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Is saffron worth more than gold? – Saffron Corms

The answer, as I like to point out in my books on saffron, is: yes, in theory, unless we are talking about the most advanced economies on earth. In practice I have a number of problems with the theory that saffron can be as valuable as gold. If we are looking only at traditional currencies as a guide to value, the answer is an emphatic “no.” There are two currencies in any currency system with a government: a national currency, with a national board or agency in each community; and a national currency with a central bank in each nation. These currencies are, as their names imply, backed by the national wealth. They cannot simply be printed out of thin air like the dollar. If such a national currency was to be backed by gold or silver, then in practice the value of a national currency would be determined by the value of the national property held in the currency. If a nation wants to keep the value of its currency high, then this means that it must have a large reserves in physical metal in order to be able to trade. This would mean that gold held in one’s homes would have a much greater value than that held in the dollar, since the dollar would be the only currency that could circulate within such a country by itself at this stage. Gold’s value would also have to be determined by the value of an individual’s home, since an individual living in a particular neighborhood would, in theory, own a higher proportion of the nation’s gold reserves, so that his home gold was worth more than an individual living elsewhere that had a low proportion. But the gold held by the government would not be worth anything as a “national currency” – only as a private bank reserve to help support the nation. Furthermore, such a reserve would be a double burden, since for every ounce of gold held in a bank reserve, they must also hold reserves of that amount in the bank and in other commercial banks. If an individual lived in a country that had a low proportion of gold reserves in its national banks, he would have to pay higher rent because the cost of using banks to exchange his gold for dollars at the national level would be more than the cost of moving gold into and out of the country. Because of these costs, I think a standard of money that is not subject to the whims (or the greed) of governments or gold-hoarding, can only be a single money. The idea that saffron would be worth greater than gold has little merit as a guide for our
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