History of the United States dollar
The history of the United States Dollar refers to more than 240 years since the Continental Congress of the United States authorized the issuance of Continental Currency in 1775. On April 2, 1792, the United States Congress created the United States dollar as the country's standard unit of money; the term dollar had been in common usage since the colonial period when it referred to eight-real coin used by the Spanish throughout New Spain. After the American Revolutionary War began in 1775, the Continental Congress began issuing paper money known as Continental currency, or Continentals. Continental currency was denominated in dollars from $1⁄6 to $80, including many odd denominations in between. During the Revolution, Congress issued $241,552,780 in Continental currency. By the end of 1778, this Continental currency retained only between 1⁄5 to 1⁄7 of its original face value. By 1780, Continental bills – or Continentals – were worth just 1⁄40 of their face value. Congress tried to reform the currency by removing the old bills from circulation and issuing new ones, but this met with little to no success.
By May 1781, Continentals had become so worthless. Benjamin Franklin noted that the depreciation of the currency had, in effect, acted as a tax to pay for the war. In the 1790s, after the ratification of the United States Constitution, Continentals could be exchanged for treasury bonds at 1% of face value. Congress appointed Robert Morris to be Superintendent of Finance of the United States following the collapse of Continental currency. In 1782, Morris advocated the creation of the first financial institution chartered by the United States; the Bank of North America was funded in part by bullion coin, loaned to the United States by France. Morris helped finance the final stages of the war by issuing promissory notes in his name, backed by his own money; the Bank of North America issued notes convertible into gold or silver. On July 6, 1785, the Continental Congress of the United States authorized the issuance of a new currency, the US dollar. However, runaway inflation and the collapse of the Continental currency prompted delegates at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787 to include the gold and silver clause in the United States Constitution, preventing individual States from issuing their own bills of credit.
Article One states they were prohibited to "make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts." Some people use this clause to argue. The United States Mint was created by Congress following the passing of the Coinage Act of 1792, it was tasked with producing and circulating coinage. The first Mint building was in Philadelphia the capital of the United States; the Mint was placed within the Department of State, until the Coinage Act of 1873 when it became part of the Department of the Treasury. The Mint had the authority to convert any precious metals into standard coinage for anyone's account with no seigniorage charge beyond refining costs. After the creation of the U. S. dollar, the fledgling American administration of President George Washington turned its attention to monetary issues again in the early 1790s, under the leadership of Alexander Hamilton, the Secretary of the Treasury at the time. Congress acted on Hamilton's recommendations, with the Coinage Act of 1792 that established the dollar as the basic unit of account for the United States.
The word dollar is derived from Low Saxon cognate of the High German Thaler. The most circulated and available currency, used by common Americans, at this time, was the Spanish Peso known as the "Spanish milled dollar", valued for its high silver content. In the early 19th century, the intrinsic value of gold coins rose relative to their nominal equivalent in silver coins, resulting in the removal from commerce of nearly all gold coins, their subsequent private melting. Therefore, in the Coinage Act of 1834, the 15:1 ratio of silver to gold was changed to a 16:1 ratio by reducing the weight of the nation's gold coinage; this created a new U. S. dollar, backed by 1.50 grams of gold. However, the previous dollar had been represented by 1.60 g of gold. The result of this revaluation, the first devaluation of the U. S. dollar, was that the value in gold of the dollar was reduced by 6%. Moreover, for a time, both gold and silver coins were useful in commerce. In 1853, the weights of U. S. silver coins were reduced.
This had the effect of placing the nation on the gold standard. The retained weight in the dollar coin was a nod to bimetallism, although it had the effect of further driving the silver dollar coin from commerce. Foreign coins, including the Spanish dollar, were widely used, as legal tender, until 1857. With the enactment of the National Banking Act of 1863—during the American Civil War—and its versions that taxed states' bonds and currency out of existence, the dollar became the sole currency of the United States and remains so today. During the 19th century the dollar was less accepted around the world than the British pound. Nellie Bly carried Bank of England notes on her 1889-1890 trip around the world in 72 days. Traveling east from New York, she did not see American money until she found $20 gold pieces used as jewelry in Colombo. In 1878, the Bland-Allison Act was enacted to provide for
United States Department of the Treasury
The Department of the Treasury is an executive department and the treasury of the United States federal government. Established by an Act of Congress in 1789 to manage government revenue, the Treasury prints all paper currency and mints all coins in circulation through the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and the United States Mint, respectively. S. government debt instruments. The Department is administered by the Secretary of the Treasury, a member of the Cabinet. Senior advisor to the Secretary is the Treasurer of the United States. Signatures of both officials appear on all Federal Reserve notes; the first Secretary of the Treasury was Alexander Hamilton, sworn into office on September 11, 1789. Hamilton was appointed by President George Washington on the recommendation of Robert Morris, Washington's first choice for the position, who had declined the appointment. Hamilton established—almost singlehandedly—the nation's early financial system and for several years was a major presence in Washington's administration.
His portrait appears on the obverse of the ten-dollar bill, while the Treasury Department building is depicted on the reverse. The current Secretary of the Treasury is Steven Mnuchin, confirmed by the United States Senate on February 13, 2017. Jovita Carranza, appointed on April 28, 2017, is the incumbent treasurer; the history of the Department of the Treasury began in the turmoil of the American Revolution, when the Continental Congress at Philadelphia deliberated the crucial issue of financing a war of independence against Great Britain. The Congress had no power to levy and collect taxes, nor was there a tangible basis for securing funds from foreign investors or governments; the delegates resolved to issue paper money in the form of bills of credit, promising redemption in coin on faith in the revolutionary cause. On June 22, 1775—only a few days after the Battle of Bunker Hill—Congress issued $2 million in bills. On July 29, 1775, the Second Continental Congress assigned the responsibility for the administration of the revolutionary government's finances to joint Continental treasurers George Clymer and Michael Hillegas.
The Congress stipulated. To ensure proper and efficient handling of the growing national debt in the face of weak economic and political ties between the colonies, the Congress, on February 17, 1776, designated a committee of five to superintend the Treasury, settle accounts, report periodically to the Congress. On April 1, a Treasury Office of Accounts, consisting of an Auditor General and clerks, was established to facilitate the settlement of claims and to keep the public accounts for the government of the United Colonies. With the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, the newborn republic as a sovereign nation was able to secure loans from abroad. Despite the infusion of foreign and domestic loans, the united colonies were unable to establish a well-organized agency for financial administration. Michael Hillegas was first called Treasurer of the United States on May 14, 1777; the Treasury Office was reorganized three times between 1778 and 1781. The $241.5 million in paper Continental bills devalued rapidly.
By May 1781, the dollar collapsed at a rate of from 500 to 1000 to 1 against hard currency. Protests against the worthless money swept the colonies, giving rise to the expression "not worth a Continental". Robert Morris was designated Superintendent of Finance in 1781 and restored stability to the nation's finances. Morris, a wealthy colonial merchant, was nicknamed "the Financier" because of his reputation for procuring funds or goods on a moment's notice, his staff included a comptroller, a treasurer, a register, auditors, who managed the country's finances through 1784, when Morris resigned because of ill health. The treasury board, consisting of three commissioners, continued to oversee the finances of the confederation of former colonies until September 1789; the First Congress of the United States was called to convene in New York on March 4, 1789, marking the beginning of government under the Constitution. On September 2, 1789, Congress created a permanent institution for the management of government finances:Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That there shall be a Department of Treasury, in which shall be the following officers, namely: a Secretary of the Treasury, to be deemed head of the department.
Alexander Hamilton took the oath of office as the first Secretary of the Treasury on September 11, 1789. Hamilton had served as George Washington's aide-de-camp during the Revolution and was of great importance in the ratification of the Constitution; because of his financial and managerial acumen, Hamilton was a logical choice for solving the problem of the new nation's heavy war debt. Hamilton's first official act was to submit a report to Congress in which he laid the foundation for the nation's financial health. To the surprise of many legislators, he insisted upon federal assumption and dollar-for-dollar repayment of the country's $75 million debt in order to revitalize the public credit: "he debt of the United States was the price of liberty; the faith of America has been pledged for it, with solemnities that give peculiar force to the obligation." Hami
Obverse and reverse
Obverse and its opposite, refer to the two flat faces of coins and some other two-sided objects, including paper money, seals, drawings, old master prints and other works of art, printed fabrics. In this usage, obverse reverse means the back face; the obverse of a coin is called heads, because it depicts the head of a prominent person, the reverse tails. In fields of scholarship outside numismatics, the term front is more used than obverse, while usage of reverse is widespread; the equivalent terms used in codicology, manuscript studies, print studies and publishing are "recto" and "verso". The side of a coin with the larger-scale image will be called the obverse and, if that does not serve to distinguish them, the side, more typical of a wide range of coins from that location will be called the obverse. Following this principle, in the most famous of ancient Greek coins, the tetradrachm of Athens, the obverse is the head of Athena and the reverse is her owl. Similar versions of these two images, both symbols of the state, were used on the Athenian coins for more than two centuries.
In the many republics of ancient Greece, such as Athens or Corinth, one side of their coins would have a symbol of the state their patron goddess or her symbol, which remained constant through all of the coins minted by that state, regarded as the obverse of those coins. The opposite side may have varied from time to time. In ancient Greek monarchical coinage, the situation continued whereby a larger image of a deity, is called the obverse, but a smaller image of a monarch appears on the other side, called the reverse. In a Western monarchy, it has been customary, following the tradition of the Hellenistic monarchs and the Roman emperors, for the currency to bear the head of the monarch on one side, always regarded as the obverse; this change happened in the coinage of Alexander the Great, which continued to be minted long after his death. After his conquest of ancient Egypt, he allowed himself to be depicted on the obverse of coins as a god-king, at least because he thought this would help secure the allegiance of the Egyptians, who had regarded their previous monarchs, the pharaohs, as divine.
The various Hellenistic rulers who were his successors followed his tradition and kept their images on the obverse of coins. A movement back to the earlier tradition of a deity being placed on the obverse occurred in Byzantine coinage, where a head of Christ became the obverse and a head or portrait of the emperor became considered the reverse; the introduction of this style in the gold coins of Justinian II from the year 695 provoked the Islamic Caliph, Abd al-Malik, who had copied Byzantine designs, replacing Christian symbols with Islamic equivalents to develop a distinctive Islamic style, with just lettering on both sides of their coins. This script alone style was used on nearly all Islamic coinage until the modern period; the type of Justinian II was revived after the end of Iconoclasm, with variations remained the norm until the end of the Empire. Without images, therefore, it is not always easy to tell which side will be regarded as the obverse without some knowledge. After 695 Islamic coins avoided all images of persons and contained script alone.
The side expressing the Six Kalimas is defined as the obverse. A convention exists to display the obverse to the left and the reverse to the right in photographs and museum displays, but this is not invariably observed; the form of currency follows its function, to serve as a accepted medium of exchange of value. This function rests on a state as guarantor of the value: either as trustworthy guarantor of the kind and amount of metal in a coin, or as powerful guarantor of the continuing acceptance of token coins. Traditionally, most states have been monarchies where the person of the monarch and the state were equivalent for most purposes. For this reason, the obverse side of a modern piece of currency is the one that evokes that reaction by invoking the strength of the state, that side always depicts a symbol of the state, whether it be the monarch or otherwise. If not provided for on the obverse, the reverse side contains information relating to a coin's role as medium of exchange. Additional space reflects the issuing country's culture or government, or evokes some aspect of the state's territory.
Regarding the euro, some confusion regarding the obverse and reverse of the euro coins exists. As agreed by the informal Economic and Finance Ministers Council of Verona in April 1996, despite the fact that a number of countries have a different design for each coin, the distinctive national side for the circulation coins is the obverse and the common European side is the reverse; this rule does not apply to the collector coins. A number of the designs used for obverse national sides of euro coins were taken from the reverse of the nations' former pre-euro coins. Several countries continue to use portraits of the reigning monarch. In Japan, from 1897 to the end of World War II, the following informal conventions existed: the Chrysanthemum Throne, representing the imperial family, appeared on all coins, this side was regarded as the obverse; the Chrys
The face value is the value of a coin, stamp or paper money, as printed on the coin, stamp or bill itself by the issuing authority. The face value of coins, stamps, or bill is its legal value. However, their market value need not bear any relationship to the face value. For example, some rare coins or stamps may be traded at prices above their face value; the face value of bonds represents the principal or redemption value. Interest payments are expressed as a percentage of face value. Before maturity, the actual value of a bond may be greater or less than face value, depending on the interest rate payable and the perceived risk of default; as bonds approach maturity, actual value approaches face value. In the case of stock certificates, face value is the par value of the stock. In the case of common stock, par value is symbolic. In the case of preferred stock, dividends may be expressed as a percentage of par value; the face value of a life insurance policy is the death benefit. In the case of so-called "double indemnity" life insurance policies, the beneficiary receives double the face value in case of accidental death.
The face value of property, casualty or health insurance policies is the maximum amount payable, as stated on the policy's face or declarations page. Face value can be used to refer to the apparent value of something other than a financial instrument, such as a concept or plan. In this context, "face value" refers to the apparent merits of the idea, before the concept or plan has been tested. Face value refers to the price printed on a ticket to a sporting event, concert, or other event; the practice of re-selling tickets for more than face value is known as ticket scalping. Taking someone at face value is assuming another person's suggestion, offer, or proposal is sincere, rather than a bargaining ploy. Denomination Denomination Gresham's law Nominal value Melt value Par value Place value Token money Buchanan, T. B.. Principles of Money and Coinage. Chamber of Commerce and Board of Trade. P. 22. Retrieved September 5, 2017. Allen, L.. The Encyclopedia of Money. ABC-CLIO. P. 193. ISBN 978-1-59884-251-7.
Retrieved September 5, 2017. Conant, C. A.. Book II-The principles of the value of money: The importance of definitions; the Principles of Money and Banking. Harper. P. 280. Retrieved September 5, 2017
Silver is a chemical element with symbol Ag and atomic number 47. A soft, lustrous transition metal, it exhibits the highest electrical conductivity, thermal conductivity, reflectivity of any metal; the metal is found in the Earth's crust in the pure, free elemental form, as an alloy with gold and other metals, in minerals such as argentite and chlorargyrite. Most silver is produced as a byproduct of copper, gold and zinc refining. Silver has long been valued as a precious metal. Silver metal is used in many bullion coins, sometimes alongside gold: while it is more abundant than gold, it is much less abundant as a native metal, its purity is measured on a per-mille basis. As one of the seven metals of antiquity, silver has had an enduring role in most human cultures. Other than in currency and as an investment medium, silver is used in solar panels, water filtration, ornaments, high-value tableware and utensils, in electrical contacts and conductors, in specialized mirrors, window coatings, in catalysis of chemical reactions, as a colorant in stained glass and in specialised confectionery.
Its compounds are used in X-ray film. Dilute solutions of silver nitrate and other silver compounds are used as disinfectants and microbiocides, added to bandages and wound-dressings and other medical instruments. Silver is similar in its physical and chemical properties to its two vertical neighbours in group 11 of the periodic table and gold, its 47 electrons are arranged in the configuration 4d105s1 to copper and gold. This distinctive electron configuration, with a single electron in the highest occupied s subshell over a filled d subshell, accounts for many of the singular properties of metallic silver. Silver is an soft and malleable transition metal, though it is less malleable than gold. Silver crystallizes in a face-centered cubic lattice with bulk coordination number 12, where only the single 5s electron is delocalized to copper and gold. Unlike metals with incomplete d-shells, metallic bonds in silver are lacking a covalent character and are weak; this observation explains the low high ductility of single crystals of silver.
Silver has a brilliant white metallic luster that can take a high polish, and, so characteristic that the name of the metal itself has become a colour name. Unlike copper and gold, the energy required to excite an electron from the filled d band to the s-p conduction band in silver is large enough that it no longer corresponds to absorption in the visible region of the spectrum, but rather in the ultraviolet. Protected silver has greater optical reflectivity than aluminium at all wavelengths longer than ~450 nm. At wavelengths shorter than 450 nm, silver's reflectivity is inferior to that of aluminium and drops to zero near 310 nm. High electrical and thermal conductivity is common to the elements in group 11, because their single s electron is free and does not interact with the filled d subshell, as such interactions lower electron mobility; the electrical conductivity of silver is the greatest of all metals, greater than copper, but it is not used for this property because of the higher cost.
An exception is in radio-frequency engineering at VHF and higher frequencies where silver plating improves electrical conductivity because those currents tend to flow on the surface of conductors rather than through the interior. During World War II in the US, 13540 tons of silver were used in electromagnets for enriching uranium because of the wartime shortage of copper. Pure silver has the highest thermal conductivity of any metal, although the conductivity of carbon and superfluid helium-4 are higher. Silver has the lowest contact resistance of any metal. Silver forms alloys with copper and gold, as well as zinc. Zinc-silver alloys with low zinc concentration may be considered as face-centred cubic solid solutions of zinc in silver, as the structure of the silver is unchanged while the electron concentration rises as more zinc is added. Increasing the electron concentration further leads to body-centred cubic, complex cubic, hexagonal close-packed phases. Occurring silver is composed of two stable isotopes, 107Ag and 109Ag, with 107Ag being more abundant.
This equal abundance is rare in the periodic table. The atomic weight is 107.8682 u. Both isotopes of silver are produced in stars via the s-process, as well as in supernovas via the r-process. Twenty-eight radioisotopes have been characterized, the most stable being 105Ag with a half-life of 41.29 days, 111Ag with a half-life of 7.45 days, 112Ag with a half-life of 3.13 hours. Silver has numerous nuclear isomers, the most stable being 108mAg, 110mAg and 106mAg. All of the remaining radioactive isotopes have half-lives of less than an hour, the majority of these have half-lives of less than three minutes. Isotopes of silver range in relative atomic mass from 92.950 u
The two-cent billon was a pattern US coin struck in 1836 and proposed as part of the Act of January 13, 1837. Versions exist with either a plain edge and medal orientation. A two-cent piece had been proposed as early as 1806 by Connecticut Senator Uriah Tracy, along with a twenty-cent piece or "double dime". Reflecting the then-prevalent view that coins should contain their value in metal, Tracy's bill provided that the two-cent piece be made of billon, or debased silver; the proposed metal would have consisted of 6.4 grains of 24.3 grains of copper. The Mint Director at the time Robert Patterson opposed the bill, as it would be difficult to refine the silver from melted-down pieces. Tracy's legislation failed despite passing in the Senate twice; the Mint considered a two-cent piece again for the second time in 1836. Second Engraver Christian Gobrecht and Melter and Refiner Franklin Peale both conducted experiments for the coin, concluded that the piece was to be made of billon. Although the coin was proposed in early drafts of the Mint Act of 1837, this the proposal was dropped when Peale showed that the coin could be counterfeited.
A two cent piece was proposed for a third time during the economic turmoil of the American Civil War, due to a national coin shortage. For the most part, the lack of coins was filled by private token issues, some were struck in copper-nickel approximating the size of the cent and others were thinner pieces in bronze; this fact did not escape government officials, in 1863, the use of bronze coins was proposed, as they did not seem to contain their face values in metal. In his annual report submitted October 1, 1863, Mint Director James Pollock noted that "whilst people expect a full value in their gold and silver coins, they want the inferior money for convenience in making exact payments", he observed that the private cent tokens had sometimes contained as little as a fifth of a cent in metal, yet had still circulated. He proposed. Pollock wanted to eliminate nickel as a coinage metal. On December 8, Pollock wrote to Treasury Secretary Salmon P. Chase, proposing a bronze cent and two-cent piece, enclosing pattern coins of the two-cent piece that he had had prepared.
According to numismatist Neil Carothers, a two-cent piece was most proposed in order to get as much dollar value in small change into circulation in as short a time as possible, as the Mint could strike a two-cent piece as as a cent.. The bronze two-cent piece became a regular issue, but with declining mintage numbers each year until it was discontinued in 1873
A pattern coin is a coin which has not been approved for release, produced to evaluate a proposed coin design. They are off-metal strike, to proof standard or piedforts. Many Coin collectors study pattern coins because of their historical importance. Many of the world's most valuable coins are pattern coins; the first English coin that can be identified with certainty is a groat worth fourpence. This piece, an example of, illustrated and sold in the Dodsley Cuff sale of the mid-19th century, had crowns in place of the usual three pellets in each quarter of the reverse. Patterns are identifiable and exist in larger numbers from the reign of Elizabeth I onwards; the experimental base metal issues of all coinage prior to the mid-18th century have been well preserved. Boulton's mint in Soho produced large quantities of patterns, which were supplemented by Taylor some fifty or so years from the same dies. After the Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776, discussion arose over what sort of currency should be adopted in the United States.
At the time, people in North America relied upon a mixture of foreign coins, none of which were struck to a consistent standard, making day to day financial transactions difficult. In 1783, Congress resolved to create a mint, tasking Superintendent of Finance Robert Morris with developing a plan for a system of coinage; the first coins struck by the United States – the Nova Constellatio patterns – were made to illustrate this plan. In 1792 the United States Mint opened in Philadelphia. In that year several more patterns were created, including the half dime known as a "half disme", it is believed that c. 1,500 pieces were struck as patterns, that these patterns themselves entered circulation during the next decade. Over the next 40 years, more patterns were created but there is little information known about these pieces. Technically, these coins were not patterns but rather off-metal strikes, with the coins struck in a different metal than those destined for general use in circulation. An example is an 1807 Half Eagle.
Starting in 1836, more patterns were created by the United States Mint in Philadelphia. These consisted of several types of patterns: Real pattern coins for proposed coinage Off-metal strikes Transitional pieces Fantasy piecesOne example of a pattern coin for proposed coinage is the half-union, a gold pattern coin with a face value of 50 U. S. dollars, minted in 1877 and weighed 2.5 ounces. The U. S. Mint deemed the idea of a 2.5-ounce gold coin infeasible, only two were minted. Transitional pieces are patterns dated before coins with the new design went into circulation; these were produced during final stage of the pattern process, used to present the newly adopted design to the public. One famous example is the 1856 Flying Eagle cent, although that coin has been and incorrectly believed to be regular issue due to its high mintage for collectors. Fantasy pieces include many struck in the 1860s and 1870s as patterns and sold to numismatists for the sole purpose of raising cash for the mint; this practice ended in the 1880s, when the U.
S. Mint enforced regulations to prevent the sale of pattern coins; the U. S. Mint experiments with new coinage such as when silver was removed from coin designs; the Mint began using dies with Martha Washington for trial strikings, since they would not be confused with real circulating money since they do not resemble money. Thus, no restrictions exist on the sale of Martha Washington pieces. Mint-produced modern patterns are rare, with only a few pieces existing in private collections; the United States mint has placed restrictions on the sale of modern patterns that do resemble coins, such as the 1974 aluminum cent. One of the most expansive collections of American pattern coins is the Harry W. Bass, Jr. collection housed at the American Numismatic Association Money Museum in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Pattern coins of France and of French-speaking countries such as Monaco are described by the French term essai; the essai coins of New Hebrides are of interest to collectors of British Commonwealth coinage, as New Hebrides gained independence in 1980 as the Republic of Vanuatu.
The word essai is found inscribed on the pattern coins of Namibia along with the German word Probe. Specimen banknote Specimen stamp Colombian Patterns by Guillermo Granados