Cyclopædia of Political Science, Political Economy, and the Political History of the United States
ALLOYAGE. Gold and silver coins are never made of absolutely pure metal. Precious metals, when extracted from the earth, are nearly always found mixed to a greater or lesser extent with other metals, from which it is often difficult or too expensive to separate them entirely, yet it has been deemed necessary always to add to gold and silver a certain proportion of some commoner metal, such as copper, in order to increase their hardness and better fit them to stand wear and tear. This is called alloyage.
—Alloyage should be in a fixed proportion, for instance, one-ninth part. But the same proportion is not adopted everywhere, although all nations are tending more and more to the adoption of the same proportion.
Return to top