Last week I read Crash Proof by Peter D, Schiff. Having already shared an excerpt from the book about gold, I thought I would mention silver.
The United States dollar was first defined by the Mint Act of 1792 as 371.25 grains if fine silver which was exactly the weight of the Spanish mill dollar. In 1792, the Spanish mill dollar was the most common coin in colonial America. It was so popular that it was allowed to circulate in America until 1857 - 70 years after the signing of the constitution. [Crash Proof, page 53]
Well if gold had been the standard of money since the beginning of civilization, how did silver enter the monetary picture?
The reason silver was used in addition to gold was because it was easier to transport. Silver coins represented smaller amounts of money and could be carried around on one's person, whereas an amount of gold equal to the value of a silver dime (one tenth of a dollar) would be so small that you couldn't see it in your hand. [Crash Proof, page 222]
...Just another interesting snippet of the book I thought I would share.