Bookmarked this article. I can imagine I will be linking to it for some time to come.
Part of what I was looking into was the prospect of a Gold Standard for US currency similar to what Ron Paul and other Austrian economists support.
One chief argument I've heard against the measure is that the value of gold has fluctuated too much in the past for it to be a reliable standard today.
But as the table shown clearly shows this was not, and is not the case. The price for an ounce of gold remained completely stable and in line with the Gold Standard the entire time.
We see a slight price jump in 1840 after states were allowed to issue paper money, but other than that, it remained stable even when the gold rush occurred from 1848 to 1855, and when we temporarily left the gold standard during WWI.
But alas, the stability of the price of gold changed after 1933 when we left the gold standard. After Nixon totally severed all ties the dollar had to gold in 1971, we see the price skyrocket.
Seems like our money needs to come back to its roots, and free banking deserves another chance.