From ancient civilization, from the Egyptians to the Incas, gold has occupied a special place of real and symbolic value for humanity. In addition, gold has been used as money for exchange, as a store of value, and as valuable jewels and other artifacts. Economist John Maynard Keynes called gold a “barbaric relic,” suggesting that its usefulness as money is an artifact of the past. In an era full of cashless transactions and hundreds of cryptocurrencies, this statement seems more true today than it was in the time of Keynes.
Sanat Kumar, a chemical engineer at Columbia University, broke down the periodic table to show why gold has been used as a monetary metal for thousands of years. The periodic table organizes 118 elements in rows increasing the atomic number (periods) and columns (groups) with similar electron configurations. Platinum and gold are the remaining elements. The extremely high melting point of platinum required a furnace of the gods to melt in ancient times, which made it impractical.
It melts at a lower temperature and is malleable, making it easier to work. Gold does not dissipate into the atmosphere, does not burst into flames and does not poison or irradiate the wearer. It is rare enough to hinder overproduction and is malleable for minting coins, bars and bricks. Civilizations have consistently used gold as a valuable material.
The first major gold rush came to the United States in the 15th century. Spain's looting of New World treasures increased Europe's gold supply fivefold in the 16th century. The subsequent gold rush in America, Australia and South Africa took place in the 19th century. The introduction of paper money in Europe occurred in the 16th century, with the use of debt instruments issued by individuals.
While gold coins and bullion continued to dominate Europe's monetary system, it wasn't until the 18th century that paper money began to dominate. The struggle between paper money and gold would eventually lead to the introduction of a gold standard. The gold standard is a monetary system in which paper money can be freely converted into a fixed amount of gold. In other words, in such a monetary system, gold supports the value of money.
Between 1696 and 1812, the development and formalization of the gold standard began when the introduction of paper money posed some problems. The Constitution of 1789 gave Congress the exclusive right to coin money and the power to regulate its value. In 1821, England became the first country to officially adopt a gold standard. The century's dramatic increase in global trade and production brought major gold discoveries, helping the gold standard to remain intact well into the next century.
Since all trade imbalances between nations were solved with gold, governments had a strong incentive to accumulate gold for more difficult times. The international gold standard emerged in 1871, after its adoption by Germany. By 1900, most developed countries were linked to the gold standard. It was one of the last countries to join.
In fact, a strong silver lobby prevented gold from being the only monetary standard within the U.S. UU. The United States government has more than 8,133 tons of gold, the largest reserve in the world. The stock market crash of 1929 was just one of the difficulties of the post-war world.
The pound and the French franc were misaligned with other currencies; war debts and repatriations continued to stifle Germany; commodity prices slumped and banks too widespread. Many countries sought to protect their gold stocks by raising interest rates to entice investors to keep their deposits intact rather than turning them into gold. These higher interest rates only made things worse for the global economy. In 1931, the gold standard was suspended in England, leaving only the U.S.
And France with large gold reserves. At the end of World War II, the U.S. It had 75% of the world's monetary gold and the dollar was the only currency that was still directly backed by gold. However, as the world rebuilt after World War II, the United States,.
Its gold reserves fell steadily as money flowed into war-torn nations and its own huge demand for imports. The highly inflationary environment of the late 1960s sucked the last wind of the gold standard. However, the growing competitiveness of foreign nations, combined with the monetization of debt to pay social programs and the Vietnam War, soon began to weigh on the US balance of payments. With a surplus that turned into a deficit in 1959 and growing fears that foreign nations will begin to exchange dollar-denominated assets for gold, Senator John F.
Kennedy stated, in the later stages of his presidential campaign, that he would not try to devalue the dollar if elected. The Gold Fund collapsed in 1968 as member countries were reluctant to cooperate fully to maintain the market price in the US. In the following years, both Belgium and the Netherlands charged dollars for gold, and Germany and France expressed similar intentions. In August 1971, Britain requested that he be paid in gold, forcing Nixon's hand and officially closing the golden window.
By 1976, it was official; the dollar would no longer be defined by gold, thus marking the end of any appearance of a gold standard. In August 1971, Nixon interrupted the direct convertibility of US, S. With this decision, the international currency market, which has been increasingly dependent on the dollar since the enactment of the Bretton Woods Agreement, lost its formal connection with gold. The dollar, and by extension, the global financial system that it effectively supported, entered the era of fiat money.
It abandoned the gold standard in 1971 to curb inflation and prevent foreign nations from overloading the system by exchanging their dollars for gold. Although a minor form of the gold standard continued until 1971, its death had begun centuries before with the introduction of paper money, a more flexible instrument for our complex financial world. Today, the price of gold is determined by the demand for the metal and, although it is no longer used as a standard, it still plays an important role. Gold is an important financial asset for countries and central banks.
Banks also use it as a way to protect themselves from loans to their government and as an indicator of economic health. Gold has been money for thousands of years. With Glint, you can spend it instantly. Gold has always played an important role in the international monetary system.
Gold coins were first minted by order of King Croeso of Lydia (an area that is now part of Turkey), around 550 BC. Citations are provided for each source to facilitate further research by the reader. Therefore, these documents are a valuable resource for researchers seeking an even deeper knowledge of the history of money and gold. First of all, it doesn't have to have any intrinsic value.
A currency only has value because we, as a society, decide that it is. A gold standard is a monetary system in which the standard economic unit of account is based on a fixed amount of gold. The gold standard was the foundation of the international monetary system from the 1870s to the early 1920s, and from the late 1920s to 1932, as well as from 1944 to 1971, when the United States unilaterally ended the convertibility of the US dollar into foreign gold central banks, ending effectively to the Bretton Woods System. Many states still maintain substantial gold reserves.
Related to this is the fact that gold is the only universal currency. It is the only thing (along with its attached silver) that all people have agreed to use as the basis of money, which then allows fixed exchange rates between countries, greatly simplifying trade and investment. In the pre-1914 era, most major governments participated in the global gold standard, which was simply the extension of many centuries of gold and silver coins used around the world. This system was reassembled during the 1920s, and again in 1944, at Bretton Woods.
We have had no difficulty in establishing global monetary systems based on gold. It covers the period from the establishment of the UK's gold standard in the early 19th century to the restoration of the gold standard after World War I. In turn, the gold exchange pattern was just a step away from modern fiat currency, with banknotes issued by central banks, and whose value is guaranteed by the bank's reserve assets, but whose exchange value is determined by the central bank's monetary policy objectives on its purchasing power rather than a equivalence to gold. Most of continental Europe made the conscious decision to move to the gold standard, leaving the mass of inherited (and formerly depreciated) silver coins to remain unlimited legal tender and convertible at face value for the new gold currency.
By making available a pool of gold reserves, the market price of gold could be kept in line with the official parity rate. Almost similar gold standards were implemented in Japan in 1897, in the Philippines in 1903, and in Mexico in 1905, when the previous yen or weight of 24.26 g of silver was redefined to approximately 0.75 g of gold or half U. For example, Germany had abandoned the gold standard in 1914 and could not return to it because war reparations had cost it much of its gold reserves. In 1970, one gram of gold would have bought you two cheeseburgers, while today one gram of gold would have allowed you to buy twelve cheeseburgers.
Commercial banks converted Federal Reserve Bonds into gold in 1931, reducing their gold reserves and forcing a corresponding reduction in the amount of currency in circulation. Congress passed the Gold Reserve Act on January 30, 1934; the move nationalized all gold by ordering Federal Reserve banks to turn over their supply to the U. Polyus was also recently crowned as the largest mining company in terms of gold reserves worldwide, with more than 104 million ounces of gold tested and probable among all deposits. For example, Britain and the Scandinavian countries, which abandoned the gold standard in 1931, recovered much earlier than France and Belgium, which remained in gold much longer.