Why Did the World Choose a Gold Standard Instead of a Silver Standard?

Source: Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Ryan McMaken

“Gold’s preeminence was never inevitable, inexorable, or based on some sort of natural law of money. Rather, the rise of gold resulted from a number of historical events peculiar to a certain time and place. These include geopolitical issues, increasing global gold supply, political efforts to increase foreign trade, and the fixed exchange ratio between gold and silver. In other words, the marketplace was not necessarily the driving factor behind the turn to gold. Had it not been for this government meddling designed to control gold and the ‘gold standard,’ we might still be living in a world of true currency competition today — a world of competition between gold, silver, and anything else that market actors might find to be useful as a general means of exchange.” (01/05/22)