Good Money

I’m teaching General Chemistry this summer, and so I’m reviewing some basic chemistry that I haven’t thought about in a long time. Here’s an interesting piece of trivia: The commodity metals—copper (Cu), silver (Ag), and gold (Au)—appear in the same group of the Periodic Table and, in fact, appear in order of their value as one moves down the group.

Austrian economists, in arguing for a true gold standard, point to the moneyish properties of gold and the similar properties of the other commodity metals—divisibility, durability, scarcity (in the Austrian sense), high weight-to-value. The Periodic Table was developed from observations of pure elements and has since been shown to illustrate many trends in elements at the atomic level.

I guess the next time someone asks me “Why gold?,” I’ll just smile and point at the Periodic Table.

(click on image to enlarge)


4:16 pm on May 15, 2010