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10

10

Half copangs.

46

THE COINS OF JAPAN,
The following results of an authorized assay, in England, of Japanese coios
will probably be of interest at the present time, considering the intercourse which
bas recently been opened with that country :-

Weights in Proportion in 10,000 parts.
decimals of

Of base
No. an oz. Troy. of gold. of silver. alloy.
Copangs....

1
.3621

5,680 4,310
2 .3626 5,670 4,320
3
.3658 5,668 4,325

7
.1826 1,910 8,046 44

5 .1820 1,986 7,980 34
Eighth copangs.

6
.0532 2,949 7,016

35
7

0535 2,970 7,016 14 8 .0537 2,981

7,010

9 9

.0534 2,969 7,005 26
10

2,922
7,034

44
11 .0534 2,982 7,010

8
12
,0535 3,026 6,970

4

0530 3,142 6,854 4 The values of the metals in each coin are, on an average, as follows :

Copange.

-Half Copang Eighth Copang.
d.
d.

d.
Gold,

17
6
225 stig

3 0
228 st'g

1 4

307 st'g
Silver...

10 181
09

0 2

46

66

.0530

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13

8.

8.

8.

575 “

424 «

406 "

9

803

731 «

1

*

Intrinsic value 18 4

3

1 6
-calculated at the English mint price of gold, i. C., £3 17s. 101d. per ounce,
and of silver 38. do.

1

ENGLISH CUSTOMS AND DUTIES.
Snbjoined is a statement of the gross amount produced by customs duties
upon the principal articles of foreign and colonial merchandise during the past
year, compared with the three preceding years. Seventy per cent of the whole
is furnished by sugar, tobacco, and tea :-

1856.
1857.

1858. 1859.
Sagar.

£5,655,626 £5,370,725 £6,223,436 .£5,891,192 Tobacco....

5,299,626 5,253,431 5,454,216 5,273,463 Tea,

5,538.242 5,060,032 5,186,171 5,408,924 Spirits.

2,560,556 2,366,494 2,246,467 2,462,112

2,073,735 1,965,361 1,827,087 1,882,302 Other articles.

3,169,059 2,940,328 3,218,475 5,747,073

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CASH SALES IN CUBA AND TWO PER CENT DISCOUNT.
The Coba Messenger, published at Havana, remarks :-Since the early part
of 1857, when the Grocer's Bank was established in this city, the rule of dis-
counting 2 per cent on all cash sales of provisions, &c., made on our wharves,
was also established. The wholesale grocers combined and agreed not to pur-
chase any goods unless the 2 per cent discount was allowed, and ever since it has
been like a law in our market. As we know that many merchants abroad, and
especially those who do not make regular shipments to this port, bave made
inquiries in regard to this item, we think it proper and convenient to explain the
matter as we now do; and we will continue, from time to time, to explain all
other points which may interest or concern those who may trade or be interested
in the commercial affairs of this island.

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ASSAY OF THE COINS OF JAPAN. A number of Japan coins baving been submitted to Col. JAMES Ross Snow. DEN, the director, an assay has been made with results as follows :

The coins are of gold, silver, brass, copper, and iron.

The principal gold coin is the cobang, of which we have three sizes, according to the changes which have been made within the past sixty years. This coin is of oval shape, very thin, soft, and easily bent; it is largely alloyed with silver, but the silver being taken out of the surface by a solvent, the coin looks like fine gold, until it has been a good deal worn. This accounts for the very pale color of the first specimen ; and of another, in which we have scratched off part of the surface, to show the true color.

No. 1, is a cobang, supposed to be about sixty years old. It weighs 2014 grains ; it is two-thirds gold; one-third silver ; or, as we express by thousandths, is 667. thousandths fine. In its value, including the silver, is $5 95. It is of oval form, quite thick, 24 inches long, and 17 broad.

No. 2, cobang, coined within a few years past, weighs 174 grains. It is foursevenths gold, and three-sevenths silver, very nearly ; the exact fineness in thousandths being 568. The value including the silver, is $4 44. In size it is very little smaller than No. 1.

Nos. 3 and 4, cobangs, of very recent date brought by the embassy for assay. They are exactly alike, except one small mark. The weight is 1383 grains. Their fiveness is about 571-thousandths, which is precisely four sevenths, and appears to be the definite legal standard. The value, including the silver, is $3 57; without the silver, $3 41. These are yet smaller than No. 2, but similarly shaped

Nos. 5 and 6, two small rectangular coins, with a gold surface, which (by specific gravity) are about one-third gold. The weight is 25 grains. Their name and place in the series are not known to us. They are two-tbirds of an inch in length, and one-third in breadth.

No. 7, rectanguler coin, is half the weight of the cobang, No. 2 ; but (by specific gravity) contains little more than one-fourth gold ; the remainder appears to be silver. This piece, also, is not understood. It is one inch long and one half an inch broad.

No. 8, also rectangular, is called the gold itzebu, is one-fourth the weight of cobang, No. 2, and of the same fineness, very nearly. Value $l ll. A little smaller than No. 7.

Nos. 9 and 10 are the new gold itzebu, brought by the Embassy for assay, and are one-fourth of the cobang brought by them. Value 89} cents. A little larger than Nos. 5 and 6. All the silver coins are rectangular, and rather thick.

No.11, and old half-itzebu, silver, is one of several pieces wbich were given to an officer of the United States Exploring Expedition, about the year 1840, by some Japanese sailors who had drifted far out into the Pacific Ocean, and were picked up and taken care of. Afterward, by the wreck of one of our vessels, all the coins were lost except this one. It was our first specimen of Japanese coin. The weight is 41 grains, and, being near fine silver, it is worth a little over 1l cents. Same size as No. 8.

No. 12 is a silver itzebu, coived some years since, weighing 1345 grains 988 to 990 thousandths fine, and worth 36.9 ceuts. (Some specimens are fully 37.) A little larger than No. 7.

No. 13 weighs 280 graibs, and appears also to be nearly fine; value about 8 cents. Name not known. Same size as No. 8.

No. 14, a new silver itzebu, brought by the Embassy, (cut for assay.) It weighs the same as the old itzebu, 1344 grains, but is 890 thousandths tine, which is near our standard, (900.) Valued at 33.28 cents. Same size as No. 12.

No. 15, a large, thick piece of brass, oval, cast with a square hole in the center; said to be a piece of one hundred p'senny.” It is 2 inches long and 1} broad.

No. 16, a copper coin, circular, with a hole in the center, size of our cent.

No. 17, an iron coin, circular, with rough edges, and with a hole in the center, size of half cent.

STATISTICS OF TRADE AND COMMERCE.

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WHALE TRADE OF THE NORTH PACIFIC.
The Sandwich Island papers state :—We are able to make up for this mail a
fall exhibit of the North Pacific whaling fleet. As a rule, we give the highest
reliable figures, for generally ships hail below their actual catch. The list em-
braces 218 vessels, classed as follows :-

194
American, (including " William Tell” lost).
Hawaiian, (including " Faith" condemned)..

11
French....

7 Russian.

4 Bremen and Oldenburg..

2
Total.......

218
Of the above fleet, there bave arrived at the various ports of these islands this
fall 197, as follows:
American.
176 | Russian. ...

4
Hawaiian..
8 Bremen and Oldenburg.

2
French....

71
Of these, five are sperm whalers, bringing into port, as this season's catch,
1,500 barrels sperm oil; and 192 are right whalers, bailing, as the season's catch,
1,450 barrels sperm, 102,980 barrels whale oil, and 1,312,700 pounds bope. The
following tables exhibit the annual totals and average from 1852 to 1859, inclu -
sive. The average for the season has been 535 barrels of oil, and 6,802 pounds
bone. This average includes American, French, German, Hawaiian, and Rus-
sian #balers :-
TABLE SHOWING THE NUMBER BARRELS OIL AND POUNDS OF BONE TAKEN BY THE NORTH PA-
CIFIC WHALING FLEET FOR THE YEARS 1852-1859, (INCLUDING ONLY VESSELS THAT
HAVE RETURNED TO THE BANDWICH ISLANDS, *) AND GIVING THE AVERAGE FOR EACH
SEASOX,

No. No.
whalers right -Total on board.

-Season's catch

Average. Year, arrir'd, wbal'rs. Sperm, Whale. Sperm, Whale. Bone, Whale. Bone. 1859..

197 192 6,500+ 125,000+ 2,950 102,980 1,312,700 535 6,802
1838 218 211 13,935 182.300 1,555 129,240 1,661,700 620 7,904
1857.. 165 151 16,595 162,976 3,079 124,460 1,591,543 845 10,510
1856.. 177 170 9,013 195,255 3,337 135,708 1,523,650 830

9,015
1855..
250 221

.$ 6,242 225,625 2,443,250 1,081 11,110
1854..
245 232

- I 4,276 191,843 2,698,180 827 11,200
1853.. 252 244 20,857 364,520
1852.. 275 271 17,247 421,585 . 337,124 5,357,737 1,244 15,816

Annual average for the last six years to each vessel, 758 barrels oil.

The average of the North Pacific fleet refers only to right whalers, and is obtained after adding together their sperm and whale oil taken during the last season.

Seamen have been abundant. One fact, however, has been remarked—that foreign seamen generally dislike to ship again for the North, and prefer shipping

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* The - Faith's" cargo is included in the average.

These figures are estimated; no complete record has been kept this season of the actual amount on board all the vessels.

; No report is obtainable for these years.

on homeward-bound vessels. Their places are supplied by natives of these and other Pacific islands, who are preferred by many captains. They make good whalemen, and are generally content with smaller lays and advances.

Comparing this season's average with those of former years, it will be seen that there is a large and steady falling off, amounting this season to nearly 200 barrels, a de ease which is too heavy and too important not to bave a serious effect on the future prosecution of the whaling business in the North Pacific. An important question naturally arises here :-is this merely a temporary decrease, or is it likely to be permanent ? Those who have the best opportunities for judging correctly think that it will be permanent—that the whales are an. nually decreasing in number and size, particularly on the Kodiack and Ochotsk grounds. If such be the case, there can be no reasonable hope held out that the large averages of 1851, '2, and '3 will occur very soon again, nor, indeed, that anything better than the averages of the past two years can be depended on in suture. This decrease of oil and scarcity of whales is not, however, confined to the North Pacific. All the old resorts of whalemen-the New Zealand, the Off Shore, the Line, and other cruising grounds-are annually becoming less productive. Not half the sperm oil is taken now, per ship, that was taken twenty years ago. On the Kodiack the whales were remarkably scarce this season.

Some fifty ships visited that ground in the spring, but not more than three or four thousand barrels of oil were taken there. From thence the ships cruise northward, in June and July, through Bristol Bay, where a few whales were seen and captured. Several vessels cruising off Cape Thaddeus in June fell in with whales bound North, and captured a number. It was here that the “ Eliza Adams," Mary and Susan," “ Magnolia,' Hibernia," and several others obtained their good fares. These whales, it is thought, were bound North into the Arctic from the Ochotsk bays, where they are said to breed, and leave their calves when a few months old.

The whalemen inform us that the whales captured in the Ochotsk this season were generally small, many of them being mere calves, affording but a few barrels of oil. If this is the case, and the young whales are being thus destroyed, the Ochotsk Sea will very soon be rendered valueless as a cruising ground. Some captains with whom we have conversed have advanced the theory that the numerous whales that abound in and beyond the impenetrable ice barriers of the Arctic, annually come South to the bays along the Asiatic and American shores, where they breed, and stay by their young till four or five months old, or till the ice begins to break up, when they migrate to the Arctic Seas again, leaving their young ones to care for themselves. The ice fields of the Polar Sea are always found to abound with whales, which seem to delight in being in the ice. This instinct does not appear to arise from any fear of man, but is a natural one.

From vessels that have cruised in the Arctic, we learn that the weather has generally been better than in former seasons, but the whales very swift, and inclined to keep close to the ice. The great northern ice barrier is stated to have come much farther south this season, and appears to have changed the usual course of the currents of the Arctic. By some of the ships whales were observed in countless numbers, but generally in the ice or in very rough weather, when

a boat could with difficulty be lowered. One fact appears settled, that whales in the Arctic are as numerous now as they ever were, but that, owing to the generally stormy weather there, and the fact that whales keep in the ice fields, it is the most uncertain whaling ground in the Pacific.

LOSS OF OCEAN STEAMERS. Ocean steam navigation affords a pretty severe test of enterprise, when we consider the pecuniary hazards with which it has to contend, arising from the defective management, distribution of patronage, and perils of the sea. From its earliest history, disasters have been frequent, and seem to become more bumerous in proportion as the number of steamships is increased. Going back to the memorable loss of the “ President,” in 1841, the principal disasters to British and American steamers, mostly running on trans-Atlantic routes, may be summed up as follows:

Value of ves

Lives lost. sel and cargo. President, British

130 $1,200,000 Arctic, American..

300

1,800,000 Pacific, American.

240 2,000,000 San Francisco, American

16)

400,000 Central America, American..

387

2,500,000 Independence, American .

140

100,000 Yaokee Blade, American...

75

280,000 City of Glasgow, British

420

850,000 Union, American..

none

300,000 Humboldt, American

none

1,600,000 Franklin, American...

1,900,000 City of Philadelphia, British.

Done

600,000 Tempest, British.

150

300,000 Lyonnais, French..

160

280,000 Austria, German.

456

850,000 Canadian, British..

none

400,000 Argo, British.

Done

100,000 Indian, British.

27

125,000 Northerner, American...

32

75,000 Hungarian, British, (about).

120

270,000

pone

Total

2,807

$15,930,000 Showing that a fleet of twenty fine steamers, many of them first-class, have been totally lost within the period named. The President, Pacific, City of Glasgow, and Tempest, were never heard from; the Arctic, San Francisco, and Central America, foundered; the Independence, Yankee Blade, and Northerner, were wrecked on the Pacific, and the Canadian, llumboldt, Franklin, Argo, and Hungarian, on the Atlantic coast; the Lyonnais was sunk by collision, and the Austria was burnt. Not enumerated in this list are two-thirds as many more, generally of a class much inferior, which were lost in the California trade. The casual reader may derive a more distinct impression in regard to the appalling loss of life here recorded, but there are many homes where no fresh recital is needed to recall the memory of the loved and lost.

BRITISH TRADE RETURNS FOR THE YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 1859. The declared value of the exports of produce of the United Kingdom was £130,440,427, or 13 per cent in excess of that of the preceding year. This is

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