TIL that Great Britain accidentally adopted the gold standard in 1717 due to Isaac Newton (who was at the time the master of the Royal Mint) setting the exchange rate of silver to gold too low, thereby causing silver to go out of circulation.

Read more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gold_standard

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  1. >Historically, the silver standard and bimetallism have been more common than the gold standard.[6][7] The shift to an international monetary system based on a gold standard reflected accident, network externalities, and path dependence.[6] Great Britain accidentally adopted a de facto gold standard in 1717 when Sir Isaac Newton, then-master of the Royal Mint, set the exchange rate of silver to gold too low, thus causing silver coins to go out of circulation.[8] As Great Britain became the world’s leading financial and commercial power in the 19th century, other states increasingly adopted Britain’s monetary system.[8]

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