It's sometimes hard to imagine what the world looked like when currencies were pegged to gold. Now the German Bundesbank is opening its doors to history lovers and currency aficionados with its “Gold - Treasures in the Bundesbank” exhibit at the Money Museum in Frankfurt am Main.
Second only to the United States, the Bundesbank owns 117 billion euros worth of gold, equal to 3374 tonnes. The exhibit was organized partially because of the central bank’s desire to be more transparent with the public, but also to silence the rumours that Germany’s gold was inappropriately lent or misplaced abroad. In fact, there is even a legend surrounding Germany’s long lost gold, the Nibelung treasure, which inspired German composer Richard Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen – legend that might have been resolved after an amateur archaeologist found an ancient treasure in a forest.
The exhibit presents the evolution of monetary and foreign exchange policy over time and unveils some of the Germany’s oldest gold assets which include a gold bar cast in 1917 as well as the world’s “longest-lived coin in the world – the ducat – which was introduced in 1284 and is still being minted to this day”.
The gold standard came to an end with in 1971 with American President Richard Nixon’s Bretton Woods agreement.
To read the original article [in German], click here.