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The E-Sylum:  Volume 7, Number 7, February 15, 2004, Article 6

SIXTEEN CENTS

  Tom DeLorey quotes the following from a letter in the
  Ford Sale lots:

         Two 1853 California Gold Rush Letters, one reading in part:
         Enclosed I send you a Gold 1/4 Dollar, another: get all
         the 16 pieces and the French one franc pieces and send
         them out here and I can get 25 for all"

  He writes: "What, pray tell, are "the 16c pieces?" My best
  guess would be Spanish Pistareens, but I have never heard
  them referred to as 16c pieces. Schilke and Solomon in
  "America's Foreign Coins" (p. 73) quote a Mint report of 1827
  valuing them at 17c, but goes on to say that by 1843 they had
  quite disappeared from circulation. If they were around in
  1853 I could see them passing at six to the dollar with
  individual coins rounded down to 16c, but can anybody cite
  a reference to this usage?"

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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