alloy

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ALLOY, or ALLAY. An inferior metal, used with gold. and silver in making coin or public money. Originally, it was one of the allowances known by the name of remedy for errors, in the weight and purity of coins. The practice of making such allowances continued in all European mints after the reasons, upon which they were originally founded, had, in a great measure, ceased. In the imperfection of the art of coining, the mixture of the metals used, and the striking of the coins, could not be effected with, perfect accuracy. There would be some variety in the mixture of metals made at different times, although intended to be in the same proportions, and in different pieces of coin, although struck by the same process and from the same die. But the art of coining metals has now so nearly attained perfection, that such allowances have become, if not altogether, in a great measure at least, unnecessary. The laws of the United States make no allowance for deficiencies of weight. See Report of the Secretary of State of the United States, to the Senate of the U. S., Feb. 22, 1821, pp. 63, 64.
     2. The act of Congress of 2d of April, 1792, sect. 12, directs that the standard for all gold coins of the United States, shall be eleven parts fine to one part of alloy; and sect. 13, that the standard for all silver coins of the United States, shall be one thousand four hundred and eighty-five parts fine, to one hundred and seventy-nine parts alloy. 1 Story's L. U. S. 20. By the act of Congress, 18th Feb. 1831, Sec. 8, it is provided, that the standard for both gold and silver coin of the United States, shall be such, that of one thousand parts by weight, nine hundred shall be of pure metal, and one hundred of alloy; and the alloy of the silver coins shall be of copper, and the alloy of gold coins shall be of copper and silver, provided, that the silver do not exceed one-half of the whole alloy. See also, Smith's Wealth of Nations, vol. i., pp. 49, 50.

References in classic literature ?
For on its wing was dark alloy And as it fluttered-fell An essence-powerful to destroy A soul that knew it well.
Such were Elizabeth Elliot's sentiments and sensations; such the cares to alloy, the agitations to vary, the sameness and the elegance, the prosperity and the nothingness of her scene of life; such the feelings to give interest to a long, uneventful residence in one country circle, to fill the vacancies which there were no habits of utility abroad, no talents or accomplishments for home, to occupy.
To pass from theological, and philosophical truth, to the truth of civil business; it will be acknowledged, even by those that practise it not, that clear, and round dealing, is the honor of man's nature; and that mixture of falsehoods, is like alloy in coin of gold and silver, which may make the metal work the better, but it embaseth it.
For men are not guilty of crimes for necessaries only (for which he thinks an equality of goods would be a sufficient remedy, as they would then have no occasion to steal cold or hunger), but that they may enjoy what the desire, and not wish for it in vain; for if their desire extend beyond the common necessaries of life, they were be wicked to gratify them; and not only so, but if their wishes point that way, they will do the same to enjoy those pleasures which are free from the alloy of pain.
This, then, was the society that the prince accepted at once as true coin, as pure gold without alloy.
Where strength was needed there was the new Charlottenburg alloy, German steel as it was called, the toughest and most resistant metal in the world.
I had promised myself that in this quiet, now that I had given up reviewing, and wrote little or nothing in the magazine but my stories, I should again read purely for the pleasure of it, as I had in the early days before the critical purpose had qualified it with a bitter alloy.
Well, then," said Morgan, "I propose the best alloy hitherto known, which consists of one hundred parts of copper, twelve of tin, and six of brass.
But this was only March: a cold, wet April, and two weeks of May passed over before we could venture forth on our expedition with the reasonable hope of obtaining that pleasure we sought in pleasant prospects, cheerful society, fresh air, good cheer and exercise, without the alloy of bad roads, cold winds, or threatening clouds.
He had quite forgotten the momentary unpleasant impression, and alone with her he felt, now that the thought of her approaching motherhood was never for a moment absent from his mind, a new and delicious bliss, quite pure from all alloy of sense, in the being near to the woman he loved.
If the study to which you apply yourself has a tendency to weaken your affections and to destroy your taste for those simple pleasures in which no alloy can possibly mix, then that study is certainly unlawful, that is to say, not befitting the human mind.
By nonsense he meant fancy; and truly it is probable she was as free from any alloy of that nature, as any human being not arrived at the perfection of an absolute idiot, ever was.