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Later kings and governments introduced gold and silver coins to control the money supply. The gold and sliver alone held intrinsic value and was readily accepted by traders.

When the United States of America was formed the Constitution dictated that any monetary system the government supported could only use silver and gold as currency: Article 1, Section. 10. “No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.”

Gold and silver however made cumbersome and risky currency to carry. Hauling a trunk full of gold through the forest was not only a burden, it was likely to attract bandits.

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