By William Gouge (1835)
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Extra resources for A Short History of Paper Money and Banking
Ion, for a few weeks, will procure it enough of metallic medium for all the purposes of domestic trade, and this medium will not require renewal for centuries. If the sovereign power refrains from unnecessary alteration in the coinage, commerce is, in countries where metallic money is exclusively used, liable to derangement only from great natural or political causes. If the supply of gold and silver from the mines is greatly increased, it does not produce a great rise of local price, for the metals diffuse themselves over the whole commercial world.
The difference between iron from different parts of our own country and of Europe, is well known to all dealers in that article. 'rhe copper of Siberia is superior to that of Germany, while that of Sweden is better than that of Siberia, and that of Sweden is surpassed by that of Japan. But, one grain of pure gold is exactl y similar to another, whether it comes from the mines of Europe or of America, or from the sands of Africa. Time, weather, and damp, have no power to alter the quality: the relative weight of any specific portion, therefore, determines its relative quan· tity and value to every other portion; two grains of gold are worth exactly twice as much as one.
Having money, they may procure whatever else they want, in just such proportions, and at just such times, as they want. If business or duty calls a man to a distant country, he finds in money the means of procuring comforts similar to those be enjoys at home. The instrument by which he procures all these advantages, is light of carriage, and is unaffected by any climate into which he may travel. As the value of silver has underg;one hardly any variation in the last two centuries, and probably will not undergo any great variation for a hundred years to come, a man may, in solid money countries, enter into a contract to pay a sum of money, ten, twenty, or thirty years hence, and rest assured that more wealth will not be exacted from him than he intends to give.
A Short History of Paper Money and Banking by William Gouge (1835)