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Below are charts showing the declining value of the two longest running currencies – the British pound sterling and the United States dollar, considered to be the most successful paper currencies of all time.

Purchasing Power of the British Pound Since 1694
Purchasing Power of the US Dollar Since 1774

Under the US Mint Act of 1792, the dollar was pegged at 24.75 grains of gold. There are 480 grains in a troy ounce. Thus it took 19.4 US dollars to purchase a single troy ounce of gold. As of Feb 23, 2007 it takes nearly 863 US dollar to purchase that same troy ounce of gold, representing a 97.8% drop in value!

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