therefore, which supplied the Indian market
had been as abundant as those which supplied 
the European, such commodities would naturally 
exchange for a greater quantity of food 
in India than in Europe. But the mines 
which supplied the Indian market with the 
precious metals seem to have been a good deal 
less abundant, and those which supplied it 
with the precious stones a good deal more so, 
than the mines which supplied the European
The precious metals, therefore, would naturally 
exchange in India for a somewhat greater 
quantity of the precious stones, and for a 
much greater quantity of food than in Europe
The money price of diamonds, the greatest of 
all superfluities, would be somewhat lower, 
and that of food, the first of all necessaries, a 
great deal lower in the one country than in the 
other. But the real price of labour, the real 
quantity of the necessaries of life which is 
given to the labourer, it has already been observed
is lower both in China and Indostan
the two great markets of India, than it is 
through the greater part of Europe. The 
wages of the labourer will there purchase
smaller quantity of food: and as the money 
price of food is much lower in India than in 
Europe, the money price of labour is there 
lower upon a double account; upon account 
both of the small quantity of food which it 
will purchase, and of the low price of that 
food. But in countries of equal art and industry
the money price of the greater part of 
manufactures will be in proportion to the money 
price of labour; and in manufacturing 
art and industry, China and Indostan, though 
inferior, seem not to be much inferior to any 
part of Europe. The money price of the the 
greater part of manufactures, therefore, will 
naturally be much lower in those great empires 
than it is anywhere in Europe. Through 
the greater part of Europe, too, the expense of 
land-carriage increases very much both the and 
real and nominal price of most manufactures
It costs more labour, and therefore more money
to bring first the materials, and afterwards 
the complete manufacture to market
In China and Indostan, the extent and variety 
of inland navigations save the greater part of 
this labour, and consequently of this money
and thereby reduce still lower both the real 
and the nominal price of the greater part of 
their manufactures. Upon all these accounts
the precious metals are a commodity which it 
always has been, and still continues to be, extremely 
advantageous to carry from Europe 
to India. There is scarce any commodity 
which brings a better price there; or which, 
in proportion to the quantity of labour and 
commodities which it costs in Europe, will 
purchase or command a greater quantity of 
labour and commodities in India. It is more 
advantageous, too, to carry silver thither than 
gold; because in China, and the greater part 
of the other markets of India, the proportion 
between fine silver and fine gold is but as ten, 
or at most as twelve to one; whereas in Europe 
it is as fourteen or fifteen to one. In 
China, and the greater part of the other markets 
of India, ten, or at most twelve ounces 
of silver, will purchase an ounce of gold; in 
Europe, it requires from fourteen to fifteen 
ounces. In the cargoes, therefore, of the 
greater part of European ships which sail to 
India, silver has generally been one of the 
most valuable articles. It is the most valuable 
article in the Acapulco ships which sail 
to Manilla. The silver of the new continent 
seems, in this manner, to be one of the principal 
commodities by which the commerce between 
the two extremities of the old one is 
carried on; and it is by means of it, in a great 
measure, that those distant parts of the world 
are connected with one another. 
In order to supply so very widely extended 
a market, the quantity of silver annually 
brought from the mines must not only be sufficient 
to support that continued increase, both 
of coin and of plate, which is required in all 
thriving countries; but to repair that continual 
waste and consumption of silver which 
takes place in all countries where that metal 
is used. 
The continual consumption of the precious 
metals in coin by wearing, and in plate both 
by wearing and cleaning, is very sensible; and 
in commodities of which the use is so very 
widely extended, would alone require a very 
great annual supply. The consumption of 
those metals in some particular manufactures
though it may not perhaps be greater upon 
the whole than this gradual consumption, is, 
however, much more sensible, as it is much 
more rapid. In the manufactures of Birmingham 
alone, the quantity of gold and silver 
annually employed in gilding and plating
and thereby disqualified from ever afterwards 
appearing in the shape of those metals, is said 
to amount to more than fifty thousand pounds 
sterling. We may from thence form some 
notion how great must be the annual consumption 
in all the different parts of the 
world, either in manufactures of the same 
kind with those of Birmingham, or in laces, 
embroideries, gold and silver stuffs, the gilding 
of books, furniture, &c. A considerable 
quantity, too, must be annually lost in transporting 
those metals from one place to another 
both by sea and by land. In the greater part 
of the governments of Asia, besides, the almost 
universal custom of concealing treasures 
in the bowels of the earth, of which the knowledge 
frequently dies with the person who 
makes the concealment, must occasion the loss 
of a still greater quantity
The quantity of gold and silver imported at 
both Cadiz and Lisbon (including not only 
what comes under register, but what may be