1849 - March 3 - The United States Congress passes the Gold Coinage Act allowing the minting of gold coins.
The following is the bill which passed the House of Representatives, authorizing the coinage of two important new gold pieces, of one and twenty dollars in value.
SEC. 1. Be it enacted, That it shall be lawful henceforward to make at the mint and its branches twenty dollar gold coins of the weight of five hundred and sixteen grains and gold collar coins of the weight of twenty five grains and eight-tenths, which coins shall be legal tenders of payment according to their nominal values.
SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That the above mentioned coins shall be made, in all respects, in conformity with the existing laws regulating the coinage at the mints, except that on the reverse of the gold dollar the figure of the eagle shall be omitted.
SEC. 3. And be it further enacted, That in adjusting the weights of gold coins henceforward, the following deviations from the standard weights shall not be exceeded in any of the single pieces; namely, in the double eagle, the eagle, and half eagle, one-half of a grain, and in the quarter eagle and gold dollar one quarter of a grain and that in weighing a large number of pieces together when delivered from the chief coiner to the treasurer, and from the treasurer to the depositors, the deviations from the standard weight shall not exceed three pennyweights in one thousand double eagles, and one and a half pennyweights in one thousand half eagles, one pennyweight in one thousand quarter eagles, and one-half of a pennyweight in one thousand gold dollars.
SEC. 4. And be it further enacted, That so much of this act as regards the coinage of twenty dollar and one dollar gold pieces shall continue in force until the fourth of March, eighteen hundred and fity one, and no longer.
The Old North State
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
March 17, 1849
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