Legal tender for the payment of pecuniary debts in the United States is by statute established as follows: Gold coins for any amount; silver dollars for any amount; subsidiary silver coins for sums not exceeding ten dollars; minor coins of the United States for any amount not exceeding twenty-five cents; gold certificates and silver certificates for any amount; United States notes and demand treasury notes and interest-bearing notes for any amount except for duties on imports and interest on the public debt.85 Foreign gold or silver is not legal tender; nor National Bank notes; but such notes are by statute receivable for duties on imports, and for all debts owing by the United States, except interest on the public debt, and in re-demption of the national currency.86 The decisions prior to 1869 were much in conflict upon the question whether a contract to pay a sum of money in a particular kind of legal tender (as for instance gold coin) imposed any other obligation than to pay that sum of money in any kind of legal tender which the obligor might select, but in that year the Supreme Court of the United States upheld the enforceability of such a contract according to its terms and this decision has settled the law.87 Though such a contract would not generally be specifically enforced judgment will be given at law for the promised sum in the medium of payment contracted for.88
85U. S. Comp. Stats., Secs. 6453, 6454, 6564, 6571-6577.
86 U. S. Comp. Stat., Sec. 9721.
87 Branson v. Rhodes, 7 Wall. 229, 19 L. Ed. 141. The earlier conflicting decisions are collected in 29 L. R. A. 512, n..
88 Dewing v. Sears, 11 Wall. 379, 20 L. Ed. 189.