Wednesday, June 17, 2009

What Is A Dollar?

From The Coinage Act of April 2, 1792 (1 Stat. 246) comes the answer to my long standing question " What is a dollar?

DOLLARS OR UNITS--each to be of the value of a Spanish milled dollar as the same is now current, and to contain three hundred and seventy-one grains and four sixteenth parts of a grain of pure, or four hundred and sixteen grains of standard silver.

What is a dollar not?

A dollar is not a rectangular piece of green paper 6.14 inches long and 2.61 inches wide. You may call that a dollar bill if you like or a note, but it is not a dollar. What is this banknote we call a dollar bill? It is a kind of negotiable instrument, a promissory note made by a bank payable to the bearer on demand in dollars. A dollar has a specific absolute definition. It is not self-referential.

The dollar and its fortunes, and the United States of America and its fortunes are inextricably tied together for all time. luxomni

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