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discovery of America in 1492 to the beginning of the eighteenth century there was an increase, but mainly of silver, which became the money of the world, gold being used as the material for personal ornament, and regarded much in the same light as precious stones. There was, however, an increase in the production of gold between 1810 and 1825, and with this and the advance in the arts the presumption is warranted that by 1839 the consumption of gold in the arts, together with the loss and abrasion of gold coins, was at least $25,000,000 annually of gold alone.
McCulloch's estimate of $80,000,000 (net $64,000,000) for the annual consumption of gold and silver by the 322,000,000 of population in Europe, North America and Australia in 1857, would be at the rate of about 20 cents per capita, and if this ratio were extended to 150,000,000 more of the world's population, it would aggregate $94,000,000 per annum. As the vast increase in the use of the precious metals, indicated by the difference between the estimates of Jacob and McCulloch, was evidently due to the great production of gold, it is to be presumed that the increased use of the metals was largely of gold; and though there are no data by which to estimate the proportions of each, I have assumed the net total consumption of gold in the arts, and the absorption in the loss, wear and accumulation of jewelry in the world in 1857 at about $60,000,000. We have thus three points in the consumption of gold by which to estimate the aggregate since 1839, viz.: $25,000,000 in 1839, $60,000,000 in 1857, and $110,000,000 in 1873.
In accordance with the foregoing premises, the production of gold, the consumption in the arts and in the
accumulation of jewelry, with the surplus added to the stock of gold coin, may be stated for periods of five years each about as follows:
Periods of 5 years.
1850-1854 660,000,000 180,000,000
$3,391,000,000 $2,168,000,000 $1,232,000,000
Net addition to stock of gold coin in 35 years
Decrease of stock of gold coin.
The above table shows a presumed addition to the world's stock of gold coin and bullion, of $1,223,000,000 in the thirty-five years ending with 1874. In the article on gold and silver coin in Europe it was estimated that the world's stock of gold coin and bullion was not above $2,700,000,000 in 1875. If, therefore, there was an addition of $1,223,000,000 in the preceding thirty-five years, it would show the total stock of coin and bullion in the world in 1839 to have been $1,477,000,000. This nearly agrees with estimates made by various writers, and should, I think, be regarded as sustaining the correctness of the methods by which I have attempted to arrive at the production, consumption and stock of gold and gold coin in the world.
The total product of silver in the world during the last twenty-five years is estimated at about $1,250,000,000, or at the average rate of $50,000,000 per annum. But while the annual silver product of Mexico (the for
mer chief source of supply) has been decreasing, there has been an enormous increase in the United States and Territories, the total product having increased from $2,000,000 in 1861,* to $50,000,000 in 1874, thus bringing the total product of the world up to $70,000,000 in 1874. The total consumption of silver in the arts in Europe and North America is probably from $18,000,000 to $20,000,000 per annum. If there is $2,500,000,000 of silver coin in circulation in the world, exclusive of Asia, the annual loss by abrasion and by casualties would average at least the fourth of one per cent per annum, and thus make an aggregate of $6,000,000 per annum. According to the statistics of silver exports given in the testimony of Sir Hector Hay and Mr. S. Pixley before the Parliamentary Commission in May, 1876, the movement of silver from Great Britain to India and China for eleven years to the end of 1875, had been $174,281,000, or at the average rate of $15,740,000 per annum. Add to this an average movement in the last few years of about $8,000,000 per annum from the United States to China, and it makes an aggregate of say $24,000,000 per annum. But from this must be deducted an average export back from all Asia to Europe of about $5,000,000 to $6,000,000 per annum, leaving the net movement of silver to Asia from Great Britain and the United States say $18,000,000 per annum. Considerable silver also goes to Asia from the Mediterranean and South America, and the total net annual absorption of silver in Asia has probably been $25,000,000 per annum for the last five or six years.
* Raymond's Report, page 480,
PRODUCTION, CONSUMPTION AND EXPORTS OF SILVER FOR THE UNITED STATES AND TERRITORIES.
Produced in the U. S. and Territories.
Imports of coin and bullion.
Total exports of silver coin and bullion.
36,500,000 12,800,000 50,000,000 9,000,000 59,000,000 32,587,000 $134,250,000 $39,758,000 $173,826,000 $129,890,000
The above shows a difference between the total supplies and the total exports for the four years of $43,680,000. The statements of the production of silver in the above four years are from the report of W. R. Raymond, United States Commissioner of mining statistics for 1875, page 480. But these, like all other statistics of the production of the precious metals, are only approximations, and may vary from the real amounts at least five per cent. It is quite certain that there was no such accumulation of silver coin in the United States in four years to 1874 as $43,680,000. The total silver coinage of the United States Mint for the four years ending June 30, 1875, was $32,416,000. This, however, throws but little light on the question of disposal of the $43,680,000. In the report of the Secretary of the Treasury for 1875 he states that in accordance with the resumption act of January, 1875, the treasury had purchased and coined and held in the treasury on June 30, 1875, subsidiary silver coins to the amount of $10,000,000. Deducting this, and estimating $10,000,000 consumed in the arts in the United States in four years, and it still leaves a presumed accumulation of $23,680,000. Part of this has probably gone to supply the monetary circulation of the
Pacific States and the new territories west of the Missouri river, leaving a stock of bullion and ores on hand to the extent of probably $15,000,000 to $18,000,000 from the product of the four years to the end of 1874.
EXPLANATION OF DIAGRAM No. 1,
Showing the relative product of gold and silver each year, and the consumption of gold each year since 1825:
The feather line which begins in the lower left hand corner and ascending through the years 1847 to 1853 to the point marked 193 indicates the increase in the production of gold to its culmination about 1853. The figures given at intervals along the line indicate the amount in millions of dollars and the year for which various writers have estimated the product of gold, the names of the authorities being given in the upper margin of the diagram.
The descending of the feather line from the figures 160 in the year 1853 to 87 in the year 1874 indicates the decline in the production of gold in accordance with the table made by me.
The dotted line represents the table of the Journal des Economists.
The double line (-) indicates the progress of the product of silver since 1825, and has been made after examining the authorities cited by Blake, and also with reference to the reports of the United States Commissioner of Mining Statistics.