The History of the Gold Standard

Posted by $ MikeMarotta 2 weeks, 1 day ago to Economics
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This is from the E-Sylum, the weekly email letter of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society. (Their print journal is The Asylum.) The interest of the NBS is in the literature of numismatics, centered on auction catalogs and similar matierials, but can range far afield. This essay introduces a current auction by a firm.

The upcoming K√ľnker Auction features quite a number of great gold coins. This article by Ursula Kampmann lays out the history of the gold standard illustrated with lots in the sale. Some great eye candy here, including some nice U.S. rarities. -Editor

The Gold Standard: How and Why Gold Became the Most Important Metal For Coins


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  • Posted by $ Commander 2 weeks ago
    That fills in a niche in my dandelion at seed brain. Thanks for the very clear history.
    I just posted to Vinay's posting, regarding American Marxism, a reference to the value difference between rural and urban economies and landmass voting for elections.
    Rural areas have a lot of room to adjust barter to monetary fluctuations. I just moved from Minneapolis to a county of 75k...so evident. My resources in the city would have provided six months buffer, at present they provide 2 years and no need to work if I choose.

    Anecdotally, an uncle had been purchasing one troy ounce of gold per week from the mid 50's until the Hunt brothers made a run in....79? Leo had purchased at around $175/oz aggregate and sold out at near $800/oz, I was told. He repurchased at around $300/oz after the market stabilized again. My dad always thought he came across as a dummy.
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  • Posted by $ Olduglycarl 1 week, 6 days ago
    Thanks Mike, got caught up looking through the really old stuff, BC stuff, trying to find a match to what I have. Can't believe they aren't worth that much.
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    • Posted by $ 1 week, 5 days ago
      I understand. My interest was in coins worth a day's wages from the towns and times of philosophers. I had Thales to Hypatia pretty much filled in. Thales was represented by an electrum sixth stater, a museum piece, that I picked up for $175 back in 1995. It might be worth twice that now just because of inflation. Recently, a coin store in Portland was robbed.

      6 one tenth oz American Gold Eagles
      1 one quarter oz Austrian Philharmonic
      7 one oz South African Krugerrands
      13 one oz American Gold Eagles
      4 one oz Gold bars 3 Valcambi 1 Credit Suisse
      one 100 gram gold Perth Mint bar
      $10,000 in cash

      (They left behind all the ancient coins, of course. (:-) )

      A friend of mine who was a dealer at mall shows said that when he started out, he bought whatever he liked and he did not make any money. Then, he started buying what other people liked. The market is always right. We all nod to Howard Roark, but it is in Von MIses, also, that a true entrepreneur will invest his time and money in a venture that never realizes a profit when a more sensible man would just get a wage job and keep it.

      We march so easily to that different drummer.
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      • Posted by $ Olduglycarl 1 week, 5 days ago
        The coin, was from my Uncle, a Merchant Marine and I have determined that the coin is of the Roman Era...you can clearly read: CEAA and what looks like an R...no other letters and the figures are crude but the coin is pretty round.
        Funny, the human faces on a horse's body...not sure what that was all about.
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  • Posted by CircuitGuy 1 week, 4 days ago
    Until I saw this, I thought gold and silver were seen as stores of value to the same extent throughout history, with gold always on top.

    I am a firm believer in fiat money, in having media of exchange that do not have value apart form the faith that someone else will except them in trade. I like that money can be created by the market, with investors giving someone with a good idea money, that person putting it in the bank, and that bank investing it in more good ideas; so there's always enough money created out of thin air to trade all the new value that people create.

    At the same time, I keep a small bit of exposure to silver and gold in ETFs, as a hedge against inflation and all the perils of the world that make investors flee to precious metals. (What's up with silver this year!?) But I also keep a small amount of physical gold and silver just because I think it's cool that a little bar of gold is worth as much as a new car. I like to think a stack of coins that would have bought a nice new Roman carriage will buy a new Honda Accord today or a new small spacecraft of the future.
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    • Posted by $ 1 week, 4 days ago
      F. A. Hayek also said that we do not know what a truly free market in banking will look like and that it is possible for one bank to issue paper backed in the paper of other banks if that's what the market would accept. (On my blog here: https://necessaryfacts.blogspot.com/2... )

      Harry Browne endorsed the works of E. C. Riegel who also explained how individuals couild create their own money based on their own credit.
      I spoke on the future of money at an ANA conference in Chicago in 2019
      The first slide showed federal-like "money" with the images of Taylor Swift, LeBron James, and the Trump Family.
      (More here: https://necessaryfacts.blogspot.com/2... )

      You know, in 600 BCE if you claimed that gold was money "just like cows are money" people would think you were an idiot because you can't get milk from a coin. In fact, Aristotle believed (and Muslims still believe) that lending money at interest is "unnatural" because while a herd can increase naturally, money is not a living thing so for it to multiply on its own by our artifice of counting is "unnatural."

      The strict Austrians, following some lines from Adam Smith, believe that credit capitalizations are the cause of all depressions. They say that only (hard money) savings should be allowed for investment.
      Some conservatives here decry the debt-based Federal Reserve System. I believe that debt is the seed of civilization.

      **Fractional Currency,"" the doctoral dissertation of Neil Carothers became an offprint by Bowers&Merena Galleries. A hundred years ago Carothers said that it was silly to destroy precious metals in hand-to-hand transactions. He cited the costs to the British Royal Mint in calling in all the worn gold coins and issuing new replacements. He suggested durable tokens good for precious metals that would do the hard work of daily commerce.
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