Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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ECKFELDT, Jacob Reese, assayer, born in Philadelphia. Pennsylvania, in March 1803; died there, 9 August 1872. He early entered the U. S. mint, where his father was chief coiner, and by his capabilities rapidly rose until he was made chief assayer. During his term of office some English sovereigns were sent to the mint for re-coinage, and he as reported them below the standard claimed. This was confidently denied by the English authorities, who said, " It is impossible; the London mint makes no mistakes."
Mr. Eckfeldt maintained that he was right and subsequently an investigation showed that he was the excitement in monetary circles that followed resulted in a parliamentary law ordering the closest possible examination of the weight and fineness of all the coins in the world. It was found that those of the United States were more uniform than the coins of other nations, and thenceforth Mr. Eckfeldt's reputation as an assayer was worldwide. The office to which he was appointed during Andrew Jackson's presidency he held until his death.
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