Bimetallism

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Bimetallism

A monetary system in which a currency is exchangeable for a certain amount of either gold or silver. Bimetallism establishes a fixed exchange rate between gold and silver. As with other hard money systems, bimetallism can be unstable, as currency may be hoarded when the supply and demand of either gold or silver exceeds the stated value of the currency. Proponents of bimetallism opposed the gold standard because they believed it to be excessively deflationary. This was a subject of intense debate in the late 19th century in the United States.