The first Coinage Act of the United States was prepared by Alexander Hamilton in 1792. It provided for the establishment of a mint and a bimetallic system of gold and silver at a 15:1 ratio; it named the coins - eagles, half - and quarter-eagles, dollars, half- and quarter-dollars, dimes and half-dimes, cents and halfcents - and the weights, metal, and fineness of each, as well as the devices. The dollar was made the unit and defined as 371 1/4 grains of pure silver. Coinage was gratuitous and free, without preferences as to bullion-bringers. All the gold and silver coins were full legal tender for all debts whatsoever. In 1793, rates were established at which foreign coins circulating in the United States would be legal tender. Coinage of silver was begun in 1794 and of gold in 1795, and the legal-tender quality of foreign coins ceased at different dates as proclaimed by the President or enacted by Congress.