A little Friday fun here, courtesy of Reuters' Felix Salmon, that attempts to answer the question of whether gold is a currency in the United States:
Salmon attempts to spend a gram of gold in New York City. Initial attempts to purchase beer and a toy are rebuffed ("If I change it with you... I'm fired!") and ("That's a Guest Services question"), but he eventually succeeds at a small business selling... lobster rolls. Salmon gets three for his gold.
"The most surprising people turn out to know how much a gram of gold is worth, with an astonishing level of accuracy," Salmon writes of his experience.
But, he concludes, "Gold is not a currency. I'm reasonably sure that Andrew, the guy behind the counter at Snack Box, would not have accepted my gram of gold unless his boss was telling him too."
Still, a fun experiment, especially as the debate over gold rears its head from time to time. Just ask Ron Paul how he feels about it (see 4:59 here).