Dollars, dimes or tenths, cents or hundredths, mills or thousandths

The basic monetary law of the United States, enacted before 1800, uses language similar to the above in setting forth the American monetary system.

My question: does anyone know if the framers of the law
originally intended that people would quote smaller prices in dimes, sort of like the English used to do with shillings? You know, instead of saying “45 cents”, saying
“Four dimes and a half”.

And on a similar note, if I wrote a check to someone in the
amount of “1000 dimes”, and they agreed to accept it, could they then negotiate it at their bank (or my bank)?

Oh sure, back then! But, how much did a shave and a haircut cost?

My understanding is that “dime” is actually the name of the monetary unit, not the coin. If you look at your pocket change, the penny is labelled “One cent”, the nickel, “five cents”, and the dime, “one dime”. In fact, according to a recent thread, the five-cent coin used to be called a “half-dime”. A bank should accept a check made out in dimes, but it might annoy them.

The thing is, though, you have the word “Dollars” pre-printed at the end of the amount line. Perhaps if you crossed it out and replaced it with “Dimes?”

I suppose your bank / their bank would probably accept the check as a “dime” is in fact a legal definition of a specified amount of monetary units in the states (well, actually it’s called a “disme” (deem), but close enough). It’s in the original April 8, 1792 Coinage Act.

Also, the <I>names of coins</I> mentioned in the Coinage Act are eagle ($10), half eagle ($5), quarter eagle ($2.50), dollars (or units), half dollars, quarter dollars, dismes, half-dismes, cents, and half cents. So a dime is not only a legal division of money, but the name of the coin as well.

I’m going to speculate that in America, use of British references to money (the 4 dimes and a half) was probably not used much. In addition to the coins listed above we’ve also had two-cent pieces, three-cent pieces, $3 coins, etc. which would be awkward to accomidate for (imagine saying “three three-cent pieces and one sixth” for 9.5 cents? I think not). So far as I know, it’s always been cents and dollars in popular use.

Sigh… you sit and design web pages all day and then get beaten by vB code

Six Biiiiits!
Dept of Roger Rabbit Ephemeralia

An alternate term for “five and ten cent store” is “five and dime”.