What countries are on the gold standard today?

After reading the fascinating history of the use of gold as currency, I became obsessed with the topic. My quest took me from past civilizations, to the U.S. Constitution all the way to the 21st century. One of the more interesting questions that came to mind during this journey was: ‘What countries are on the gold standard today?’

Quickly set the table

Dating back thousands of years gold has been utilized in jewelry and as a status symbol. As a currency, gold has been used since at least 500 b.c. (some say 700 b.c. or longer) Ancient civilizations recognized gold as valuable commodity, long before the nation’s of the New World.

The U.S. constitution in Article I, section ten reads “No state shall…coin money, emit bills of credit, make any thing but gold and silver a tender in payment of debts…”  So this essentially means that when America was removed from the gold standard in 1933 it was in violation of the U.S. constitution. During the 1930’s gold was disconnected from money around the world, and by 1999 only one nation remained on the gold standard.

The gold standard obituary

The ‘gold standard’ is something that many nation’s flirted with leaving for decades before ultimately abandoning. The 1930’s was a time when in lockstep fashion most of the world decided to transition to fiat.

Seven nations attempted to remain on the gold standard and formed what became known as the ‘Gold Bloc.’ Over the next several years this bloc of nations would adapt the new fiat system as well. The dates listed below are the last time each nation used the gold standard in some way. It’s also worth noting that the gold standard used from 1870-1914 was much different from the system in place after.

When researching for this article I was hoping to find a organized list of nations and the year each went off the gold standard. After spending quite some time searching without any results, I decided to compile one.

  • 1913- Australia
  • 1917- Russia
  • 1929- Canada
  • 1930- Brazil
  • 1931- Denmark
  • 1931- Finland
  • 1931- India
  • 1931- Japan
  • 1931- Norway
  • 1931- Spain
  • 1931- Sweeden
  • 1931- United Kingdom
  • 1931- Germany
  • 1933- United States
  • 1935- Belgium
  • 1935- Luxembourg
  • 1936- France
  • 1936- Italy
  • 1936- Netherlands
  • 1936- Poland
  • 1999- Switzerland

How many nations use the gold standard today?

The answer to the question is none. No country is on the gold standard in 2020. In 1999, Switzerland became the last first-world nation to abandon the gold standard.

Has civilization experienced it’s last days using gold as money? The topic is a highly debated one, even in today’s world. While researching for this article I came across hundreds of articles arguing whether or not the world should return to a currency backed by precious metals, like gold and silver.

Enjoy this article? Check out another one- Eight ways to survive the next Great Depression

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