In their "100 years ago today" column February 23, 2017, the Spokane Spokesman-Review republished an article about the disappearance of gold coins, long a mainstay of circulation in the American West.
A Spokesman-Review editorial noted that one of the West’s last distinctive mannerisms — the preference for gold coins over paper money — was about to bite the dust.
For a long time, the paper said, the West’s only important distinction over the “all-powerful East” had been its “addiction to the gold coin.”
“This is a relic of the gold rush days, when gold dust and nuggets were currency and greenbacks were either unknown or utterly despised.”
Consequently, Westerners were never much impressed with large rolls of paper money. While other Western mannerisms died out or were standardized, this one survived.
However, “the treasury department’s announced plan to take the gold piece out of circulation will finish the standardizing job, as far as the West is concerned.”
“East will no longer be East, and West will no longer be West,” said the paper, paraphrasing Kipling.
But what "plan to take the gold piece out of circulation" are they talking about? Gold coin production continued to the 1930s. At first I thought this article was just about changing public preferences, but I'm curious about this "plan."
Can anyone help?
To read the complete article, see:
100 years ago today in Spokane: Gold coins, the currency of the West, losing to paper money juggernaut
Wayne Homren, Editor
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