Something I found fascinating when I was visiting Dubai was the fact that they had gold vending machines in some of the malls. You could use a credit card to get out gold coins and blocks. Each piece was decorated with different symbols of the countries which produce gold, so I was surprised to see that there was even a kangaroo for Australia.
I suppose when you get to a certain amount of wealth, it pays to make sure some of it is in the hardest currency of all. But, I can't help wondering if anyone ever really used that machine to purchase currency. Even the cheapest gold coin was worth over a thousand US dollars and that one seemed to be more for tourists than anything. I can't imagine someone actually buying a gold brick from there.
I've always thought that gold as the standard of hard currency was rather arbitrary anyway. It only has value because we say it does.