Historically Speaking

Making sense of it all!

As Good As Gold

Posted by Elyse Bruce on February 3, 2010

When banknotes or bills were first introduced they were promissory notes. Gold or silver was real money as it had intrinsic value. Notes were promises to pay in coin.

For example, UK banknotes still include the following messages signed by the Chief Cashier of the Bank of England:  “I promise to pay the bearer on demand the sum of [exact number]  pounds’.

The first recorded use of the term was in “Lost Heir” written by Thomas Hood in 1845:  “Sitting as good as gold in the gutter.”

And thus was born the saying we still use today.

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