Coinage Act 1870

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Coinage Act, 1870
Act of Parliament
Long titleAn Act to consolidate and amend the law relating to the Coinage and Her Majesty's Mint
Citation33 & 34 Vict., c. 10
Territorial extentUnited Kingdom and overseas possessions
Royal assentApril 4, 1870
Other legislation
Repealed byCoinage Act, 1971
Status: Repealed

The Coinage Act 1870 (33 & 34 Vict. c. 10) stated the metric weights of British coins. For example, it defined the weight of the sovereign as 7.98805 grams (about 123.27747 grains).[1] The Act was repealed by the Coinage Act 1971.[2]

The Act also vested the titles of Master of the Mint and 'Governor of the Mint of Scotland', which had ceased minting coins in 1707, in the Chancellor of the Exchequer.[3]

The Act also gave the British government the authority to establish branches of the Mint in overseas British possessions.[4] In 1907, the government used that power to establish a branch of the Mint in Ottawa, at the request of the Canadian government.[5] It repealed the authorization in 1931, when the Mint in Ottawa came under full Canadian control.[6]

A contemporary history suggests that the Act was influenced by the criticisms of George Frederick Ansell.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lisle, George, Accounting in Theory and Practice, 1906, republished by Read Books 2008 (ISBN 1-4097-7128-8, ISBN 978-1-4097-7128-9), p.277 "British Currency: Gold" (Google Books)
  2. ^ Coinage Act, s. 3, Schedule.
  3. ^ Coinage Act, 1870, s. 14.
  4. ^ Coinage Act, 1870, s. 11(8).
  5. ^ Proclamation by the King under the Coinage Act, 1870: London Gazette, November 8, 1907, Issue 28076, Pages 7483-7484.
  6. ^ Ottawa Mint (Discontinuance) Proclamation, 1931, London Gazette, November 10, 1931, Issue 33770, Page 7240.
  7. ^ Challis, C. E. A new history of the royal mint (1992), quoted in Ansell, George Frederick (1826–1880), chemist and assayer by W. P. Courtney, rev. Robert Brown, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.