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amounts, if correctly ascertained, would give the aggregate annual product of the country. The article above quoted from the Alta California recognizes the fact that amounts of bullion in transitu, or in the hands of dealers at the end of the year, are not included in this method of calculating the product. But this is a small matter compared with the omis. sion of sundry items, which are not made good, as is the one alluded to by subsequent reports.
In the first place no account is taken of the gold and silver exported in the form of ores and mattes. I have direct information of more than a million dollars in value thus exported during 1870. Yet the item appears neither in the merchandise nor in the treasure reports of the custom-house. Perhaps it is believed, to use the phrase of the Alta, that gold and silver shipped in ballast do not affect the markets of the world.” As my duty, however, does not concern the markets of the world, but the actual results of American industry, I think this item worthy of notice.
Another instance in point is the amount of gold dust annually lost by its use as currency. This practice bas almost ceased, save in a few of our productive placer districts, where several million dollars are still annually passed from hand to hand in trade. I estimate the quantity produced and lost in this way during 1870 at $100,000.
Again, in several Western States and Territories there is a considerable local manufacture of jewelry from gold dust, without further preparation than that which the manufacturers give it. The small town of Helena, Montana, contains five establishments, some of which employ a considerable number of workmen, and all of which manufacture jewelry from native gold alone. A large amount of gold is annually hoarded, moreover, in the forın of specimens. In one or two instances, the superintendents of mines have adopted the practice of selling specimens; and the amounts realized from such sales indicate a larger consumption in this direction than most persons would imagine. It is safe to say that $400,000 annually are worked up by local jewelers or hoarded as specimens.
But a far more important matter than any of these is the annual consumption of gold and silver by the manufacturing jewelers, watch-case, gold pen, and spectacle makers, dentists, and silver-platers of the country. Those who think they can obtain the aggregate product of the precious metals by adding domestic coinage and domestic bullion exports assume that all our gold and silver is either coined or exported, and that all the domestic gold and silver used in manufactures has been previously recorded under one of these heads. This very convenient assumption is totally untrue. Our manufacturing jewelers do not, as a rule, melt coin at all. They either buy mint bars, or they purchase gold prepared for their special uses, in bars, plate, wire, foil, etc., from parties who make a business of this part of the work.
These gold-preparing houses, of which there are several in the city of New York, take a large amount of fine bars from the Mint and assay offices; but they also refine gold for themselves before alloying it for the manufacturers. Their deposits at the New York assay office include foreign, worn and mutilated coin, unparted bars, and gold dust. The quantity which they refine for themselves it is impossible for me to state. Perhaps the manufacturing blanks of the census, when published, will throw some light on this point. At the present stage of the work in the Census Bureau no information regarding it is available.
Estimates as to the amount of gold consumed by jewelers, etc., vary considerably. The lowest I have obtained from those engaged in the business is $9,000,000 annually; the highest is over $13,000,000. That this is mainly in mint and other bars, and not in coin, I am thoroughly satisfied by repeated inquiries of the trade.
It is equally certain that the silversmiths melt up large quantities of fine bars as well as coin, and that the silver-platers use silver bars to a great extent.
It is therefore undeniable that the assumption that the fine bars produced at the Mint and not coined are all exported is a great mistake. A large portion of these bars is consumed in this country by manufacturers, together with a still larger amount of other bars which never saw the Mint at all.
In conclusion, my estimates of production for 1870 amount to $66,000,000; of this $51,774,949 is accounted for by the Mint and export returns; but these returns are themselves imperfect, and if they were absolutely accurate, they are still inadequate to the case. The differ- . ence of $14,225,051 results from, 1, the errors of my estimates; 2, the errors of the calculated coinage and exports; 3, the amount of gold and silver reported as in ores and mattes, consumed in the mining districts, etc.; 4, the amount of domestic gold and silver, not coin, consumed in manufactures. It is scarcely profitable to discuss further a problem the elements of which are so imperfectly known. But so long as the production of gold and silver in the country is so difficult to ascertain by tracing its movements and final destinations, I cannot but think it my duty to furnish independent data from other sources. If the aggregates thus obtained show a remarkable excess over those otherwise obtained, the fact is one to be noted and studied, not obliterated by a cowardly alteration of one set of figures to suit the other set. For five years the estimates of the Commissioners of Mining Statistics have thus exceeded, by a nearly constant amount, the totals furnished by the Mint and custom-house. It is easy to sneer at the Commissioners as “statistical neophytes ;” but it would be wiser for the statistical veterans to suspect their data and methods, and rise for once from the study of conventional figures to the contemplation of facts.
RECEIPTS OF TREASURE AT SAN FRANCISCO.
(From the Commercial Herald, January 13, 1871.) The following
table comprises the receipts of treasure in this city, through Wells, Fargo & Co.'s Express, during the year 1870 :
From the northern and southern mines.
$1, 116, 129 $1, 109, 122
978, 548 1, 465, 574
1, 511, 802 1, 200, 171 1, 815, 647 1, 391, 142
1, 855, 753 1, 200, 515 1, 651, 430 1, 198, 144
1, 680, 800
14, 152, 984 17, 762, 131 6, 487, 037
38, 402, 152
CURRENCY MOVEMENT. The annexed table exhibits the interior and coastwise receipts, (Wells, Fargo & Co.,) imports foreign, and exports for the year 1868, 1809, and 1870:
TREASURE PRODUCT, IMPORTS, ETC. The receipts of treasure from all sources, through regular public channels, during the past twelve months, as compared with the same period in 1869, have been as follows:
From northern and southern mines.
$44, 045, 445
5, 241, 029
$38, 402, 152
4, 472, 594 5, 466, 883
55, 310, 151
48, 341, 029 1867.
The following table shows the value and destination of treasure shipments from this port during the past sixteen years, from 1855 to 1870, inclusive:
$5, 182, 156 $889, 675
9, 790, 631 5, 496, 856
378, 795 1, 224, 845
511, 550 372, 552 640,000 658, 182 255, 497
$128, 129 $15, 161, 31 573, 732 50, 697, 334 692, 978
4,976, 175, 779 47. 202, 390
47, 258, 163 42, 325, 95, 920 40, 322, 324 42, 561, 251 505, 667 46, 071.920
686, E88 56, 707 1, 103, 832 45, 308 1, 548, 457
44,364, 3, 073, 149 41,676 1,828, 621 33, 444, 5, 839, 865 37, 3, 996, 661
It will be seen that our treasure exports to eastern ports were $983,482 more than in 1869, while those to England decreased $2,051,181; also to China and Panama, $1,393,274; to other ports, $1,843,004.
EXPORTS OF GOLD AND SILVER BARS FROM SAN FRANCISCO.
(From the Alta California.]
The exports east and to different countries for 1867, 1868, 1869, and 1870, were as follows:
2, 900 1,500 10,011 10, 042 3, 800 300
1,500 1,000 11, 600 8 060 9,90 1,300 300 300
These tables show the production from all the mines on the Pacific slope to be, in 1870, about 4,000 flasks less than in 1863, while the exports have been 10,627 flasks less iu 1870 than in the year preceding. The price a year ago was 60 cents, against 90 cents at this date. The product of the Redington Quicksilver Mine for the year 1870 has been 4,516 flasks, the company having used only one-half of their reduction capacity. It is understood that the company is under contract for all the quicksilver they produce up to April, 1872, at $10 per flask, and although this figure undoubtedly affords them a handsome profit, it is not difficult to see how, in view of the great advance in quicksilver, (now selling at 90 cents per pound, or $68 85 per flask,) they should prefer to produce, during the remainder of the contract, only the half of their kuown capacity, choosing rather to keep in their mine the rich bodies of ore which they have recently discovered, to be worked after the expiration. of their contract, when it will yiell them at least 50 per cent. more than it broaglit to market now. This policy may operate rather sererely on consumers, by contributing to enhance the price of quicksilver, but it cannot be denied that it is a very natural one for the company to pursue under the peculiar existing circumstances. The local sale of quicksilver for consumption on this coast has been, in 1870, 30 per cent.greater than in 1869, showing a noteworthy increase, in spite of the largely advanced price.
DIONTHLY RECEIPTS OF COAL AT SAN FRANCISCO FROM MONTE DIABLO.