United States of America Money Law
"No State shall enter into any treaty, alliance, or confederation; grant letters of marque and reprisal; coin money; emit letters of credit; make any thing but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts; pass any bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts, or grant any title of nobility."Article I, Section 10, CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
The Coinage Act of April 2, 1792
(1 Stat. 246)
Mint established at the seat of government.Section I. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of American in Congress assembled, and it is hereby enacted and declared, That a mint for the purpose of a national coinage be, and the same is established, to be situate and carried on at the seat of the government of the United States . . .
The US Mint
The place where people brought their gold
and silver to make U.S. dollars. You needed
371.25 grains of pure silver or 24.75 grains
of pure gold to mint one dollar.
(A grain is a monetary unit)
The date of July 18, 1792 marks the birth of our Philadelphia Mint. Tradition has it that owing to a lack of bullion, the first coins to be struck at the Mint - silver half dimes - were wrought from sterling teaspoons donated by President Washington. It is said that, a year later, Washington contributed "an excellent copper tea-kettle as well as two pair of tongs" to begin the manufacture of cents and half cents.
Species of the coins to be struck.Section 9. And be it further enacted, That there shall be from time to time struck and coined at the said mint, coins of gold, silver, and copper, of the following denominations, values and descriptions, viz.
EAGLES--each to be of the value of ten dollars or units, and to contain two hundred and forty-seven grains and four eighths of a grain of pure, or two hundred and seventy grains of standard gold.
HALF EAGLES--each to be of the value of five dollars, and to contain one hundred and twenty-three grains and six eighths of a grain of pure, or one hundred and thirty-five grains of standard gold.
QUARTER EAGLES--each to be of the value of two dollars and a half dollar, and to contain sixty-one grains and seven eighths of a grain of pure, or sixty-seven grains and four eighths of a grain of standard gold.
DOLLARS OR UNITS--each to be of the value of a Spanish milled dollar as the same is now current, and to contain three hundred and seventy-one grains and four sixteenth parts of a grain of pure, or four hundred and sixteen grains of standard silver.
HALF DOLLARS--each to be of half the value of the dollar or unit, and to contain one hundred and eighty-five grains and ten sixteenth parts of a grain of pure, or two hundred and eight grains of standard silver.
QUARTER DOLLAR--each to be of one fourth the value of the dollar or unit, and to contain ninety-two grains and thirteen sixteenth parts of a grain of pure, or one hundred and four grains of standard silver.
DISMES--each to be of the value of one tenth of a dollar or unit, and to contain thirty- seven grains and two sixteenth parts of a
grain of pure, or forty-one grains and three fifths parts of a grain of standard silver.
HALF DISMES--each to be of the value of one twentieth of a dollar, and to contain eighteen grains and nine sixteenth parts of a grain of pure, or twenty grains and four fifths parts of a grain of standard silver.
CENTS--each to be of the value of the one hundredth part of a dollar, and to contain eleven penny-weights of copper.
HALF CENTS--each to be of the value of half a cent, and to contain five penny-weights and a half a penny-weight of copper.
Two of these (presses) had arrived from England on September 21, 1792, supposedly from the Boulton and Watt Mint at Soho near Birmingham. "These presses were put into operation in the beginning of October, and were used for striking the half dimes of which Washington makes mention in his Annual Address to Congress on the 6th of November, 1792 . ." Sylvester Sage Crosby, The United States Coinage of 1793. -- Cents and Half Cents. (Boston: Published by the author, 1897)