Coinage Act 1870

The Coinage Act 1870 (33 & 34 Vict c 10) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It stated the metric weights of British coins. For example, it defined the weight of the sovereign as 7.98805 grams (about 123.27747 grains).[3] The Act was repealed by the Coinage Act 1971.[4] The Act is retained for the Republic of Ireland by section 2 of, and Part 4 of Schedule 1 to, the Statute Law Revision Act 2007.

Coinage Act 1870[1]
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 extent Does not extend to any British possession, save as expressly provided by this Act, or by any proclamation made thereunder.[2]
Royal assent4 April 1870

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.[5]

The Act also gave the British government the authority to establish branches of the Mint in overseas British possessions.[6] In 1907, the government used that power to establish a branch of the Mint in Ottawa, at the request of the Canadian government.[7] It repealed the authorization in 1931, when the Mint in Ottawa came under full Canadian control.[8]

A contemporary history suggests that the Act was influenced by the criticisms of George Frederick Ansell.[9]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ This short title was conferred on this Act by section 1 of this Act.
  2. ^ The Coinage Act 1870, s 19
  3. ^ 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)
  4. ^ The Coinage Act 1971, s 3 & Schedule.
  5. ^ The Coinage Act 1870, s 14.
  6. ^ The Coinage Act 1870, s 11(8).
  7. ^ Proclamation by the King under the Coinage Act, 1870: London Gazette, November 8, 1907, Issue 28076, Pages 7483-7484.
  8. ^ Ottawa Mint (Discontinuance) Proclamation, 1931, London Gazette, November 10, 1931, Issue 33770, Page 7240.
  9. ^ 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.