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Ch. 1: Gold and Silver in 1889/90

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GOLD AND SILVER.
By William Kent.
Early in the year 1890 the annual report of the Director of the Mint was published on the production of the precious metals in the United States during the calendar year 1889, in which he gave, according to the usual custom in these annual reports, his estimates of the produc­tion of gold and silver in the several States and Territories. These estimates are based upon the figures reported to the Director by pri­vate refineries, upon deposits of refined and unrefined metal at the sev­eral mints and assay offices, upon returns from the custom-houses of the precious metals exported and imported, and to some extent upon the estimates made by mint officers and agents in the several producing States and Territories.
A direct investigation of the product of the gold and silver mines in 1889 was made in 1890 for the Eleventh Census of the United States by Mr. E. P. Eothwell, special agent of the Census Office, in charge of the statistics of gold and silver mines, with whom the writer was asso­ciated as principal assistant. The work was begun in the latter part of 1889 by obtaining from all available sources a directory of producing mines, and early in 1890 the collection of schedule statistics was under­taken, both by the use of the mails and by the efforts of numerous spe­cial agents in the field, several of whom were also agents of the mint.
The methods of collection and of compilation adopted by the Census Office are given in detail in the report of the special agent and need not be described here, but it is sufficient to say that the results reached are unquestionably more accurate, as might have been expected from the facilities availed of, than the figures of any previous census or mint report. The difference between the mint and census figures is but trifling in the case of gold, but it is considerable in the case of silver, both as regards the total xnoduct and as regards the distribution among the States and Territories. Thus the total product of silver according to the mint (United States coining value) was $64,646,000 and according to the cen­sus $66,396,988. The product of Colorado according to the mint was $20,686,868 and according to the census $23,757,751, a difference of over $3,000,000. For the reasons above given the figures of the census are adopted here for the production of gold and silver in 1889, For 48
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US Geol. Surv. 1889-90. Gemstones, Metals.
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