As a matter of fact a sort of a gold exchange standard already found favour with the Board of Finance in 1906; and the Board proposed to introduce new national silver coins on the silver basis to replace old coin and bullion currency. The next step was to extend the bank note circulation to replace the new standard coins - the coins so withdrawn to be held as a trust fund or sold for gold. The third step was to be taken after the note circulation became universal, by declaring free coinage of gold at the market ratio of a specified period and thus converting silver notes into gold. If the gold reserve proved insufficient at any time the notes were to be redeemable in silver bullion at its market value in gold. This proposal of the Board of Finance was impracticable, in view of the fact that the success of this scheme depended upon the accumulation of a sufficient stock of gold and the time to get that would at least be about seven to ten years; further, the bank note circulation was preferable to that of Government currency notes and China was without a sound system of banking. The scheme was consequently dropped.
The next attempt at currency reform was made in an edict issued on October 5, 1908 in response to a memorial of the newly constituted advisory council; the memorial mentioned that the Government had decided upon a silver standard; and on a poll being taken of provincial opinion, eleven provinces were found to be in favour of the tael unit while seven were for the dollar. The ministers accepted that the tael coin would be heavy, but the situation could be remedied by the coining in large amounts of the half-tael or 5-mace pieces, which were to be unlimited legal tender along with the standard tael. They proposed that the tael and the half-tael were to be 980 fine and the subsidiary coins of 1 mace and 5 candareens to be 880 fine - the profit from the latter going towards the expenses of minting all the coins. Even after this edict was issued the only step taken toward currency reform was the establishment of a bureau of currency reform; this bureau conducted extensive inquiries in all parts of the country with regard to the standard size of the silver, the fineness of silver in the coins, subsidiary coinage and the treatment of existing copper currency.