Bechtler responds to charges that his coins have low assays, Charlotte Journal, August 14

August 14, 1835

From the Charlotte Journal, August 14, 1835, page 3

Bechtler’s Gold Coins. –– A week or two since we copied an article from the Carolina Watchman, in relation to the Gold Coins of Mr. Bechtler’s mint having been “weighed in the balance and found wanting.” We published that article, not from any belief that Mr. B. was to blame for the default in his gold, but as an item of information in which all our readers, and “Mr. B. himself, were more or less interested. We see by the following, that the whole matter has been cleared up satisfactorily, and we with pleasure comply with the request of Mr. Jones, to copy his remarks and the letter of Mr. Bechtler into our columns.

From the Carolina Watchman,

BECHTLER’S PIECES––We give the following communication from Mr. Bechtler, with cheerfulness. On receiving it, we again called on the gentleman who carried on the pieces to the mint, and on stricter enquiry find that he is not certain whether the deficiency in value became manifest by weighing or by assaying. He had at first concluded that the gold had been assayed, and was wanting in fineness, and still is inclined to that opinion. But the bare possibility of the loss having been produced by attrition or friction, considered with the general accuracy of Mr. B’s, admixtures, as proven by other trials, and his unsuspected reputation as an honest man, form a strong presumption against the correctness of this conclusion. Another fact we feel in duty bound to state, which we discovered on this last interview, that this gold was not carried to the mint by the merchant himself, nor the result made known officially to him from the institution; it came second handed, from a friend of his to whom he entrusted the transaction of the business. So there is in this, further room for mistake. We hope that such Editors as have copied our former article, will also copy this, with Mr. Bechtler’s letter.

“Rutherfordton, July 25, 1835.

“Mr. Jones: In your paper of the 18th inst., I noticed an article concerning me, which interests me very much. You say that a merchant of your town lost three per centum on gold pieces issued by me. I have no doubt but it was the case; as all metal currency is subject to a decrease in weight: for this reason, I have stamped the weight and standard on every piece: the former will change every day by wearing and different other causes. I am not to blame for the loss of weight. But only if the standard is defective.

“You will oblige myself as well as the public by directing their attention to the above.

“If gold bullion be given to the mint, the owner receives a certificate, which, if the coining day is not close at hand, he sells it to the Broker; the Brokerage is not felt on the Bullion, as it will be on the coin, because it has no nominal value and on the coin, any loss of the kind will be charged to the coin, as not having held out. The experiment could easily be tried on any other coin, which I would like some of your merchants would make a trial of.

“If ever any case of this kind should become known to you again, you will do right to give notice thereof, as before. It will be of a great use to the public, and I am willing to abide any scrutiny, however strict, so it be exact.

“Your most obedient Servant,