Last week Governor Gary Herbert of Utah signed into law to recognize gold and silver coins as legal tender, reiterating laws already implemented by the federal government.

This redundant exercise in lawmaking aims to keep alive the debate over gold’s role in the economy as rising costs for everyday goods hit household budgets. In television commercials and newspaper ads, gold is peddled as a safe investment that is shielded against inflation. Those that advocate for its broader acceptance and believe gold prices will continue to rise—in tandem with inflation—are known as “gold bugs.”

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