Gold standard
The gold standard is a monetary system in which the standard economic
Economics is the social science that analyzes the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. The term economics comes from the Ancient Greek from + , hence "rules of the house"...

 unit of account
Unit of account
A unit of account is a standard monetary unit of measurement of value/cost of goods, services, or assets. It is one of three well-known functions of money. It lends meaning to profits, losses, liability, or assets....

 is a fixed mass of gold
Gold is a chemical element with the symbol Au and an atomic number of 79. Gold is a dense, soft, shiny, malleable and ductile metal. Pure gold has a bright yellow color and luster traditionally considered attractive, which it maintains without oxidizing in air or water. Chemically, gold is a...

. There are distinct kinds of gold standard. First, the gold specie standard is a system in which the monetary unit is associated with circulating gold coins, or with the unit of value defined in terms of one particular circulating gold coin in conjunction with subsidiary coinage made from a lesser valuable metal.

Similarly, the gold exchange standard typically involves the circulation of only coins made of silver or other metals, but where the authorities guarantee a fixed exchange rate with another country that is on the gold standard.