Skip to content

Ep. 140 The Theory and Brief History of the U.S. Gold Standard

Bob explains some of the highlights of his newly released chapter for the Mises Institute book on “Understanding Money Mechanics.” He explains the operation of the classical gold standard, as well as some of the issues of U.S. bimetallism during the 1800s.

Mentioned in the Episode and Other Links of Interest:

The audio production for this episode was provided by Podsworth Media.

About the author, Robert

Christian and economist, Chief Economist at infineo, and Senior Fellow with the Mises Institute.


  1. David on 08/21/2020 at 11:01 PM

    Bob, I had a good laugh when you talked about somebody inheriting a jar of silver quarters from an uncle and foolishly spending them at the store like regular quarters. Long before my neocon-libertarian-ancap transition, my intro to sound money was when I was working night shift at a convenience store and encountered a suspiciously shiny quarter in my till with an oddly clear ring to it. I thought maybe somebody had actually made an aluminum counterfeit quarter, and spent an hour building a balance scale out of a ruler and string and precisely measured bits of scotch tape. I weighed that thing against a “real” quarter several times and kept getting the opposite result from what I expected, and the more I fine tuned my scale the worse it got, until suddenly I remembered hearing somewhere that quarters once upon a time had silver in them. Over the next several days I found a couple dozen. I never caught who was spending them, just found them in my till later. The store was across the street from a big Section 8 apartment complex, and I have no doubt some little kid was spending grandpa’s hoard on candy.

    • Robert Murphy on 08/26/2020 at 2:18 PM

      wow! Did you swap them out for regular quarters? I don’t even know if I would consider that stealing from my employer?

      • David on 09/30/2020 at 3:53 AM

        I purchased every one of them fair and square with coins of the exact same face value. A few years later my son and I did the same thing many times with the bank – bought rolls of coins and searched through them for silver, replaced the “junk” with genuine cupronickel coins of equal face value, rolled them back up and returned them to the bank. The tellers found out why we were doing this and started setting aside silver coins for us. I assume they didn’t consider it stealing either.

Leave a Comment