An inferior metal, used with gold. and silver in making coin or public money. Originally, it was one of the allowances known by the name of remedy for errors, in the weight and purity of coins. The practice of making such allowances continued in all European mints after the reasons, upon which they were originally founded, had, in a great measure, ceased. In the imperfection of the art of coining, the mixture of the metals used, and the striking of the coins, could not be effected with, perfect accuracy. There would be some variety in the mixture of metals made at different times, although intended to be in the same proportions, and in different pieces of coin, although struck by the same process and from the same die. But the art of coining metals has now so nearly attained perfection, that such allowances have become, if not altogether, in a great measure at least, unnecessary. The laws of the United States make no allowance for deficiencies of weight. See Report of the Secretary of State of the United States, to the Senate of the U. S., Feb. 22, 1821, pp. 63, 64.
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