(The Mexican dollar is also called a "peso.") An owner of the United States silver dollar, although there is not a gold dollar's worth of silver in it, knows that it can be exchanged for a gold dollar at the Treasury at any time. In other words, this country is upon a "gold standard." Mexico has recently adopted a sort of tentative "gold standard" (see that subject) whereby it will redeem its silver dollars in gold at the ratio of two of the former to one of the latter. Recently the price of silver has so advanced that the value of pure silver in a dollar slightly exceeds one-half the value of the gold dollar, therefore, putting at least a temporary stop to such redemptions.1
Mexican dollars are used in many of the Eastern countries as a common form of money, and, in consquence, are used by bankers and shipped to the Orient in settlements of debts due in place of gold. The quotations of Mexican dollars appear in the newspapers and are apt to vary slightly from day to day. The Mexican silver dollar weighs about one ounce, but an ounce of silver in bullion form is quoted, for example, "Bar silver, 66 1/2." Mexican dollars at the same time being quoted at 51 1/4, there being a difference of 15 1/4 between the two quotations. As the latter are not pure silver, allowance has to be made for the alloy.
Mexico is the largest producer of silver in the world, and views with much satisfaction an increase in the price of silver, as that country coins silver dollars especially for export. (See also last subject.)