mint price. Since that reformation, the market 
price has been constantly below the mint 
price. But that market price is the same 
whether it is paid in gold or in silver coin
The late reformation of the gold coin, therefore, 
has raised not only the value of the gold 
coin, but likewise that of the silver coin in 
proportion to gold bullion, and probably, too, 
in proportion to all other commodities; though 
the price of the greater part of other commodities 
being influenced by so many other 
causes, the rise in the value of either gold or 
silver coin in proportion to them may not be 
so distinct and sensible. 
In the English mint, a pound weight of 
standard silver bullion is coined into sixty-two 
shillings, containing, in the same manner, a 
pound weight of standard silver. Five shillings 
and twopence an ounce, therefore, is said 
to be the mint price of silver in England, or 
the quantity of silver coin which the mint 
gives in return for standard silver bullion
Before the reformation of the gold coin, the 
market price of standard silver bullion was, 
upon different occasions, five shillings and 
fourpence, five shillings and fivepence, five 
shillings and sixpence, five shillings and sevenpence, 
and very often five shillings and eightpence 
an ounce. Five shillings and sevenpence
however, seems to have been the most 
common price. Since the reformation of the 
gold coin, the market price of standard silver 
bullion has fallen occasionally to five shillings 
and threepence, five shillings and fourpence
and five shillings and fivepence an ounce
which last price it has scarce ever exceeded. 
Though the market price of silver bullion has 
fallen considerably since the reformation of 
the gold coin, it has not fallen so low as the 
mint price
In the proportion between the different metals 
in the English coin, as copper is rated very 
much above its real value, so silver is rated 
somewhat below it. In the market of Europe
in the French coin and in the Dutch coin, an 
ounce of fine gold exchanges for about fourteen 
ounces of fine silver. In the English 
coin, it exchanges for about fifteen ounces
that is, for more silver than it is worth, according 
to the common estimation of Europe. 
But as the price of copper in bars is not, even 
in England, raised by the high price of copper 
in English coin, so the price of silver in 
bullion is not sunk by the low rate of silver 
in English coin. Silver in bullion still preserves 
its proper proportion to gold, for the 
same reason that copper in bars preserves its 
proper proportion to silver
Upon the reformation of the silver coin, in 
the reign of William III., the price of silver 
bullion still continued to be somewhat above 
the mint price. Mr Locke imputed this high 
price to the permission of exporting silver bullion
and to the prohibition of exporting silver 
coin. This permission of exporting, he said, 
rendered the demand for silver bullion greater 
than the demand for silver coin. But the 
number of people who want silver coin for the 
common uses of buying and selling at home
is surely much greater than that of those who 
want silver bullion either for the use of exportation 
or for any other use. There subsists at 
present a like permission of exporting gold bullion
and a like prohibition of exporting gold 
coin; and yet the price of gold bullion has 
fallen below the mint price. But in the English 
coin, silver was then, in the same manner 
as now, under-rated in proportion to gold
and the gold coin (which at that time, too, 
was not supposed to require any reformation
regulated then, as well as now, the real value 
of the whole coin. As the reformation of the 
silver coin did not then reduce the price of 
silver bullion to the mint price, it is not very 
probable that a like reformation will do so 
Were the silver coin brought back as near 
to its standard weight as the gold, a guinea
it is probable, would, according to the present 
proportion, exchange for more silver in coin 
than it would purchase in bullion. The silver 
coin containing its full standard weight, there 
would in this case, be a profit in melting it 
down, in order, first to sell the bullion for 
gold coin, and afterwards to exchange this 
gold coin for silver coin, to be melted down 
in the same manner. Some alteration in the 
present proportion seems to be the only method 
of preventing this inconveniency
The inconveniency, perhaps, would be less, 
if silver was rated in the coin as much above 
its proper proportion to gold as it is at present 
rated below it, provided it was at the same time 
enacted, that silver should not be a legal tender 
for more than the change of a guinea, in 
the same manner as copper is not a legal tender 
for more than the change of a shilling
No creditor could, in this case, be cheated in 
consequence of the high valuation of silver in 
coin; as no creditor can at present be cheated 
in consequence of the high valuation of copper
The bankers only would suffer by this 
regulation. When a run comes upon them, 
they sometimes endeavour to gain time, by 
paying in sixpences, and they would be precluded 
by this regulation from this discreditable 
method of evading immediate payment
They would be obliged, in consequence, to 
keep at all times in their coffers a greater 
quantity of cash than at present; and though 
this might, no doubt, be a considerable inconveniency 
to them, it would, at the same time
be a considerable security to their creditors
Three pounds seventeen shillings and tenpence 
halfpenny (the mint price of gold) certainly 
does not contain, even in our present 
excellent gold coin, more than an ounce of 
standard gold, and it may be thought, therefore, 
should not purchase more standard bullion
But gold in coin is more convenient 
than gold in bullion; and though, in England