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Some Considerations about the Price of Gold

 
Some Considerations about the Price of Gold by ENGLISH MERCHANT (1695)
Author: ENGLISH MERCHANT
Title: Some Considerations about Adjusting the Price of Gold, Occasioned by the rising of Guinys - 13th Aug.st 1695 with a Postscript - 11th Nov
 
Year: 1695
Publisher: Unpublished
Place: London
Dust Jacket: No
Signed: No
 
Price: £1950
 
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Added under Manuscripts  

[pp]3 [1] blank. A submission to Westminster's response to the currency crisis of the 1690s, the Coinage Commission, written by an English merchant trying to persuade the government to limit the price of gold - the solution adopted by John Locke and the incoming Master of the Mint, Isaac Newton.

The anonymous writer has used three sides of a foolscap size bifolium, the first two dated to August 1695, the third to November.Old sewing holes visible along vertical fold; docket title to final leaf; William III watermark to paper.

Addressing himself to the Commission in August 1695 and citing personal experience from business trips to Newcastle, Nottingham, Newark and Northampton, the anonymous author acknowledges that Parliament’s decisions ‘for declaring and settling the Rate of Silver, and letting gold alone, are proper for their particular consideration yet with Submission permit a Story’ before explaining through a reasoned example the problem caused by foreign arbitrage operating on British coin, continuing ‘As there is an accession of defect in Coin, there is So consequently of loss, and will be proportionately of charge in repairing…’ The writer's solution is to ‘adjust the price of gold’ and in his postscript from November 1695 written on the third page the writer reports the complaints he has heard that arise from a failure to address this crisis of coinage and the difficulties with ‘clearing the Coal and Lead… having been at Newcastle and there discoursed Some Merch[an]ts about the business of Coin…’ - making particular reference to variable rates of exchange between northern English and Scottish merchants. Obviously expert in his subject, the writer references his own earlier ‘Discourses’ on coinage but doesn’t identify himself.

The currency crisis was caused by a mismatch between bullion and symbolic value which meant that high-value gold coins were plentiful but silver coins were being melted down for their bullion value thus preventing the government from paying its armies and causing day to day hardship because of the absence of currency for small transactions. (VAT @ 20% will be charged to customers in the UK and EU only)
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