It is unnecessary to go into the causes of the fall in the value of silver. For several centuries prior to 1870 silver stood more or less in the ratio of 15 1/2 to 1 compared with gold - although at one time the ratio used to be much less. The increased production of silver for a while, the growth of manufactures in Europe which necessitated the holding of the money within as small a compass as possible - in the absence of the modern credit facilities -the desire of the European nations to make not only a profit on commodities but also a profit on money, and, above all, certain inherently superior qualities of gold as a metal conspired to enthrone it as the sole standard and measure of value, and dethrone silver, which was before 1870, a co-standard and co-measure of value. Although the employment of gold and silver in the arts is no small proportion of the total production, they gained their prestige from being employed for coinage. Ever since the adoption of the gold standard, coinage in gold increased while simultaneously coinage in silver decreased considerably. Before 1870 the principal medium of coinage was silver, although gold was always valuable. Every country had silver coins of several denominations, every one of the coins being weight for value. The adoption of gold meant that silver coins, being only tokens, need not be weight for value. The bigger silver coins were replaced by gold and the smaller coins by nickel or some other base metal. While the prestige of silver suffered badly in this manner, the situation was aggravated by the issue of paper money of small denominations. It would seem, on the face of it, that the issue of paper money would affect both gold and silver; as a matter of fact, however, it did not affect gold, because the reserves at the back of the paper money were in gold; and silver was ignored altogether. There have been, besides, a number of contributory causes that helped to bring down the prestige of silver, but it would be out of place to discuss them in this connection. But, as the main complaint has been that silver has depreciated in value, I thought it worth while mentioning that such depreciation was the result of the persistent efforts of the governments adopting the gold standard. Silver had still to be used in the token coins; but the governments always endeavoured to put in as little of the intrinsic value of the metal in the coins as possible; when, however, special circumstances tended to raise the value of silver as in 1906, they reduced the amount of silver in the token coins. In the face of such efforts, it is absurd to talk about the unreliability of silver, as a standard, on account of the depreciation in values.