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In the mines of Chichiapa, Tetala, Tasco,
Albukquerque, and Chiconasi - 90 In the mines of Temascaltepec, Ayuteco, and Chautla de la Sal - - 85
In the mines of Zacualpa, San Luis Potosi, Guautla, Sultepec, and Tlapujahua - - - - - - 80
The government regulates the distribution (repartimiento) of silver, according to these, data, and the quantity of silver annually extracted from the different districts of mines.
The work of M. Sonneschmidt, which I announced in a former part of this essay (vol. iii. p. 252) has appeared since the publication of my investigations respecting the mines of New Spain, under the title of Beschreibung des Spanischen Amalgamation oder Verquikkung des in den Erzen verborgenen Silbers, sowie sie bey den Bergwerken in Mexico gebräuchlich ist, Gotha 1810. The author affirms that the amalgamation por crudo 3y de patio lasts in general, in New Spain, not under eight days, and not above two months, supposing always that the sulphate of copper, or magistral is of good quality, and that a too low temperature of the air does not impede the action of the mercury on the
A A 3
silver. The amalgamation of a quintal of ores, which contain from three and a half to four ounces of silver, costs in Mexico, including the loss of mercury, from five to six francs. M. Sonneschmidt calculates the loss of mercury at ten, twelve, or fourteen ounces per marc of silver; and he reckons 8 ounces of mercury consumed (azogue consumido), and from 3 to 6 ounces lost (azogue perdido).
On the activity of the mints of France, compared with the mint of Merico.
If the sixteen mints of France coin” less than the mint of Mexico alone, the cause is only to be . imputed to the want of materials. At Paris, each stamper can execute 2500 pieces of 40, 20, 2 and 1 francs per hour: they strike 3000 in pieces of # francs, and 2000 in pieces of 5 francs.
The labour of the month of April 1796, at the mint of Mexico, amounted to the sum of 2,922,185 piastres, and that of the month of December,1792, amounted even to 3,065,000 piastres.
This sum was partly in gold and partly in silver; and valuing the piastres at 5 francs 43 cent., the 3,065,000, would amount in French money, to - - 16,642,950 fr.
* See vol. iii. p. 480.
In 13 days in the month of January, 1811, the coinage of gold and silver, amounted at Paris, to 7,996,454 francs, which would give for 26 days - - - 15,992,908 fr. Twelve mints of France could coin per day, if the materials were regularly supplied, 1,000,000 francs in silver, which in 26 days, would amount to - - - 26,000,000fr. It is evident in this last estimate, that there is no question of gold coinage, which, if it took place, would yield a sum greatly superior to that of the 26 millions of francs of silver. M. Necker in his work on the administration of the finances of France, has given the quantity of gold and silver, coined from 1726 to 1780. We shall here give an exact account of the general coinage of all the mints of France, from 1726 to 1809. The coinage from 1726 to 1785, was in gold 986,643,888 livres tournois. More than two thirds of this gold were recoined in the nine following years; for the gold coinage amounted, between 1785 and 1794,to 751,281,504 francs. The silver coinage from 1726 to 1794 amounted to 2,072,022,441 livres tournois. The total value of the different coinages cf zoid and silver, Base coin and Beils, in all the mints co France, between 1725 and ITG4, amounted to 3,343,225.13+ ioTes. From 17.5 to IEC 2, there was coined in pieces of 5 francs, with the inscription. Horcase e: Iz Eero, to the vilize of lot, 237,255 francs. The coinage, between ISO-3 and ISO9, amounted in gold to 173,319,700 francs; and in silver to 259,454,374 frincs, or at an average for the last eight years to more than 54 millions of francs per annum. From these particulars it appears, that in the space of eighty-three years, from 1736 to ISO9, the value of the total gold, silver, and copper coinage of France, amounted to 4,410,396,000 francs. From December 1801, till August 1804, Spain received from its colonies, 107,508,152 piastres in gold and silver, and 63.330,590 piastres in agricultural produce. From 1788 to 1795 the total importation was only at an average, from 35 to 45 millions of piastres per annum (see p. 124 of this volume, and Edin. Review, 1810, p. 77.) I shall give, at the end of the supplement, some elucidations respecting the estimates of the produce of the mines, as well as respecting the weights and monies. The produce of the mines of Spanish America, varies a seventh from year to year, or more that 500,0000 marcs of silver. We have estimated this produce for the Spanish and Portuguese colonies, at 17,291 kilogrammes in gold, or 75,217 Castillian marcs, and at 795,581 kilogrammes or 4,460 Castillian marcs of silver, which are equal together to 434 millions of piastres. Europe, Siberia, and America furmish per annum 19,126 kilogrammes in gold, and 869,960 kilogrammes in silver, or 3,554,447 French marcs, or to the value of 259,200,000 francs. I ought to observe, that the three tables, vol. iii. p. 389, 894, and 897, indicate fine gold and silver; but that the two tables, vol. iii. p.291 and 292, drawn up at the mint of Mexico, contain Castillian marcs, of silver of piastres, or very nearly pure silver; for, according to my tables, the coinage in 1796, 1797, and 1799, was 2,854,072; 2,818,248; and 2,473,542 Castillian marcs in silver, while the lists printed at Mexico, make the coinage for these same three years amount to 24,346,772; 24,041,180 and 21,096,031 piastres. In the calculations in vol. iii. p. 172, 173, 174,862,878,420, 421,427, and 428, I have reduced the piastres according to the custom of the country, into Castillian marcs, dividing by 83, so that I have in the same manner only obtained marcs of silver of the piastre fineness, or 0.903. The mass of pure silver, extracted within these three