Corrections to Trade Dollar mintage 1873 and 1875
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This interesting letter about Trade Dollar mintage discrepancies popped up today. An important side-note is the importance of pocket notebooks kept by the Coiner and other employees.

Coiner’s Department

Mint of the United States at Philadelphia

 September 24, 1880

 Hon. A. Loudon Snowden,

Superintendent

 Sir:

            I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the Director’s letter of 23rd inst., calling attention to a discrepancy of $296,800, in the figures, between the amount of Trade Dollars manufactured at this Mint, as reported by Fiscal Years, and the recent report transmitted by you on 21st ultimo., showing coinage by calendar years.

            The total coinage of Trade Dollars at this Mint should be $5,100,960, and the error of $296,800 occurs as follows:

            During the year 1873, after the abolition of the old 412-1/2 grains dollars [Ed: “Standard Dollar”), the book I keep for handy reference, of the monthly coinage, the Trade Dollars manufacturer, were entered under the head of “Dollars,” without the prefix “Trade,” and so in the report for the year 1873, there should be $297,000 Trade Dollars added to the $100,500, making $397,500 as the amount of Trades manufacturer during that year; and the same amount deducted from the $590,600 [Standard] Dollars, leaving but $293,600 as the [Standard}] Dollars for the same year.

            I find on further search, that there are $200 of Trade Dollars too much reported, as manufactured in 1875. The correct figures for that year should be $218,900. With these corrections the total Trades manufactured will fwt up $5,100,960.

            This will necessitate the following corrections in the footings of the report, viz.,

            Total Trade Dollars                $    5,100,960.00

            Total [Standard] Dollars         $  29,748,260.00

            Total Silver for year 1875      $    5,349,035.00

            Total Coinage for year 1875   $  11,514,635.00

             Grand Total Silver                  $  80,151,507.20

Grand Total Coinage              $332,657,769.66

             Trusting that this explanation may be satisfactory, and congratulating myself, if these may be found to be the only errors in so troublesome a statement, I am,

Very Respectfully,

Your Obedient Servant,

Oliver C. Bosbyshell, Coiner

 I herewith return the letter of the Director referred to.

Edited by RWB
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  • Member: Seasoned Veteran

I doubt that the U. S. Mint makes any effort to keep a truly accurate count of the circulating coins made in recent decades. No longer having to account for the bullion value of precious metals going in and out has permitted figures rounded to the nearest 1,000 or even the nearest 10,000.

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They still have bullion accounts but they are limited to purchases, sales, wastage, etc. Without the refining and alloying parts, it's all very direct.

I checked some guide book quantities and some agree with the above and some do not.

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