And how would a person be allowed to use saffron as currency? To answer in these specific questions, I consulted with leading experts.
Ravinder Bal, Research Professor of Economics at St. John’s University
First, in the case of saffron, we’re talking about a material from the genus Brassica for which there’s no shortage. So a little bit from these species would have pretty similar properties to something made from gold by a modern industrial producer. Gold is produced in a fairly standardized way. It’s a precious metal, but it’s also an alloy of a fairly diverse set of elements. So from there, there are all sorts of interesting possibilities, and the question is really how do we compare it with the material from the genus Brassica? And when you’re trying to compare this material with gold, the answer is the same and it’s always going to be: saffron is worth gold for three reasons. Number one, one of them being the purest form of saffron, but two, the variety of the species. You will never find a single variety of gold or saffron that has the same properties. Number three, we have a certain set of properties that have to be present in any good gold material. Saffron has none of those things – the purest variety is absolutely gold.
Amita Chakrabarti, Professor of Sociology, Faculty of Science, University of California, Berkeley
In a sense, I think, yes, for saffron, but not in this particular sense. I think that there is a real and valuable distinction between saffron and gold, and this is one of those that is not in my view easily reconciled.
Sulabh Bhattacharya, Chairperson, Institute of Management (I-M)
I think it is absolutely true that saffron and gold are very different substances, and a number of different attributes which are required for a good investment. Gold is gold, but not all gold is gold. Gold can be used for jewelry, it can be used for decorative purposes, it can be used for making jewelry, it can be used for making food or drink, and it can be used in a number of other applications. So gold gets a lot of positive attention in a number of different applications. So there’s not a lot of difference.
In a world of scarcity, saffron and silk, which are precious metals, are worth more