Francis A. Walker, a distinguished authority, defines money as "that which passes freely from hand to hand throughout the community in final discharge of debts and full payment for commodities, being accepted equally without reference to the character or credit of the person who offers it and without the intention of the person who receives it to consume it or enjoy it or apply it to any other use than in turn to tender it to others in discharge of debts or payment for commodities." Currency is the name given to the legal medium of exchange in every country.

Various articles have passed current as money in various communities at different times. Tobacco was used as money by the early Virginia settlers; the skins of fur-bearing animals served "the same purpose in some parts of this country at a much later date. For ages gold and silver have been the first choice of all nations as the standards of value. Some one has truly said, "Abraham, 1900 years before Christ, weigned out uncoined silver in payment for land, and 1900 years after Christ gold-dust passed current as money among the ' forty-niners' in California." The standard of monetary value of the civilized nations of the world is a fixed amount of gold or of silver, which, taken together, is called bullion.