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The general term commission embraces, however, all such expressions, and may be used as an equivalent for any of them.

Del Credere.-The Italian expression del credere, as used in trade, means an agreement between an agent and his principal, whereby the former, in consideration of an additional amount being paid to him besides his usual commission, undertakes to guarantee the payment of goods sold through his hands, and becomes thereby liable to his principal for the amount, in case of insolvency of the buyer.

Such extra commission paid to the agent is called del credere commission, or simply del credere.

CHAPTER IV.

MONEY, WEIights, and measures.

Money: its Origin-Currency-Currency and Coins of England-Gross and Net Weight of Goods-English System of Weights-Imperial Standards of Lineal, Square, Liquid, Dry, and Cubic Measures— Their Equivalents in the Metric System-Use of Weights and Measures of Metric System,

Money.-Money is that which is accepted freely in payment of debt. It is the principal medium of exchange, and the common measure of value.

Any commodity may be used as money, and at different times several kinds of things have been so used before the introduction of metallic money, such as cattle, skins, shells, etc.

As to metals, iron was early used, then lead, and even tin; but eventually, gold and silver, and copper; the two former being the most valuable, since a small weight of them is equal to a large weight of most other substances; nor do they vary in quality or change in value to any extent.

Currency.-The legal medium of exchange of a nation is called currency, that which passes current, or circulates as money. It is divided into metallic or specie currency and paper currency. The former embraces gold, silver and copper coins; the latter means the notes and bills issued by the Government or by

authorised banking corporations as an equivalent for coined money. Such notes may be either convertible into coined money on presentation, or inconvertible, according to the law which has made them a legal tender.

Such currency is called free, as being willingly received in trade to any amount for the full value it represents, while conditional or optional currency is that which, although a legal tender by law, is practically accepted in payment only within certain limits, or at a certain discount.

Such a discount, viz., the difference of value existing between free and conditional currency, or between metallic and paper money, is called agio or premium.

Thus it is said, for instance, that gold is at a premium of 5 per cent. on paper, or that there is an agio of 5 per cent. on gold, which means that 105 units in paper money are given for 100 units in gold.

English Currency.-Every currency system must be based on a standard unit of value. The English unit is the pound, which consists of a definite quantity of gold (123°27447 grs. standard fineness), while the French, or decimal unit, is the franc (composed of 5 grms. of silverths fine).

Money is either standard or token; the first is of the same value as the metal it is made of, while the latter is rated at a nominal value higher. The silver and copper coins of England are merely tokens, being about 30 per cent. below their nominal value. Token coins are only admissible for small payments.

In England forty shillings is the maximum legal tender for silver, and twelve pence in copper. Standard coinage is always legal tender to any amount; but gold coins before the reign of Queen Victoria are

not legal tender. Foreign coins are not legal tender now in the United Kingdom.

Bank of England notes, being always convertible into gold, are made by law a legal tender, and may therefore be classed as free currency.

In commercial practice prices are quoted sometimes also in guineas; a guinea representing the sum of twenty-one shillings. No coin of such value, however, actually exists in the present currency of the United Kingdom.

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Paper Currency.—The paper currency of England is chiefly represented by notes issued by the Bank of England, and always convertible into coined money, which are not only a legal tender by law, but generally and willingly received by everybody on account of the high credit of the establishment from which they are issued.

There are other banks in the kingdom also empowered by law to issue convertible banknotes; such

notes, however, are not so readily and everywhere accepted as money.

Distinction in the Weight of Goods.-The weight of all kinds of commodities and goods is usually calculated by gross weight, suttle, and net weight.

It is called gross when taken without any deduction for tare, draft, or tret; suttle, when the tare has been deducted, except when tret is allowed; net (also nett) when clear of all deduction or allowance for tare, draft, tret, and the like.

The price of goods is usually calculated, of course, on their net weight.

Tare is the weight of a case, bag, cask, can, wrapper, or other article wherein goods are packed; hence the word is also used as meaning the allowance or abatement made on that account on the weight of goods sold in packages.

Draft is an allowance or deduction often made on the gross weight of goods in consideration of their being damp or mixed with dust, rubbish, or other extraneous substance.

Tret is an old customary allowance of four pounds on every 104 pounds of the suttle weight of certain commodities as a compensation to the buyer for wear, damage, or deterioration in transit, or for the dust or sand mixed with any commodity. The use is almost obsolete now, but still maintained on some markets.

Tare is calculated in trade in five different ways, viz. :

(a) By particular or real tare, which is found by actually ascertaining the weight of the boxes, vessels, sacks, etc., wherein goods are packed, and deducting it from the gross weight of the parcel.

(b) By average tare, viz., the tare on a lot of goods, calculated by taking as an average the real tare duly

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