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NNP Blog

Jun 27 2017
Periodicals

Hunt's Merchant's Magazine and Commercial Review

Freeman Hunt’s Merchant’s Magazine and Commercial Review (1839-1870) was an important source of American economic, banking, and trade news in the mid-19th century. Numismatic tidbits are scattered about and are best found through text search. Users can search specifically within this periodical through the Newman Portal advanced search, by entering “Merchant’s” in the “Title” field and the search word or phrase in the “Search” field. A search on “Mint” for the year 1853, for example, reveals some of the thought that went into the Mint Act of 1853, which slightly reduced the weight of the silver coinage. Prior to this, silver coinage was overweight with respect to gold, and Congress wished to restore circulating parity:

“Since our last, the New Mint Bill has become a law, and will be published in our next number. Its provisions give general satisfaction, particularly the redaction of the weight of our silver coin, which will tend to relieve the present scarcity of small change. The reduction applies only to half dollars, quarter dollars, dimes, and half dimes, and is equal to 6.91 per cent…..Had more than this been taken from the intrinsic value of the coin, imitators might have supplied the change from private mints, and thus have defrauded government of the profits of the new coinage.” (Merchant’s Magazine, vol. 28, p. 344.)

Link to Merchant’s Magazine on Newman Portal: https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/publisherdetail/520455

Link to advanced search page on Newman Portal: https://nnp.wustl.edu/Library/AdvancedSearchForm

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