payment.
The present currency of the colony was established by an order
in council proclaimed in 1895. In accordance therewith, the Mexican
dollar is the standard, to which the British or any other dollar
should conform if it is to be accorded equality of status. The order
in council is noteworthy also as ordaining that, in the absence of
express agreement to the contrary in all contracts and transactions
involving liability to pay money, payment should be made in the
standard coin of the colony. In effect the Mexican dollar and the
Hong Kong (British) dollar are full legal tender.
Anyone holding silver bullion may have it coined into Hong Kong
dollars at the Royal Mint in London upon payment of the minting
charges. The dollars are also freely purchasable from the Bombay
branch of the Royal Mint, but not under circumstances which may
be described as free coinage, for the mint insists on using its own
bullion.
53 United States gold money is legal tender throughout Honduras.
54 See Hong Kong Government Gazette, Aug. 1, 1930, p. 383 ff., containing Report of
the Currency Committee, 1930. The chairman of the committee was C. Mcl. Messer.




monetary

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67

The importation into and circulation in the colony of any foreign
silver or nickel coin (excepting those named in the law) was forbidden in 1913 by ordinance no. 15 of that year.
On June 19, 1930, owing to the local depreciation of silver dollars in terms of Hong Kong paper money, importation of Mexican
dollars in quantities of more than 50 at a time was prohibited.
Following the recommendation of the Hong Kong Currency Commission, the Hong Kong banks of issue were authorized to increase
their note issue against cover of bar silver held in London rather
than against minted dollars held in Hong Kong.
The ordinances governing the note issue of the Hong Kong &
Shanghai Banking Corporation in Hong Kong require a reserve of
one third in silver. This ratio has been observed also by the two
other banks of issue. Another significant feature of the system of
note issue in Hong Kong is that the Hong Kong & Shanghai Banking Corporation enjoys an authority, not shared by the other banks
of issue, whereby it may exceed its statutory limit to any amount
by the deposit of an amount of coin or bullion equivalent to the
value of the excess notes issued. The effect of this is that when the
limits of the other two issuing banks have been reached any large
emergency demand may only be met by the Hong Kong & Shanghai
Banking Corporation.
The privilege of issuing notes in the colony was granted to the
chartered bank in 1853, to the Hong Kong & Shanghai Banking
Corporation in 1866, and to the Mercantile Bank in 1911. The
understanding or convention by which notes, rather than coin,
became accepted in all banking, mercantile, and revenue transactions is said to date from about 1890, and there subsequently developed a tacit agreement not to observe too strictly the terms of the
order-in-council of 1895. The acceptance of this convention was
almost universal, and any attempt to depart from it by meeting
obligations with coin tended to be suppressed by reciprocating in
kind.
Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation.—
In theory the use of silver money might be extended indefinitely
without amending the existing laws.
Attitude toward silver.—Despite the fact that silver dollars are
full legal tender, the Hong Kong and South China public at times
during the last 33 years has accepted them only at a discount in
terms of the notes issued by Hong Kong banks, because of the relatively greater convenience of the paper money. For a time the
banks refused to accept for deposit any large amounts of silver.
The local branch of a French bank became in effect a silver-dollar
clearing house and depository, and at one time had over 20,000,000
silver dollars stored in its vaults. When the premium on paper money
was high, the Hong Kong & Shanghai Banking Corporation refused
to accept silver checks. Other banks finally met, and served an ultimatum stating that they would break the clearing house unless the
Hong Kong & Shanghai Banking Corporation accepted silver
dollars. Since then, note-issuing banks in Hong Kong have maintained a large portion of their reserve in Hong Kong dollars.55
55 See The Silver Market in 1930, Trade Information Bulletin No. 742, by Herbert M.
Bratter, pp. 1 7 - 1 8 ; also the Hong Kong Government Gazette of Aug. 1, 1930, p. 385.




68

monetary "use of

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The report of the Hong Kong Currency Commission,56 rendered
in May 1931, stated that the retention of the silver standard was
to the" colony's best interests, because the abandonment thereof
"would gravely prejudice the import and export trade of South
China conducted and financed through Hong Kong, which is the
sheet anchor of the colony's prosperity, and would affect injuriously many other branches of business. * * *
" We * * * make a suggestion that the existing issue of silver
subsidiary coins should be withdrawn and replaced by an issue of
base-metal token coins * * *.
" We make recommendations for the accumulation of a sterling
fund by the currency board with the object of preparing for the
ultimate conversion of Hong Kong currency to a gold basis, if and
when it appears desirable."
Present employment of silver.—The circulation of silver in Hong
Kong is in practice very small. Apart from subsidiary coins the
currency in use consists exclusively of banknotes redeemable in silver
dollars. The banks which do not enjoy the right of note issue keep
as little silver as possible on hand. The main employment of the
metal is as reserves against the notes of the three issuing banks.
At the end of December 1932, the combined circulation of notes of
the Hong Kong & Shanghai Banking Corporation, the Chartered
Bank of India, Australia & China, and the Mercantile Bank of India
totaled 153,612,000 Hong Kong dollars, of which 130,223,000 were
notes of the first-mentioned institution. According to E. Kann, of
Shanghai, if we assume that the note-issuing banks hold about
50,000,000 dollars, the total stock is about 200,000,000 dollars, or
slightly more than 150,000,000 fine ounces.
The Hong Kong dollar coin has a gross weight of 26.9563 grams
and is 0.900 fine. The Mexican dollar weighs 27.0691 grams and is
0.9027 fine. There are four subsidiary coins of silver, all 0.800 fine:
The 50-, 20-, 10-, and 5-cent pieces, Weighing 13.5757, 5.4307, 2.7153,
and 1.3577 grams gross, respectively. These subsidiary silver coins
are legal tender in payments of not more than two dollars. According to a 1930 report, the Hong Kong Government has issued subsidiary coin of the face value of 44,000,000 Hong Kong dollars.
In 1905 the Government ceased making subsidiary silver coin and
has since demonetized more than 22,735,000 Hong Kong dollars of
subsidiary silver. The estimated amount of subsidiary coin in circulation in 1928 was 17,914,370 Hong Kong dollars.
HUNGARY
The monetary unit is the pengo, divided into 100 fillers. The
pengo has a par value of approximately $0.1749.

Present legal provisions.—The monetary law (no, 35) of 1925
provided for subsidiary pengo silver coins weighing 5 grams, 0.640
fine, to be issued within a maximum of 45,000,000 pengo, and to be
legal tender up to 50 pengo. Law no. 26 of 1929 increased the
maximum issue to 65,000,000 pengo, and authorized the minting of
2-pengo and 5-pengo silver pieces, 0.640 fine and weighing 10 and 25
grams, respectively. The 2-pengo piece is legal tender to 100 pengo
and the 5-pengo piece, to 250 pengo.
56

Messrs. W . H. Clegg, P. H. Ezechiel, G. L. M. Clauson.




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69

The finance minister's decree no. 116,600 of 1930 specified the
amount of silver of each denomination to be minted within the
65,000,000 pengo limit mentioned above, namely:
Pengo

31,000,000 1-pengo pieces
5,000,000 2-pengo pieces
3,650,000 5-pengo pieces

31,000,000
10, 000, 000
18,250,000

Total

59,250,000

Decree no. 109,500 of 1931 ordered the minting of 2,000,000 additional 2-pengo pieces and thus brought the total to 63,250,000 pengo,
some of which are not in circulation but are held by the Hungarian
National Bank.57
The law governing the central bank provides that notes and
demand liabilities (other than those owing to the State) shall be
secured by a 24 percent58 reserve which may include silver and minor
coin. There is apparently no limit to the amount of the reserve
which may be held in the form of silver coin. The latest report
available, showing silver separately, is that for 1928. Of a reserve
totaling over 263,550,000 pengo, 792,185 pengo was silver coin and
7,673,617 pengo, other subsidiary coin.
Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation.—
Under the terms of the 1929 law silver might still be issued to the
extent of 1,750,000 pengo, the minting of which would consume about
180,000 fine ounces of the white metal.
Attitude toward silver.—No legislation is contemplated which
would affect the monetary use of silver.
Present employment of silver.—At the end of 1931 the circulation
of silver and other subsidiary coin amounted to 66,125,000 pengo,
compared with a note circulation of 422,794,445 pengo. Silver alone
was reported as totaling 10,268,348 pengo in circulation and 1,453,861
in the central bank and treasury. The 63,250,000 pengo of silver
already minted represent just over 6,500,000 fine ounces of silver.
HYDERABAD
The monetary unit is the Osmania Sicca rupee, divided into 16
annas. The Osmania Sicca rupee has a par value of approximatelv
$0,465.

The Osmania Sicca rupee was established by the Hyderabad Government in 1855 as a silver coin weighing 165 grains 9/11 (0.8182)
fine. Subsidiary coins include the silver half-rupee, quarter-rupee,
and 2-anna pieces, weighing 5.57, 2.76, and 1.34 grams, respectively,
and of the same fineness as the Osmania Sicca rupee. These coins
are all struck at the Hyderabad State Mint.
To September 1930, Osmania Sicca rupees had been issued to a
total of 251,600,000. Withdrawals totaled 5,918,000, and the amount
held in the paper currency reserve, 51,700,000, leaving about 194,000,000 presumably in circulation. Also held by the general public,
chiefly in hoards, is a substantial amount of Halli Sicca rupees,
which are no longer legal tender, but are accepted by the Government
treasury and withdrawn from circulation as received.
57 The bank held approximately 9,309,000 pengo of subsidiary coin on Feb. 15, 1932.
68 Subject to a special tax, the ratio may be permitted to fall below this amount.
The
ratio is to be increased to 28 percent in June 1934, and to 3 3 % percent in June 1939.




70

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According to the Hyderabad Currency Act of 1912, the Osmania
Sicca rupee and half-rupee are unlimited legal tender, the silver
quarter- and eighth-rupee being limited to 1 rupee in legal tender.
Although not legal tender, British Indian rupees circulate freely,
for they may be used whenever the parties to a contract agree.
The Osmania Sicca rupee is pegged to the British Indian rupee
by means of a fund known as the Osmania Sicca Stabilization Fund.
The note issue is secured by the paper currency reserve, which must
consist two thirds of gold or silver bullion or of rupees (British
Indian or Osmania Sicca). In October 1930 the paper currency
reserve consisted of British Indian rupee notes, 26,782,500 rupees;
British Indian coin and bullion, 6,000,000 British Indian rupees;
and Osmania Sicca coin, 52,660,142 Osmania Sicca rupees.
In 1930, British Indian currency to a total of 5,000,000 rupees
was estimated to be in circulation in Hyderabad.
ICELAND
The monetary unit is the Danish krone (crown), divided into
100 0rer. The par value of the krone is approximately $0,268.
(See Denmark.)
IRAQ
The monetary unit is the dinar, divided into 1,000 fils. The dinar
has a par value of approximately $4.8666.

Present legal provisions.—The currency act of March 24, 1931,
signed by King Feisal on April 19, states that there may be coined
from time to time by the currency authority for use in Iraq, subsidiary silver coins of 50 and 20 fils, 0.500 fine. The prescribed gross
weight of these coins is 9 and 3.6 grams, respectively. The 50-fil
coin is legal tender up to 5 dinars, and the 20-fil coin up to 200 fils.
British Indian silver coins ceased to be legal tender on April 1, 1932.
A law dated May 14, 1932, sanctioned the issuance of two additional silver coins—a 200-fil (or ryal) piece and a 100-fil (or halfryal) piece, both 0.900 fine, and having gross weights of 20 and 10
grams, respectively.
The currency is controlled by the Iraq Currency Board, sitting
in London, where a reserve fund in British securities and bank notes
is held.
There are no restrictions upon movements of silver.
Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation.—
There appears to be no legal obstacle to the issuance of additional
silver coins. By the existing laws the Iraq Currency Board may
on demand issue 20-, 50-, 100-, and 200-fil silver coins according to
the requirements of the country without any limit, but against prepayment of pounds sterling in London. If the board desired to
mint other silver denominations, new legislation would be necessary.
The silver coinage requirements of Iraq are estimated at one sixth
of the total currency requirements. Placing the latter at 3,000,000
dinars, approximately 500,000 dinars in silver coins will be needed
when all the British Indian currency has been withdrawn. Since
Iraqi silver coins to a total of 208,150 dinars—representing 602,285
fine ounces of silver—were in issue at the end of 1932, approximately
292,000 additional may eventually be issued.




monetary "use of

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19 3 3

Future consumption of silver in coinage was estimated by Minister
Eesident P. Knabenshue in March 1933, as shown in the following
table:
Denomination

Face value Number of
pieces
in dinars

Fine ounces
(troy) of
silver
required

375,000
750,000
2,000,000
2,092,500

217,014
217,014
289,352
121,094

75,000
75,000
100,000
41,850

200 fils
100 fils
50 fills
20 fils
Total

844,474

291,850

Attitude tovmrd silver.—The official attitude toward silver seems to
be that it should be employed simply as subsidiary money. No new
currency legislation is contemplated. As the people prefer metal to
paper money, silver promises to continue popular.
Present employment of silver.—On September 30, 1932—according
to a statement of the currency officer—there were outstanding
3,638,000 50-fil silver coins amounting to 181,900 dinars, and
947,500 20-fil silver coins amounting to 18,950 dinars, a total of
200,850 dinars. This compared with a total circulation of coins
(silver, nickel, and bronze) of 234,475 dinars. Paper money outstanding on the same date amounted to 1,565,923 dinars.
A report by the American minister resident at Baghdad on March
13, 1933, stated that up to the end of 1932, 2,086,185 dinars in notes
and coin had been issued in exchange for Indian rupee currency,
the circulation of which, in Iraq on April 1, 1932, was estimated
at 40,000,000 rupees. During the 9 months since the first issuance
of the new currency a total of 27,815,800 British Indian rupees had
been withdrawn. It is believed that the British Indian currency
will not be completely withdrawn for 5 years.
Although the law of May 14, 1932, became effective May 23
that year, no 100- or 200-fil coins had been issued by the middle of
March 1933. It was reported, however, that a consignment was
shortly expected from London. About 142,000 dinars of the 100and 200-fil silver coins are expected to be issued.
IRISH FREE STATE
The monetary unit is the Saorstat pound, divided into 20 shillings of 12 pence each. The Saorstat pound has a par value
of approximately $4.8666.

Present legal provisions.—The coinage act of 1926, approved
April 13, provides for three silver coins, legal tender to not over
40 shillings, as follows: 59
Denomination

y2 crown
Florin
Shilling

Fineness

0. 750
.750
.750

Gross
weight
in grams
14.1380
11.3104
5. 6552

59 See the General Aets passed by the Oireachtas of Saorstat Eireann during the year
1926 (Dublin 1927), pp. 1 2 1 - 1 2 7 .




72

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The Minister of Finance is authorized to provide and issue the
foregoing silver coins, and may call in coins of any particular description. British coins enjoy the same legal tender properties as
Free State coins of the corresponding denominations.
The executive council may by order deprive British coins of legal
tender either generally or for any specific purpose.
Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation—
The Finance Minister apparently possesses broad powers to issue
silver coin.
Attitude toward silver.—No preference for silver has been noted.
Present employment of silver.—Circulation of silver in the Irish
Free State at the end of 1931, totaled £711,764, not including
£313,931 held in the banks.
In February 1929, the debates in the British Parliament revealed
an arrangement between the United Kingdom and the Irish Free
State, whereby up to £750,000 of British silver coins in use in the
Irish Free State would be redeemed by the British Government at
their face value over a 10-year period.60
ITALIAN SOMALILAND
The monetary unit is the Italian lira, divided into 100 centesimi.
The lira has a par value of approximately $0.0526.

Present legal provisions.—By royal decree of June 18, 1925, the
Italian lira is the only legal tender in Italian Somaliland. Special
silver coins for the colony were established—the 10-lira piece weighing 12 grams, and the 5-lira piece weighing 6 grams; both coins,
0.835 fine. The rupia, a silver coins, is stabilized in value at 8 lira.
Attitude toward silver.—There has been reported no intimation
of any change in the law governing the monetary use of silver in
the colony.
Present employment of silver.—In commercial transactions the
Maria Theresa dollar is still widely used by the natives.
ITALY
The monetary unit is the lira, divided into 100 centesimi.
par value of the lira is approximately $0.0526.

The

Present legal provisions.—Silver disappeared from circulation
during the World War and it was not until 1925 that the decision
was reached to put silver coins back in circulation.
On September 7, 1926, the Government undertook to convert the
Bank of Italy's 5- and 10-lira notes into silver coin. Under the
terms of decrees of that date and June 23, 1927, there have been
issued 20-lira pieces 0.800 fine and 10- and 5-lira pieces 0.835 fine.
These three coins have a gross weight of 15,61 10, and 5 grams,
respectively. The 20-lira piece is legal tender for all debts not exceeding 1,000 lire. The legal tender of the 10- and 5-lira pieces is
limited to 500 lire.
80 See the London Times, Feb. 28, 1929.
The matter was also discussed in the Irish
Times (Dublin) of Jan. 22, 1929, which gave £1,000,000 as the estimated circulation of
British coinage in the Irish Free State.
61 Some of the 20-lira pieces weigh 20 grams.
See table.




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By decree of December 21, 1927, the currency was stabilized in
terms of gold.
Royal Decree No. 988 of July 3, 1930, provided for the withdrawal of 100,000 lire of 20-lira coins and the substitution of 10and 5-lira coins therefor.
Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation.—
The Government has authority to issue 89,857,000 lire in silver without new legislation. (See accompanying table.) This would require
about 2,400,000 ounces of fine silver.
Attitude toward silver.—No legislation which would affect the
monetary use of silver is reported. Should the need for more silver
currency arise, it would be a simple matter to issue a decree law
covering the situation. But, it is reported, there exists no sentiment for silver, the metal being used simply as convenient for subsidiary purposes. In replacing small bank notes with coin prior
to the stabilization of the currency in 1927, the Government after
some consideration decided upon silver rather than nickel. The
use of silver was informally explained at the time as being the more
consonant with the dignity of the State. Apart from this, however, it should be recalled that the Government had on hand a stock
of pre-war silver coins then no longer in circulation.
Present employment of silver.—The silver coins issued under the
Latin Monetary Union specifications have all been withdrawn from
circulation.
Authorized circulation of silver and the actual circulation on
September 30, 1932, were as shown in the following table:
[In thousands of lire]

Denomination

20-lira
10-lira-_
5-lira

.

-

__

_

Still issuable

Actual

200,000
650,000
875,000

-

Total

Authorized

_ _

i 190,828
636,675
807,640

9,172
13,325
67, 360

1,725,000

1,635,143

89,857

i Of these, 36,200,000 lire were in 20-gram pieces and the rest in 15-gram pieces.

Since 1919 the Italian Government has sold no silver. Estimates
of silver holdings in Italy as of the end of 1932 are as follows:
Held by the Banca d'ltalia:
Silver currency
Bar silver
Total
Held by the Government:
With the Treasury, pre-war 5-lire pieces
Bar silver in the mint

Fine ounces

68, 359
39,127

107, 486
1,149, 000
4,179, 596

Total

5, 328, 596

Grand total

5,436,082




monetary "use of

silver

in

19 3 3 74

JAMAICA
The monetary unit is the pound sterling, divided into 20 shillings
of 12 pence each. The par value of the pound sterling is
approximately $4.8666.

Present legal provisions.—The British coinage system applies to
Jamaica. British silver coins less than 6 pence in value are limited
in legal tender to 40 shillings; larger coins are unlimited legal
tender in Jamaica.62
According to a proclamation of October 23, 1863, money representing fractional parts of " the dollar of foreign States " is not
legal tender. The United States standard silver dollar ceased to be
legal tender in Jamaica in 1876.
Present employment of silver.—At present only American bills,
among foreign currencies, circulate to any extent. Some American
silver is to be found in circulation, especially around Kingston.
A 1930 report stated the commissioners of currency were gradually
converting into silver coins, the British Treasury notes held as
part of the coin reserve. The balance sheet of the commissioners
of currency for March 31, 1930, showed: Total fund, £86,976; note
guaranty fund, £25,449; silver coin portion of note guaranty fund,
£16,900.
The United States Bureau of the Mint reports silver in the banks
and treasury of Jamaica at the end of 1931 as equivalent to
$876,000 United States currency.
JAPAN 63
The monetary unit is the yen, divided into 100 sen.
has a par value of approximately $0.4985.

The yen

Present legal provisions.64—The basic monetary law is law no. 16
of March 6, 1897, which went into effect October 1, 1897. That law
substituted the gold for the silver standard and provided for the
gradual retirement of the 1-yen silver coins. It altered the silver
content, per yen, of the subsidiary silver coins from the equivalent
of approximately 0.7837 fine ounce, troy, established in 1871, to
approximately 0.6933 fine ounce. This was lowered successively in
1906, 1918, and 1922, when the content was made approximately
0.2292 fine ounce.
According to the present law there are only two denominations
of silver currency in use: The 50-sen piece weighing 4.95 grams
(gross) and the 20-sen piece weighing 1.98 grams. Both are 0.720
fine.65 Both are limited to 10 yen in legal tender.
^According to William F. Spalding, Directory of the World's Currencies and Foreign
Exchanges.
63 The currency system of Japan is described in detail in The Currency System of Japan.
Trade Information Bulletin No. 673, by Herbert M. Bratter. sold at 10 cents per copy by
the Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. See, also, Japanese Banking, Trade
Promotion Series No. 116, by Herbert M. Bratter, sold at 50 cents per copy.
64 Imperial Mint, Osaka.
The Coinage Law, Coinage Regulations, and Regulations for
Refining and Certification of Fineness of Gold and Silver Bullion, etc., of Japan, Osaka,
1923.—Contains: The coinage law (law no. 1 0 of March 1897 as amended by subsequent
l a w s ; coinage regulation (Imperial Ordinance No. 138 of 1897 as amended by subsequent
ordinances) ; regulation for refining and certification of fineness of gold and silver bullion
(Imperial Ordinance No. 139 of 1897 as amended by subsequent ordinances) ; procedure
relating to the receipt and payment of bullion for coinage and coins manufactured and
to the certification of fineness of bullion for refining; and assay fees for bullion deposited,
fees for certification of fineness, and fees for refining and parting.
63 There was a 5-sen
silver piece, discontinued in 1867, and a 10-sen silver piece,
discontinued by law no. 5 of 1920.




75 m o n e t a r y

use

of

silver

in"

19 3 3

The Japanese coinage system was, in April 1918, extended to
Chosen. Old silver coins of Chosen continued to be legal tender
until the end of 1920. In Taiwan prior to 1908 Japanese silver yen
circulated. In 1908 steps were taken toward the application of the
gold standards, and in April 1911 the Japanese coinage system was
extended to Taiwan.
According to the act governing the Bank of Japan, the bank's
note-issue reserve may include silver. The bank may issue notes
without limit against gold and silver coin and bullion, provided the
silver does not exceed 25 percent of the total. (In practice no silver
is so used.) The bank's reserve fund set aside to make up losses of
capital and equalize annual dividends may be invested in silver.
The Bank of Chosen act permits that institution to issue notes
without limit, on the security of gold specie, gold and silver bullion, and Bank of Japan notes, the silver not to exceed 25 percent
of the reserve.
The Bank of Taiwan may issue notes without limit against a
reserve of gold and silver coins and bullion.
Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation.—
Since the present laws place no limits on the amount of silver coinage, the latter might be increased without new legislation.
Attitude toward silver.—No legislation affecting the monetary
use of silver is anticipated, the authorities apparently being content
to limit the use of silver to subsidiary coinage.
Present employment of silver.—In recent years silver coins in circulation have increased, as shown by the following statement:
Yen

1915
1920
1925
193 0
193 1

281,418,000
314,751,000
450,350,000
455,912,000
465,736,000

How much fine silver is represented by these figures cannot be
precisely stated because the silver content of the coins was altered
by Law No. 73 of April 1922. Thus, from 1867 to 1922, the 50-sen
piece contained 3.588 momme66 or 208 grains of silver; whereas,
after 1922 its silver content was reduced to 1.32 momme or about
76.5 grains.
In March 1930 Japanese silver coins in Chosen totaled 3,172,000
yen, compared to a total currency stock of 140,755,000 yen.
According to a statement in the Trans-Pacific (Tokyo) of February 23, 1933, the Government's minting program "for 1933-34
called for 5,000,000 yen of 50-sen silver pieces. The magazine, however, reported a surplus of 50-sen pieces already in circulation in
Japan.
LATVIA
The monetary unit is the lat, divided into 100 santimi. The lat
ha® a par value of approximately $0.1930.

Present legal provisions.—The basic monetary law is that of
August 3, 1922, which established the lat as the standard of value.
This law, as amended by laws of September 1922 and March 18,
66

1 momme equals 0.12057 ounce troy.
172120—33




6

76

monetary "use of

silver

in

19 3 3 76

1925,. provided for the minting of 1-, 2-, and 5-lat silver pieces and
set the maximum silver issue at 30 lats per capita.67 Silver must
be accepted by the Treasury without limit as to quantity; in other
payments legal tender of the silver coins is restricted to 25 lats.
The coins are 0.835 fine and their gross weights are shown in the
accompanying table.
Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation.—
Without new legislation silver coins to the amount of 10 lats per
capita might be issued, involving the use of approximately 2,617,000
fine ounces. (Latvia's population by the 1930 census was 1,900,045.)
Attitude toward silver.—No change is contemplated in the legislation governing the monetary use of silver. Although the existing
law would permit the issuance of additional silver coins, no such
step is contemplated. The present stock of silver in circulation is
considered adequate.
The amount of silver represented by the coins minted was as
follows on October 1, 1932:

Number of
pieces

Denomination

1 lat.
2 lats
5 lats

Silver content in kilograms

Silver
content
in thousands of
fine
ounces

10,000,000
7,000,000
3,000,000

1,342
1,879
2,013

20,000,000

Total

41,750
58,450
62,625
162,825

5,235

Present employment of silver.—The following table shows the
circulation of silver in Latvia on October 1, 1932:
Gross
weight
in grams

1 lat
2 lats
5 lats

Face value
of coins
minted

5.0
10.0
25.0

10,000,000
14,000,000
15,000,000

4,600,000
10,000,000
10,600,000

39,000,000

Denomination

25,200,000

Total..

Lats

Face value
of coins in
circulation
Lats

LEEWARD ISLANDS 68
The monetary unit is the pound sterling, divided into 20 shillings
of 12 pence each. The par value of the pound sterling is approximately $4.8666.69

The British coinage system applies to the Leeward Islands.
67 See Report of the Director of the Mint, 1929, p. 165.
Other amendments to the
coinage law were enacted Oct. 2, 1 9 2 3 ; Mar. 20, 1 9 2 4 ; and Oct. 2, 1925.
68 Antigua, St. Kitts-Nevis, Montserrat, Dominica, and British Virgin Islands.
69 The British West Indies dollar, a unit of account equivalent to 4s. 2d. is in use, but it
is not coined.




monetary "use of

silver

IN

77

19 3 3

LIBERIA
The monetary unit is the dollar, divided into 100 cents.
Liberian dollar has a par value of $1.

The

Present legal provisions.—The monetary unit is established by
article 28 of the Constitution. The recognized currency system
includes silver 5-, 10-, and 50-cent pieces.
Attitude toward silver.—No prospective legislation which would
affect the monetary use of silver has been reported.
Present employment of silver.—Only one issue of the Liberian
silver coins mentioned has been minted and the coins do not circulate. Small stocks of them are held at the Monrovia branch of the
Bank of West Africa.
The principal currencies used in Liberia are the British West
African shilling and 2-shilling pieces, which, while not legal tender,
are generally accepted throughout the country. In fact, the Liberian
coins are generally refused by the natives. It has been estimated
that probably not more than $10,000 of Liberian currency exists in
the country.
LIBYA (CYRENAICA AND TRIPOLITANIA)

The monetary system of Italy applies to Libya.
LIECHTENSTEIN

See Switzerland. Liechtenstein uses Swiss currency, the silver
coins of the principality having been demonetized April 1, 1931.
LITHUANIA
The monetary unit is the litas,70 divided into 100 centas.
litas has a par value of approximately $0.10.

The

Present legal provisions.—The coinage is regulated by the " law
relating to the emission and circulation of coined money ", issued
June 20, 1924, and modified April 20, 1925. This law provides for
silver coins 0.500 fine in denominations of 1, 2, and 5 litas,< the total
coinage not to exceed 6 litas per capita. Silver coins are legal tender
in payments of 50 litas or less. Silver coin in amounts of 200 litas
or more is exchangeable for other forms of Lithuanian money. The
gross weight of these coins is as follows:
1 litas
2 litas
5 litas

2. 7 grams
5. 4 grams
IB. 5 grams

Article 15 of the coinage law states that " Thei Minister of
Finance shall be authorized to decide which foreign coins, of what
countries, and up to what amounts may be accepted on an equal basis
with their own country's coins."
Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation.—
Without new legislation 2,610,000 litas in silver might be issued.
Attitude toward silver.—Whether any more silver will be issued
depends entirely upon the requirements of the country's business.
79

The litas (plural, litas) is also called lit (plural, litu).




78

monetary "use of

silver

in

1 9 3 3 78

Lithuania produces no silver and there is no special sentiment for
the metal.
Present employment of silver.—The circulation of silver was
stated to be approximately 10,890,000 litas in November 1932, in
addition to which 1,500,000 litas of silver coins were held in reserve.
The note circulation of the Bank of Lithuania in November 1932,
approximated 100,000,000 litas.
LUXEMBOURG, GRAND DUCHY OF
The monetary unit is the Luxembourg franc, divided into 100
centimes. The franc has a par value of approximately $0.0278.

Present legal provisions.—The Belgo-Luxembourg economic agreement of May 1,1922, established the monetary unit on a par with the
Belgian franc. Luxembourg coins circulate in the Grand Duchy
side by side with Belgian currency.71 Silver coins, in use since
September 1, 1929, are as follows: 10-franc, 0.750 fine, gross weight,
13.33 grams; 5-franc, 0.625 fine, gross weight 8 grams.
There is no restriction on the importation or exportation of silver
coin or bullion.
Present employment of silver.—Most of the currency in use in
Luxembourg is Belgian. No data is available here on the amount
of Luxembourg coin outstanding.
MACAO
The monetary unit is the pataca, divided into 100 avos. The
pataca is silver and has no fixed par value in terms of gold.

Present legal provisions.—No metallic currency is issued by Macao,
the only pataca currency being the notes of the Banco Nacional
Ultramarino. The value of the pataca is kept at a par with that
of the Hong Kong dollar, and Hong Kong currency as well as
Chinese subsidiary coins are legal tender in Macao.
The pataca is defined by law as 26.957 grams of silver 0.900 fine.
The notes of the Banco Nacional Ultramarino are backed by 60 to
70 percent in silver and the rest in Hong Kong bank notes or bank
deposits, according to a 1932 report.
Attitude toward silver.—So long as Hong Kong continues on a
silver basis it is likely that Macao will do so.
MADAGASCAR
The monetary unit is the franc, divided into 100 centimes.
franc has a par value of approximately $0.0392.

The

Present legal provisions.—The monetary unit is governed by the
French stabilization law of June 25, 1928, promulgated in Madagascar the following day by the Governor General. (See France.)
Attitude toward silver.—See France.
Present employment of silver.—A number of old 5-franc silver
coins are still in circulation, although they are being withdrawn by
the Banque de Madagascar, which buys them up as bullion.72 The
Luxembourg currency is not legal tender in Belgium.
This and other colonial banks sold their stocks of silver to the French Treasury at
the time of the monetary reform of 1928.
71

72




monetary "use of

silver

in

19 3 3

79

amount of these coins in the island in 1931 was estimated at 20,000,000
francs.
Since July 8,1929, there has been no restriction on the importation
or exportation of the precious metals.
MADEIRA
The monetary unit is the escudo, divided into 100 centimos.
The escudo has a par value of approximately $0.0442. (See Portugal.)
MALTA 73
The monetary unit is the pound sterling, divided into 20 shillings
of 12 pence each. The par value of the pound sterling is approximately $4.8666.

Present legal provisions.—The only legal tender is British currency, in accordance with an order in council of September 14, 1886,
and ordinance V of 1915.
Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation.—
No special coinage is issued for Malta.
Attitude toward silver.—See United Kingdom.
Present employment of silver.—At the end of 1928 coin in circulation was estimated at £700,000. Coin in banks and the treasury
at the end of 1931 was reported to the United States Bureau of the
Mint as £55,000.
MAURITIUS
The monetary unit is the British Indian rupee, divided as in
India and also decimally. The rupee has a par value of approximately $0,365.

Present legal provisions.—The Indian currency system was
adopted by Mauritius by Proclamation 28 of 1876, which made the
silver rupee, one half rupee, one quarter rupee, and one eighth rupee
legal tender.74 Proclamation 11 of 1877 limited to 5 rupees the legal
tender of the i/5-rupee silver piece. Proclamation 12 of the same
year made the same provision regarding the TVrupee silver piece.
Rupee notes are redeemable in silver rupees when presented to
the commissioners of currency in Mauritius.
Possibility of increased use of silver \without neiv legislation.—
Since there is no restriction on the importation of British Indian
coin, the supply thereof can be increased at will without new legislation.
Attitude toward silver.—There has been reported no disposition
to alter the present monetary use of silver.
Present employment of silver.—The commissioners of currency
in May 1930 reported a note circulation of 14,653,250 rupees, representing a like amount of silver received therefor. Silver in the
reserve was listed as 4,774,000 rupees, 14,653,250 rupees being " invested through crown agents and in India."
73 Includes Gozo and Commino.
74 The colony had its own paper money, however, until 1920, when that of India was
adopted.




80

monetary "use of

silver

in

1 9 3 3 80

MEXICO
The monetary unit is the peso, divided into 100 centavos.
peso has a theoretical par value of approximately $0.4985.

The

Present legal provisions.—The law covering the monetary use of
silver is that of July 25,1931, as amended March 10, 1932.
According to a law of 1925, the unit of the monetary system is
"the peso, equivalent to seventy-five (75) centigrams of pure gold."
According to article 2, " circulating money" 75 consists of the
following :
(a) Notes legally issued by the Bank of Mexico;
(&) Silver 1-peso pieces authorized by the law of October 27, 1919;
(c) Silver fractional currency consisting of 10-, 20-, and 50-centavo pieces,7®
and certain specified bronze coins.

The only currency which is unlimited legal tender is the peso coin;
the fractional silver coins specified are legal tender in payments not
exceeding 20 pesos. Within these limits the silver coins specified
are legal tender at their face value for payment of any obligation
contracted in Mexican currency, or—at the prevailing rate of
exchange—for any obligation payable in foreign currency. The 1931
law also provided for the immediate discontinuance of gold coinage
and the demonetization of all previously minted gold coins.
According to the preamble to the amendment of the currency law
as published in the Diario Oficial of March 10, 1932, the scarcity of
currency and the prevailing restriction of credit made it desirable
to increase the monetary stock. It was accordingly decreed by the
President77 that the 1931 law should be thenceforth amended (in
so far as the coinage is concerned) to the following effect:
To the Bank of Mexico exclusively pertains the right to order the coining* of money as and when it may be called for by the monetary requirements
of the Republic, such coining to be strictly within the limits of those
requirements * * *.
The coining of silver money of 1 peso and of denominations higher than
the unit may only be ordered by the Bank of Mexico, * * * subject to the
veto of the Minister of Finance and Public Credit. The difference between
the cost and the monetary value of the coins of 1 peso and of denominations
higher than the unit which may be coined shall be held by the Bank of Mexico,
with the exclusive object of increasing as far as may be necessary the legal
reserves of the issue of bills, pending its definite application, by law, to the
monetary reserve * * *. The coining of silver or copper money in denominations lower than the unit is subject to compliance with the requisites laid
down in the foregoing paragraph, and precisely in exchange for silver 1 peso
coins, which must be melted down for that purpose * * *.
For this single occasion the Minister of Finance and Public Credit shall
order the minting of silver money of 1 peso of legal coinage to the amount
which, in the opinion of the board of directors of the Bank of Mexico, is absolutely indispensable to remedy the present insufficiency of currency. The total
net proceeds of such coining shall be handed to the Bank of Mexico to be kept
and applied to increasing the legal reserves of the issue of bills and for the
formation of the monetary reserve, in manner laid down in the first article of
this law for the funds proceeding from the minting which may be ordered by
the Bank of Mexico.

On March 22, 1933, a ministerial resolution and two monetary decrees were issued. A statement of the Minister of Finance, published
That is, money entitled to circulate.
Created by the laws of Oct. 27, 1919, and Apr. 29, 1925.
All silver coins other than
those mentioned in (b) and (c) above, were demonetized, with certain temporary provisions for the redemption of the 2-peso pieces and other fractional coins.
77 In accordance with extraordinary powers vested in him in the matters of credit and
currency by the law of Jan. 21, 1932.
75

76




monetary "use of

silver

in

19 3 3

81

in El Universal (Mexico City) March 23, made reference to the world
economic depression, which necessitated certain measures designed
to consolidate Mexico's monetary system, restricting silver coinage
to the minimum.
The ministerial resolution provided that " once the coinage program now under way is completed, coinage of unlimited-legal-tender
silver shall be suspended and there shall be delivered to the Bank
of Mexico the bar silver contracted for said coinage, that it may be
applied, at its market value, to the monetary reserve," in accordance
with the presidential decrees of March 22.
The first decree amends the law with regard to the control of coinage and the monetary reserve. The second decree is designed to
strengthen the Bank of Mexico's control of the currency.
Under the first decree, "The coinage of silver and bronze money
of any denomination may be ordered only by the Bank of Mexico
* * * subject to the veto of the Minister of Finance." As to the
monetary reserve, it shall contain the profits of coinage issued under
transitory article 3 of the law of March 9, 1932, as well as gold
acquired by such funds, etc. Metal in the reserve is to be valued at
its market price.
The law of August 25, 1925, and its amendments, and the abovecited 1931 law and its amendments of 1932 and 1933 regulate the
currency functions of the Bank of Mexico. Seigniorage on the coinage and other items are deposited in the Bank of Mexico's monetary
reserve fund. That part of the reserve held in Mexico may include
silver in the form of coin or bullion valued at the market price of
the metal they contain, " with the exception of the amounts, the
holding of which in the form of fractional coin not exceeding in total
3 percent of the 1-peso coins in circulation, may be judged prudent
in order to assure their exchange for said moneys of 1 peso, as provided in this law * * *." The portion of the reserve which may
be held abroad may include silver bullion at its commercial value.
The present silver coins are in denominations of 1 peso, and 50,
20, and 10 centavos, all 0.720 fine and having, respectively, the following approximate gross weights in grams: 16.6667, 8.3333, 3.3333,
and 1.6667. The 2-peso piece, withdrawal of which is mentioned
above, was coined only in 1921. Three million pieces were issued,
0.900 fine and weighing 26.6667 grams.
Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation.—
The law puts the issuance of silver coins under the control of the
Bank of Mexico but subject to the veto of the Minister of Finance
and Public Credit.
Attitude toward silver.—No contemplated legislation affecting the
monetary use of silver has been reported.
Present employment of silver.—According to the Mexican Secretary of Finance, the stock of metallic money in millions of pesos, in
Mexico on January 31,1933, was as follows :
Silver:
1 peso
50 centavos
20 centavos
10 centavos
Bronze
Total.




Amount

159.2
31. 3
3.0
1. 8
5. 2

200. 5

82

monetary "use of

silver

Coins " retired from circulation " :
Silver
Nickel
Bronze
Total " retired "

in

19 3 3 82
Amount

7. 3
1. 7
0. 4

9.4

Gross stock

209.9

At the beginning of February 1933, it was stated that no new silver
coins, minted in accordance with the monetary law, had been put
into circulation. Probably something over 200,000,000 silver peso
coins are in the hands of the public.
Mexico is not de facto on the gold standard, because there is no
coinage of gold and the former gold coins are all demonetized. Nor
is Mexico on the silver standard, since there is no free coinage of
silver and Mexican silver coins may not be imported from abroad.
The exchange value of Mexican currency does not fluctuate with the
price of silver but is determined solely by supply of and demand for
exchange. During 1931 Mexico is estimated to have sold something
over 4,000,000 fine ounces of silver with the object of converting into
foreign exchange certain Government supplies of obsolete coins and
metal disks then being held for possible future coinage. In March
1932 the Mexican Government concluded arrangements to purchase
and coin some 23,500,000 fine ounces of silver over a 12-month period.
According to a recently published report, between March 12 and
November 30, 1932, the Mexican Government purchased 23,330,406
fine ounces of silver.
According to the monthly statements of the Bank of Mexico, that
institution's holdings of silver increased about 12,500,000 pesos between August and October 1932, probably as a result of delivery of
new coinage and the issuance of notes in exchange for silver. On
March 1, 1933, the bank held 69,441,000 pesos of silver.
MONGOLIA

Present legal provisions.—The following is taken from an article
by E. Kann in the Chinese Economic Journal of December 1928
(pp. 1007-1010) :
The financial policy of Outer Mongolia is being directed by the Commercial
and Industrial Bank of Mongolia (for short, " Mongolbank " ) with head offices
at Urga. The currency system was inaugurated by the same institution which
enjoys the benefit of Russian expert advice.
The introduction and adoption of a silver coin styled " tukhrik " as the unit
meant the abolition of the Chinese yuan as a medium of circulation. Systematic endeavors are being made with a view of banishing Chinese money
from Mongolian soil.
In the summer of 1928 the financial authorities decided to make preparations
for the introduction of the gold standard in Outer Mongolia. It was intended
to put the new scheme into force ati the beginning of 1929, giving the fixed
valuation of 50 American gold cents to the tukhrik.
Meanwhile it will be of interest to record the official regulations relative
to the existing Outer Mongolian currency system. The following is a crude
translation of the Russian text, as recorded in No. 1 of The Economist, issued
at Urga in February 1926 :
" The Government of the People's Republic of Mongolia makes the following
address to the population of the People's Republic of Mongolia:
" Up to the present time Mongolia has had no currency of her own, and
the whole trade was effected in foreign currencies, mainly in Chinese silver
yuan.




83 m o n e t a r y

use

of

silver

in"

19 3 3

"Apart from the fact that such a state of things is entirely inadmissable in
an independent and integral country, as Mongolia is now conducting trade
in silver currency, this entails enormous inconveniences and also involves the
State treasury, as well as the whole population, in considerable incidental
expenses. The Government of the People's Republic of Mongolia constituted
by the will of the Great Huraldan, and with the approval of the latter,
acknowledges it expedient in the interest of the Mongolian population to
proceed forthwith with the reform of the monetary system and introduces,
as from December 9 of this year, its own monetary unit, which shall be called
the " tukhrik " and be in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10 tukhriks.
" Eventually, after the coinage of the silver tukhrik is completed, silver
coins of 1-tukhrik and 50-mongo denominations and also smaller silver and
copper coins will be placed in circulation.
" Henceforth, pending the issuance of the silver tukhrik, banknotes shall be
freely exchanged by the Commercial and Industrial Bank of Mongolia at all
its branches into Chinese silver yuan according to the rate at which they were
issued. At the same rate bank notes shall be accepted in payment for all fiscal
levies and also accepted by all commercial concerns.
" Bringing the above to the knowledge of the population of the People's
Republic of Mongolia, the Government of the People's Republic of Mongolia
requests the free Mongolian people to exhibit full confidence toward its own
national coins and submit to and assist to accomplish the wise policy of the
Government directed toward the replacement of the detrimental foreign currencies by the national one.
"At this junction the Government deems it necessary to emphasize that
cases of nonacceptance of the bank notes by the population of foreign citizens
and commercial enterprises, as well as any agitation and instigation, tending
to provoke distrust toward the new coins and bank notes, will be subjected
to the full severity of the law.
" In regard to the above, the Government promulgates for general information the resolution with regard to the issue of bank notes by the Commercial
and Industrial Bank of Mongolia * * *."
MOROCCO (FRENCH ZONE)
The monetary unit is the Moroccan franc, divided into 100 centimes. The franc has a par value of approximately $0.0392.

Present legal provisions.—The monetary unit was established by
the decree of June 21, 1920, its parity with the French franc being
established by the agreement of December 29, 1921. The official
currency system makes no provision for the circulation of silver.
(See France.)
There are no restrictions on the importation or exportation of
silver or gold in any form.
Present employment of silver.—In portions of the protectorate old
Moorish silver coins still circulate, but without legal status. (See
Morocco, Spanish Zone.)
In the French, Spanish, and international zones of Morocco at
the end of 1931 the stock of monetary silver in circulation was
estimated at 17,550,000 francs,78 and in the State Bank of Morocco,
at 12,478,221 francs.79
MOROCCO (SPANISH ZONE)
The monetary system of Spain applies to Spanish Morocco.

Present legal provisions.—The legal status of Spanish currency
in the Spanish zone of Morocco is defined in article 37 of the General
Act of Algeciras, which states:
78 Of which 8,000,000 Hassani or native pesetas, valued at roughly 10,800,000 Moroccan
paper francs, or $432,000, now demonetized in the French zone, and 5,000,000 Spanish
pesetas, both still in current use by the natives in the Spanish and international zones.
79 Consisting of 3,999,678
Hassani pesetas (equal to 799,935 rials), 184,319 Spanish
pesetas—together valued at 6,057,752 francs—and 6,420,469 francs of unspecified silver
coin belonging to the Government of the French Protectorate.




84

monetary "use of

silver

in

19 3 3 84

The bank (State Bank of Morocco) shall take such measures as it may
deem conducive to a sounder monetary situation in Morocco. Spanish currency
shall continue to be permitted to circulate as legal tender.
In consequence the bank shall have the exclusive charge of purchasing
precious metals, of striking and melting coins, as well as of all its other
monetary operations for the account and profit of the Moorish Government.

Theoretically, the Hassani currency is demonetized (see below).
Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation.—
No new legislation would be necessary for the issuance of more
silver.
Attitude toward silver.—The natives favor the use of silver currency rather than paper.
Present employment of silver*0—The status of the native silver
currency was described as follows in 1930 by American Consul
Horace Remillard, of Tangier:
The Moroccan silver currency, known as " Hassani" currency
from the fact of its first having been issued in 1881 by the Sultan
Moulay Hassan, was demonetized by sultanic decree of March 19,
1920, but this decree was never effectively put into application outside the French zone of Morocco. The " Hassani" currency, therefore, continues to enjoy extra-legal recognition in the Spanish zone.
It is in general use among the Moors, especially in the rural districts, and is the coin commonly employed everywhere for the
purchase of local produce from the natives.
The unit of this Moroccan currency is the " rial" or " dollar."
Moroccan silver currency (Hassani money) in circulation in the
Spanish zone is estimated to aggregate 1,500,000 rials. There are
no data available as to the amount of Spanish currency in circulation in the Spanish zone of Morocco, and no authoritative figure
can be obtained indicating even approximately the monetary stock
in existence in that zone.
No notes or coins other than Spanish and Hassani currency circulate or are used to any appreciable extent in the Spanish zone
of Morocco, and no resort worthy of special attention is made in
that zone to the use of checks or paper money.
There are no specific laws in the Spanish zone establishing restrictions on the importation or exportation of gold and silver coins or
bullion, nor any which prohibit the importation of foreign notes
or subsidiary coins. The provisions of article 37 of the Act of
Algeciras, above quoted, would, however, be invoked in regard to
any such operations which might be deemed to invade the privileges
of the State Bank of Morocco referred to in that article of the
Algeciras Convention.
Although the monetary unit of the Moorish or Hassani currency
is the rial, commercial operations carried on in this currency are
based upon a fictitious Hassani peseta, or one-fifth rial, there being
in existence no coin of that denomination. The rial is subdivided
into 20 biliouns. The following statement sets forth certain details
of the silver coins:
Denomination

1 rial (5 Hassani pesetas)
% rial (2V2 Hassani pesetas)
% rial (5 biliouns)
2 biliouns (TV rial).
1 bilioun
rial).
80

See this subject under Morocco, French zone.




Fineness

0. 900
.835
.835
.835
.835

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MOZAMBIQUE
THE

COLONY

OF PORTUGUESE EAST AFRICA AND THE TERRITORY
CHARTERED COMPANY OF MOZAMBIQUE

OF

THE

The monetary unit is the escudo, divided into 100 centimos.
The escudo has a par value of approximately $0.0442.

See Portugal for monetary unit and par value in United States
currency.
Since the publication on April 23, 1932, of the Portuguese Decree
No. 21154, the currency of the State-administered Province of
Mozambique has been based upon the Portuguese escudo. This decree
was followed by publication of a similar decree in the colonial Boletim Oficial of June 4, 1932.
The currency system of the territory of the Chartered Company
of Mozambique (Manica e Sofala), with its capital at Beira, was
not affected by the above decree. In the company's territory the
unit had for some time been the gold escudo, and the silver currency
in use consisted of British, South African, and Portuguese coins.
On July 29, 1932, Consul Alfred D. Cameron reported from Lourenco Marques that the Chartered Company of Mozambique on June
8 had announced that Portuguese silver coins would cease to circulate
in its territory but would be replaced by silver notes in denominations
of 1 escudo and 50, 20, and 10 centavos.
By the terms of Decree No. 70-A, issued under the monarchy on
July 30, 1897, and still valid, the importation of foreign silver coins
is forbidden. However, a report made in March 1931 stated that
British and South African silver coins circulated freely, particularly
in and around Lourenco Marques, although they are not legal tender
and not accepted by Government offices.
Present employment of silver.—The estimated stock of silver coin
in Mozambique at the end of 1931 was reported in pounds sterling
as £3,000, of which £1,000 was in banks and £2,000 in circulation.
NETHERLAND INDIA
The monetary unit is the guilder (or florin), divided into 100
cents. The guilder has a par value of approximately $0.4020.
The Dutch plural of guilder is gulden.

Present legal provisions.—Netherland India (also Dutch Guiana
and Curacao) have the parent country's monetary system, although
special coins are in some instances supplied for colonial use.
The Indian Coinage Act of 1912 (as amended Nov. 27,1919) makes
the Dutch 2y2-, 1-, and %-guilder silver coins unlimited legal tender
in Netherland India. (For weights and fineness, see Netherlands.)
It also provides for special colonial 25- and 10-cent silver coins,
which differ from the corresponding Netherland coins in that they
weigh 3.18 and 1.25 grams, respectively, and are both 0.720 fine.81
81 With regard to the enforcement of the act of 1919, the following is excerpted from
James Laurence Laughlin's A New Exposition of Money, Credit, and Prices, vol. I, pp.
386-387.
" On Nov. 27. 1919, the guilder of standard silver coins had risen beyond
95 percent of its face value of 100, so that a bill was introduced to mint new silver coins
for Holland and the Dutch East Indies at a fineness of 0.720 instead of 0.945.
Inasmuch as the bullion content of the silver coins (2.50, 1.00, and 0.50 florins) was overvalued, and could then be melted at a profit, the fineness of 0.945, as enacted in 1901
(Statute Book No. 132 of 1901) was lowered by the act of 1919 (Statute Book No. 786
of 1919) to 0.720 in order to prevent melting of the coins. The Government was authorized to withdraw the coins of higher fineness and issue those of lower fineness. This
change was only partly carried out. But when, at the end of 1921, the master of the
mint proposed to the Colonial Secretary to withdraw from the circulation of the Dutch




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19 3 3 86

All coins of a value greater than one quarter of a guilder are
unlimited legal tender, other coins are limited legal tender.
The Bank of Java, since June 1928, has been obliged to maintain
a 40 percent reserve against its demand liabilities, the reserve permissibility including legal-tender silver and gold coins, foreign gold
coin, and gold and silver bullion. On April 30, 1932, the note
issue was 223,533,000 florins and the reserve was as follows (in
florins) : Gold coin, 35,830,000: foreign gold coin, 51,607,000; gold
bullion, 15,082,000; Netherland India silver coins, 45,643,000; subsidiary coins, 258,000. (The note issue at the end of 1932 approximated 205,000,000 florins.)
Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation.—
Silver coinage is put into circulation chiefly through the medium
of the Java Bank, which receives it in its capacity as depositary of
public moneys. Some subsidiary coin usually is kept in the Government treasury, whence it is issued in response to local requirements;
but the bank's holdings actually constitute the bulk of silver currency available for issuance to the public. In the absence of a
branch mint in Netherland India it is impossible to meet unexpected
demands for metallic currency by local coinage. The bank, therefore, considers it desirable to carry a considerable reserve of silver
coin in the colony.82
Attitude toward silver.—The natives prefer silver coins to those
of baser metals. Both Netherland and foreign coins of gold and
silver are hoarded rather extensively in the islands. When domestic
silver coin is taken out of hoarding, the Bank of Java's stock tends
to increase. (See figures above.)
Present employment of silver.—Silver is the main circulating
medium. On January 1, 1930, the circulation of silver was reported
as being about 380,600,000 florins. Some silver coins of old issues,
although not legal tender, are still in use. Straits dollars circulate
to some extent on the east coast of Sumatra. There are no restrictions on the importation or exportation of silver coins or bullion.
Silver coinage struck for Netherland India in 1930 totaled
27,500,000 florins, and Netherland Indian silver coins withdrawn,
over 26,280,000 florins. A report from The Hague in February 1933
stated that the Bank of Java at the end of 1932 held 46,105,190 florins
in silver or about 11,500,000 fine ounces. The holdings of silver are
currently published in the League of Nations' Monthly Bulletin of
Statistics.
East Indies 6,000,000 florins of silver coins of the 0.945 fineness, and to replace them by
those having the 0.720 fineness, the Royal Commission of 1921 vigorously objected on
three grounds: (1) The difficulty in withdrawing all coins of 0.945 fineness; (2) the
confusion of having two kinds of coins with different fineness for the same face value;
(3) the danger of having coins with such low fineness as to stimulate counterfeiting.
In fact, the Royal Commission already realized that the peak of the high price of silver
had been passed in February 1920 and was now on the decline, and hence that the silver
content of the coins would in the future be undoubtedly; less in value than their face
value.
In that case there would be no danger of the coins being melted and becoming
scarce. In this way the crisis arising from the extraordinary rise in the price of silver,
and the disarrangement of the token silver coinage, was disposed of without reminting
the coins. Therefore, the commission recommended the restoration of the old fineness of
0.945, since the danger from the increase in the value of silver had passed. Here again
we have an illustration of the monetary wisdom and foresight of Dutch statesmen which
has saved them from the ills into which other countries have fallen in dealing with
silver."
82 See Trade Information Bulletin No. 504, Currency Systems of the Orient, Washington,
1927, p. 19.




87 m o n e t a r y

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NETHERLAND WEST INDIES 83
The monetary unit is the guilder (or florin), divided into 100
cents. The guilder has a par value of approximately $0.4020.

Present legal provisions.—See Netherlands.
Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation.—See
Netherlands.
Attitude toward silver.—See Netherlands.
Present employment of silver.—Silver coin in the banks and
treasury of the Netherland West Indies at the end of 1931 totaled
551,652 guilders.
Silver currency in Surinam at the end of 1931 was estimated at
890^380 guilders, according to the United States Bureau of the Mint.
NETHERLANDS
The monetary unit is the guilder (or florin), divided into 100
cents. The guilder has a par value of approximately $0.4020. The
Dutch plural of guilder is gulden.

Present legal provisions.—The coinage act of 1901, as amended to
date, governs the monetary use of silver. That act codified the legislation of the preceding quarter century. The law provides for silver
coins as follows: 2y2-84, 1-, and ^-guilder coins, 0.720 fine, weighing 25, 10, and 5 grams gross, respectively; and 25- and 10- cent
pieces, 0.640 fine, weighing 3.575 and 1.4 grams. The first three
coins mentioned are full legal tender. The other two are limited to
10 guilders in legal tender.
Prior to 1919 the 2%-, 1-, and %-guilder coins were 0.945 fine.
On November 27, 1919, an act was passed lowering the fineness of
these coins to 0.720, the first new coins of this fineness being issued
in 1922.
The 23/2-, 1-, and %-guilder pieces may be coined only for the
account of the State to replace silver coins withdrawn from circulation. Subsidiary coins are minted only for the account of the State,
for which purpose only metal obtained from State coins may be
used. The use of silver bullion other than that obtained from melted
Netherland coins is permitted only by royal decree, if such step is
made necessary by the need for coins. Any sums needed to purchase
silver bullion are inserted in the budget of the State expenditures
fixed by law.
The Netherlands Bank may include silver in its reserve against
demand liabilities. The reserve, which otherwise must be of gold,
may not decline below 40 per cent.
Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation.—
Without a royal decree it would not be possible to increase the
amount of silver in monetary use.
Attitude toward silver.—In connection with what has been said
above, competent authorities at present do not see any need for invoking the royal decree just mentioned. In fact, it is stated that, if anything, circumstances point to a movement in the opposite direction,
that is, toward decreasing the amount of silver in circulation.843.
In 1929 it was proposed to replace the larger silver coins by nickel
ones, whereupon the Government appointed a committee to study the
83 Includes Curagao and Surinam (Dutch Guiana).
^Called rijksdaalder.
w a See Addendum, p. 141.




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subject. This committee, in July 1932, rendered an interim report
in which the majority of members gave their views as opposed to
the proposal. The Government has indicated no intention to change
the Coinage Act of 1901. The public seems to prefer silver coins to
nickel.85
Present employment of silver.—The circulation of silver in the
middle of February 1933 was estimated at 134,700,000 florins. (The
note issue of the Netherlands Bank was about 962,000,000 florins at
the end of 1932.) There are still in circulation some of the old silver
coins 0.945 fine.
At the end of 1931, of 138,731,000 florins of silver coin, 28,183,136
florins were in the central bank and treasury.
The ^-guilder coins are not in active circulation. During the
World War currency notes known as zilverbons were issued because
the public was hoarding coins. Although the notes were issued in
various denominations, only those of one half guilder continue in
circulation.
In 1930 silver coinage executed for domestic use totaled 31,000,000
florins, while silver coin withdrawn amounted to over 19,140,000
florins.
The Netherlands Bank in February 1933 was reported to hold
about 26,540,000 florins in silver coins, the equivalent of 6,500,000
fine ounces. The Government of the Netherlands holds no silver.
NEW CALEDONIA
The monetary unit is the French franc, divided into 100 centimes. The franc has a par value of approximately $0.0392.

Present legal provisions.—The French coinage system applies to
New Caledonia.
Possibility of increased use of silver xoithout new legislation.—
See France.
Attitude toward silver.—See France.
Present employment of silver.—No silver at present circulates in
New Caledonia.
NEW GUINEA, EASTERN

(PAPUA)

The monetary unit is the Australian pound, divided into 20
shillings of 12 pence each. The pound has a par value of approximately $4.8666. At present it is on the sterling exchange basis at
the ratio of approximately £125 Australian per £100 sterling. (See
Australia.)

Present employment of silver.—At the end of 1930 the stock of
silver money was £2,667.
85 The 1931 Report of the Director of the United States Mint
(p. 172) quotes from
Samuel Montagu & Co.'s weekly Bullion Circular of August 20, 1930, as follows : " The
following extract, taken from the speech of M. Vissering, the president of the Netherlands
Bank, at the annual meeting of that bank, hints at the possibility of yet another step in
the ' flight from silver' which has been more or less continuous since the period of extraordinary high prices obtaining just after the war.
It will be remembered that the
Netherlands was one of the first countries to reduce their silver coinage, a, bill to this
end being introduced by the Netherlands Government as far back as 1919 and becoming
effective the following year. For the Netherlands and the Netherland East Indies the
fall in the price of silver is especially of importance in view of the possible substitution
of the larger silver coins by nickel media of payment.
For, on the one hand, that fall
causes the value of the guaranty, which, according to some, the present coins represent
for the holder in view of their higher metallic value, constantly to diminish while on the
other hand, the more the price of silver falls the greater will be the loss of the Government should the silver coins be eventually converted into nickel. According to the annual
report of the Netherlands Bank the stock of silver and subsidiary coin held by both the
Netherlands Bank and the Bank of Java at the beginning of this year was 54,085,000
florins, a small proportion of which is presumably in smaller coins, for which nickel is
already used.
(In this connection, see p. 141.)




monetary

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89

193 3

NEW HEBRIDES, BRITISH AND FRENCH CONDOMINIUM OF

Present legal provisions.—British and French currency are legal
tender in the New Hebrides. There are no French silver coins, but
British and Australian silver coins are plentiful in the islands.
Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation.—
See France.
NEWFOUNDLAND

Tlie monetary unit is the Newfoundland dollar, divided into 100
cents. The Newfoundland dollar has a par value of $1.

Present legal provisions.—The monetary system, based on the Newfoundland dollar, is governed by an act passed January 7, 1895.
That act made all British coins legal tender.
The coinage order of March 30, 1917, authorized silver coins, as
shown in the following table:
Denomination

50 cents
25 cents
20 cents
10 cents
5 cents

_

Fineness

0.925
.925
.925
.925
.925

_ . _

Gross
weight in
grams

Legal
tender
limit

11.6638
5.8319
4. 6655
2.3328
1.1664

$10.00
10.00
10.00
10.00
10.00

The order provided that old issues of Newfoundland coins continue to be legal tender. Silver coins may not be imported.
Attitude toward silver.—There is no indication that Newfoundland intends to alter the present status of silver in its monetary
system.
Present employment of silver.—No old issues of Newfoundland
coins are now in circulation. A small amount of British currency
is normally to be found in use.
NEW ZEALAND
The monetary unit is the New Zealand pound, divided into 20
shillings of 12 pence each. The New Zealand pound has a par
value of approximately $4.8666, but is at present depreciated, being
pegged to the pound sterling at a rate altered from time to time.
The present rate is approximately £125 New Zealand per £100
sterling.

Present legal provisions.—The coinage system is the same as that
of the United Kingdom, the coins being minted for New Zealand
by the royal mints in Australia and England. The silver coins are
0.500 fine. (For other details of the coinage, see United Kingdom.)
An order-in-council prohibiting the import or export of silver
coins, except with the consent of the Minister of New Zealand Customs, was passed on April 1, 1931. The Prime Minister stated that
it had come to the knowledge of the Government that, on the one
hand, Australian silver coin was being brought into New Zealand
and, on the other hand, New Zealand silver coin, which is imperial
coinage, was being sent to London for the purpose of avoiding the
prevailing high rates of exchange. Unless steps were taken to check
the growing practice of shipping silver coin overseas, he said, there
would either be a shortage of silver or the Dominion would be



90

monetary "use of

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flooded with Australian coins, not legal tender in New Zealand.
The order-in-council was revoked on July 23, 1931, and a new one
promulgated, effective the same day, continuing the prohibition
with only minor exceptions as stated in the new regulations.
Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation.—
The monetary use of silver could not in practice be materially
increased without important changes in the existing law. Theoretically, the use of silver coins might be increased by the withdrawal
of 10-shilling notes now in circulation. It is estimated that there
are from £250,000 to £300,000 of New Zealand 10-shilling notes outstanding. That these will' be withdrawn is unlikely, for, when they
were temporarily withdrawn by the banks in 1930—as a protest
against the Government's action in increasing the tax on the banks'
note circulation from 3 to 4% percent per annum—there was a strong
public outcry and ultimately the banks yielded to the demands of the
public by reissuing the notes. (See United Kingdom.)
Attitude toward silver.—Apart from the creation of a New Zealand
coinage system, as mentioned below, there is no indication that any
legislation likely to affect the use of silver in New Zealand is under
consideration, and the question has not been discussed politically.
Undoubtedly New Zealand will take no action along this line unless
the step is instituted by Great Britain. The attitude of the country
seems to be definitely opposed to bimetallism, and it is considered
unlikely that the existing legal-tender limit of £2 on silver coins will
be increased.
In 1931 suggestions were made for the establishment of a mint in
New Zealand. In view of the low prices at which silver and copper
were obtainable, it was said that a very substantial saving could be
made if the New Zealand Government established its own mint. A
bill was introduced to that end by C. A. Wilkinson, M.P., who gave
the following reasons for the proposed legislation:86
The main reason for suggesting a state mint in New Zealand is that New
Zealand should enjoy the full profit from the coins in place of Britain and
Australia, whose coinage we are using here at the present time. Silver today
is worth Is. Id. an ounce. Our present silver coinage to the value of 20s.
contains 2 ounces of silver, and a certain quantity of alloy. We pay 19s. in
the pound. The profit on the transaction is undeniable, for my bill provides
for the purchase and minting of the same coinage at 3s. in the pound.
It is estimated we have in the Dominion copper and silver coins to the value
of £1,500,000, and we also import from £40,000 to £60,000 worth of silver and
copper coins. It is readily seen the saving would be immense.

According to a cablegram received from Assistant Trade Commissioner Eugene West, at Wellington, under date of March 8, 1933, a
bill has been introduced to authorize the Minister of Finance to
negotiate with the royal mint for a separate silver and copper coinage for New Zealand. On April 8, 1933, it was announced that the
maximum amount of silver coin which may be taken out of New
Zealand by travelers to the United Kingdom had been reduced from
£10 to £5, and by travelers to other countries, from £5 to £2.
Present employment of silver.—One estimate places the silver coin
in circulation at the end of 1930 at £1,000,000 sterling. Coin held
in the six banks of issue of New Zealand on August 15, 1932, totaled
86

From a report by Consul General Calvin M. Hitch, Wellington, New Zealand, July 9,




91 m o n e t a r y

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£5,471,000, compared with note issues outstanding amounting to
5,988,000 New Zealand pounds. On March 28, 1932, the banks'
reserves consisted 87 percent of gold and 13 percent of silver, according to the League of Nations' Monthly Bulletin of Statistics.
In August 1932 a report from Assistant Trade Commissioner
Eugene West stated that during the preceding 10 months about
£1,500,000 of specie, mostly gold, had been sent to England. Thus
it was that coin held by the banks declined from £6,972,000 on October 19, 1931, to the figure mentioned above. Mr. West added: " It
has long been considered by many in New Zealand that too much
metal was being held in the reserves here. As of March 31, 1931,
approximately 92 percent of the metallic reserve was gold. As of
March 31,1932, about 88 percent of the reduced reserve was in gold."
A press report from Wellington on April 19 stated that New
Zealand banks had received notice from London that the Bank of
England would no longer accept at par British silver coins shipped
from New Zealand or Australia.
NICARAGUA
The monetary unit is the cordoba, divided into 100 centavos.
The cordoba has a par value of $1.

Present legal provisions.—Nicaragua's currency system is based
on the monetary law of March 20, 1912, which became effective
March 23, 1913. The National Bank of Nicaragua, owned by the
Government, administers the currency. Both the right to, issue
notes, and the coinage of currency are entrusted to that institution.
The national bank is accorded " the preferential right to coin
money of gold and silver or other metals or whatever money the
Government agrees to put in circulation." No mention appears in
the law as to the amount of silver which may be issued.
There are no restrictions on the movement of silver into or out of
Nicaragua.
Details of the silver coinage, as given by the United States Bureau
of the Mint, are shown in tlie following table:87
Denomination

Cordoba
50 centavos.
25 centavos..
10 centavos

Fineness

0.900
.800
.800
.800

Gross
weight

Legal
tender
limit

Grams

Cordobas

25.00
12.50
6.25
2. 50

10
10
10
10

Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation.—
Under existing laws there is no limit imposed as to the amount of
silver to be used for subsidiary currency.
Attitude toward silver.—No legislation is contemplated that would
affect the monetary use of silver in Nicaragua.
According to Consul Samuel G. Ebling, the present amount of
silver currency in circulation appears to meet the needs of the coun87

Monetary Units and Coinage Systems of the Principal Countries of the World, p. 6S.
172120—33




7

92

monetary "use of

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19 3 3 92

try. The national bank reports that no complaints have been registered on this score, nor have any requests been received for an
increased circulation of silver money. A preference is shown for
paper currency owing to its convenience. It is the general opinion
that the use of silver currency will not be increased.
Present employment of silver.—The national bank reports that
silver money in circulation in Nicaragua is valued at 306,836 cordobas.
United States currency circulates in Nicaragua to a certain extent.
Nicaraguan coins are minted in the United States.
NORWAY
The monetary unit is the krone (crown), divided into 100 ore.
The krone has a par value of approximately $0.2680.

Present legal provisions.—The coinage system is governed by the
currency law of April 17, 1875, which has been several times
amended by royal resolution. The most important amendment was
that of June 16, 1920, which permits the use of copper-nickel alloy
in the manufacture of subsidiary coin. Since 1920 no silver coin
has been issued.
Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation.—
The question as to whether silver might be used again for Norwegian coinage is difficult to answer. To restore the use of silver
it would be necessary to have a royal resolution ordering the discontijiuance of the present base-metal coins and the minting of
silver coins based on the old law of 1875. The only possibility under
which such a resolution might be considered would seem to be
through the introduction of a common system for the three Scandinavian countries—Norway, Sweden, and Deixmark. For the present the uncertain exchange situation makes such an eventuality very
remote.
Attitude toward silver.—No legislation is in prospect which would
affect the monetary use of silver in Norway. There is no sentiment
for bimetallism or the silver standard.
Present employment of silver.—Although no Norwegian silver
coins circulate in Norway, some Swedish and Danish silver coins
are in use, since all three countries are members of the Scandinavian Monetary Union. A supplemental convention of the latter,
dated March 22, 1924, discontinued the legal-tender status of the
subsidiary coins of member countries except in the country of issue.
Silver coin in circulation in Norway at the end of 1931 was reported as 24,900,000 kroner.
NYASALAND
The monetary unit is the pound, divided into 20 shillings.
pound has a par value of approximately $4.8666.

The

British currency laws apply to Nyasaland. (See Northern Khodesia.)
Present employment of silver.—At the end of 1931 the estimated
total of silver coin in Nyasaland was £330,448, divided £144,219 in
circulation and £186,229 in the hands of the Government.




93 m o n e t a r y

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PALESTINE
The monetary unit is the Palestine pound, divided into 1,000 mils.
The Palestine pound is pegged to the pound sterling and has a par
value of approximately $4.8666.

Present legal provisions.—The general provisions of the existing
currency laws as they relate to the monetary use of silver are set
out in the Palestine Currency Order, 1927. That order provides for
two silver coins, both 0.720 fine—the 100-mil piece and the 50-mil
piece. These weigh 180 and 90 grams, respectively, and are legal
tender to the amount of £2.
Issuance of the currency is controlled by the Palestine Currency
Board, with offices in London. The treasurer of Palestine is the
currency officer representing the board in Palestine.
Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation.—It
is possible for the authorities to issue additional silver coins without
new legislation, for the 1927 order does not limit the quantity, fineness, composition, and weight of silver coin of 100 mils and 50 mils
in circulation. The quantity of silver coin in circulation is determined by the demand for such coin, and the composition of silver
coin is subject to the approval of the Secretary of State.
Attitude toward silver.—The Government favors the use of silver
only in a subsidiary capacity. No legislation designed to affect the
monetary use of silver is known to be contemplated.
Present employment of silver.—At the end of 1932 silver coins in
circulation totaled 287,000 Palestine pounds, made up of 1,450,000
100-mil pieces and 2,850,000 50-mil pieces.
PANAMA
The monetary unit is the balboa, divided into 100 centavos.
balboa has a par value of slightly more than $1.

The

Present legal provisions.—The monetary use of silver in the Republic of Panama is regulated by article 330 of the Fiscal Code.
That article states that money cannot be issued except under special
law of the Republic. The weights of the various silver coins are
governed by law no. 84 of 1904, as amended in 1917 (law no. 62)
and in 1930 (law no. 73). Under the earlier laws the silver coinage
tended to be exported as bullion, the Panamanian coins being replaced in circulation by United States silver coins. In accordance
with special treaty between Panama and the United States, law 73
of 1930 authorized the issuance of coins of the same weight and
fineness as the corresponding American ones, with the result that
today the Panama silver balboa has the same weight and fineness as
the American standard silver dollar. The silver coins, which are
full legal tender for all debts, public and private, are thus all 0.900
fine and have gross weights as folows: Balboa, 26.7296 grams; 50
centavos, 12.5 grams; 25 centavos, 6.25 grams; and 10 centavos, 2.5
grams.
Decree No. 156, of September 20, 1932, on the coinage of silver
coins reads as follows:
Considering: Firstly—That, after having placed in circulation the new silver
and nickel coins in pursuance of law no. 63 of 1917, there has been retired a
large amount of money consisting of old coins having no legal value as cir-




94

monetary "use of

silver

in

19 3 3 94

culating medium since July 31, last; Secondly—That the coins retired are to be
melted in order to be converted into coins in accordance with the laws in force
in this matter; and, Thirdly—That there is also a number of 2%-centesimo
nickel coins which, owing to their denomination and diameter being equal to
those of the 5-centesimo pieces, have been retired from circulation and must
likewise be melted and recoined.
It is decreed:
Art. 1. Immediate coinage shall be undertaken of the amount of 78,000 balboas
in subsidiary silver coins, 0.900 fine, with the denominations, weights, and
diameters provided in artcile 2 of law no. 63 of 1917:
Balboas

31, 500
%-balboa or 1-peso coins.
31, 500
%-balboa coins
15, 000
ro-balboa coins
Art. 2. Immediate coinage shall be undertaken of the amount of 16,640 balboas
in 5-centesimo nickel coins.
Art. 3. The treasury department shall proceed to take immediate measures
for melting and recoining, in accordance with the preceding articles, the silver
and nickel coins deposited at present in the national bank.
Art. 4. The treasury department shall also take the necessary mesaures in
order that the guaranty fund for the parity of the national money may be
increased in the proportion required by the new issue of silver money, and
the deposit shall be made not later than the date on which the new money
begins to circulate.

Possibility of increased use of silver without newh legislation—
There is nothing in the law to prevent the issuance of additional
silver coins.
Attitude toward silver.—The Government intends to issue the
coins obtained from the recoinage of the demonetized old issues of
silver, amounting to 78,000 balboas, as provided in Decree No. 156
of 1932. Beyond this, no silver coins are likely to be issued at
any time in the near future, and no new legislation affecting the
monetary use of silver is contemplated.
Present employment of silver.—In accordance with the terms of
the 1930 law, 532,000 balboas of silver currency have been issued,
namely: 200,000 1-balboa pieces, 300,000 50-centavo pieces, 448,000
25-centavo pieces, and 700,000 10-centavo pieces. Former silver coins
have been demonetized, a quantity of them having been recently
recoined in the United States.
In order to guarantee the parity of the Panamanian silver coins
in circulation, the Government must keep on deposit with the
Bankers Trust Company of New York City a fund equivalent to
15 percent of the gold value of such coins. On October 31, 1932,
there was so deposited $77,400, or $2,400 short of the amount that
should have been deposited, for the 532,000 balboas at present in
circulation. This shortage was to be made up and further deposits
made for the $78,000 about to be put in circulation as a result of
recoinage.88
It is noteworthy that American silver coins enjoy a wider circulation in Panama than do those of Panama. All major transactions are conducted on the basis of American money, for there is
no Panamanian money in denominations higher than $1. Business
in the Republic, including banking and accounting, is on the basis
of the United States dollar, even though the term " balboa " is used
by purely domestic organizations.
88 See pp. 7 5 - 7 6 of the memorandum presented by the Secretary of State of Panama to
the National Assembly in its ordinary session of 1932.




monetary

use

of

silver

in

95

193 3

PANAMA CANAL ZONE
The monetary unit is the United States dollar, divided into
100 cents.

Present legal provisions.—The United States laws govern the
ase of silver as currency. The new Panamanian coinage is also
legal tender, according to a public notice of the executive secretary
of the Canal Zone.
PARAGUAY
The monetary unit is the peso, divided into 100 centavos.
peso has a par value of approximately $0.0226.

The

Present legal provisions.—The existing currency laws make no
provision for the use of silver. There are no restrictions on the
movement of silver into or out of the country.
Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation.—
New legislation would be necessary for the issuance of silver coins
by Paraguay.
Attitude toward silver.—There is no prospect of legislation which
is likely to bring about the use of silver in the currency system.
Present employment of silver,—No silver is in circulation.
PERSIA
The monetary unit is the gold rial, divided into 100 dinars.
The rial has a par value of approximately $0.2433.

Present legal provisions.—The law of March 18, 1930, expressed
Persia's purpose of adopting the gold standard, but the country has
been unable to do so as yet. The first coins minted in accordance
with this law made their appearance on March 21, 1932. Silver
coins provided by this law as amended March 13, 1932, are shown
in the table following:
Denomination

5 rials
2 rials
1 rial
rial

_

Fineness

0.828
.828
.828
.828

Net
weight
Grams

20.70
8.28
4.14
2. 07

Silver pieces are legal tender without limit.
A provision of the law of March 13, 1932, obligates the Government to have in circulation silver coins in amounts equal to at least
60 percent of the notes in circulation. Against the notes and nickel
coins in circulation a reserve must be kept in gold, silver, and foreign
exchange.
There is no free coinage of silver. Persia is not on the silver
standard, even though the gold standard has not yet been adopted.
According to the currency law passed on March 13, 1932, " The
exportation of gold and the importation of silver shall be effected
with the special authorization of the Council of Ministers, through
the national bank, whenever it may be deemed necessary to meet the
established economic needs of the country." (By art. 3, par. 4, of




96

monetary

use

of

silver

in

1 9 3 3 96

the new Persian exchange law of February 14, 1932, " the exportation of minted silver or silver bullion, unless with the authorization
of the Government", is also forbidden.) The present Persian foreign trade monopoly law shows bar silver imports restricted.
Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation.—It
would seem that silver rial coins may be issued by the Government
without limit, according to the law. Notes, which the law permits
to be secured by silver, may be issued by the national bank to a total
of 340,000,000 rials, according to article 5 of the 1932 law, with the
proviso mentioned above, that the Government have in circulation
60 percent as much in the form of silver coin.
Attitude toward silver.—The recent monetary legislation described
above is in keeping with the Government's plans to adopt the gold
standard and use silver as a subsidiary metal, whose value in circulation will be ultimately determined by the value of the gold rial.
Present employment of silver.—In February 1932 it was reported
that the Government would substitute rial coins for krans in the following manner: First, it would remint over 200,000,000 krans now
in its possession or control. The resultant rials would then be used
to retire an equal amount of krans now in circulation, and these coins
in turn would then be cast into bars as security for the issuance of
pahlevi notes of the National Bank of Persia equal to the value of
this silver. (One pahlevi equals 100 rials.) The total stock of silver
in Persia, including the above-mentioned 200,000,000 krans, was estimated at 550,000,000 krans.
The amendment to the 1930 currency law, passed on March 13,
1932, provided that the kran coinage should cease to be legal tender
on September 23,1932. Meanwhile the national bank was authorized
to exchange these coins for rial currency. So far, however, the kran
coins have been only partially displaced from circulation by the rial
currency.89 Accordingly it was recently announced in the press that
krans would be legal tender until further notice.
The kran silver coins are described by the United States Bureau
of the Mint in the following table:
Denomination

5 krans
2 krans
1 kran

. .

Fineness

__ __
- _

0.900
.900
.900

Gross
weight
Grams

23. 0150
9. 2060
4. 6030

Denomination

Fineness

10 shahis
kran)...
5 shahis (M kran) _
3 shahis

0.900
.900
.900

Gross
weight
Grams

2. 3015
1.1507
0. 5754

PERU
The monetary unit is the sol, divided into 100 centavos.
sol has a par value of approximately $0.28.

The

Present legal provisions.—Although the par value of the sol was
altered on two occasions in recent years, the silver coins now in use
find their authority in law no. 4471 of January 27, 1922. That
law provided for the issuance of 7,046,932 soles in sol and halfsol pieces, 0.500 fine.90 The coins were made legal tender to 100 soles.
89 Between March and October 1932 the Teheran mint turned out only 50,000,000 rials
of new silver coins.
90 The previous fineness was
0.900.




97 m o n e t a r y

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19 3 3

Law no. 4527 of September 28, 1922, authorized their issuance to a
total of 23,000,000 soles.
The monetary law of April 18, 1931, limited the legal tender of
1-sol silver coins to 20 soles, and that of fractional silver coins to 5
soles. It also provided that in payment of taxes such coins shall be
receivable at par without limit as to quantity.
The sol coin has a gross weight of 25 grams and the half-sol coin
12y2 grams, these weights being based on the laws of February 14,
1863, and December 30, 1872.
The laws governing the central reserve bank (laws nos. 7137 of
Apr. 18,1931, and 7538 of July 1,1932) contain two provisions giving
the central bank important powers. Article 72, section 4 (as
amended) provides that the Government will
respect the judgment of the bank not to increase the circulation of fiduciary
currency (i.e., coins of silver, nickel, copper, and other metals whose metallic
value is substantially below their monetary value), when the directorate of
the bank, with the affirmative vote of seven of its directors requests that such
increase be not effected, on the grounds that the excess of fiduciary currency would render difficult the compliance of the bank's obligation to the
public of maintaining the gold standard. In relation with this, section C of
article 63 is likewise considered as contractual.
To avoid appreciation in the gold value of the Peruvian monetary unit, the
Central Reserve Bank of Peru shall pay out its own notes on demand in
exchange f o r :
[Sec. C] Peruvian coins of silver and nickel, which now lawfully circulate,
at par, without limit as to quantity, when said coins are presented for exchange for its notes in sums of 10 soles or multiples thereof, at the head office
of the bank in Lima, and at all of the bank's branches.
If, at the end of the year the board of directors of the bank, by an affirmative vote of seven or more members, shall declare that, in their judgment, the
amount of silver and/or nickel coins in circulation is in excess of the requirements of trade and that the central reserve bank, in compliance with the requirements of this chapter, has been burdened with an excessive amount of
such coins which it is holding in its vaults, the bank shall, as the agent of
the Government and under .the supervision required by law, break up and
destroy said excess of coin, and, at the option of the Government, either sell in
the market the metal proceeds thereof or turn them over to the Government.
Any loss that may result to the bank from carrying out of the provisions of this
paragraph shall be charged against the profits accruing to the Government under
the provisions of article 77 of this law.

It will thus be seen that the Banco Central has a very effective veto
power so far as any increase in the fiduciary currency is concerned.
According to the regulations governing the central bank, as
amended in February 1933, the bank's notes and deposits must be
secured by a 50 percent reserve of gold and gold-exchange, bank
acceptances, and Peruvian silver coins, the latter not to exceed one
tenth of the reserve.
Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation.—
Within the limits of the 1922 legislation the Government may issue
4,946,584 soles in silver, thus using approximately 1,988,000 fine
ounces of silver.
Attitude towurd silver.—There is no prospective legislation which
is likely to affect the monetary use of silver. Early in 1932 it was
said that the Government was considering the issuance of more
silver. The present directorate of the central reserve bank is
strongly opposed to any such increase. Therefore, although the
Government in an extremity might bring pressure on the bank to
consent to an increase in the silver coinage, such a step seems unlikely.



98

monetary "use of

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1 9 3 3 98

The central reserve bank can easily show that additional subsidiary currency is not necessary inasmuch as over 6,000,000 soles in
silver are held in its vaults.
Silver is unquestionably preferred by the Indians, who compose
the bulk of population in the highlands and trans-Andean sections
of the country. On the other hand, even in prosperous times the
need for circulating media, except in the mining sections, is not
great; and present prices of the commodities raised in those regions
are so low that the volume of silver and other fractional currency
required is smaller than ever.
Present employment of silver.—Silver coins outstanding at the
end of 1932 were reported as 18,053,416 soles, there having been no
coinage during that year. From the figures in the following table
may be traced the changes in the circulation of silver in recent
years. While the country was on the gold-exchange standard the
use of coins declined.
SILVER AND N I C K E L

COINS

[In thousands of soles]

End of—

1920
1925
1926
1927
1928
1929
1930
1931
1932 (Sept.)---

Total outstanding

2,212
14,606
18,009
19, 329
20,843
22,377
23, 743
24, 053
24,053

Held in
central
reserve
bank

15
4,718
6, 019

Held in
other
banks

Held by
general
public

1,195
1,079
894
952
1,132
1,' 654
2, 668
1, 265
601

1, 017
13, 527
17,115
18,377
19,711
20, 723
21,060
18,070
17,433

The employment of silver on a large scale could only come about
through the disappearance of the present gold reserve, and a complete breakdown of the present currency system. That this could
happen in case of a long-drawn-out international conflict is undoubted. On the other hand the return to reasonably normal and
profitable world raw-material prices would probably bring about
the reestablishment of the gold-exchange standard in Peru, with
silver occupying its present role as a subsidiary medium of exchange.
PHILIPPINE ISLANDS
The monetary unit is the peso, divided into 100 centavos.
peso has a par value of $0.50.

The

Present legal provisions.—The basic monetary law is that of March
2, 1903, which established the gold-exchange standard and, among
other things, provided for additional subsidiary silver coins of
various denominations.91 By its terms, the peso silver piece is full
legal tender, unless otherwise specifically provided by contract. The
other silver coins are legal tender for not more than 20 pesos. The
91 For a time following the World W a r
(i.e., 1 9 1 8 - 2 2 ) the gold-exchange standard was
suspended in the Philippines, but was restored by A c t No. 3058 of June 13, 1922, which
separated the gold-standard and treasury-certificate funds.




99 m o n e t a r y

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of

silver

IN"

19 3 3

recoinage act of June 23, 1906, lowered the weights and fineness of
the silver coins.92
Philippine silver coins are as shown in the following table:
Fineness

Denominations

1 peso
50 centavos
20 centavos. 10 centavos.

-

~ --

-

0.800
.750
.750
.750

Gross
weight
Grams

20
10
4
2

According to Act No. 3058, approved June 13, 1922, Philippine
coins—
at the request of the insular treasurer and with the approval of the secretary
of finance and of the Governor General * * * may be coined in the amounts
necessary to meet the legitimate demands of commerce.
The coinage may be executed in the mint of the Philippine Islands, or in
any of the mints of the United States, by contract between the Government of
the Philippine Islands and the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States,
upon the recommendation of the secretary of finance and the order of the
Governor General, for which purpose the reasonable cost of the work shall be
paid. The secretary of finance, with the approval of the Governor General,
shall prescribe the designs and inscriptions for said coins, showing that they
are of the Philippine Islands, their value, and the year of coinage.
Philippine coins having greater weight or fineness than those prescribed
herein, if paid to any Government office or treasury or to any bank doing
business in the Philippine Islands, or Philippine coins mutilated or otherwise
unfit for circulation, if paid into any treasury of the government, shall not be
reissued but shall be retained for recoinage in accordance with this law.

According to the law, the treasurer of the Philippine Islands is
authorized to receive silver pesos and half-pesos in sums of not less
than 20 pesos, and issue treasury certificates therefor. These certificates are redeemable in silver pesos and half-pesos on demand. The
reserve behind this money is known as the treasury-certificate fund.
If at any time the government's supply of silver coin (other than in
this fund) is insufficient to meet the legitimate demands for trade,
United States gold coin or other United States currency may be
substituted and silver coin released from the treasury-certificate
reserve.
The Philippine National Bank, established in 1916, must keep a
331/3 percent reserve against its note circulation, in lawful money of
the Philippine Islands. Redemption of the circulating notes of the
-Philippine National Bank is guaranteed by the Government of the
Philippine Islands by virtue of Act No. 3174 of November 24, 1924.
The administrative code of 1917 (Act No. 2711) provides:
SEC. 2710. Unlawful exportation of coin or "bullion.—It shall be unlawful to
export or attempt to export from the Philippine Islands any Philippine silver
money coined under the authority of any law of the United States, or bullion
made therefrom, except as such money may be carried away by departing
travelers in ordinary course and in sums not exceeding 25 pesos or as such
coin or bullion may be exported in the course of the lawful operations of the
Philippine Treasury * * *.
92 For the history of this legislation see Modern Currency Reforms, by Ed^ in Walter
Kemmerer (New York, 1916).




100

monetary "use of

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19 3 3 100

SEC. 2711. Unlawful importation of silver coin.—It shall be unlawful to import or to attempt to import into the Philippine Islands silver money not on a
gold basis, except as the same may be brought in by incoming passengers in
ordinary course of travel and in sums not exceeding 50 pesos for the first-class
passenger, 20 pesos for the second-class passenger, and 10 pesos for the thirdclass passenger.

No prohibition exists on the importation of foreign notes or subsidiary coins other than silver.
Possibility of increased me of silver without new legislation.—Additional silver coin may be issued whenever the government desires.
Attitude toward silver.—No legislation is contemplated which
would affect the monetary use of silver.
Present employment of silver.—On November 29, 1932, money in
circulation in the Philippines was as follows:
Issued:
Silver
Silver
Other
Minor

Pesos
21,889,679
6, 272, 494
9,427, 424
2, 929,124

pesos
half pesos
silver subsidiary coins
coins

Total

40,518,721

Less amount in treasury vaults pertaining to general and other miscellaneous funds:
Silver pesos
16,899,978
Silver half pesos
3, 512,172
Other silver subsidiary coins
1, 958, 432
Minor coins
174, 097
Amount estimated destroyed
100, 000
Total

22, 644, 679
Net circulation

17, 874, 042

Treasury certificates: Net amount in circulation
Bank notes: Net amount in circulation
Total net circulation, Nov. 29, 1932

53,163, 439
9, 894, 024
87, 479, 688

Limited quantities of United States silver coins are in use.
Treasury certificates are issued against deposits of silver coin
and gold. The treasury-certificate reserve therefore includes silver,
as the following statement for November 29, 1932, shows:
TREASURY CERTIFICATE F U N D , B A L A N C E SHEET, NOVEMBER 2 9 ,
ASSETS

1932

Pesos

Cash

80,670,267
LIABILITIES

Reserve for treasury certificates outstanding
Cash in treasury vaults—
Silver pesos
Silver half pesos

80, 670, 267
Pesos

3,158,288
3,184, 372

On deposit with authorized depositories in the United States




6,342,660
74,327,607

monetary

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of

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in

101

193 3

POLAND
The monetary unit is the zloty,93 divided into 100 grosze.94
zloty has a par value of approximately $0.1122.

The

Present legal provisions—The presidential decree of January 20,
1924, provided for silver 5-, 2-, 1- and i/o-zloty pieces, the first mentioned 0.900 fine and the rest 0.835 fine. In accordance with these
specifications, 2- and 1-zloty coins were struck in Paris, London,
and the United States.
Decrees Nos. 789 and 790 of October 13, 1927, limited the coinage
of silver, nickel, and copper to 320,000,000 zlote, of which by specific
provision at least 140,000,000 zlote were to be of silver. It was provided, however, that the limit of 320,000,000 zlote 95 could be exceeded when deemed necessary by the Bank of Poland. Subsequently provision was made for the issuance of 2- and 5-zloty silver
pieces weighing 10 and 18 grams, respectively, and not less than
0.500 fine. The coins as manufactured have these weights, the fineness of the 5-zloty coin being 0.750 and that of the 2-zloty coin
0.500.95
Decree No. 674 of August 20, 1932, demonetized the 1-zloty silver
coin which had been authorized in 1924.
Decree No. 668 of August 27, 1932, authorized the minting of
silver in three denominations, to be smaller in size than the silver
coins then current. This decree limited the legal tender of the new
silver coins. Details were specified as follows:
Denomination

10 zlote
5 zlote
2 zlote

Fineness

0.750
.750
.750

Gross
weight

Legaltender
limit

Grams

Zlote

22.0
11.0
4.4

1,000
500
100

Decree No. 798 of October 25, 1932, retired the 2-zloty silver coins
which had been authorized in 1924, the demonetization to take effect
January 31, 1933. The decree provided: " Beginning with July 1,
1933, and up to January 31,1935, the aforesaid coins shall be changed
and accepted in payment of all debts at official banks and branches
of the Bank of Poland. The above obligation to exchange coins
shall be void after January 31, 1935."
Decree No. 878 of November 30, 1932, provided that there be
coined 5-zloty pieces.
The Bank of Poland is permitted to keep silver in its reserve
against notes and other demand liabilities. Ordinarily the bank is
expected to hold either 30 percent in gold or 40 percent in goldT
foreign exchange, and silver. In this case silver may not exceed
one twentieth of the gold held.97
Plural: " zlote."
Singular : 44 groszy."
Based upon 12 zlote per capita and the 1921 census of population.
06 Monetary Units and Coinage Systems of the Principal Countries of the World, 1929,
p. 75.
97 Federal Reserve Bulletin, July 1932, p. 437.
93

04

95




102

monetary

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of

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m

193 3

Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation.—
Under the law of 1927, the maximum coinage may be increased
" as the Government and the Bank of Poland recognize the necessity therefor."
Attitude toward silver.—Since the circulation of coin is based
upon a limit of 12 zlote per capita and Poland's population is now
estimated at 33,000,000, the total metallic circulation can be raised
to 396.000,000 zlote. The Bank of Poland, whose approval of any
increase is necessary under the 1927 law, is said to have given its
consent to this increase. The same can be effected without the purchase of new silver, it is believed, through the substitution for existing coins of coins lower in fineness.
Should it become necessary to exceed the limit of 396,000,000
zlote, parliamentary authorization would probably have to be secured, even were the Bank of Poland to approve such step. Assurances have been given, however, that such an emergency is not
likely to occur, at least in the immediate future, and that no further
legislative projects are being considered which would affect, as to
quantity of metal, the monetary use of silver.
Present employment of silver.—On March 31, 1930, the monetary
stock of silver coins was reported as 65,604,165 zlote of 5-zloty pieces,
and 46,701,926 zlote of 2-zloty pieces, a total of 112,306,091 zlote.
Apart from this, there was an unknown quantity of old 1-zloty
coins, although these were in process of withdrawal. On June 30,
1932, the corresponding total was reported to be 183,300,000 zlote.
The active circulation of silver coins was, in June 1932, reported
to be as follows:
Thousands Face value
thousands
of pieces
of zlote

Denomination

5 zlote _
2 zlote.
1 zloty

_. .
_______

___

_ ___

_ _ _
.
___

_

_
.

__
_ _

5,462
23,974
23, 254

Total

27,310
47,948
23, 254
98, 512

This compares with a note circulation of 1,105,000,000 zlote. In
February 1933 the Ministry of Finance reported that silver put
to monetary use in Poland from 1924 to 1928, inclusive, totaled
19,843,438 fine ounces.
PONDICHERRY

The monetary unit is the British Indian rupee, divided into 16
annas. The British Indian rupee has a par value of approximately
$0,365.

British Indian coinage is used in Pondicherry.
issued by the Banque de l'lndochine.

Rupee notes are

PORTUGAL
The monetary unit is the eseudo, divided into 100 centimos.
The escudo has a par value of approximately $0.0442.

Present legal provisions.—The provisions of the existing currency
laws as they relate to the monetary use of silver may be found in



103 m o n e t a r y

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of

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19 3 3

decrees 19869, 19870, and 19871, published in the Diario do Governo
June 9, 1931, and taldng effect July 1. Article 3 of decree no. 19869
provided for the substitution of silver coins for small notes of the
Bank of Portugal, details to be fixed in a special decree. This
decree, and article 2 of decree no. 19871, in providing that subsidiary
silver money for use on the continent and adjacent islands shall be
coined by the Portuguese Mint, specify the following silver coins, all
limited to 200 escudos in legal tender:
Denomination

10 escudos
5 escudos.- 2 ^ escudos
32

.

_
__

.
. . _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _.

Fineness

-

_
- - _
_. _

0.835
.650
.650

Gross
weight
Grams

12.5
7.0
3.5

The currency decree of June 9, 1931, directed that silver coins
with a nominal value of 2%, 5, and 10 escudos, be issued for the
account of the state in place of Bank of Portugal notes of like denominations, said coins to enter into circulation before December
31, 1933. The amount of the silver issue was to be fixed by an agreement between the Portuguese Government and the Bank of Portugal,
and the coins were to enter into circulation through the Bank of
Portugal.
Coinage and issuance (through the bank) of silver money are
reserved to the State under the terms of article 3 of decree no. i987l.
Article 5 of decree no. 19871 reads as follows:
The silver required for coinage of the money shall be acquired in public
competition or through direct purchase by the treasury, and use shall be made
of silver on hand in the bureau of minting and engraving, as well as of coin
on deposit in the same, and of that which shall be called in, pursuant to the
present decree.

Article 9 has to do with the calling in of old silver coins for
reminting.
Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation.—
It is difficult to say to what extent silver coins may be issued without
amending existing laws. Silver coins are to be issued in place of
notes of the Bank of Portugal and, while no figures are available to
show the coins already issued, the number of coins to be issued under
authority of decree no. 19871 was as follows: 6,500,000 10-escudo
pieces; 5,000,000 5-escudo pieces; and 4,000,00 2^2-escudo pieces; a
total of 100,000,000 escudos. These coins are all scheduled to be in
circulation by the end of 1933.
It is believed that once the maximum of silver circulation authorized by decree no. 19871 has been reached, Portugal is not likely
to employ further silver in its currency system unless special need
arises. The following excerpt from a statement made by the Minister of Finance, relative to stabilization of the escudo in 1931, may
be taken to illustrate the country's attitude toward the employment
of silver in the currency system.
The depreciation of the currency brought a certain inversion of functions,
so that we have today Bank of Portugal notes—those of 2V2, 5, 10, and 20
escudos—playing the role that, before our currency fall, was taken by metallic




monetary "use of

silver

in

19 3 3 104

money. This was one reason for the great insufficiency of the bank's circulation in the past, but it must not be so in the future, so that at least the notes
of less value must be taken from circulation and complete the circulation with
silver coin, indispensable for small payments. The preference the public shows
for paper notes has up to now stopped the proposal of the substitution of
20-escudo notes, although they represent a real value inferior to the escudo
or to the " milreis " previous to 1911. Even with this exception, the circulation
of paper notes will be more correct, and this as well as metallic money will
be correctly kept within their respective functions.

Attitude toward silver.—No legislation is contemplated which
would affect the monetary use of silver in Portugal.
Present employment of silver.—Silver coins in circulation on
October 31,1932, were as shown in the following statement:
Esoudos

2% escudos
5 escudos
10 escudos
10 escudos98

5,480,000
2,000, 000
23, 000, 000
2,000,000

Total

32, 480, 000

On the same date the Bank of Portugal's note circulation was
approximately 1,906,000,000 escudos.
PORTUGUESE GUINEA

The monetary system of Portugal applies to Portuguese Guinea.
REUNION
The monetary unit is the Reunion franc (franc reunionais),
divided into 100 centimes. The par value of the Reunion franc
is approximately $0.0392.

Present legal provisions.—There is no legal provision for the
monetary use of silver.
Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation.—
New legislation would be necessary before silver could be put into
circulation.
Attitude toward silver.—See France.
Present employment of silver.—No silver circulates in Reunion.
RHODESIA, NORTHERN
The monetary unit is the pound, divided into 20 shillings of 12
pence each. The pound has a par value of approximately $4.8666.

Present legal provisions.—In general, the British monetary system applies in Northern Rhodesia.
According to ordinance no. 25 of 1932, "An ordinance further to
amend the bank notes and coinage ordinance, 1 9 3 1 t h e Governor of
Northern Rhodesia, with the advice and consent of the Legislative
Council, promulgated the following enactment:
It shall be lawful for the Governor, with the approval of a secretary of
state, to declare by proclamation that silver coins issued by the Government of the Colony of Southern Rhodesia and declared to be legal tender
by that Government within the Colony shall be current in the territory, and
the tender of payment in money in that territory, if made in any of those
coins shall, if the coins have not been illegally dealt with, be a legal tender
for any amount not exceeding £2 sterling in value.
98

Special issue commemorating the Battle of Ourique.




105 m o n e t a r y

use

of

silver

in"

19 3 3

The purpose of this ordinance was described by the Acting Attorney General late in 1932, as follows:
The Colony of Southern Rhodesia has recently passed an act (no. 24 of 1932)
empowering the Governor to issue gold, silver, bronze, and nickel coins.
Nyasaland and this territory have agreed to make legal tender such Southern
Rhodesia silver coins as are of sterling denominations.

According to The Gold and Silver Restriction
Regulations 1932:
No person shall export gold or silver in the form of coin
beyond the boundaries of the territory except (a) personal
£5 in gold and £2 in silver in the possession of any one
the territory; or (&) with the written permission of the

(amendment)

to any destination
cash not exceeding
individual leaving
Governor.

Government Notice No. 24 of February 22, 1933, entitled " The
Exportation of Gold and Silver Ordinance (chap. 120 of the Revised Edition)", provided for the cancelation of Government Notices
Nos. 132 of 1931 and 2 of 1933.
Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation—
The Governor may readily issue proclamations affecting the monetary use of silver.
Attitude toward silver.—The attitude of the Governor toward the
monetary use of silver is presumably in accordance with that of the
British Government.
Present employment of silver.—Silver in the currency system is
limited to subsidiary coinage.
RHODESIA, SOUTHERN
The monetary unit is the pound, divided into 20 shillings of
12 pence each. The pound has a par value of approximately
$4.8666.

Present legal provisions.—In general the British monetary system
applies in Southern Rhodesia.
The Coinage Act (No. 34) promulgated June 3, 1932, went into
effect September 9, 1932. It provided that Southern Rhodesia,
British, and Union of South Africa silver coins " of the present issue
of current weight" should be legal tender to not over 40 shillings.
The schedule contained in the Coinage Act gives the following
particulars concerning silver coins, and all such coins made for
Southern Rhodesia must conform to this schedule.
Denomination

Half-crown
Florin
Shilling
Sixpence
Threepence

Fineness

_

0.925
.925
.925
.925
.925

Gross
weight
Grams

14.13795
11.31036
5.65518
2. 82759
1. 41379

In October 1931 an act limiting the export of gold and silver to
£5 each for persons leaving the country was enacted. In May 1932,
due to the serious drain of silver to the Union of South Africa, the
limit on silver was reduced to £2 per person. When British silver
was deprived of legal tender in the Union
its face value the inducement to export such coins from Rhodesia was removed. On



106

monetary "use of

silver

in

19 3 3 106

January 13, 1933, removal of the embargo on the exportation of
silver coin (instituted in 1931) was announced.
Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation.—
According to the Coinage Act of 1932, the governor may cause to be
made and issued silver coins of the denominations specified in the
schedule to the act. Only the governor may order coinage or revoke
or alter any proclamation previously issued regarding coinage.
Attitude toward silver.—The attitude of the governor toward the
monetary use of silver is presumably in accordance with that of the
British Government.
In 1933 a bill was introduced to repeal the Coinage Act of 1932.
The bill would give the governor full power to issue coin and provides that he may make regulations—
{a) For the establishment of a "coinage f u n d " to provide for the rehabilitation or withdrawal of any issue of coins made under this act;
(6) Authorizing the payment of seigniorage to other colonies and British
protectorates to which coins issued under this act may be exported and accepted
as legal tender.

Present employment of silver.—In the latter part of 1931 there
was a considerable shortage of subsidiary silver in Southern Rhodesia due to the profit to be made by shipping British silver coins
into the Union of South Africa, whose currency stood at a premium
in terms of the pound sterling. Following the enactment of the
Coinage Act of 1932, a shipment of £30,000 of British silver coins
was received from London, and £110,000 of Southern Rhodesian silver coins ordered from the royal mint in London."
The coins of Southern Rhodesia bear distinctive designs.
At the end of 1931 total silver in Southern Rhodesia was estimated
at £440,000, of which £400,000 was in circulation and £40,000 in
banks.
RIO DE ORO

The monetary system of Spain applies to Rio de Oro.
RUMANIA
The monetary unit is the leu (plural lei), divided into 100 bani.
The leu has a par value of approximately $0,006.

Present legal provisions.—For a number of years prior to 1932
no silver circulated in Rumania. A comparatively small amount
of silver currency was issued under the law of April 17, 1880, as
amended in 1886, 1901, and 1925. During the German occupation all
silver coins found were confiscated and there followed a period of
years when no silver coins circulated, although a limited amount
remained in peasant hoards.
The general monetary law, which dates from February 7, 1929,
was amended December 19, 1931, to provide for the issuance of
100-leu silver coins to a total of 1,840,000,000 lei, the coins to weigh
14 grams, 0.500 fine, and to be legal tender in payments not exceeding 5,000 lei. These coins were issued by the Ministry of Finance
in September. 1932.
The 1931 law further provided that silver coins minted prior to
1916 should no longer be legal tender, but that they should be re09

Charge d'Affaires Ernest L. Ives, Pretoria, Sept. 20, 1932.




107 m o n e t a r y

use

of

silver

in"

19 3 3

deemable at the national bank at the market value of their silver
content.
Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation.—
No additional silver could be issued without new legislation.
Attitude toward silver.—No legislation which would increase the
use of silver is planned. The peasants seem to prefer silver to paper
money and hoard it, but other classes show no preference for the
metal.
Present employment of silver.—The 1,840,000,000 lei of silver in
circulation represent approximately 4,141,000 fine ounces of silver.
The silver circulation compares with the National Bank of Rumania's note issue of approximately 20,974,000,000 lei in November
1932. Other coin in circulation on March 15, 1930—the latest information available—approximated 433,000,000 lei.
During 1932 the French mint struck 2,000,000 100-leu silver pieces
for Rumania.
SALVADOR, EL

The monetary unit is the colon, divided into 100 centavos.
colon has a par value of approximately $0.50.

The

Present legal provisions.—The present silver coinage is governed
by the legislative decrees approved September 11, 1919, July 16,
1920, and March 10, 1921. Prior to the enactment of the decree of
1919 there were in circulation silver 5-, 10-, 20-, 25-, 50-, and 100centavo coins. The latter decree provided that the 5-, 10-, and
20-centavo silver coins then in use should continue to circulate as
subsidiary currency but did not mention the 25-, 50-, and 100centavo denominations. The change from silver to a gold basis
was covered by articles 3 and 4 of the decree. Article 3 provided:
" The new standard being gold, the present national or foreign silver currency is hereby declared demonetized."
With respect to the use of silver as legal tender in making payments of any kind, article 8 of the decree of 1920 provided that
national silver in 20-, 50-, and 100-centavo denominations must be
accepted up to 10 percent of any payment, but it did not mention
the 5-, 10-, and 25-centavo coins. Furthermore, it provided that the
national treasury and other fiscal offices must accept any quantity
of silver in payment of taxes or duties. However, article 2 of the
1921 decree provided for the reinstatement as legal tender of all
the 5-, 10-, 20-, 25-, 50-, and 100-centavo silver coins which had been
in use since before 1910 until the coining of the subsidiary denominations mentioned in the decree of 1919 should be effected.
All six denominations remain in use today; the old issues of Salvadorean silver coins are now legal tender and are accepted everywhere in El Salvador on a parity with' the newer coins.
The fineness and the net weight in grams of the Salvadorean
silver coins in use at the present time are shown in the following
table:
Fineness

Denomination

100 centavos
50 centavos
25 centavos

172120—33




0.900
.900
.835

_
8

Net
!
weight
Qrams

25.00
12. 50
6.25

Denomination

20 centavos
10 centavos
5 centavos

Fineness

0.835
.835
.835

Net
weight
Qrams

5.00
2. 50
1.25

108

monetary "use of

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in

19 3 3 108

The coinage of the 25-centavo piece was authorized sometime before
1910, and of the others about 1892.
American silver money was declared legal tender for El Salvador
by article 10 of the 1920 decree and it has been stated by local
authorities that it must be accepted up to 10 percent of any payment
on the same basis as Salvadorean silver money. At present American silver coins circulate in El Salvador to only a very limited
extent.
A definite limitation appears to have been placed on the coining
of silver in El Salvador by article 9 of the 1920 decree, "which
provided that such coinage shall not exceed 10 percent of the
total fiduciary circulation.
The general provisions of the existing currency laws, as they
relate to the monetary use of silver, are to be found in the 1926 publication of the " Constitucion y Codigos de la Republica de El Salvador on pages 748 to 761. The volume contains the basic legislative and executive decrees on the subject.
Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation.—
It is believed that approximately 100,000 fine ounces troy of silver
could be minted and issued without amending the existing laws.
Attitude toward silver.—So far as is known there is no prospective
Salvadorean legislation which would affect the monetary use of
silver. The general public does not seem adverse to the use of
silver in the Salvadorean monetary system, except for its opinion
that the present coins are cumbersome. The authorities are thought
to favor the increased use of silver.
Present employment of silver.—The amount of Salvadorean silver
coin in circulation in El Salvador in 1932 (believe to be on Dec. 31)
was 1,078,142 colones, and the note circulation on that date for the
three Salvadorean banks of issue was 12,277,255 colones; that is
8.8 percent as much silver as notes. Some United States silver
coins also circulate. There are no restrictions on the importation
and exportation of silver ore, bar, or coin.
SAMOA, WESTERN
The monetary unit is the New Zealand pound, divided into 20
shillings of 12 pence each. The New Zealand pound has a par
value of approxmately $4.8666, but is at present depreciated, beingpegged to the pound sterling at a rate which is altered from time
to time.

New Zealand's currency system applies to Western Samoa.
SAN MARINO, REPUBLIC OF
The monetary unit is the Italian lira, divided into 100 centesimi.
The par value of the lira is approximately $0.0526.

Present legal provisions.—The Republic of San Marino has monetary agreements with Italy and with Vatican City. Both are
similar to the agreement between Italy and Vatican City (cited
under Vatican City). The Italy-San Marino agreement, however,
differs in one respect, providing:
The Republic of San Marino shall cease minting nickel and bronze coins,
and the amount of silver coins minted during 1931-33 shall not exceed 2,100,000
Italian lire or 700,000 for each year.



monetary

use

of

silver

in

193 3

109

The Government of the Republic binds itself to retire from circulation its
former silver and bronze coins, within a month of the date on which the
present agreement is signed, and before the new coins are delivered by the
royal mint at Rome.
The royal mint binds itself to supply the silver necessary for the coinage
during 1931-33 at the market price.

Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation.—
New silver coins may be issued within the limits defined above.
Attitude toward silver.—No new legislation affecting the monetary
use of silver has been reported under consideration.
Present employment of silver.—The last previous coinage of San
Marino was in 1905. It speedily passed into the hands of
numismatists, and thereafter Italian coins circulated exclusively.
Of the new silver coinage under the 1931 agreement, Consul
Joseph Emerson Havin reported from Florence that the first lot
to be issued would consist of 250,000 lire of 5-lira pieces, 250,000
lire of 10-lira pieces, and 200,0p0 lire of 20-lira pieces. This lot
is to be placed in circulation by the end of 1933.
SARAWAK
The monetary unit is the Straits dollar divided into 100 cents.
The par value of the Straits dollar is approximately $0.5678.

Present legal provisions.—Although Straits dollar currency is
used, special Sarawak silver coins are issued in denominations of
20 and 50 cents, 0.400 fine, and weighing 80 and 160 grains,
respectively.
Importation of foreign currency, other than that of the Straits
Settlements, has been prohibited since the promulgation of order
X V of July 31, 1908.
Attitude toward silver.—No intention to alter the present monetary use of silver in Sarawak has been reported.
Present employment of silver.—The total monetary circulation of
Sarawak, metal and paper, at the end of 1931 was reported at
2,178,000 Straits dollars, according to the United States Bureau
of the Mint.
SIAM

The monetary unit is the baht, divided into 100 satang or 4
salung. The baht has a par value of approximately $0.4424.

Present legal provisions.—The Currency Act of 1928 (B.E. 2471)
made gold the standard of value. The silver tical continues to be
unlimited legal tender, but its name is changed to " baht." This act
also provided for 50-satang and 20-satang silver pieces which are
legal tender in amounts not exceeding 5 bahts.
The Currency Amendment Act of 1931 (B.E. 2473) provided for
the sale of demonetized silver. This amendment made it lawful for
the finance minister to sell any portion of the baht coins held in
the reserve and provided that gold or gold exchange should be purchased with the proceeds of any such sale and should be held in
the reserve.
The silver coins provided for in the 1928 law and the regulations
based thereon are as follows: The 1-baht piece, weighing 15 grams,
0.900 fine; the 50-satang piece, weighing 7.5 grams, 0.650 fine; and
the 25-satang piece, weighing 3.75 grams, 0.650 fine.



110

monetary "use of

silver

in

19 3 3 110

Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation.—•
Definite information on this point cannot be given, as the text of
the law is not available.
Attitude toward silver.—There seems to be no likelihood of
increased monetary employment of silver. In fact, for sometime the
tendency has been in the opposite direction. Under the existing law,
quoted above, the Minister of Finance has authority to dispose of
the silver coins now held in the reserve, and this would appear to
be a far more likely development than to have new silver coins
minted for use in circulation.
Present employment of silver.—The silver baht coin has not been
minted for sometime and has largely disappeared from circulation.
Subsidiary silver coins, however, are in quite common use in the
country districts.
At the time of the promulgation of the Currency Amendment Act
of 1931, the Government had substantial quantities of baht coins
on hand, which were carried in Wo accounts. About 50,000,000 of
these silver baht coins were included in the currency reserve and
another substantial sum was carried separately in the treasury.
Following the above amendment which authorized the sale of silver
coins, about 20,000,000 fine ounces were disposed of from the treasury
account. The shipment was forwarded to London in September
1931 and disposed of in the silver market. There remained in the
treasury's note reserve, as of the end of December 1932, 43,372,064
baht coins and, except for a minor amount of silver remaining in
circulation in the form of baht and subsidiary coins, it is presumable
that this represents the extent of the monetary use of silver in Siam
at the present time. (The stock of silver compares with a note
circulation of over 114,832,498 bahts on December 31, 1932. In addition, over 24,100,000 bahts of notes wTere held in the treasury.)
The 43,372,064 bahts mentioned above contain approximately
18,825,000 fine ounces of silver.
SOUTH WEST AFRICA, BRITISH MANDATED TERRITORY OF
The monetary unit is the pound divided into 20 shillings.
pound has a par value of approximately $4.8666.

The

Present legal provisions.—Proclamation No. 3 of 1922 made all
British and Transvaal coins legal tender in the Territory of Southwest Africa, silver coin to be legal tender in amounts not exceeding
40 shillings.1 Transvaal coins were defined as coins struck at the
Pretoria mint by the Government of the South African Republic.
Union of South Africa coins were included by Proclamation No. 13
of 1925.
The parity of the currency of the mandated territory was defined
by the Union of South Africa Coinage Act (no. 31) of 1922.
According to Proclamation No. 26 of 1932, published November 1—
Any person introducing into the territory, or any person receiving, after introduction into the territory, from any country other than the Union or the
Bechuanaland Protectorate, any silver coin current in the Union which was
not struck at the mint of the late South African Republic or at the Pretoria
1

This limit was reaffirmed in Proclamation No. 13 of 1925.




monetary

use

of

silver in

111

193 3

branch of the royal mint, shall pay as a tax thereon a sum equal to the difference between the face value of such coin calculated according to the currency
of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and such face value calculated according to the currency of the Union at the rate of exchange quoted by the South
African Reserve Bank for the telegraphic transfer of money from the Union to
London on the day of introduction of such coin: Provided, That any person
entering the territory as a bona fide traveler who has not previously entered
the territory within a period of 14 days prior to the first-mentioned entry may
bring with him into the territory free from such tax a quantity of such silver
coin representing, according to its face value, a sum not exceeding 40 shillings.

For other details, see Union of South Africa.
Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation.—See
Union of South Africa.
Attitude toward silver.—See Union of South Africa.
Present employment of silver.—At the end of 1931 the banks held
£28,036 in silver coin and £80 in silver bullion. (See Union of South
Africa.)
SPAIN

The monetary unit is the peseta, divided into 100 centimos.
peseta has a par value of approximately $0,193.

The

Present legal provisions.—According to the law of October 19,
1868, the 5-peseta pieces therein authorized are full legal tender on
the same basis as gold. Other Spanish silver coins are legal tender
in amounts not exceeding 50 pesetas. The minting of 5-peseta pieces
was discontinued by a law passed in 1901 (striking of the coins had
in fact ceased in 1899). Since 1878 silver has been coined only for
the account of the State.
Details of the silver coinage are shown in the following table:
Amount
coined
from 1868
Fineness to April 1,
1930
(millions of
pesetas)
j L Ufc.

Gross
weight

Denomination

5 pesetas. _ _ _
_
2 pesetas._
1 peseta..
- peseta
__ _

_
___
_ _ _
_
_

__
_

__
_ .

_

_ _
__

Grams

_ _

_ _ _ _ _ _ _

_

25.0
10.0
5.0
2.5

0.900
.835
.835
.835

1,052. 2
156.3
109.5
14.5

The Bank of Spain's legal reserve against notes may include
silver as well as gold and gold exchange. For a note issue not
exceeding 4,000,000,000 pesetas the minimum reserve must be 45
percent, and above 4,000,000,000 pesetas, 60 percent. Silver in the
reserve may not exceed 5 percent of notes up to 4,000,000,000 pesetas
or 10 percent of notes in excess of that sum.2
Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation.—
There seems to be no possibility of extending the monetary use of
silver in Spain under existing legislation.
Attitude toward silver.—There is no legislation in early prospect
affecting the monetary use of silver. In 1931 there was passed the
law of banking ordination, in which the possibility of eventual
adoption of the gold standard and of revalorizing the peseta
2

Federal Reserve Bulletin, July 1932, p. 438.




112

monetary "use of

silver

in

19 3 3 112

was indicated. Since the suspension of the gold standard by England and other countries, talk of changing Spain's currency system
has ceased, and there is no indication of an early return to the
subject.
A serious problem exists in the large stock of silver held in Spain.
Considerably over 1,000,000,000 pesetas in silver coins have been
minted, and estimates place the amount of these coins now in the
country at around 1,000,000,000 pesetas. The coins consist mostly
of legal tender 5-peseta pieces, the great bulk being held by the
Bank of Spain. Thus, in January 1933 the bank's silver holdings
amounted to 610,000,000 pesetas. (This, compared with a note
circulation of 4,789,000,000 pesetas.) The excessive stocks of silver
coins always lying in the Bank of Spain's vaults indicate that Spain
has more silver than necessary.
Since the law requires that 5-peseta silver pieces be accepted on
the same basis as gold coins, the Bank of Spain in practice does
not redeem its notes in gold, but in silver coin. Hence, actually,
the peseta is valued at a considerable discount from par.3
Present employment of silver.— (See above.) Spain produces a
moderate amount of silver. The output was 2,700,000 fine ounces
in 1930 and 3,100,000 in 1931.
STRAITS SETTLEMENTS
The monetary unit is the Straits dollar divided into 100 cents.
The par value of the Straits dollar is approximately $0.5678.
The Straits dollar is employed not only in the Straits Settlements
and the Malay States but also in Sarawak, Labuan, and Borneo.

Present legal provisions.—The Straits dollar, weighing 20.2177
grams 0.900 fine, was established by an order-in-council of the British Government on February 2, 1895. This coin was by the same
order made unlimited legal tender, and various limited-legal-tender
coins were provided. In 1906 the 50-cent piece was also made unlimited legal tender. All smaller current silver coins are legal
tender in amounts not exceeding 2 dollars.
In 1918, 1919, and 1920 the fineness of the various silver coins
was successively reduced, but the old coins were permitted to continue in circulation until withdrawn.4
Details of the silver coinage at present circulating are as follows:
Denomination

1 dollar
1 dollar
50 cents
50 cents
20 cents
20 cents
20 cents

(old)
(new)
(old)
(new)
(old)
(old)
(new)

Gross
weight
Grams

20. 2173
16. 8478
10.1086
8. 4239
5. 4308
5. 4308
5. 4308

Fineness

0.900
.500
.900
.500
.800
.600
.400

Denomination

10 cents (old) _
10 cents (old) _
10 cents (new)
5 cents (old) _ _
5 cents (old) _ _
5 cents (new).

Gross
weight
Grams

2.7151
2.7151
2.7151
1. 3575
1. 3575
1. 3575

3 The following is reprinted from Trade Promotion Series No. 139, The Silver Market,
pp. 6 4 - 6 5 , issued by the Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce:
" Fluctuations in the amount of silver held by the Bank of Spain are attributed to
absorption by hoarding. The latter phenomenon was reflected in a demand for bank
notes. To prevent—at least, in part—this tendency of the note issue to increase, the
Bank of Spain in 1931 initiated a policy of making one tenth of its out payments in the
form of silver pesetas."
4 For details of these steps, see Monetary Units and Coinage Systems of the Principal
Countries of the World, 1929, p. 80.




113

monetary

use

of

s i l v e r IN" 1 9 3 3

By an executive order in 1906 the Straits dollar was made equivalent to 28 pence.
All silver coins are issued by the Currency Commissioners of the
Straits Settlements. The commissioners are obliged to exchange on
demand the dollar and half-dollar pieces for notes whenever tendered. The commissioners are also obliged to maintain a minimum
reserve of silver amounting to 10 percent of the notes in circulation.
At the end of September 1931 the legal tender silver in the reserve
amounted to over 28 percent of the note circulation.
Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation.—Issuance of more silver is within the power of the currency commissioners.
Attitude toward silver.—No legislation likely to affect the monetary use of silver in British Malaya has been reported.
An increase in the use of silver money would depend almost entirely upon general trade and economic conditions and the attitude
of the public toward silver coins. The fluctuation in the quantity of
silver money in use varies with demand. Many years ago when notes
were first introduced, difficulty was experienced in getting the natives
and the local Chinese to accept them in lieu of silver. This sentiment against paper currency has not only been overcome, but has
changed into a distinct preference for the paper. This fact, as well
as the business depression, is reflected in the decrease in the use of
the Straits silver dollars and 50-cent pieces, which on September 30,
1929, had a gross circulation of 6,415,312 Straits dollars and on
September 30, 1931, 4,396,917 Straits dollars, a shrinkage during 2
years of approximately 1,000,000 Straits dollars per annum. Meanwhile a large supply of dollar and 50-cent silver coin is held by the
Government in the currency reserve.
The principal way in which the amount of silver used as currency
in Malaya might be extended would be to increase the fineness of
subsidiary coins, but such a step is not at present anticipated. The
quantities of subsidiary coins held by the treasury and in circulation
are considered sufficient for many years to come, even under normal
trade and economic conditions. With the present depressed state of
the rubber industry and a general curtailment in all lines of business,
the demand for subsidiary silver coins is showing considerable
decrease.
The 10- and 25-cent notes in circulation in the Straits Settlements
are being withdrawn, but their replacement by silver would not consume much of the metal. The 6,900,000 Straits dollars of 10-cent
notes circulating on September 30,1931, constituted only 1.12 percent
of the total note issue. The 141,000 Straits dollars of 25-cent notes
outstanding were but six one-hundredths of 1 percent of the total.
Present employment of silver.—Very little Straits Settlements
silver is in circulation. On September 30, 1931, the currency circulation was as follows, in millions of Straits dollars:
Unlimited legal tender:
Currency notes
Bank notes
Dollar and half-dollar silver coins
Total




60. 9
0.1
4.4
65. 4

114

monetary "use of

silver

in

19 3 3 114

Limited legal tender :
Currency notes
Subsidiary silver
Minor coin

0. 7
9.6
2. 4

Total

5 12.

Grand total

8

78. 2

Gross circulation is represented by 4,400,000 Straits dollars. Subtracting the amount of dollar and 50-cent coins held by the treasury,
the total is reduced to approximately 4,211,000 Straits dollars, of
which the banks held some 147,000. Regarding the 9,600,000 Straits
dollars of subsidiary silver, the currency department states that this
figure is purely nominal, since large quantities of 0.800 fine coin
have been exported or melted down by the public. The total just
cited excludes subsidiary silver held by the treasury and is made
up as follows:
Straits dollars

Coin 0.800
Old coin 0.600
Coin 0.400
New coin 0.600

fine
fine
fine
fine

Total circulation, September 30, 1931

3, 762, 000
1, 952, 000
1, 482, 000
2,424,000
9, 620,000

Issuance of silver coins 0.600 fine has led to a decline in the circulation of nickel coins.
With reference to the table given above, it should be noted that the
0.900-fine Straits dollar has been largely replaced by the 0.500-fine
dollar. The currency report for 1930-31 showed that over
19,000,000 Straits dollars in 0.900-fine coins had been received from
the mint. Of that sum, almost 13,520,000 Straits dollars had been
sold or used for reminting, about 1,768,000 were held by the commissioners on September 30, 1931, and the remaining 3,719,000 were
(nominally) in circulation. Of the 17,393,000 Straits dollars of
0.500-fine dollar and 50-cent silver coins received from the mint,
only 678,000 were in circulation on September 30, the rest being held
by the commissioners, who on that date thus held a total of over
18,483,000 in full-legal-tender silver coin, while the public held
4,397,000.
The report of the currency commissioners for December 1, 1932,
showed the following selected items:
Straits dollars

68, 489,000
Currency notes in circulation
Total currency guaranty fund
133, 244, 000
Legal-tender silver held in the guaranty fund in the
colony (face value)
19,259,000

It is of interest to note that considerable quantities of silver coins
are used by the public in trade, i.e. melted down and converted
into jewelry, bowls, vases, and the like.
SWEDEN
The monetary unit is the krona (plural, kronor), divided into
100 ore. The krona has a par value of approximately $0.2680.

Present legal provisions.—The coinage is governed by the monetary
law of May 30, 1873, as amended to date. By the 1873 law Sweden
5

Due to abbreviation of the items, the summation does not agree with the total.




115 m o n e t a r y

use

of

silver

in"

19 3 3

became a member of the Scandinavian Monetary Union. Silver
coins were made subsidiary to the gold krona, and until 1924 circulated interchangeably with those of Norway and Denmark. By a
convention of March 22, 1924, the subsidiary coins of the union
were restricted as limited-legal-tender coin to the country of issue.
The present currency law, insofar as it applies to silver, provides
for coins as follows:
Denomination

2 kronor
1 krona
50 ore
25 ore
10 ore
1

Fineness

- -

-

0.800
.800
.600
.600
.400

Gross
weight

Legal
tender
limit i

Grams

Kronor

15.00
7. 50
5.00
2.42
1.45

20
20
5
5
5

Fractional money is received by the treasury without limit.

Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation.—
There are no legal limits to the Government's right to mint silver
coins.
Attitude toward silver.—No official proposal to amend the existing
currency law has been made. The public prefers the present smalldenomination notes to coins. There is no agitation in Sweden to
increase the use of silver coins and no change in this respect is
likely in the near future.
Present employment of silver.—At the end of 1928 (the latest date
for which the information is available) coins outstanding, in millions
of kronor, was reported as follows:
Silver :
2 kronor
1 krona
50 ore
25 ore
10 ore
Total silver
Gold
Minor coin
Grand total

9. 8
22. 3
4. 4
8. 7
6. 6

:
6

51. 8
93. 6
6.9

7 152.

4

The above figures compare with the total note issue of the Bank of
Sweden amounting to approximately 598,000,000 kronor at the end
of 1932. " Silver, etc.", held in the Bank of Sweden at the end of
1931 totaled 4,193,982 kronor. (The 1931 note-issue figure is given
as approximately 582,700,000 kronor.)
6 It is believed that considerable amounts of 1- and 2-kronor silver coins were melted
during the war and hence no longer exist as coin. Moreover, some of the coins included
in this total are in circulation in Norway and Denmark, notwithstanding the 1924 convention.
Coinage of silver from 1S73 to 1931, minus withdrawals by the mint, totaled
58,184,000 kronor.
7 The difference between this total and the summation of the items is due to abbreviation
of the latter.




116

monetary

use

of

silver

in" 19 3 3

SWITZERLAND
The monetary unit is the Swiss franc, divided into 100 centimes.
The franc has a par value of approximately $ 0 . 1 9 3 0 .

Present legal provisions.—The currency law of June 3,1931, which
became effective September 9, 1931, governs the monetary use of
silver. It provides for silver coins as shown in the following table:
Denomination

5 francs. .
2 francs
1 franc.. .
Yi franc- . .

. _ _ _
_ _ _ _ _

Fineness

_

_ __
. __

0.835
.835
.835
.835

Gross
weight

Legal
tender
limit

Grams
15.0
10.0
5.0
2.5

Francs
100
100
100
100

According to article 2 of the law of 1931, coinage is made the
prerogative of the Federal Government, which is charged with the
duty to "maintain the supply of federal money
Article 6 states
that the public offices (caisse publiques) of the confederation and
cantons, as also the Swiss National Bank, must accept all forms of
Swiss money without limit as to amount.
The amount of silver coin in circulation is governed by articles 8
and 10, which read:
ART. 8. The federal treasury puts into circulation the necessary amounts
of silver, nickel, and bronze money, and withdraws amounts deemed to be
superfluous.
It creates a reserve of such moneys as may be considered necessary.
ART. 10. The federal budget shall state the amount of each metal to be
minted into currency.

Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation.—
In view of article 10, the minting of additional silver cannot take
place without new legislation. Minted coin now in the reserve, however, may be put into circulation without new legislation.
Attitude toward silver.—For the present the above-mentioned reserve consists of " at least 10,000,000 francs in nickel and silver."
The sum as now determined cannot be increased without an amendment to the law, and there is no early prospect of such an amendment.
In determining the coinage from year to year the confederation relies
upon the advice of the Swiss National Bank.
When the measure to reduce the large 5-franc pieces to their present size was under consideration, the question was also debated of
substituting some other metal for silver in some of the smaller coins.
The mere suggestion aroused a storm of protest, the general public
interpreting the plan as one to lessen the value of their money.
Eather than enter into an elaborate educational campaign, the authorities thought it wiser to drop this suggestion, and silver 2-franc,
1-franc, and half-franc coins remain in circulation.
Present employment of silver.—Silver currency in circulation in
Switzerland at the end of 1931 amounted to 158,979,505 Swiss francs,
subdivided as follows:




117 m o n e t a r y

use

of

silver

in"

19 3 3
Francs

5-franc pieces, large
5-franc pieces, small
2-franc pieces
1-franc pieces
-franc pieces

69, 363, 300
17,600,000
26, 788, 772
29, 751, 834
15, 475, 599

Total

158, 979, 505

The figures for 1932 will not be released until sometime in July.
It is not believed, however, that they will materially differ from
those for 1931. In 1929 silver coin in circulation totaled 150,599,006
Swiss francs, and in 1930, 149,861,505 francs. That the 1931 figure
showed an increase was probably due to the issuance of the new
small 5-franc pieces, and also to the fact that nationals of neighboring countries, fearing that their currencies would be divorced from
gold, took to hoarding Swiss notes, following which, the Swiss
Government increased the coinage of silver.
Commercial Attache Donald Renshaw, in March 1933, reported
that neither the national bank nor the federal treasury had any
appreciable amount of bar silver. The mint holds a certain necessary
amount for normal coinage purposes and industrial concerns usually
have some silver on hand. It is generally considered, however, that
neither of these holdings is large, as the Government only lately
reduced the size of the 5-franc piece, while the demand for silver
for watch cases has greatly decreased, due to the comparative inactivity of the watch-making industry.
Imports of silver into Switzerland during the past 3 years were
as follows, the 1931 increase being very likely attributable to the
coinage operations mentioned above: 1930, 41,231 kilograms; 1931,
73,935 kilograms ; and 1932, 44,608 kilograms.
SYRIA 8
The monetary unit is the Syrian pound, divided into 100 piasters.
The Syrian pound has a par value of approximately $0.7536, i.e., 20
French francs.

Present legal provisions.—Silver coinage is governed by the decree
issued by the French high commissioner on April 16, 1929. That
decree limits the circulation of silver to 1,250,000 Syrian pounds, and
its legal tender to 15 Syrian pounds.9 The following specifications
appear in the decree:
Denomination

50 piasters _ _
25 piasters
10piasters

__
_

__

__
_

___

Fineness

_

-

-

__ __

0.680
.680
.680

Gross
weight
Grams

10
5
2

The above coins made their appearance in 1930.
French mandates in the levant include: the Lebanese Republic, Syria, the Government
of Latakia, and the Government of Jebel Druze.
The Sandjak du Alexandrette is administered by Syria.
9 The coins are acceptable at Government offices without limit.
8




118

monetary "use of

silver

in

19 3 3 118

A report submitted to this bureau in 1930 stated:
Decree No. 844, of May 10, 1921, prohibits the exportation of gold, silver, or
platinum in the form of coin or bullion. This decree was modified by Decree
No. 2040 of July 23, 1928, authorizing the financial adviser of the French High
Commission to issue special permits covering such exportation. It is reported
that the Banque de Syrie has exported large amounts of old Turkish gold and
silver coins in an attempt to increase the circulation of Syrian paper currency.
The importation of foreign silver currencies, including old Turkish silver coins,
is prohibited except in amounts not greater than five Syrian pounds when
brought in by visitors.

Possibility of increased use of silver ivithout new legislation.—
Since the present circulation of Syrian silver coins reaches the maximum mentioned in the 1929 decree, a new decree would be necessary
were more silver coin to be issued.
Attitude toivard silver.—No prospective legislation has been reported which wTould affect the monetary use of silver in Syria,
except, possibly, in connection with the old Turkish silver coins in
the country. It is estimated that the equivalent of 4,000,000 Syrian
pounds in old Turkish silver coins are in circulation in Syria, and
it is probable that they will be demonetized and replaced by Syrian
silver coins. Some Damascus piasters of silver were still in circulation in 1930.
The population shows a marked preference for silver coins but
the Banque de Syrie et du Grand Liban is said to prefer paper.
The attitude of the French high commissioner toward silver money
will doubtless continue to be dictated by that of the French Government. That the maximum issue of Syrian silver was set as high
as 1,250,000 pounds is explained by the long-standing popularity of
metallic money. The new coins were designed to serve until the
populace became accustomed to the paper money.
Present employment of silver.—Silver in circulation consists of
Syrian coin to a total face value of 1,250,000 Syrian pounds, and
Turkish silver coin estimated to total 4,000,000 Syrian pounds in
value.10 (The latter coins at present circulate at their value as
bullion.) These figures compare with a note circulation of 12,400,000 Syrian pounds at the beginning of September 1932.11
More detailed earlier figures, applying to the end of 1931, were
reported to the United States Bureau of the Mint as follows: Silver
in treasury, 57,610 Syrian pounds; in banks, 120,515; and in circulation, 1,053,675.
Some French money circulates in Syria.
TAIWAN

The currency laws of Japan apply to Taiwan.
TIBET
The official monetary unit is the silver tang-ka, which has no
fixed par value in terms of gold.

There are no formal coinage laws. The tang-ka varies in weight,
but is generally regarded as equivalent to 0.015 ounce (troy) of sil10 They are in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, and 20 Turkish piasters, all 0.830 fine and
weighing, respectively, 24.055, 12.028, 6.014, 2.405, and 1.203 grams.
11 The note-issue figure represented an increase of 4,775,000 Syrian pounds since 1929,
due to the substitution of notes for Turkish gold coins in circulation.




119 m o n e t a r y

use

of

silver

in"

19 3 3

ver. Six kinds of tang-ka are reported to be in current use. No
fractional silver coins are issued, change being made by cutting up
tang-ka coins, the money changer taking his commission by clipping
a portion of the fractional pieces. The tang-ka has no standard fineness.
In northern and eastern Tibet, Chinese 50-tael shoes of silver and
other ingots are in use, being subdivided in various ways when
required. Along the borders of Kaiisu the use of Chinese coins is
becoming quite common. In southern and central Tibet, British
Indian coins are commonly used, circulating at 3 tang-kas per rupee.
A silver rupee coin, coined in China during the Tsing dynasty,
also circulates in Tibet.
TRAVANCORE
The monetary unit is the Sirkar rupee, divided into quarters and
sevenths. The Sirkar rupee has a par value of approximately
$0,359.

The Sirkar rupee was established by royal, proclamation on November 15, 1913, but has never been minted, the British Indian rupee
being circulated instead. Subsidiary silver coins are minted as follows: Half-rupee, weighing 82 38/61 grains (troy); quarter-rupee,
weighing 41 19/61 grains; and the fanam (1/7 rupee), weighing
23 37/61 grains. These coins are all 0.950 fine.
The British Indian rupee is legal tender in any amount, and the
corresponding half- and quarter-rupee and 2-anna silver pieces are
legal tender in amounts not over 1 rupee. The Travancore silver
half-rupee, quarter-rupee, and seventh-rupee are legal tender in payments of 2 rupees or less.
TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
The monetary unit is the pound sterling, divided into 20 shillings
of 12 pence each. The par value of the pound sterling is approximaely 4.8666 12 •

Present legal provisions.—The British coinage system applies to
Trinidad and Tobago.
Present employment of silver.—In addition to British currency,
the West Indian dollar circulates in the form of paper notes. The
West Indian dollar has a fixed value of 4 shillings 2 pence sterling.
British Guiana 4-pence silver pieces also circulate.
The United States Bureau of the Mint gives the stock of monetary silver in Trinidad at the end of 1930 as equivalent to $917,000
United States currency.
TUNISIA
The monetary unit is the Tunisian or Algerian franc, divided
into 100 centimes. The franc has a par value of approximately
$0.0392.

Present legal provisions.—There is no legal provision for the circulation of silver in Tunisia. It appears that silver coins will be
issued in Tunisia at the same time as in France. (See France.)
According to the report of the French Commission for the Control
12 The British West Indies dollar, a unit of account equivalent to 4 shillings 2 pence,
is in use, but it is not coined.




120

monetary

use

of

silver

in

19 3 3

of the Monetary Circulation, published in the Journal Officiel of
February 2, 1932, some silver coins were struck for Tunisia during
1931. They consisted of fifty-three 20-franc pieces and one thousand
one hundred and three 10-franc pieces. The fineness of the 20-franc
pieces was found to be 0.6823 and that of the 10-franc pieces 0.682.
TURKEY
The monetary unit is the Turkish piaster, divided into 40 paras.
The piaster has a par value of approximately $0.0440. One hundred piasters equal 1 Turkish pound, which by convention is the
unit quoted in the foreign-exchange market.

Present legal provisions.—Although the provisions of the currency regulations relating to silver coins, inherited by the republican
regime from the Ottoman Empire, have not been modified or
amended, silver coins no longer circulate as legal currency. They
are not accepted for the payment of taxes or for customs duties.
In other words, silver coins are legal tender (to 3 Turkish pounds)
de jure, but not de facto.
The old Turkish coins were as follows:
Denomination

Fineness

20 piasters (1 medjidie)
10 piasters
5 piasters

0.830
.830

Gross
weight
Grams

24.0550
12.0275
6. 0138

Denomination

2 piasters.
1 piaster..
Yi piaster

Fineness

.830
.830
.830

Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation.—
It is believed that new legislation would be necessary before silver
coins could be issued.
Attitude toward silver.—According to a report from Commercial
Attache Julian E. Gillespie, dated January 11, 1933, silver coins
will shortly be minted and put into circulation *under a project of
law prepared by the Ministry of Finance. Specific information is
not available, but it is understood that the Government desires to
withdraw from circulation the 1-pound notes and some of the subsidiary coins, such as the 5- and 10-piaster bronze pieces, and replace
them with silver coins. It is stated that the bulk of the silver coins
to be minted will be 1-pound pieces and that the total issue will be
about 24,000,000 Turkish pounds.
When the paper currency now in circulation was printed in 1928,
24,591,218 1-pound notes were put in circulation. Subsidiary bronze
coins have been struck to the amount of approximately 3,750,000
Turkish pounds. There is no estimate of 1-pound notes and subsidiary coins actually in circulation, but it is held that the proposed issue of 24,000,000 Turkish pounds in silver will serve to
replace the notes and coins the Government desires to retire.
The proposal is to issue silver coins in denominations of 25, 50,
and 100 piasters; also new bronze coins in denominations of 10
and 20 paras.
Present employment of silver.—Following the issuance of paper
currency in 1914, silver and gold coins disappeared from circula-




121 m o n e t a r y

use

of

s i l v e r IN" 19 3 3

tion. Since then old Turkish silver and gold coins have been
accepted by banks and bullion dealers at their bullion value only.
Old Turkish coins are to be found circulating in parts of Greece
and southern Yugoslavia, Iraq, Syria, and Greek and Italian islands
formerly part of the Turkish Empire.
Circulation of foreign silver coins is prohibited by law.
UNION OF SOVIET SOCIALIST REPUBLICS (RUSSIA)
The monetary unit is the chervonets, consisting of 10 rubles.
The chervonets has a par value of approximately $5.1457.

Present legal provisions.—The coinage is governed by the decree
of February 22, 1924, which provided for the issuance of new silver
coins of the same weight and fineness -as the former Tsarist silver
coins, and for the demonetization of the latter. The following are
the silver coins specified:
Denomination

1 ruble 1
50 kopeks
20 kopeks
15 kopeks
10 kopeks _

-

_-

_

Fineness

-

_

-

0.900
.900
.500
.500
.500

Gross
weight

Legal
tender
limit

Grams

Rubles

20.0
10.0
3.6
2.7
1.8

25
25
3
3
3

11 ruble equals 100 kopeks.

The note reserve may include silver.13
The Soviet foreign trade monopoly controls the exportation and
importation of silver, as it does that of all commodities. No movement can legally take place except through Government channels.
Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation.—
It would be a relatively easy matter for the Government to increase
the issuance of silver.
Attitude toward silver.—It is unlikely that more silver money will
be issued in the near future.
Present employment of silver.—The coins provided for in the 1924
legislation circulated freely until 1928 or early 1929, when the increase of the chervonets note circulation and the depreciation thereof
forced the silver currency into hiding. Subsequently an attempt
was made by the Government to compel hoarders of silver coins to
release them, and a number of arrests were reported on this score.
Apparently the Government had considerable success in this effort,
since it has been reported that a large proportion of the heavy silver
shipments to Germany in 1932 consisted of demonetized silver
" which the Soviet Government had been accumulating for some
years." In January 1933 it was reported from Paris that the Torgsin shops in Russia—shops maintained by the Government for those
able to make purchases with foreign currency—had decided to accept from the native population payments in silver or gold coin,
on a bullion basis, with the prices of their goods fixed at so many
grams or ounces of silver or gold.
13

Federal Reserve Bulletin, July 1932, p. 438.




122

monetary "use of

silver

IN

19 3 3 122

The Paris report suggested that the acceptance of silver implied
that no more gold, except possibly in the form of jewelry, is in the
hands of the people. That there is little silver may be deduced from
the fact that a decree, issued early in 1932, provides for the minting of nickel coins, in denominations of 10, 15, and 20 kopecks, to
be " accepted at par with the silver coins already in circulation."
This decree was referred to in a Soviet publication of March 16,
1932.
At the end of 1931 silver coins in circulation totaled 267,600,000
rubles, comparing with 43,900,000 rubles of minor coin and 5,361,900,000 rubles of paper money.14 Since June 1, 1932, no circulation
figures of any kind have been published by the Soviet Government.
UNION OF SOUTH AFRICA 1 5
The monetary unit of the Union is the South African pound,
divided into 20 shillings of 12 pence each. The South African
pound has a par value of approximately $4.8666.

Present legal provisions.—The coinage act (no. 31) of 1922 provides for silver coins 0.800 fine; otherwise they must conform to
the specifications in force in the United Kingdom. As in the United
Kingdom, silver coins are legal tender in payments not exceeding
40 shillings. Following is a description of the Union's silver coins.
Denomination

Half crown
Florin— _ _ _
Shilling.
Sixpence
Threepence

_ _

_
..

Fineness

____

_

_

0.800
.800
.800
.800
.800

Gross
weight
Grams

14.1380
11.3104
5. 6552
2. 8276
1.4138

By imperial proclamation of December 14, 1922, there was established at Pretoria a branch of the royal mint. Coins other than
gold struck at Pretoria bear distinctive designs.
According to an arrangement made in 1922, quantities of British
Imperial silver coins have been wtihdrawn from circulation in the
Union.16
The Treasury Department of the Union Government, under date
of November 17, 1932, announced the revocation of the royal proclamation of January 13, 1911, which applied to the Union a certain
part of the British coinage act of 1870, as amended by section 2,
and the schedule of the coinage act, 1891, with modifications, and
made British silver coins legal tender in the Union. By the terms
of Government notice no. 1507, dated November 18, 1932, all British
silver coins—whether of 0.925 or 0.500 fineness—were to be demonetized and withdrawn from circulation in the Union of South Africa
by January 15, 1933.
The proviso (of subsection 1 of section 1 of the regulations framed
under subsection 1 of section 1 of the finance emergency regula14 According to Moscow Economic Life, No. 2 of Jan. 2, 1932, and Moscow Bulletin of
Financial and Economic Legislation, 1932, No. 5.
15 Includes Transvaal, Cape of Good Hope, Orange Free State, and Natal.
See Southwest Africa, which is a mandate of the Union of South Africa.
16 See Report of the Director of the United States Mint, 1924, p. 204.




monetary

use

of

silver

in

193 3

123

tions act, 1931, published under Government Notice No. 1150 of
Sept. 2, 1932) whereby any person entering the Union as a bona fide
traveler within a period of 14 days prior to the first-mentioned
entry, was permitted to bring into the Union a quantity of British
silver coin not exceeding 40 shillings, has been repealed. At present, therefore, while there is no ban on the importation of British
silver coin, it can be disposed of only through the banks at a discount. According to Assistant Trade Commissioner Du Wayne C.
Clark, of Johannesburg (Nov. 20, 1932), the total face value of
the coins to be retired under the above-described announcement
was £1,250,000.
The South African Eeserve Bank is expected to keep a 40 percent
gold reserve against notes, deposits, and bills payable, but may
include in the reserve silver not exceeding 8 percent of the deposits
and bills payable.17
Attitude toward silver.—It is evidently the policy of the Government to use silver in the currency system only as subsidiary coinage.
Present employment of silver.—At the end of 1931 the monetary
stock of the Union included £1,600,000 in silver coin in circulation,
£545,137 in home banks, and £405,455 in the treasury and central
bank. The total just given compares with £8,624,477 representing
gold coin and bullion and £9,804,965 representing note issue on the
same date.
Insignificant quantities of coins of the former German East
Africa, and Portuguese East Africa, and of Australia were, in
1930, reported in circulation in the Union of South Africa; of these,
only the Australian coins were generally accepted. The Australian
coins were reported to circulate mainly in coastal ports.
Regarding the demonetization in South Africa of British silver
coins, the Johannesburg Sunday Times recently pointed out that
the Union Government was culling out British coins of 0.925 fineness and reminting them into South African coins 0.500 fine. The
mint has shipped great quantities of British 0.500-fine silver coins to
the United Kingdom at a profit.
UNITED KINGDOM
The monetary unit is the pound sterling, divided into 20 shillings
of 12 pence each. The par value of the pound sterling is approximately $4.8666.

Present legal provisions.—The silver coinage of the United Kingdom is regulated by the coinage acts of 1870, 1891, and 1920, and
by the currency act of 1928.
The 1870 law provided for subsidiary silver coins, 0.925 fine, in
10 denominations, and made them legal tender in payments not
exceeding 40 shillings. It provided (sec. 9) funds for the purchase
of bullion to supply coin for the public service. Under the act
(sec. 11) the Government was empowered to alter the coinage regulations in certain respects at any time by royal proclamation. Such
proclamations may not increase the original legal tender provision.
The 1891 act did not effect any change in the use of silver but
simply repeated the schedule of silver coins given in the 1870 act.
17

Federal Reserve Bulletin, July 1932, p. 438.
172120—33




9

124

monetary "use of

silver

in

19 3 3 124

The 1920 act reduced the fineness of the silver coins from 0.925 to
0.500, and increased the remedy allowance from 0.004 to 0.005.
As to the inclusion of silver currency in the monetary reserves
of the Bank of England, the act of 1928 provides that not over
£5,500,000 in silver may be held in the issue department of the
Bank of England.
The silver coins of the United Kingdom have the following gross
weights in grams: Crown, 28.2759; half crown, 14.1380; florin,
11.3104; shilling, 5.6552; sixpence, 2.8276; fourpence,18 1.8851; threepence, 1.4138; twopence,18 0.9425; penny,18 0.4713.
Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation.—•
From an examination of the several coinage acts it appears that
the silver coinage may be increased only when there is a need for it,
under the provisions of section 9 of the 1870 act. The prerogative
of the Throne, as outlined in section 11 of the same act, does not
give the Crown authority to change the fineness of the silver coins,
but authorizes it to " regulate any matters relative to the coinage
and the mint within the present prerogative of the Crown which are
not provided for by this act."
The lowest denomination bank note is the 10-shilling note, and
it is extremely unlikely that it would be replaced by silver. The
growing use of coin machines may affect certain denominations of
silver coins, but not the circulation of silver as a whole.
Attitude toward silver.—No legislation involving silver coinage
is contemplated and a change in the law could be expected only in
the event of an increase in the price of silver or a depreciation of
British exchange sufficient to make profitable the melting of the
silver coins. The British Government has given no indication of
favoring the increased use of silver as currency. In private circles
there has been some agitation for the remonetization of silver, but it
is apparently making no headway. Pixley and Abell's Annual Circular for 1932 commented as follows:
As was the case in 1931, many well-meant efforts were made in 1932 to bring
the question of the remonetization of silver to the fore whenever there was
an Imperial or international conference in prospect, but these efforts and the
little success which has so far attended them had less effect in moving prices
than of old, due possibly to the fact that the speculative element in the market
is becoming increasingly sceptical of results when such proposals are put forward. Moreover, the reply of the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Commons
on November 8 to Sir Robert Home's plea for the remonetization of silver
indicated sufficiently clearly that the Government has little faith in the efficacy
of this suggested remedy, either in increasing our trade with India and China
or in increasing the world's available supplies of gold to any appreciable extent.
The chancellor also added that he was sure they would not be able to get the
agreement of all the central banks to such a scheme of remonetization. * * *
It appears doubtful therefore whether any sharp artificial rise in price would
benefit anyone for some time, except those who already have large stocks of
silver for immediate disposal, such, for instance, as the Governments of India
or Spain.

Present employment of silver.—Recent statistics on the circulation of silver coins are not available. On December 30, 1931, silver
in circulation was reported as totaling £49,000,000. According to
the Bank of England's statistical summary, the " circulation " of
all coins (bronze, silver, and gold) was £70,000,000 in October 1932.
18

Maundy money.




125 m o n e t a r y

use

of

silver

in"

19 3 3

The corresponding figure in January 1932, was £78,000,000. The
decline thereafter may be chiefly explained by the " gold rush,"
which resulted in the widespread sale of gold sovereigns for their
bullion content.
At the end of June 1931 the banks of Great Britain, Ireland, and
the Irish Free State—the issue department of the Bank of England
excluded—held £15,789,208 in silver coin.
Of the 10 denominations of silver coins specified in the law, 5
are not in active circulation. The remaining 5 are the half crown
(2 y2 shillings), florin (2 shillings), shilling, sixpence, and
threepence.
The Bank of England's statement for January 18, 1933, showed
£3,715,633 of silver coin in its issue department. This compares
with a note issue of £394,793,579, of which £40,129,851 was held in
the banking department.
The following excerpts from a report prepared in the American
consulate in June 1932 are of interest in connection with the subject
of this bulletin.
Since 1920 the British Government has bought no silver, but has sold about
half the surplus silver which it has gained by the reduction in the fineness,
and by a decrease in the circulation, of silver coins.
From the old silver of 0.925 fineness, withdrawn from circulation between
1920 and 1930, amounting to £55,709,000 in face value, new coinage of 0.500
fineness has been minted to the nominal value of £43,685,000. It was estimated in 1920 that the circulation of silver coinage in this country was about
£60,000,000—so that the greater part of that coinage has now been replaced.
According to the sixty-first annual report of the Deputy Master and Comptroller of the Royal Mint for 1930, the weight of the silver coinage withdrawn
during the 10 years was about 6,000 tons. One can estimate the approximate
weight of silver in this amount, which would be about 5,550 tons, or 181,258,560
ounces. The weight of the new coins minted is given in the above-mentioned
report as about 4,800 tons. Estimating from this figure, it would appear that
the silver content, which would be about 2,400 tons, represents about 78,382,080
ounces. Thus there appears to have been, during the 10 years, a surplus
balance of about 3,150 tons, or about 102,876,480 ounces. It should be noted
that a part of this balance is due to a net reduction in the nominal value
of the silver coinage in circulation. With reference to this point, the
above-mentioned report states as follows:
" The difference between the face value of the withdrawals and the issues—
£12,000,000—has been entirely financed by the sale of surplus bullion, with
a margin over for surrender to the Treasury."
The figures include issues to and withdrawals from the Dominions and
colonies. Nearly £42,000,000 of the £43,685,000 was issued in the United
Kingdom.
With regard to the disposal of the balance, the report makes the following
statement:
" The silver coin withdrawn from circulation in the Dominions during the
period 1920-30 has for the most part been melted in the local branch mints, and
the resultant bullion sold to the Dominion Government concerned. Considerable
quantities of the surplus bullion resulting from the conversion into lower-grade
silver in this country have been used for coinage undertaken for various colonial
and foreign governments. A further quantity—some 65,000,000 standard
ounces—has been converted into ingots in the London Mint and disposed of
on the market as bullion."
Thus it would appear that about half of the surplus silver during the period
has been sold in the open market, and the remainder used in ways for which
new silver mi'ght have been purchased had this surplus not been available.
I estimate that the amount of silver1 which would be required to restore the
new silver coinage of 0.500 fineness to the old fineness of 0.925, would be approximately 65,977,288 ounces; and that the amount which would be required to
replace it with coinage of nine tenths fineness, approximately 62,862,428 ounces.




126

monetary "use of

silver

in

19 3 3 126

A press report from Wellington on April 19 stated that New
Zealand banks had received notice from London that the Bank of
England would no longer accept at par British silver coins shipped
from New Zealand or Australia.
UNITED STATES 19
The monetary unit is the dollar, divided into 100 cents.

Present legal provisions.—United States silver coinage, none of
which is limited legal tender, consists of the standard silver dollar,
and subsidiary silver coins. To an important degree, silver circulates by proxy in the form of silver certificates. Details of the
silver dollars under each are listed in the table following: 21
Gross weight
Denomination

Grams
0.900
.900
.900
.900

Dollar
Half dollar
_
Quarter dollar. _
Dime (one tenth dollar)

Silver content

Fineness
Grains

26.7296
12. 5000
6. 2500
2. 5000

412. 5000
192.9045
96. 4522
38. 5809

Grams j Grains
i
24.0566
11.2500
5. 6250
2. 2500

371. 2500
173. 6140
86. 8070
34.7228

The standard silver dollar has been coined under various acts, in
accordance with specifications set down in the law of January 18,
1837. The principal laws referred to and the amount of coinage of
silver dollars under which are listed in the table following: 21
Authorizing act

Apr. 2, 1792, total..

Standard
weight

Grains

416

Standard
fineness

0. 8924

From 1792 to 1805..
During 1836
Jan. 18, 1837
From 1839 to Feb. 12, 1873_

Coined to
Dec. 31, 1931
(value)

$1, 440, 517
1, 439, 517
1,000

1

412K

6, 590, 721

Feb. 28, 1878

412 K

.900

378,166, 793

July 14, 1890, total.

412^

.900

187,027, 345

1890 to date of repeal of purchasing clause of Sherman Act,
Oct. 31, 1893
Nov. 1, 1893, to June 13,1898
June 13, 1898, war revenue bill

36, 087, 285
42,139,872
108,800,188

Mar. 3, 1891 (trade dollar conversion)

412^

.900

5, 078,472

Apr. 23,1918, Pittman Act replacement, total.

412 X

.900

270, 232, 722

Old design, since Feb. 21, 1921
"Peace" design, since Dec. 21,1921

86, 730,000
183, 502, 722

Total value and pieces
Mar. 31, 1899, Lafayette commemorative, total..

848, 536, 570
412^

.900

i Discontinued by act of Feb. 12, 1873.
NOTE—Silver-dollar coinage was suspended from 1806 to 1835 and from 1874 to 1877. The bullion value
of the dollar was greater than its face value for a considerable number of years prior to 1878.
19 Including Alaska, Territory of Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Midway and Wake Islands, Guam,
Yap, and American Samoa.
20 From Monetary Units and Coinage Systems of the Principal Countries of the World,
a

As* shown in Report of the Director of the Mint, 1932, p. 88.




127 m o n e t a r y

use

of

s i l v e r IN"

19 3 3

The above specifications of the present half-dollar and quarterdollar and 10-cent coins are as set forth in the act of February 12,
1873. Below is given the total coinage of silver, including trade
dollars, commemorative issues, and discontinued denominations, from
1793 to the end of 1931.22
Total coined
(millions)
Denomination
Pieces

1 884. 5
462.9
653.1
1.4
1, 397. 0

Dollar
_
Half dollar
Quarter dollar
20 c e n t s . 10 cents (dime)
1

Total coined
(millions)
Denomination

Value
Dollars

1 884. 6
231.5
163.3
2
()
139.7

Pieces

Half dime
3 cents _ _
Total silver.__

Including trade dollars to a total of 35,965,924.

97.6
42.7
3, 539. 3

Value
Dollars

4.9
1.3

1,425.4

2 $271,000.

Details of American coinage history as affecting the present monetary use of silver are given by the Bureau of the Mint as follows :23
The act of February 12, 1873, provided silver coins * * * a trade dollar;
a half dollar, or 50-cent piece; a quarter dollar; and a 10-cent piece; the
weight of the trade dollar to be 420 grains (troy) ; the half dollar, 12y2 grams;
the quarter dollar and the dime, respectively, one half and one fifth of the
weight of the half dollar. Owners of silver bullion were allowed to deposit it
at any mint of the United States to be formed into bars or into trade dollars
and no deposit of silver for other coinage was to be received.
Section 2 of the joint resolution of July 22, 1876, recited that the trade dollar
should not thereafter be legal tender and that the Secretary of the Treasury
should be authorized to limit the coinage of the same to an amount sufficient
to meet the export demand for it. The law of March 3, 1887, retired the trade
dollar and discontinued its coinage.
The act of February 28, 1878 [popularly known as the Bland-Allison Act],
directed the coinage of silver dollars of the weight of 412% grains (troy), of
standard silver, as provided in the act of January 18, 1837, and that such coins,
with all standard silver dollars theretofore coined should be legal tender at
their nominal value for all debts and dues, public and private, except where
otherwise expressly stipulated in the contract. The Secretary of the Treasury
was authorized and directed by the first section of the act to purchase from
time to time silver bullion at the market price thereof not less than $2,000,000
worth nor more than $4,000,000' worth per month, and to cause the same to be
coined monthly, as fast as purchased, into such dollars.
A subsequent act, that of July 14, 1890 [popularly known as the Sherman
Act], provided that the Secretary of the Treasury should purchase silver bullion
to the aggregate amount of 4,500,000 ounces, or so much thereof as might be
offered, each month, at the market price thereof, not exceeding $1 for 371.25
grains of pure silver, and to issue in payment thereof Treasury notes of the
Un'tecl States, such notes to be redeemable by the Government, on demand, in
coin, and to be legal tender in payment of all debts, public and private, except
where otherwise expressly stipulated in the contract. The act directed the
Secretary of the Treasury to coin each month 2,000,000 ounces of the silver
bullion purchased under the provisions of the act into standard silver dollars
until the 1st day of July, 1891, and thereafter as much as might be necessary
to provide for the redemption of the Treasury notes issued under the act. The
purchasing clause of the act of July 14, 1890, was repealed by the act of
November 1, 1893.
Ibid, op. 90 and 99.
23 Monetary Units and Coinage Systems of the Principal Countries of the World, 1929,
pp. 13-14.
22




128

monetary "use of

silver

in

19 3 3 128

The law of March 14, 1900, declares that the dollar, consisting of 25.8 grains
of gold 0.900 fine, " shall be the standard unit of value " and makes it the
duty of the Secretary of the Treasury to maintain at a parity of value (at an
equality of purchasing power) with this standard all forms of money issued
or coined by the United States. Section 26 of the Federal Reserve Act of December 23, 1913, reaffirms such parity policy and authorizes the Secretary of the
Treasury to borrow or buy gold, if necessary, in order to maintain such parity.

Further details of interest in connection with the silver certificates
and treasury notes is given as follows :24
Silver certificates.—The act of February 28, 1878, authorizing the issue of
standard silver dollars, provided that any holder of such dollars might deposit
them in sums not less than $10 with the Treasurer or any Assistant Treasurer
of the United States and receive certificates therefor, in denominations not less
than $10, said certificates to be receivable for customs, taxes, and all public
dues. The act of August 4, 1886, authorized the issue of the smaller denominations of $1, $2, and $5. The act of March 14, 1900, provided that thereafter
the issue of silver certificates should be limited to the denominations of $10
and under, except that 10 percent of the total volume of such certificates, in
the discretion of the Secretary of the Treasury, may be issued in denominations
of $20, $50, and $100. Neither silver certificates nor silver dollars are redeemable in gold. Silver certificates have largely taken the place in circulation
of the standard silver dollars which they represent; the silver dollars are held
for redemption of the certificates on demand.
Treasury notes of 1890.—It was provided in the 1890 act that when the notes
should be redeemed or received for dues they might be reissued, but that no
greater or less amount of such notes should be " outstanding at any time than
the cost of the silver bullion and the standard silver dollars coined therefrom,
then held in the Treasury, purchased by such notes."
When the authority for the purchase of silver bullion under this act was
repealed by the act of November 1, 1893, the Government had purchased
168,674,682.53 fine ounces, at a cost of $155,931,002, for which Treasury notes
were issued. Treasury notes redeemed are canceled and retired in accordance
with the requirements of the act of 1890. Sections 5 and 8 of the act of March
14, 1900, provide for the cancelation and retirement of Treasury notes to an
amount equal to the coinage of standard silver dollars and subsidiary silver
from the bullion purchased with such notes. They are secured by a reserve
of an equal amount of silver dollars held in the Treasury for their redemption,
and the act of March 14, 1900, provides for their redemption in gold held in the
gold reserve fund.

It may be added that, apart from a 100-percent reserve in silver dollars, the Treasury notes of 1890 are also secured by the $156,039,088
gold reserve held as security for United States notes.
The standard silver dollar is unlimited legal tender unless otherwise
provided in the contract. The other silver coins are legal tender for
payments not exceeding $10, in accordance with the Act of June 9,
1879. The following information on the legal tender of silver coin,
etc., is from the Bureau of the Mint: 25
Standard silver dollars are legal tender at their nominal or face value in
payment of all debts, public and private, without regard to the amount, except
where otherwise expressly stipulated in the contract. Being standard money,
standard silver dollars are not redeemable, but may be exchanged for other
forms of money particularly silver certificates.
Silver certificates are not legal tender, but are receivable for all public dues
and when so received may be reissued, and they may be held by Federal reserve
and National banks as lawful reserve. Silver certificates are receipts for actual
standard silver dollars held in the Treasury and are redeemable, on demand, in
such dollars only. They may be presented for redemption to the Treasurer of
the United States or to any Federal Reserve bank or branch.
24 Monetary Units and Coinage Systems of the Principal Countries of the World, 1929,
pp. 1 6 - 1 8 .
25 Monetary Units and Coinage Systems of the Principal Countries of the World, 1929,
p. 12. For detailed history of American coinage legislation} see Fractional Money, bv
Neil Carothers (New York, 1 9 3 0 ) .




129 m o n e t a r y

use

of

silver

in"

19 3 3

Treasury notes of 1890 (the act of July 14) are legal tender for all debts,
public and private, except where otherwise expressly stipulated in the contract.
They are redeemable in United States gold coin or in standard silver dollars, at
the option of the holder, by the Treasurer of the United States or any Federal
Reserve bank. When received by the Treasurer they are canceled and retired.
$1,275,500 remained outstanding October 31, 1929.
United States notes (also known as greenbacks or legal tenders) are legal
tender for all debts, public and private, except duties on imports and interest
on the public debt. Since the resumption of specie payments January 1, 1879,
these notes have been accepted in payment of customs dues. They are redeemable in United States gold coin and will be received for redemption by the
Treasurer of the United States or by any Federal Reserve bank or branch. The
amount outstanding remains constant at $346,681,016.
Subsidiary silver coins (50 cents, 25 cents, 10 cents) are legal tender for
amounts not exceeding $10 in one payment. They may be presented in sums
or multiples of $20 to the Treasurer of the United States, or Federal Reserve
banks or branches, for redemption or exchange for lawful money.

The last important legislation affecting silver coinage in the United
States was the act of April 23, 1918, popularly referred to as the
Pittman Act. This act authorized the Secretary of the Treasury to
retire silver certificates and concurrently melt or break up or sell as
bullion the silver represented up to a limit of 250,000,000 standard
silver dollars. The mint, it was provided, was to purchase silver,
the product of United States mines and reduction works, equal to
the amount necessary to replace the silver dollars so melted or
broken up, the purchase to be made within the then existing regulations of the mint at $1 per fine ounce.
In pursuance of the terms of the act, the Treasury immediatly sold
to the Government of Great Britain slightly over 200,000,000 fine
ounces. The melting of the necessary quantity of dollars, 259,121,554,
was completed in May 1919. The bullion was sold at $1 plus a charge
to cover the cost of melting, recoining, and other expenditures. In
addition to this amount, 11,111,168 standard silver dollars were, in
accordance with the act, melted and assigned for subsidiary silver
coinage. However, this transaction was subsequently canceled and
the silver dollars so melted were replaced with silver dollars coined
from silver in kind.
The coinage of silver dollars out of American silver purchased
under the terms of the act took place from 1921 to 1928. A total of
270,232,722 dollars were so minted.26
Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation.—No
new legislation is required for the purchase of silver for the manufacture of necessary fractional coins. The Bureau of the Mint has
stated :27
There are no limits on the amounts of the several denominations of coin
that may be issued, except as to silver dollars, which may be issued only in
amounts authorized by specific legislative acts. No silver dollars have been
coined since 1904 except for replacing (1921 and 1928) an equivalent number
destroyed under the act of April 23, 1918, for use as bullion to meet conditions
brought about by the World War then in progress.

• Section 335 of title 31 of the United States Code reads as follows:
Purchase of bulilion for silver coinage; silver-profit fund.—In order to procure bullion for the silver coinage authorized by this chapter, other than the
28 For other details of the Pittman Act see annual report of the Treasury on the state
of the finances for the fiscal year ended June 30, 1918, pp. 1 6 0 - 1 6 3 ; and hearings before
the subcommittee of the Commission of Gold and Silver Inquiry, United States Senate,
1923, serial I, " Silver Purchases Under the Pittman Act."
27 Monetary Units and Coinage Systems of the Principal Countries of the World, 1929.
p. 10.




130

monetary "use of

silver

in

19 3 3 130

silver dollar, the superintendents, with the approval of the Director of the
Mint, as to price, terms, and quantity, shall purchase such bullion with the
bullion fund * * *.

The above substantially states the provisions of section 3526,
Revised Statutes, although the* wording is somewhat different; it
takes into consideration certain provisions of section 3513, Revised
Statutes, and modifications of more recent laws. There is no limitation on the amount of subsidiary silver coin that may be issued,
but the practice of the Treasury is to supply the demands of the
general public, as reflected by requisitions for such coin reaching
the Treasury offices through the banks.
Present employ merit of silver.—The location, ownership, and per
capita circulation of silver and other forms of currency in the United
States at the end of March 1933 are shown in the accompanying
circulation statement of the Treasury.
CIRCULATION

STATEMENT OF UNITED STATES M O N E Y — M A R C H

[In thousands of dollars.

31,

1933

Owing to abbreviation of the items totals shown in some cases do not agree with
the summations]

M o n e y held in the Treasury

Total
amount

Kind of money

Gold coin and bullion,
Gold certificates
Standard silver dollars
Silver certificates
Treasury notes of 1890
Subsidiary silver
Minor coin
United States notes
Federal Reserve notes
Federal Reserve bank notes
National bank notes
Total, Mar. 31, 1933
Comparative totals:
Feb. 28, 1933
Mar. 31, 1932
Oct. 31, 1920
Mar. 31, 1917
June 30, 1914
Jan. 1, 1879

Total

1 4, 282, 329 3, 204, 225
1, 308, 260
506, 450
540, 008
2 498, 616
2 1,214 '
306.805
15. 353
126,684 1
5,418
346,681 !
4,217
4,035,769 I
45,280

2

. _

966^ 661
10, 628, 613
10,275,505
9, 266, 558
8, 479, 621
5, 396, 597
3, 797, 825
1, 007, 084

Amount
held in
Reserve
trust
against
against
United
gold and
States
silver cernotes (and
tificates
Treasury
(and
notes of
Treasury
1890)
notes of
1890)

Held for
Federal
reserve
banks
and
agents

1, 308, 260

1, 542, 837

156,039

All other
money

197,089

499,830

6, 620
15, 353
5,418
4,217
45, 280
4
15, 819

15,819
3

3, 796, 766 1,808, 090

156, 039

1, 542, 837

1,734,518
2, 085, 245
718, 674
2, 681, 691
1,507,179
21, 603

156, 039
156, 039
152, 979
152, 979
150,000
100,000

1, 759, 886
1, 631. 370
1, 212, 361

! 3 3,832,415
j 3 3, 986, 791
3 2, 436, 865
! 3 2, 952, 020
i 3 1, 845, 570
j 3 212, 420

4

289, 800
181,972
114,137
352, 850
117, 350
188, 391
90,818

1 Does not include gold bullion or foreign coin other than that held b y the Treasury, Federal Reserve
banks, and Federal Reserve agents. Gold held by Federal Reserve banks under earmark for foreign account
is excluded, and gold held abroad for Federal Reserve banks is included.
2 These amounts are not included in the total since the money held in trust against gold and silver certificates and Treasury notes of 1890 is included under gold coin and bullion and standard silver dollars,
respectively.
3 The amount of money held in trust against gold and silver certificates and Treasury notes of 1890 shouki .
be deducted from this total before combining it with total money outside of the Treasury to arrive at the
stock of money in the United States.
4 This total includes $80,524,916 gold deposited for the redemption of Federal Reserve notes ($2,663,570
in process of redemption), $41,787,756 lawful money deposited for the redemption of national bank notes
($15,777,203 in process of redemption, including notes chargeable to the retirement fund), $1,100,000 lawful
money deposited for the redemption of Federal Reserve bank notes ($4,335 in process of redemption, including notes chargeable to the retirement fund), $1,350 lawful money deposited for the retirement of additional circulation (act of M a y 30,1908), and $50,349,522 lawful money deposited as a reserve for postal savings
deposits.




monetary

use

of

silver

in

193 3

131

CIRCULATION STATEMENT OP UNITED STATES M O N E Y — M A R C H 3 1 ,

1933—Continued

Money outside of the Treasury
Kind of money

Total

Held by
Federal
reserve
banks and
agents 5

1,078,
1, 308,
33,
498,
1,
291,
121,
342,
3,990,
23,
950,

In circulation 6
Amount

Per
capita
$2.92
3.14
.23
3. 00
.01

Comparative totals:
Feb. 28, 1933
Mar. 31, 1932
Oct. 31, 1920
Mar. 31, 1917
June 30, 1914
Jan. 1, 1879

.89
2.12
28. 88
. 14
7.01

2, 320,422

6, 319, 515

50. 40

8,177, 608
7, 365,013
6, 761, 431
5,126, 267
3,459, 434
816, 267

Total, Mar. 31, 1933_-

72,

366, 501
393, 499
28, 347
376,186
1, 214
258, 284
112, 220
265, 827
3, 621, 439
17,191
878, 808

8,639, 937

Gold coin and bullion
Gold certificates
Standard silver dollars
Silver certificates
i
Treasury notes of 1890
Subsidiary silver
Minor coin
United States notes
Federal Reserve notes
Federal Reserve bank notes
National bank notes

1, 632, 540
1,905, 927
1,063, 216
953, 322

6, 545,068
5, 459,085
5, 698, 215
4,172, 946
3, 459, 434
816, 267

52. 23
7 43. 80
53. 21
40. 23
34. 93
16. 92

711,
914,
5,
122,

76,
369,
6,

2. 06

5 Includes money held by the Cuban agency of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
6 The money in circulation includes any paper currency held outside the continental limits of the United
States.
7 Revised figures.

NOTE.—Gold certificates are secured dollar for dollar by gold held in the Treasury for their redemption;
silver certificates are secured dollar for dollar by standard silver dollars held in the Treasury for their redemption; United States notes are secured by a gold reserve of $156,039,088 held in the Treasury. This
reserve fund may also be used for the redemption of Treasury notes of 1890, which are also secured dollar
for dollar by standard silver dollars held in the Treasury; these notes are being canceled and retired on receipt. Federal Reserve notes are obligations of the United States and afirstlien on all the assets of the issuing Federal Reserve bank. Federal Reserve notes are secured by the deposit with Federal Reserve agents
of a h'ke amount of gold or of gold and such discounted or purchased paper as is eligible under the terms of
the Federal Reserve Act, or until Mar. 3,1934, of direct obligations of the United States if so authorized by a
majority vote of the Federal Reserve Board. Federal Reserve banks must maintain a gold reserve of at
least 40 percent, including the gold redemption fund which must be deposited with the United States
Treasurer, against Federal Reserve notes in actual circulation. Federal Reserve bank notes are secured
by direct obligations of United States on commercial paper, except where lawful money has been deposited
with the Treasurer of the United States for their retirement. National bank notes are secured by United
States bonds except where lawful money has been deposited with the Treasurer of the United States for
their retirement. A 5 percent fund is also maintained in lawful money with the Treasurer of the United
States for the redemption of national bank notes secured by Government bonds.

On the place of silver in the currency system of this country, the
following appeared in The Silver Market:28
Discussion of silver in the United States today would be incomplete without
reference to the part played by the metal in our currency system. From
1793 to 1931, inclusive, the face value of silver money coined in the United
States was approximately one third of that of United States gold coin minted.
Of the amount estimated to be in circulation and in the Treasury on June
30, 1932, the face value of the silver was nearly one half that of the gold
coins, as the following table based upon Bureau of the Mint figures shows.
Domestic coin
made, 1793 to
1931, inclusive

Kind

Gold
Silver dollars:
Standard
Trade
Subsidiary silver
Minor coins

...
_
_

Total
28

__

_ _ _
_
_ .

.. _ .
. .

_
_ _

___ _

. $4, 447, 518,477

$1, 793,828, 454

848, 586, 596
35, 965, 924
540, 865, 231
141,037,058

304,882,996
126,493, 326

6, 013,973, 286

2, 765, 212, 687

Trade Promotion Series No. 139, by Herbert M. Bratter, pp. 2 4 - 2 5 .




Estimated in
the United
States at end
of June 1932

540,007,911

132

monetary "use of

silver

in

19 3 3 132

It should be noted that most of our monetary stock of gold consists not of
coin but of bullion; hence the part played by gold in our currency system
is greater than would appear from the table. Since by the act of 1900 the
Government is obliged to maintain all forms of American money at parity with
gold, silver certificates (which represent standard silver dollars on deposit
with the Treasury) are freely accepted by the public at face value, regardless
of the fluctuating bullion value of the standard silver dollars they represent.
In demanding silver certificates rather than standard silver dollars, the public
displays a decided preference for the more convenient paper money. Of
the 380,000,000 standard silver dollars in circulation at the end of August
1932, 350,000,000 were represented by silver certificates.29
Figures, published monthly in the Federal Reserve Bulletin, show, by kinds,
the money in the United States other than that held by the Treasury or
Federal Reserve banks and agents. The figures thus represent money in
circulation, including that held by banks other than the Federal Reserve
banks.30
Compared with all moneys in circulation (e.g., in March 1932), silver certificates and coin (totaling $645,000,000 face value) comprised about 12 percent.
Standard silver dollars and silver certificates in circulation formed about 7
percent of the total. Standard silver-dollar coins were less than six tenths of
1 percent of the total. (These percentages represent money in the hands of
the public and in banks. Using 1928 figures, Y. S. Leong recently estimated
33.4 percent of the silver certificates and 43.7 percent of the silver dollars
outside the Treasury were in the hands of banks.)
The standard silver dollars in the United States are held chiefly in Government vaults. Of the approximate 540,007,911 listed in the table showing
United States coinage, 501,022,733 of the coins (over 92 percent) were held in
the Treasury. Counting 0.7734 fine ounce per standard silver dollar, this
amounted to over 385,500,000 fine ounces. Were this silver made available for
manufacture into subsidiary coinage at the rate of 10,000,000 ounces annually
it would last for 38 years.

URUGUAY
The monetary value is the peso, divided into 100 centesimos. The
peso has a par value of approximately $1.0342.

Present legal provisions.—Since the law of June 7, 1876, silver
coins have been limited legal tender. A law of October 18, 1890,31
established afinenessof 0.900 for the silver coins but minting of that
fineness had actually taken place since 1877. The same law in 1890
(1892)31 fixed a graduated scale of legal tender which continues in
force, as follows : 32
Permissible amounts

Up to 10 pesos
More than 10 pesos, to 25 pesos
More than 25 pesos, to 100 pesos
More than 100 pesos, to 500 pesos
More than 500 pesos, to 5,000 pesos
More than 5,000 pesos

Permissible portion
of silver coin

5
30
20
10
5
2

pesos.
percent.
percent.
percent.
percent.
percent.

Circulation and importation of foreign silver coin was prohibited.
On January 3, 1916, a law was passed authorizing the Bank of the
Republic to retire from circulation the silver currency minted in the
years 1877, 1893, and 1895 and contract for the remintage of new
29 The figures do not include currency held by Federal Reserve banks or agents nor, of
course, by the Treasury; but it does include currency held by national, State, and savings
banks. The 380,000,000 silver dollars are part of the 540,007,911 mentioned in the table
above.
30 The location, ownership, and per capita circulation of United States money is published each year, with comparative totals for earlier years, in the annual report of the
Director of the Mint. The latest such statement appears on pp. 1 3 0 - 3 1 of this bulletin.
31 Another source states 1892, instead of 1890.
32 According to Monetary Units and Coinage Systems of the Principal Countries of the
World, 1929, p. 87.
It should be noted that there is no limit in respect to payments of
taxes, imports, and customs dues.




133

monetary

use

of

silver

in"

19 3 3

coins of 1 peso and 50 centesimos, up to the amount of 5,000,000
pesos, the weight of these coins to be 25 grams for the 1-peso piece
and 12% grams for the 50-centesimo piece, and their fineness to be
0.900.
A law of June 21, 1920, authorized the Bank of the Republic to
withdraw from circulation 300,00033 peisos of the silver currency
authorized in 1916", and to remint it into 20-centesimo silver pieces
weighing 5 grams, 0.800 fine.
Uruguay's silver coins are described in the following table:
Denomination

1 peso
50 centesimos
20 centesimos (new)
20 centesimos (old) _
10 centesimos 1
1

Fineness

0.900
.900
.900
.900

Not in circulation.

Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation—
Whenever silver has been minted or reminted, the Congress has
passed a special law giving the Bank of the Republic authority to
strike a specified amount of coin for the Government. From this
it seems to follow that new issues of silver may not be made without
specific authorization by law.
Attitude toward silver.—No legislation respecting silver is known
to be contemplated. With the peso down to less than half its par
value and the population well accustomed to the use of paper money,
there is little likelihood of any increase in the use of silver for
monetary purposes.
Present employment of silver.—The silver-peso coin has practically disappeared from circulation and there appears to be a supply
of 50- and 20-centesimo pieces ample for the commercial needs of the
country. The last issue of 20-centesimo coins was made in 1930, in
commemoration of 100th anniversary of the country's independence;
2,500,000 of the coins were struck in Paris, having a face value of
500,000 pesos.
The total number of silver pieces minted up to the middle of 1931
was as follows:
20-centesimo
50-centesimo
1-peso

5, 000, 000
6, 000, 000
1,550,000

No figures showing silver coin in circulation are available. The
stocks of silver in the banks and the treasury at the end of 1931 were
given by the Director of the United States Mint as 4,000,899 pesos,
compared with a note issue of 81,031,000 pesos. The entire 4,000,899
pesos were held by the central bank. Silver coin in circulation at
the end of 1930 was reported as 1,609,000 pesos, and in banks and
the treasury, as 3,891,000 pesos.
33 According to reports from the American commercial attache in 1931, 270,000 pesos
in silver were withdrawn in 1920 and 180,000 pesos more a year later.




134

monetary "use of

silver

in

19 3 3 134

VATICAN CITY
The monetary unit is the Italian lira, divided into 100 centesimi.
The par value of the lira is approximately $0.0526.

Present legal provisions.—The monetary use of silver is governed
by the following agreement :
M O N E T A R Y AGREEMENT BETWEEN T H E VATICAN AND T H E KINGDOM OF I T A L Y
LATED I N ROME ON AUGUST 2, 1 9 3 0

STIPU-

A R T I C L E 1. The Italian Government places the mint at Rome at the disposal
of the Vatican; and the Vatican binds itself to make use of no other mint.
ART. 2. The Vatican coins will be identical with the Italian coins in regard
to composition, face value, dimensions, and weight.
ART. 3. The Vatican and the Italian coins shall have the same legal tender
quality in the Vatican City and in the Kingdom of Italy, respectively.
ART. 4. The Vatican state and the Italian state shall have the option of demanding exchange in Italian currency of the Vatican coins accumulated in the
treasuries of the Italian state.
ART. 5. Gold coins may be minted to any amount. The amount of silver,
nickel, and bronze coins shall not exceed 1,000,000 Italian lire for each of
the first 5 years and 800,000 Italian lire for each of the following 5 years of
the present agreement.
This amount shall be made up as follows:
Silver
759, O O lire.
O
Nickel
_
236, 000 lire.
Bronze
14, 000 lire.

During the second 5-year period these amounts shall be reduced 20 percent.
ART. 6. The Vatican state may mint coins, when a vacancy of the papal
throne occurs, above the maximum limit established in the preceeding paragraph, provided the total amount does not exceed 1,500,00 Italian lire during
the year in which the vacancy occurs.
ART. 7. Special agreements will be made in case a certain coin is retired
from circulation by either party.
ART. 8. The Vatican state has the right to emit up to 10,000 sets of silver,
nickel and copper monies with the commemorative date 1929 for sale and for
donation in complete series, with the right to include or not gold coins.
ART. 9. The Italian state binds itself to apprehend and punish counterfeiters
of Vatican money who operate in its territory, and the Vatican state assumes
the same obligation towTard possible counterfeiters of Italian money in its
territory.
ART. 10. The present agreement shall last 10 years, with the option of being
denounced by both parties after giving advance notice of at least 6 months.

An agreement similar to the above was made December 30, 1931,
by the Vatican City and the Republic of San Marino.
Possibilty of increased use of silver without new legislation.—As
shown below, the above-mentioned limit of 750,000 lire has been
reached and no additional Vatican City silver can be issued without
new legislation.
Attitude toward silver.—No intention to alter the present monetary
use of silver has been reported.
Present employment of silver.—At the end of 1931 the amount
outstanding of Vatican City silver coins (0.835 fine), was reported
as follows:
10-lira pieces
5-lira pieces

500, 000 lire.
250,000 lire.

These coins are legal tender for payments not exceeding 500 lire.




135 m o n e t a r y

use

of

silver

in"

19 3 3

Apparently none of the Vatican City coins are in actual circulation, according to a 1931 report. Pursuant to a decree of January
13, 1931, based on article 8 of the agreement with Italy, 10,000 sets
of silver, nickel, and copper commemorative coins, dated 1929, were
manufactured for sale in sets only, and at a premium of about
100 lire per set. The face value per set, which includes a 50-lira
coin, is 88.85 lire.
The Vatican City mint is no longer used, the coinage being struck
by the Italian mintVENEZUELA
The monetary unit is the bolivar, divided into 100 centimos.
bolivar has a par value of approximately $0.1930.

The

Present legal provisions.—The silver coinage is regulated by the
monetary law of June 24, 1918, which provides for a 5-bolivar coin,
0.900 fine, legal tender to 500 bolivares, and four other silver coins,
0.835 fine, legal tender to 50 bolivares. These four are the 2-bolivar,
1-bolivar, 59-centimo, and 25-centimo pieces. All of the silver coins
have a gross weight of 5 grams per bolivar. (Some of the former
silver 2i^-bolivar coins were still in circulation in 1930.)
Article 15 of the monetary law states that no law may order the
minting of silver unless it simultaneously orders the minting of
double as much gold, but if, when the minting of silver is ordered,
double the quantity in gold is already in the treasury reserves, the
executive power may coin only such quantity of silver as the National
Congress authorizes.
The exact significance of the latter part of article 15 is not clear.
Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation.—
No official information is available concerning this point. Article
15 would seem to indicate that no silver may be coined without some
special law.
Attitude toward silver.—There is no legislation under consideration at the present time which would affect the use of silver currency
in Venezuela.
In general, it may be stated that the use of bank notes is preferred
by the average business house and individual in the larger cities and
towns, due to the cumbersomeness of silver for large transactions.
However, in the rural districts there is no decided preference for
paper money, as the purchasing power of the peon class making up
the major part of the population is low, and the small shopkeeper
and merchant in the country villages require considerable quantities
of small denomination currency. The smallest denomination banknote in the circulation is 10 bolivares, equivalent at par to $1.93. The
general impression in banking circles is that the country's present
supply of silver currency is entirely adequate and that any further
coinage in the near future is improbable.
Present employment of silver.—Venezuela's stock of silver and
other coin at the end of 1931 totaled about 84,200,000 bolivares, of
which the bulk was in circulation. Coin in circulation on June 30,
1931, amounted to 56,916,798 bolivares.
The circulation of silver and nickel coin, combined, was estimated
at 85,000,000 bolivares as of June 30, 1932.




136

monetary "use of

silver

IN

1 9 3 3 136

VIRGIN ISLANDS
The monetary unit is the franc, divided into 100 bits. Five
francs equal one " Danish West Indies dollar " 34 worth approximately $0.9648.

Present legal provisions.—Under the treaty negotiated at the time
the United States purchased the Virgin Islands from Denmark in
1917, the Danish currency then in use was retained, including notes
of the National Bank of the Danish West Indies and the coin which
had been specially minted for the islands, corresponding in value
but not in designation to the coin of Denmark. This arrangement
is still in effect; but with the expiration of the charter of the bank
in 1934, American currency alone will remain in circulation.
The law establishing the currency system of the Virgin Islands
was put into force on March 29, 1904.
Silver coins, as well as gold and gold notes, are unlimited legal
tender for taxes and public dues, but for private obligations silver
is legal tender in amounts not exceeding 25 francs.
The existing system provides for silver coins as follows:
Denomination

5 francs
2 francs
1 franc
50 bits

Fineness

-.

.

0.800
.800
.800
.800

Gross
weight
Grams

25.0
10.0
5.0
2.5

Present employment of silver.—Silver currency in the Virgin Islands at the end of 1930 was estimated at $66,000 according to the
1932 report of the Director of the Mint.
WINDWARD ISLANDS
The monetary unit is the pound sterling, divided into 20 shillings
of 12 pence each. The par value of the pound sterling is approximately $4.8666.35

The British coinage system applies to the Windward Islands.
YUGOSLAVIA
The monetary unit is the dinar, divided into 100 paras.
dinar has a par value of approximately $0.0176.

The

Present legal provisions.—With the stabilization of the currency
by the law of May 11, 1931, gold and silver coins minted in accordance with previous laws ceased to be legal tender.
The law of November 28, 1931, provided for the issuance of
200,000,000 dinars of 10-dinar and 250,000,000 dinars of 20-dinar
silver pieces. In July 1932 the Ministry of Finance, through the
National Bank of Yugoslavia, put into circulation silver coins of
This unit was coined under the name " five francs
35 The British West Indies dollar, a unit of account equivalent to 4 shillings and 2
pence is in use, but is not coined. The value of the West Indies dollar was fixed at
4 shillings and 2 pence by Ordinance No. 13 of 1879.
34




137 m o n e t a r y

use

of

silver

in"

19 3 3

10 and 20 dinars.36 These coins are 0.500 fine, and are legal tender
in amounts not exceeding 500 dinars. The gross weight of the 10dinar piece is 7 grams, and that of the 20-dinar piece, 14 grams. It
was the original plan of the Government to withdraw from circulation the existing 10-dinar notes as soon as the issue of silver 10and 20-dinar coins was made. However, in view of the reported
widespread complaint that there was insufficient money of small
denominations in circulation, it was decided to release the new coinage without retiring the bank notes. The latter operation is left
until a later date, when circumstances may be more favorable.
On August 15, 1932, a law was passed providing for the issuance
of 550,000,000 dinars of 50-dinar pieces, 0.750 fine and legal tender
to 1,000 dinars. The purpose of this issue was stated to be that of
meeting a budget deficit. In January 1933 it was reported that the
50-dinar silver coins had been issued.
Possibility of increased use of silver without new legislation.—
Silver can be issued only in accordance with legislation especially
passed for the purpose.
Attitude toward silver.—The Government, through its finance
minister, has stated budget balancing to be its purpose in issuing
silver coins. Yugoslavia itself produces very little silver (in 1931,
95,000 ounces) and there is evident no tendency to make silver a
standard of value. It is said that the future attitude toward silver
will be the same as that of France.
Present employment of silver.—When the present program is completed, 1,000,000,000 dinars in silver coin will be in circulation. This
compares with a note circulation of the National Bank of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia amounting to approximately 4,773,000,000 dinars
at the end of 1932.
Up to December 31, 1932, there had been delivered to the national
bank 419,200,000 dinars in newly minted silver coins. Of this
amount, 331,057,660 dinars were in circulation on December 31, 1932,
88,142,340 dinars being held by the national bank. The 50-dinar
coins were first put into circulation on January 23, 1933. In the
middle of March 1933 it was estimated that there were approximately 450,000,000 dinars of the new silver coins in circulation.
ZANZIBAR 3 7
The monetary unit is the British Indian rupee, divided into 16
annas. The rupee has a par value of approximately $0,365.

The British Indian rupee is legal tender without limit as to maximum payment. Apart from the fractional Indian coins, a %-rupee
silver piece, proportionate in weight to the rupee, is especially coined
for Zanzibar.
British East African and British currency circulate in Zanzibar
at a small discount.
Present employment of silver.—At the end of 1931 monetary silver
totaled 1,700,000 rupees, of which the treasury held 200,000; the
banks, 500,000; and the public, 1,000,000 rupees.
During 1932 the French Mint struck 4,000,000 10-dinar pieces.
37 Politically Zanzibar is a part of British East Africa, but its currency system is
different.
33




STOCK OF SILVER IN VARIOUS COUNTRIES, INSOFAR AS KNOWN i
In circuIn treas- Variously
In banks
lation
ury
held

Country

Albania
francs.
Algeria
do...
Anglo-Egyptian Sudan
Egyptian pounds..
Australia
Australian pounds.
Austria
schillings. _
B arbados
Bolivia
British East Africa
British Guiana
British India

Thousands

921
80,355

Thou-

250
53,000

Chile
fine

tJ2,966
t§205
1,106,636 f j l , 433,000

807,182
28,160
10, 344

16, 779

ounces.

Colombia
Costa Rica

pesos.
colones.

11,551
1,494

Cuba
Cyprus
Czechoslovakia

pesos.
pounds.
koruny.

12,000
148
518,000

6, 446

Danzig, Free State of

gulden.

6, 269

3, 731

Denmark

kroner.

None

5, 710

dollars.
Dominican Republic
Ecuador
sucres.
Egypt
Egyptian pounds.
Estonia
krooni.
Ethiopia.-Maria Theresa dollars.
Fiji Islands
pounds.
Finland
finnmarks
_
France
fine
ounces .
French Guiana
U.S. dollars.
French Indo-China
piastres-

5, 011

2,000

2, 018
35,000
25
None
None

None

4,000
51
44, 300
29, 554

3,957

6,000
36, 611
"l3,~ 043
(4)

Germany

reiehsmarks. 1,676,000

Gr eece
Guatemala
Haiti
Hedjaz

dr achmas.
quetzales.
U.S. dollars.
Saoudi ryals.

1,500

Honduras...
lempiras .
Hong Kong. .Hong Kong dollars.

150,000

1,192

See footnotes at end of table.

138



1931.
1931.

150
219

pesos.

China

Thousands

845

2,403
2,807

pounds.
bolivianos.
pounds.
U.S. dollars.
rupees-

British North Borneo
Straits dollars.
British Somaliland
poundsBritish West Africa
do...
Bulgaria
levs.
Canada
dollars.
Ceylon
rupees .

Thousands

320

50,000

117,000

Date of holdings and
remarks 2

1931,
1929,
October 1932. Bank holdings for national bank
only.
1930.
1932.
June 1931.
1930,
1931; treasury figure, end
of 1932.

U15 1931.
1931.
1931.
March 1933.
October 17, 1932. '
1931,
The circulation figure covers subsidiary coin
only.
17, 544 March 1933.
rl, 600,000[•1932.
2, 000,000
October 1932.
Figure includes 564,020 colones of silver certificates
representing silver in bank.
1933.
1931.
Circulation figure 1932; banks
figure, representing silver
in National Bank of Czechoslovakia, 1931.
1931. Banks figure, Bank of
Danzig, only.
1931., Bank of
Denmark
holdings.
J §282 1931.
3 J§3, 269 1932.
tJ4,158 1932.
April 1932. Represents 195,000 fine ounces.
1931.
1931.
1931. Bank of Finland.
1932.
t§194 1930.
February 1933. New piastre
coins only. Old coins and
subsidiary silver not included.
October 1932. Reichsbank's
usual holdings about 275,000,000 reichsmarks.
ttl88,000 October 1932.
1930.
J §17 1931.
M a y 1932.
Saoudi ryals
only.
t u , 900 1932.
November 1932. Total equals
about 150,000 fine ounces.
(See section on Hong
Kong.)

139

monetary

use

Stock of silver in various

pengo.

Hyderabad

o.s. rupees..

f British dinars_
"\Indian rupees.
Irish Free State
pounds_
Italy
lire-

T
raq

Jamaica
Japan
Latvia
Lithuania
Madagascar
Malta
Mauri tius
Mexico

silver

in"

countries, insofar

19 3 3

as

U.S. dollars.
yen_
lats.
litu.
francs.
pounds.
rupees.

Morocco (French, Spanish, and
international zones)
francs..
Mozambique
pounds..
Netherland India
florins..
Netherland West Indies-guilders-Netherlands
florins..
New Guinea, Eastern
pounds..
New Zealand
do
Nicaragua
cor dobas _.
Norway
kroner..
Nyasaland
pounds _.
Palestine
Palestine pounds..
Panama
balboas. -

Thousands

10, 268

Thousands

194, 000

201
12,184
712
1,635

Thousands

Thousands

{

5

()

25, 200
10, 890

9, 441
17, 550
12, 478
2
1
380, 600 » 46,105

2, 667
io 1, 000
307
24,900
144
287
532

$§552
ttl34, 700
J§28,183

*5, 471
18C

krans.

200, 000

Peru
Philippine Islands

soles.. ii 18, 053 12*6, 620
15,119
pesos..

ft350,000

13~6,~343

zlote..
escudos..
pounds..
lei..

98, 512
32, 480
400

Sal vador

colones..

1,078

Sarawak

Straits dollars..

*2,178

bahts..
pounds..
pesetas..

(4)
loo,"000

Siam
Southwest Africa
Spain
Straits Settlements

m , 840,000

i< 43,372

Straits dollars..

Sweden
Switzerland

7
kronor.. Ifl 51,800 1 *4,194
francs -. 158, 980

Syria
Syrian pounds...
Trinidad
U.S. dollars..
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
rubles..
Union of South Africa
pounds..
United Kingdom
do
United States of America..dollars..

i" 5, 250
267, 600
1,600

See footnotes at end of table.
172120—33-




-10

Date of holdings and
remarks 2

t§], 454 1931. The 1,454,000 pengo
are in the treasury and
central bank only.
(See
section on Hungary.)
September 1930. Also in circulation in 1930 was an
estimated 5,000,000 rupees
of British Indian currency.
British Indian coin figure,
March 1932; Iraqi coin
figure, September 1932.
1931.
1932. Circulation figure ap6 5, 329
plies to September.
1931.
tJ465, 736 1931.
September 1932.
13,800
November 1932.
1,500
tt§20,000 1931. Old 5-franc coins.
J §55 1931.
May 1930.
4,774
U200, 500 January 1933. (See section
on Mexico.)

Persia

Poland
Portugal
Rhodesia, Southern
Rumania

knoion—Continued

In circu- In banks In treas- Variously
held
ury
lation

Country

Hungary

of

4

()
is 58

(21)
(22)

1931.
1931.
1932.
1931.
February 1933.
1931.
1930.
August 1932.
1932.
1931.
1931.
1932.
1932. Issued under 1930 law.
Other silver coin, including
American, not included.
February 1932. Replacement
of krans by rial has since
commenced.
1932
November 1932.
United
States silver and silver certificates in circulation not
included.
June 1932.
Oct. 31, 1932.
1931.
1932. Represents 4,141,000
fine ounces.
1932. Some United States
silver also circulates.
1931. Includes paper money
and minor coin.
1932.
1931.
January 1933.

For details, see section on
Straits Settlements.
1931.
1931. Central bank holds a
negligible amount.
1932.
917 1930.

1931.
2 405 1931.
0
19 49,000
521,804 2 f $622, 782 March 1933. Circulation fig3
ure includes $376,185,000
of silver certificates. The
figure $160,809,000 includes
silver certificates totaling
$122,431,000.

140

MONETARY

USE

OF

SILVER

IN

19 3 3

Stock of silver in various countries, insofar as known—Continued.
Country

Uruguay
Vatican City..
Venezuela
Virgin Islands
Yugoslavia
Zanzibar

In circulation
Thousands

x, 609
pesos..
lire..
ii 750
.bolivares-. 2 *85,000
5
U.S. dollars.
dinars-- 450,000
.rupees-.
1,000

Date of holdings and
remarks 2
Thousands

500!

Thousands

200

Thousands

f§4,001 1931.
1931.
tt§84, 200 1931.
66,000 1930.
March 1933.
1931.

1 An asterisk (*) indicates figure includes coin of other metal than silver.
A dagger (f) indicates "in
circulation"; a double dagger (t) indicates " i n banks"; a section mark (§) indicates " i n treasury."
2 With few exceptions, the data represent the end of the year or month mentioned.
3 1931.
4 Negligible amount.
• Bank of Italy, 107,000 fine ounces.
5
6 Fine ounces.
7 1928.
8 March 1933.
9 Or 11,500,000 fine ounces in Bank of Java.
i° 1930 estimate.
n Outstanding.
" September 1932.
13 In treasury-certificate fund as partial security for certificates in circulation.
14 In the form of baht coins.
I3 Bank of Spain's stock.
is Outstanding 1928.
17 In Bank of Sweden.
18 Includes Turkish coins estimated to be worth 4,000,000 Syrian pounds.
191931.
20 In treasury and central bank.
2 In banks of United Kingdom and Irish Free State, but not including 15,789,000 pound? in Bank of
1
England. In Bank of England, Jan. 18, 1933, 3,716,000 pounds.
22 Held by Federal Reserve banks and agents only, $160,809,000.
2 Not including amount held by Federal Reserve banks and agents.
3
24 1930.
2 June 1932.
5




ADDENDUM
THE GERMAN RECOINAGE PROGRAM
Submitted by Sidney B. Redecker, American consul, Frankfort-on-Main, April 1, 1933.
This information supplements that given in the consul's report quoted on pages 61 and
62. It will be noted that not all of the. later figures agree with those earlier reported

The plan to reorganize Germany's coinage, announced some weeks
ago^:as definitely authorized by governmental Decree on March 18,
1933. It will involve the most comprehensive reform of Germany's
coinage since the reichsmark was stabilized in 1924, and will effect
currency of a total nominal value of around 1,600,000,000 reichsmarks. The program will extend over a period of 3 years.
The reorganization will involve the release for sale by the Reich
of about 640 metric tons1 of fine silver (having a current market
value of about 25,000,000 reichsmarks) and will create a demand for
about 1,280 metric tons of nickel, valued currently at about 5,000,000
reichsmarks. The surplus of silver to be thus created will represent
about 10 percent of the present annual world mine output of the
metal.
Under the plan the present issue of one hundred fifty two million
5-mark pieces, weighing 25 grams each, containing 12V2 grams of
silver (1,900 metric tons of silver in all), and having a value of
760,000,000 reichsmarks, will be withdrawn, and there will be issued
instead new coins of smaller size (that of the existing 3-mark piece).
The new coins, however, will contain the same quantity of silver
as the present larger 5-mark coin, so that the silver content of the
new coin will be increased to 0.900 instead of 0.500 as at present.
This operation, therefore, will involve no change in the amount of
silver required for the 5-mark pieces.
The 3-mark coins, numbering 90,000,000, with a total nominal
value of 270,000,000 reichsmarks and containing a total of 675 tons
of silver, will be entirely withdrawn and no new coins of this denomination issued. The silver resulting from the melting down of this
denomination will be used for the minting of additional 2- and 5mark pieces, so that presumably no surplus metal will result from
this particular operation.
In the case of the 2-mark pieces, of which there are at present
107,000,000 with a total nominal value of 214,000,000 reichsmarks
(and a fine content of 535 tons of silver), it is planned to reissue
these coins 0.625 fine instead of 0.500. The additional silver required
will be obtained through the melting down of the 3-mark pieces, as
mentioned above.
1 .1

meric ton = 1,000 kilograms = 32,150.7 fine ounces troy.




141

142

m o n e t a r y

"use

of

silver

in

1 9 3 3 142

From a metal-trade point of view, the really interesting part of
the entire reorganization plan will be the change in regard to the
1-mark pieces, of which 256,200,000 reichsmarks, representing 640
metric tons of fine silver, are outstanding. These pieces will be
entirely withdrawn from circulation and replaced by new coins of
nickel, thus creating a demand for 1,280 metric tons of nickel.
The elimination of the 1-mark silver coins will also yield around
640 tons of copper, to which should be added the copper from the
3-mark coins to be demonetized, and the decreased copper content of
the new 5-mark pieces. The copper so obtained will, of course, have
little commercial importance.
Despite the estimated charges of 30,000,000 reichsmarks involved
in the recoinage, it is not expected that the changes will cause great
expense to the Government, since a considerable profit will be
realized from the substitution of nickel in the 1-mark coins. This
profit, it is anticipated, will amount to around 20,000,000 rtfchsmarks, plus a certain return from the sale of excess base metal,
so that most of the costs will be covered.
In view of the scope of the coinage plan and due to the desire
to avoid undue pressure upon the price of silver such as would be
caused by the sale of the entire surplus at one time, it is proposed
to proceed with the minting work gradually and spread it over
a period of three years. Moreover, the Government is especially
desirous of spreading sales over a long period in its own interest,
for it is reported that the Netherlands also contemplates similar
recoinage operations involving the release of about 500 metric tons
of silver. It is also reported that for the refining of this metal
a silver refinery will be established in that country. Netherlands
hitherto has been dependent upon foreign refineries. The new
Dutch plant will have a per diem capacity of 500 kilograms 2 of
silver.
21

kilogram = 3 2 . 1 5 0 7 + f i n e ounces troy.