Today, silver and gold are just as valuable today as they were for over 5000 years. Despite the fact fiat money has become more popular, gold and silver still have their intrinsic value.
People used to trade their goods and services in barter before the idea of money was invented. Trade could not be made without a medium for exchange. However, both sides had to have the same thing. One farmer might sell wheat to another farmer who is selling apples. What if you don’t want apples? An exchange medium that acts as a store value, like gold, could be used instead. A farmer could accept the payment in gold and then trade it for steak later.
It is not known how gold was discovered. There are no records that gold was used to ornament other objects and as a form of payment. It is however known that several civilizations came to the same conclusion that precious metals were valuable and started using gold and silver for money.
For thousands of years, silver and gold have been used as a means of payment. There were other uses for metals that people discovered. It has been proven that ancient silver spoons, chalices, and plates were used. Even arrow tips and blades were made of silver, which was used on the battlefield. Gold was also used in warfare but it was used more ornamentally than as weapons of war.
Gold and silver were the primary form of payment until recently. The original purpose of the dollar was to be a promissory paper that could be exchanged for gold, as described in the Constitution. The US dollar was valued in gold up to 1933. Silver was used for coinage up until 1964. The dollar’s value has declined dramatically since the relationship between fiat currency and precious metals has been broken. As a medium of exchange, silver and gold are the only true form of money.