Saw this pop up in the meme thread and jmog's comment, figured it might lead to a decent discussion. I'm currently reading a book called The Bitcoin Standard and it's dabbling in the history of money right now.
posted by O-Trap
posted by jmog
To be fair, since he was giving a coin, it does have intrinsic value. Especially as the idea of 'money' started as a means of commerce, all money was coins of rare metals, so they had value.
Now, if we are talking paper money with no gold backing (aka what we have now) then this meme is correct.