CHAPTER XIV – THE DUTIES OF THE STATE GOLDSMITH IN THE HIGH ROAD
1THE State Goldsmith shall employ artisans to manufacture gold and silver coins (rúpyasuvarna) from the bullion of citizens and country people.
2The artisans employed in the office shall do their work as ordered and in time. When under the excuse that time and nature of the work has not been prescribed, they spoil the work, they shall not only forfeit their wages, but also pay a fine of twice the amount of their wages. When they postpone work, they shall forfeit one-fourth the amount of their wages and pay a fine of twice the amount of the forfeited wages.
3(The goldsmith of the mint) shall return (to the owners coins or ornaments) of the same weight, and of the same quality (varna) as that of the bullion (nikshepa) which they received (at the mint). With the exception of those (coins) which have been worn out or which have undergone diminution (kshínaparisírna), they shall receive the same coins (back into the mint) even after the lapse of a number of years.
4The state goldsmith shall gather from the artisans employed in the mint information concerning pure gold, metallic mass (pudgala), coins (lakshana), and rate of exchange (prayóga).
5In getting a suvarna coin (of 16 máshas) manufactured from gold or from silver, one kákani (one-fourth másha) weight of the metal more shall be given to the mint towards the loss in manufacture.
6The colouring ingredient (rágaprakshépa) shall be two kákanis of tíkshna (copper sulphate ?) one-sixth of which will be lost during the manufacture.
7When the quality (varna) of a coin less than the standard of a másha is lowered, the artisans (concerned) shall be punished with the first amercement. When its weight is less than the standard weight, they shall be punished with the middlemost amercement. Deception in balance or weights shall be punished with the highest amercement. Deception in the exchange of manufactured coins (kritabhándopadhau) shall also be punished with the highest amercement.
8Whoever causes (gold or silver articles) to be manufactured in any place other than the mint or without being noticed by the state goldsmith shall be fined 12 panás, while the artisan who does that work shall, if found out, be punished with twice the above fine. If he is not found out, measures such as are described in Book IV shall be taken to detect him. When thus detected, he shall be fined 200 panás or shall have his fingers cut off.
9Weighing balance and counterweights shall be purchased from the superintendent in charge of them. Otherwise a fine of 12 panás shall be imposed.
10Compact work (ghana), compact and hollow work (ghanasushira), soldering (samyúhya), amalgamation (avalepya), enclosing (samghátya), and gilding (vásitakam) are the various kinds of artisan work (kárukasma).
11False balances (tulávishama), removal (apasárana), dropping (visrávana), folding (petaka), and confounding (pinka) are the several means employed by goldsmiths to deceive the public.
12False balance are—that of bending arms (sannámini); that of high helm or pivot (utkarnika); that of broken head (bhinnamastaka); that of hollow neck (upakanthi); that of bad strings (kusikya); that of bad cups or pans (sakatukakshya); that which is crooked or shaking (párivellya); and that which is combined with a magnet (ayaskánta).
13When, by what is called Triputaka which consists of two parts of silver and one part of copper, an equal portion of pure alluvial gold is replaced, that deceitful act is termed copper-removal (triputaká- vasáritam); when, by copper, an equal portion of gold is replaced, that act is termed copper-removal (sulbávasáritam); when by vellakaan equal portion of gold is replaced, it is termed vellaka-removal; and when pure alluvial gold is replaced by that gold half of which is mixed with copper, it is termed gold removal (hemávasáritam).
14A crucible with a base metallic piece hidden in it; metallic excrement; pincers; a pair of tongs; metallic pieces (jongani); and borax (sauvarchikálavanam),—these are the several things which are made use of by goldsmiths in stealing gold.
15When, intentionally causing the crucible (containing the bullion) to burst, a few sandlike particles of the metal are picked up along with other particles of a base metal previously put therein, and the whole is wrought into a mass for the intended coin or ornament), this act is termed dropping (visravana); or when examining the folded or inlaid leaves of an ornament (áchitakapatrapariksháyám) deception is perpetrated by substituting silver for gold, or when particles of a base metal are substituted for those of gold, it is termed dropping (visrávana) likewise.
16Folding (petaka) either firm (gádha) or loose (abhyuddhárya) is practiced in soldering, in preparing amalgams, and in enclosing (a piece of base metal with two pieces of a superior metal).
17When a lead piece (sísarúpa–lead coin) is firmly covered over with gold leaf by means of wax (ashtaka), that act is termed gádhapetaka, firm folding; and when the same is loosely folded, it is termed loose folding.
18In amalgams, a single or double layer (of a superior metal) is made to cover a piece (of base metal). Copper or silver may also be placed between two leaves (of a superior metal). A copper piece (sulbarúpya) may be covered over with gold leaf, the surface and the edges being smoothened; similarly a piece of any base metal may be covered over with double leaf of copper or silver, the surface and the edges being smoothened.
19The two forms of folding may be detected by heating, by testing on touch-stone (nikasha) or by observing absence of sound when it is rubbed (nissabdollekhana).
20(They) find out loose folding in the acid juice of badarámla (Flacourtia Cataphracta or jujube fruit) or in salt water;—so much for folding (petaka).
21In a compact and hollow piece (ghana-sushire rúpe), small particles of gold-like mud (suvarnamrinválukáh) or bit of vermilion (hingulakalkah) are so heated as to make them firmly adhere to the piece inside. Even in a compact piece (dridhavástuke rúpe), the waxlike mud of Gándhára mixed with the particles of goldlike sand is so heated as to adhere to the piece. These two kinds of impurities are got rid of by hammering the pieces when red hot.
22In an ornament or a coin (sapari-bhánde vá rúpe) salt mixed with hard sand (katusarkará) is so heated in flame as to make it firmly adhere to (the ornament or coin). This (salt and sand) can be got rid of by boiling (kváthana).
23In some pieces, mica may be firmly fixed inside by wax and covered over with a double leaf (of gold or silver). When such a piece with mica or glass inside is suspended in water (udake) one of its sides dips more than the other; or when pierced by a pin, the pin goes very easily in the layers of mica in the interior (patalántareshu).
24Spurious stones and counterfeit gold and silver may be substituted for real ones in compact and hollow pieces (ghanasushira). They are detected by hammering the pieces when red hot—so much for confounding (pinka).
25Hence (the state goldsmith) shall have a thorough knowledge of the species, characteristics, colour, weight, and formation (pudgala-lakshana) of diamonds, precious stones (mani), pearls, corals and coins (rúpa).
26There are four ways of deception perpetrated when examining new pieces or repairing old ones: they are hammering, cutting, scratching and rubbing.
27When, under the excuse of detecting the deception known as folding (petaka) in hollow pieces or in threads or in cups (made of gold or silver), the articles in question are hammered, that act is termed hammering.
28When a lead piece (covered over with gold or silver leaf) is substituted for a real one and its interior is cut off, it is termed cutting (avachchhedanam).
29When compact pieces are scratched by tíkshna (copper sulphate ?), that act is termed scratching (ullekhana).
30When, by a piece of cloth painted with the powder of sulphuret of arsenic (haritála), red arsenic (manassila), or vermilion or with the powder of kuruvinda (black salt?), gold or silver articles are rubbed, that act is termed rubbing.
31By these acts, gold and silver articles (bhándáni) undergo diminution; but no other kind of injury is done to them.
32In all those pieces which are hammered, cut, scratched, or rubbed the loss can be inferred by comparing them with intact pieces of similar description. In amalgamated pieces (avalepya) which are cut off, the loss can be ascertained by cutting off an equal portion of a similar piece. Those pieces the appearance of which has changed shall be often heated and drenched in water.
33(The state goldsmith) shall infer deception (kácham vidyát) when [the artisan preparing articles pays undue attention to] throwing away, counter-weight, fire, anvil (gandika), working instruments (bhandika), the seat (adhikarani), the assaying balance, folds of dress (chellachollakam), his head, his thigh, flies, eagerness to look at his own body, the water-pot, and the firepot.
34Regarding silver, bad smell like that of rotten meat, hardness due to any alloy (mala), projection (prastína), and bad colour may be considered as indicating adulteration.
35Thus articles (of gold and silver) new or old, or of bad or unusual colour are to be examined and adequate fines as described above shall be imposed.