On our vacation, I have been reading Crash Proof by Peter D. Schiff. One of the anecdotes in this book is a quote from the author's father who was also a writer. Irwin Schiff published a book entitled The Biggest Con in 1977 where he described how gold became our standard for currency:
...It had a rich and warm color and was capable of being highly polished. It was the only metal that neither tarnished nor rusted. It could be extruded to the fineness of hair and beaten to the thinness of tissue paper. Since gold concentrated considerable value into a small area, it made transportation of one's wealth relatively simple. Imagine having to leave a country hurriedly when all of one's wealth was in cattle! Since gold was malleable, it was easily divisible and could accommodate exchanges of lesser value. Gold could easily be measured and its quality could be readily determined. These latter qualities made loaning money possible since it was easy to establish that the loan was repaid in the same type of money that had been loaned.
I found this interesting and thought I would share.
Geology is alive in the lab.