number of ounces of pure silver to be paid in 
Holland, and the man who was supposed to 
give, may in reality have got the premium
The French coin was, before the late reformation 
of the English gold coin, much less 
wore than the English, and was perhaps two 
or three per cent. nearer its standard. If the 
computed exchange with France, therefore, 
was not more than two or three per cent
against England, the real exchange might 
have been in its favour. Since the reformation 
of the gold coin, the exchange has been 
constantly in favour of England, and against 
Secondly, In some countries the expense of 
coinage is defrayed by the government; in 
others, it is defrayed by the private people, 
who carry their bullion to the mint, and the 
government even derives some revenue from 
the coinage. In England it is defrayed by 
the government; and if you carry a pound 
weight of standard silver to the mint, you get 
back sixty-two shillings, containing a pound 
weight of the like standard silver. In France 
a duty of eight per cent. is deducted for the 
coinage, which not only defrays the expense 
of it, but affords a small revenue to the government. 
In England, as the coinage costs 
nothing, the current coin can never be much 
more valuable than the quantity of bullion 
which it actually contains. In France, the 
workmanship, as you pay for it, adds to the 
value, in the same manner as to that of wrought 
plate. A sum of French money, therefore, 
containing an equal weight of pure silver, is 
more valuable than a sum of English money 
containing an equal weight of pure silver, and 
must require more bullion, or other commodities
to purchase it. Though the current 
coin of the two countries, therefore, were equally 
near the standards of their respective mints
a sum of English money could not well purchase 
a sum of French money containing an 
equal number of ounces of pure silver, nor 
consequently, a bill upon France for such a 
sum. If, for such a bill, no more additional 
money was paid than what was sufficient to 
compensate the expense of the French coinage
the real exchange might be at par between 
the two countries; their debts and credits 
might mutually compensate one another, 
while the computed exchange was considerably 
in favour of France. If less than this was 
paid, the real exchange might be in favour of 
England, while the computed was in favour 
of France
Thirdly, and lastly, In some places, as at 
Amsterdam, Hamburg, Venice, &c. foreign 
bills of exchange are paid in what they call 
bank money; while in others, as at London
Lisbon, Antwerp, Leghorn, &c. they are paid 
in the common currency of the country. What 
is called bank money, is always of more value 
than the same nominal sum of common 
currency. A thousand guilders in the bank 
of Amsterdam, for example, are of more value 
than a thousand guilders of Amsterdam 
currency. The difference between them is 
called the agio of the bank, which at Amsterdam 
is generally about five per cent. Supposing 
the current money of the two countries 
equally near to the standard of their respective 
mints, and that the one pays foreign bills 
in this common currency, while the other pays 
them in bank money, it is evident that the 
computed exchange may be in favour of that 
which pays in bank money, though the real 
exchange should be in favour of that which 
pays in current money; for the same reason 
that the computed exchange may be in favour 
of that which pays in better money, or in money 
nearer to its own standard, though the 
real exchange should be in favour of that 
which pays in worse. The computed exchange
before the late reformation of the gold 
coin, was generally against London with Amsterdam
Hamburg, Venice, and, I believe, 
with all other places which pay in what is 
called bank money. It will by no means follow
however, that the real exchange was against 
it. Since the reformation of the gold 
coin, it has been in favour of London, even 
with those places. The computed exchange 
has generally been in favour of London with 
Lisbon, Antwerp, Leghorn, and, if you except 
France, I believe with most other parts 
of Europe that pay in common currency; and 
it is not improbable that the real exchange 
was so too. 
Digression concerning Banks of Deposit, particularly 
concerning that of Amsterdam
The currency of a great state, such as France 
or England, generally consists almost entirely 
of its own coin. Should this currency, therefore, 
be at any time worn, clipt, or otherwise 
degraded below its standard value, the state
by a reformation of its coin, can effectually 
re-establish its currency. But the currency 
of a small state, such as Genoa or Hamburg
can seldom consist altogether in its own coin
but must be made up, in a great measure, of 
the coins of all the neighbouring states with 
which its inhabitants have a continual intercourse. 
Such a state, therefore, by reforming 
its coin, will not always be able to reform its 
currency. If foreign bills of exchange are 
paid in this currency, the uncertain value of 
any sum, of what is in its own nature so uncertain
must render the exchange always very 
much against such a state, its currency being 
in all foreign states necessarily valued even below 
what it is worth
In order to remedy the inconvenience to 
which this disadvantageous exchange must 
have subjected their merchants, such small 
states, when they began to attend to the interest 
of trade, have frequently enacted, that