Silver: Good As Gold

By: Douglas V. Gnazzo | Sat, Nov 12, 2005
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"For all nations have drunk the wine of her impure passion,
and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and
the merchants of the earth have grown rich with the wealth of her wantonness."


Silver, the mysterious white metal. No one seems quite sure what to make of it. Is it a commodity? Is it an industrial metal? Is it a monetary metal?

Is silver undervalued, or overvalued, in comparison to its supply and demand? Is silver in a bull market, or a bear market rally? Will silver perform as well as gold, or will gold outperform?

Questions, questions - so many questions, yet perhaps the most important question hasn't yet been asked.


Recently an article on bimetallism made the following statement:

"We do learn that the U.S. operated until then under the bimetallic standard established by the Constitution in 1789." [1]

The Constitution [2] and the Coinage Act of 1792 [3] both set a silver standard, not a bimetallic standard. The silver standard has never been changed by a constitutional amendment, and therefore still stands as law.

The Dollar

The dollar was defined as a specific weight and fineness of silver: 371.25 grains of pure silver.

Furthermore, the dollar was stated to be the unit of account of the United States, according to the above definition as a specific weight of silver, commonly referred to as the silver dollar, i.e. 371.25 grains of pure silver. [4]

The proportional value of gold to silver in all coins, which by law is current as money within the United States, was fixed at fifteen to one, according to quantity in weight, of pure gold or pure silver. [5]

The standard of our monetary system is silver, and the circulating currency is stated to be silver and gold coin. [6]


The previously mentioned article on bimetallism also states the following:

"In the above paragraph we see the statement: 'because silver, the undervalued currency under the bimetallic standard established by the Constitution in 1789, had been driven out of the U.S. by the mid-1850s and the Coinage Act of 1873 ("the Crime of '73") had demonetized the standard silver coin.' Although it is suggested that silver left the U.S. because it was undervalued, we are not here told why 'silver had been driven out of the U.S.'" [7]

We have previously covered the exact reasons as to both why and how silver was driven out of the U.S. in Honest Money, Part II: Silver Standard with a Bimetallic Coinage System:

"According to statute, the United States was on the silver standard. However, as we have seen, Congress also decreed that gold coins were to be minted and circulated along side of silver coins, and fixed the statutory valuation of silver to gold at 15 to 1.

In other words, Congress had " fixed " the exchange rate between the two metals. Thus, the United States was on a silver standard, but it was also on a bimetallic system of coinage, that included gold to be circulated at a "fixed" exchange rate to the silver standard.

Such a system can present problems, however, as the free market exchange rate between gold and silver can diverge from the statutory or legally fixed exchange rate - necessitating the adjustment of the other metals legal value up or down to conform to the statutory fixed rate of exchange.

In other words, Congress was trying to make two different types of metal coinage equal in purchasing power. This was not a good idea and would have been better left undone.

This also raises the very interesting question as to whether or not this "fixing" was an accidental mistake, by very learned men, well acquainted with this exact monetary issue, as the discussions of such are in the Congressional records.

Past historical monetary writings address the issue in detail. Perhaps such was not a mistake, but was very much intended and planned, although unknown by most but a select few. We will trust the reader with making such determinations, as the following discussions occasion." [8]

The reader is directed to Honest Money for a more detailed explanation then can be given here, as footnoted and linked below. Because of the grave importance of the subject, we will offer another quote from the paper to show the reasons as to how and why silver was manipulated, much as it still is today:

"This also goes to the point that the legal intrinsic value of the dollar is the physical amount of silver or gold as measured against the "standard," which in the case of the U.S. dollar is a specific weight of silver.

However, the economic value or purchasing power of the medium of exchange is not "intrinsic," as it is not based on an objective determination or standard, but on the subjective valuations of the market participants. Some refer to this as the subjective theory of value or the theory of declining marginal utility.

It is this difference between the fixed legal tender values of the precious metals, versus the fluctuating marketplace values, which seals the fate of a bimetallic system to self-destruction.

On one side of the ledger are the fixed legal tender values that do not change, and then on the other side of the ledger are the marketplace values, where the metals are allowed to float in value to one another.

This is not how free markets work. Such are the workings of a two-tiered market - a contrived and rigged market. There is a juristic set of values, which are different from the economic or marketplace values. These different values can be exploited for considerable profit.

Although in the strict technical and statutory sense, the standard was silver and the system of coinage was bimetallic, in all practical applications, and according to the prevailing "populist" views, the system was a duo metallic system that reciprocally recognized and exchanged one metal for the other.

As will be shown, however, the system fluctuated back and forth from one metal to the other, and with good cause - the purposefully contrived reasons of power and influence: all in the pursuit of profit and gain." [9]

Fixed Markets

Lastly, we mention Gresham's Law, which had a role in the manipulation, but of even greater importance is the inherent flaw in any monetary system that fixes the exchange rate.

Such fixing does not occur by happenchance, but for specific reasons - reasons of profit and gain. From Honest Money we offer one last quote:

"Establishing fixed exchange rates allows ' Gresham 's Law' to enter the picture, whereby an artificially overvalued money tends to drive an artificially undervalued money out of circulation.

Free markets and supply and demand being what they are, inevitably the market values one metal over the other.

Eventually one metal is driven out by the other. This process is oft times referred to as demonetization. But remember, bimetallism under a fixed standard is not necessarily a completely free system.

Starting slowly in the 1780's, the market value of silver slid downwards, steadily continuing down through the 1790's, up until about 1804-1805. This was mainly in response to the increased supply of silver from Mexico and the diminishing supplies of gold from Russia.

At the same time, its mint price remained the same, thereby causing silver to be overvalued in relation to gold. Gold coins started to flow out of our country and ceased to circulate, while silver coin flowed in and was abundant.

Gold coin was melted down and exported abroad. From 1800 to 1834, only silver coin circulated as the currency of choice. Gold had been driven out - but by what force? Might there be an unseen 'guiding hand'?

First gold was driven out of circulation, and then over time silver became the lackey, until eventually both metals were driven into exile and buried beneath a mountain of worthless paper debt and hollow promises to pay that is our now current system of paper fiat - a mere shade of its former self. But such events beg the question: a lackey of whom, or by what power?

Congress would have been better off to have simply minted gold Eagles without fixing a dollar value on them, thereby allowing the free market forces of supply and demand to regulate their exchange rate value. This would help prevent the 'authorized' control by other than free market principles or by 'others.'

Because of this flaw in a bimetallic system of coinage that has one metal as the standard and then fixes the exchange rate between the two metals, and the resulting 'crying' up or down of the value of one metal in regards to the other - our monetary history was one where first one metal was dear and the other shunned, and vice versa, on several different occasions." [10]

We hope the above is sufficient to raise the curiosity of both the reader and the author of the article on bimetallism to further pursue the topic under review. A more detailed discussion can be found in the Honest Money Series linked in the endnotes below.

Good As Gold

The purpose of this paper lies elsewhere, however. We want to examine whether silver is as good as gold. Towards this end, the above discussion has already contributed a fair amount of information.

We have seen that the United States was on a silver standard. One of the reasons that a silver standard was chosen was because the most accepted, or "currently common" form of money in the U.S. at that time was the Spanish Silver Dollar - the famous Pieces of Eight.

Silver's history as a monetary metal is as old as gold's, and spans the four corners of the world. In many of the ancient classics, we read of the use of silver as money. The Histories of Herodotus, the Iliad and the Odyssey of Homer, the Aeneid of Virgil, the works of Plato, Aristotle, Pliny, and others, all tell of the use and importance of silver throughout the world.

The silver shekel has a history dating back 3000 B.C. to Mesopotamia. In the Bible, we read of Christ being "sold out" for 30 pieces of silver. Silver, in its most ancient form, exchanged according to weight, and weight alone. Small pieces or chunks were exchanged for goods after being weighed.

Next bent bar units were used as far back as 750 B.C. Eventually coins were minted with the stamp of the issuer, usually a King.


The Lydians and Croesus are given credit for minting the first coins, which may or may not be true, as future discoveries will most likely show a different origin. China is already said to have minted coins as far back as 1000 B.C.

Greece is the most well known ancient artificer of coins. The Attic Silver standard was dominant throughout the western Mediterranean shores. The Athenian sliver four-drachma, or double-stater, was the most widely used coin in the ancient world, gaining prominence in 500 B.C.

In Rome, bronze was the first metal used in exchange or trade. It was not until after the peace of Pyrrhus in 279 B.C. that silver was used to any degree. After the Second Punic War the silver denarius was issued, becoming the most widely used silver coin for over four centuries.

Constantine issued the gold solidus between 305-313 A.D., which was minted for over 700 years, even after Rome fell. The solidus has the longest continues history of any coin, gold or silver, to date.

The Pound Sterling is well known throughout the world, dating back to Sir Thomas Gresham and Queen Elizabeth I, who in 1560 established one troy pound of sterling silver as the monetary standard. Its history goes back even further, however, to 1158 when King Henry II issued the Tealby Silver Penny, which was 1/240 th of a pound.

The name of our "dollar" is related to the historic silver currencies of:

"Tolar in Bohemia, Thaler or Taler in Germany, Daalder in the Netherlands and Daler in Sweden, Denmark, and Norway. The name thaler (from Thal, or nowadays usually Tal, "valley") originally came from the German Guldengroschen ("great gulden", being of silver but equal in value to a gold gulden) coins minted from the silver from a rich mine at Joachimsthal (St. Joachim's Valley) in Bohemia (then part of the Habsburg Empire)." [11]


As can be readily seen, silver has had just as an illustrious history as gold as a monetary metal. This then begs the question: Why is it that silver seems to be ignored, or relegated to second place status behind gold?

The answer may well be hidden in the reason why gold itself has been "demonetized", and is still manipulated by the elite power structure via the comex paper derivatives market. [12]

The elite international bankers are deathly afraid of both silver and gold. This is the reason they have tried to demonetize both metals, but they cannot. Silver and gold have been around for longer then the central bankers, and when the central bankers are no longer - silver and gold will still be.

Just recently, the following picture appeared on the 30-day chart of the one-year silver lease rate:

Chart Courtesy

Notice the spike up to 4.55%. That rate was higher than the ten-year Treasury bond was paying at the time. Gold is incorrectly referred to as the "barbaric" metal by the establishment. Silver is considered second rate to gold. Yet, here we see silver lease rates paying more than the ten-year Treasury bond.

What does this say about silver?

Is this A Sign of the Times ~ Or A Sign of Things to Come.

Look at the two following charts, the first is gold, and the second is silver. What do these charts scream out? Do these two charts look the way that most charts look? Why not?

The ancients knew it took the moon 15 times longer than the sun to traverse the heavens. The ancients new why gold and silver were the alchemical elixirs of life. The ancients knew why silver is the metal of redemption in the Bible. The ancients knew the relation of the Son to the Father.

Is silver as good as gold?

Is gold as good as silver?

Is it honest valuation of either silver or gold, to price them in paper fiat dollars, and to then compare those "prices" or ratios to come up with a "value"?

What kind of value would that represent? It would just be another fixed price or value; just another rigged market; just another loss of freedom, and free market prices.

Any why?

The answer is simple - Cui Bono? Follow the money.

"And they threw dust on their heads, as they wept and mourned, crying out,
Alas, alas, for the great city where all who had ships at sea grew rich by her wealth!
In one hour she has been laid waste."

[1] Bimetallism Revisited - Bird
[2] Article I,Section 8, Clause 5
[3] Article I, Section 10, Clause 1
[6] Article I, Section 10, Clause 1
[7] Bimetallism Revisited - Bird
[8] Honest Money, Part II: Silver Standard with a Bimetallic Coinage System:
[9] Honest Money, Part II: Silver Standard with a Bimetallic Coinage System: (paragraph amended from original)
[10] Honest Money, Part II: Silver Standard with a Bimetallic Coinage System
[11] Wikipedia - Dollar
[12] Silver IS Money, The Four Horsemen


Douglas V. Gnazzo

Author: Douglas V. Gnazzo

Douglas V. Gnazzo
Honest Money Gold & Silver Report

Douglas V. Gnazzo is the retired CEO of New England Renovation LLC, a historical restoration contractor that specialized in the restoration of older buildings and vintage historic landmarks. Mr. Gnazzo writes for numerous websites, and his work appears both here and abroad. Just recently, he was honored by being chosen as a Foundation Scholar for the Foundation of Monetary Education (FAME).

Disclaimer: The contents of this article represent the opinions of Douglas V. Gnazzo. Nothing contained herein is intended as investment advice or recommendations for specific investment decisions, and you should not rely on it as such. Douglas V. Gnazzo is not a registered investment advisor. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and using methods believed to be reliable, but Douglas. V. Gnazzo cannot accept responsibility for any trading losses you may incur as a result of your reliance on this analysis and will not be held liable for the consequence of reliance upon any opinion or statement contained herein or any omission. Individuals should consult with their broker and personal financial advisors before engaging in any trading activities. Do your own due diligence regarding personal investment decisions. This article may contain information that is confidential and/or protected by law. The purpose of this article is intended to be used as an educational discussion of the issues involved. Douglas V. Gnazzo is not a lawyer or a legal scholar. Information and analysis derived from the quoted sources are believed to be reliable and are offered in good faith. Only a highly trained and certified and registered legal professional should be regarded as an authority on the issues involved; and all those seeking such an authoritative opinion should do their own due diligence and seek out the advice of a legal professional. Lastly, Douglas V. Gnazzo believes that The United States of America is the greatest country on Earth, but that it can yet become greater. This article is written to help facilitate that greater becoming. God Bless America.

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