Standard of Prices

Standard of Prices

 

the weight of metal (gold or silver) adopted in a given country as the monetary unit and its multiples. It is used to measure and express the prices of all commodities. The standard of prices fixed by the government in legislation is not related to change in the value of the monetary commodity (gold). At first the standard of prices coincided with a weight scale. In the course of historical development the standard of prices became distinct; the primary causes of this shift were debasement of coinage, the switch from silver to gold as the monetary metal, and the introduction of foreign money into circulation. While they kept their former names as units of weight, monetary units such as the pound sterling and the livre actually came to contain significantly smaller amounts of metal than their names indicated. In the USSR the ruble (equal to 100 kopeks) plays the role of a standard of prices; since January 1961 its gold content has been set at 0.987412 g of pure gold.

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