• TO THE EDITOR OF THE SPECTATOR.
• Worcester, 9th November 1847. . Sm.—Allow me through your respectable journal to make an observation or -two upon the proposed alteration in the coinage. The economy in weight will be very great, and no doubt will be considered a great convenience by the public; but
by what distinctive mark are we to know the good from the base coin?
I have had a model penny put in my hands today; and, thinking that the silver medallion looked dull, for a new coin, I touched it with a little nitric acid which was near at hand, when its pseudo quality was immediately betrayed.
As it is proposed, I believe, to issue five-shilling pieces on the same principle, the authorities at the Mint, before doing so, will, I hope, see the necessity of adopting some method by which the public may know the veritable from the base coin. The present form of the five-shilling piece (as well as of all our gold and silver coins) allows us to judge of its genuineness by its sound; but that cri- terion of its quality we shall not be able with the new coin to depend upon, as, on account of its mechanical conjunction, the ring will not assist our judgment. The importance of the subject will, I hope, be a sufficient apology for my in- truding upon your columns.
merely the specimen of a scheme of some Birmingham manufacturer for an altera- tion in our copper coinage; and at present is nothing more than a catchpenny merchandise for Jew hawkers, who vend them in the streets to the public at two- pence each. This plan of mechanically combining two metals in one coin has not been, nor is it likely to be, adopted by the authorities of her Majesty's Mint.— ED.]