A sale for "cash" usually means for immediate delivery and payment (stock exchange rules) or, better, simultaneous delivery and payment, but among merchants payment in a certain number of days (say ten) is reckoned as "cash."
" Cash " is the name of a coin in use in China, some of which nearly every one must have seen, at least in the shape of a curiosity. They are round pieces of metal nearly the size of our old-fashioned cent, with a square hole in the centre, which is to permit of their being carried on strings, from which rises the expression, " a string of cash; " the number being required to make a " string " varying from 500 to 1,000, according to the locality. The value of these coins has fluctuated greatly within recent years, due probably to the fact that the mints run by the provincial rulers in China, and under no imperial control, are turning them out in large quantities and at large profits."1
On Feb. 10, 1914, a new monetary system was introduced into China. The following explanation of this system is from the United States Daily Consular and Trade Reports of April 3, 1914:
"The new system contemplates the coinage of currency that will be substituted for the various and sundry coins and sycee which are now in use as currency and which also represent the basis of the various issues of paper currency by the several Chinese Provinces. Under the mandate only the Central Government at Peking can now mint coins. The new currency will be on the decimal system; the unit will be the yuan, or dollar, which is to be of 72 candaroons of 90 per cent silver and 10 per cent copper; the actual quantity of pure silver is fixed by the mandate at 23.97795048 grams. The four silver coins are the yuan, the half yuan, the 20-cent piece, and the 10-cent piece. There will be one nickel coin, the 5-cent piece, and five kinds of copper coins - the 2-cent, 1-cent, 5-li, 2-li, and 1-li pieces. The values are in decimal progression; one-tenth of a yuan is the chio, or 10-cent piece; one-hundredth of a yuan is the fen, or cent piece; one-thousandth of a yuan is a li. The half yuan will contain 70 per cent of pure silver and the other silver coins the same. The half yuan will contain 9.583777 grams of pure silver, the 20-cent piece 3.72990248 grams, and the 10-cent piece 1.86495124 grams.
"By the terms of the mandate the yuan is legal tender to any amount and the 50-cent piece up to $20; the 20-cent and 10-cent pieces are legal tender up to $5, while nickel and copper coins involved in one transaction shall not exceed $1. It is provided, however, that "these restrictions shall not apply to the payment of taxes and to exchange in the national banks." Until the circulation of the old coins is prohibited by a "provisional order," Government offices will accept them in payment of taxes at a rate of exchange based on the average of the exchange rates for the previous month. No greater variation than three one-thousandths will be permitted between any coin and its theoretical standard. A date will be fixed when the existing coins will cease to be legal tender, and as the old coins are retired they will be reminted. Free coinage of silver bullion into yuan pieces will be carried on by the Government at a seigniorage charge of 6 li per yuan, or six-tenths of 1 per cent. The system has been adopted with a view to establishing a uniform system for the present and as a step toward the establishment of the gold standard when China is in position to undertake that action. At present all authorities agree that such standard is impossible."
1 Daily Consular and Trade Reports February 7, 1907.
In the U. S. Com. Reports Sept. 14, 1916, is the following: " According to Sec. V of the Nat. currency law the complete weight of the 50-cent piece is 3 mace 6 candareens, while the relative weights of silver and copper are 7 to 3. The complete weight of the 20-cent piece is 1 mace 4.4 candareens; the relative weights of silver and copper, 7 to 3. The complete weight of the 10-cent piece is 7.2 candareens; the relative weights of silver and copper 7 to 3."