Having watched the first 2 hours or so of The Money Masters, I can say that gold is not as prevalent under the US as silver is. So that's one good reason not to go to a "gold" standard; there's more gold under Europe, so it benefits the (generally European-based) international bankers.
Another great method was tally sticks, where the king took a piece of wood, notched a denomination, and split it lengthwise; then one piece stayed in the king's treasury, the other was circulated. To get payment from the king (e.g., real money, gold or silver), one took the stick there and it was matched against its mate, then paid out.
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