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Money is a good servant but a bad master. - Bacon

Money Material Definition
Updated: 01/21/2020

Currency is NOT the same as good money. Aristotle provided these essential qualities for the best material to be used for money.

  1. Durable: Good money material can't be perishable, fragile, vulnerable to bacteria and insects, or have a shelf life, and should be all but indestructible with normal usage..

  2. Divisible: Good money material needs to be fairly easy to convert into larger and smaller uniform units or pieces without losing its value, in order to be suitable for a wide range of transactions. Thus materials or objects that would lose their value upon being divided cannot be used.

  3. Consistent: Good money material is always easily recognized because the material in each unit is identical and always looks and feels the same, so that itís easy to recognize., each piece identical to the next. Other valuable, tangible things and objects generally, like furniture, artwork of real estate have differences that are subject to variable evaluation.

  4. Convenient: Good money material concentrates a lot of value into a small package, which would be highly portable. The material amounts generally have to be carried around in a purse or pocket of an individual, or in the case of sizable worth, transported be a common carrier, such as a horse, wagon, cart or car. Also, the material cannot be dangerously toxic or radioactive, which would preclude convenient personal transport.

  5. Intrinsically valuable: Good money material is something that is widely or universally desired, or is universally useable. This is critical to money functioning as a means of exchange; even if any one individual can't use it, someone somewhere within reason wants it or can use it.

A sixth reason why precious metals are the money of choice is that they cannot in practice be created, manufactured or grown.

Down through time it is primarily the metals of gold, silver, and copper that have met these fundamental criteria. Now, other metals such as nickel, platinum, and palladium could serve as well.

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