Portrait of Rice Vaughan

Henry Vaughan argues that it is the voluntary and “universal concurrence of mankind”, not the laws, which makes money acceptable as a medium of exchange (1675)

Found in: A Select Collection of Scarce and Valuable Tracts on Money

The English political economist McCulloch was a pioneer historian of economic thought. In his collection of English tracts on money he includes Rice Vaughan’s Discourse of Coin and Coinage (1675) which has an interesting discussion of how the "universal concurrence of mankind" is what makes money money:

Money & Banking

But you will say, that gold coins, excepting the difference of colour, and of some other properties of the metals, have as much the appearance of money as silver coins: Granted; and so have copper coins too; and so might pewter ones, &c., but this is nothing to the purpose; it is not the mint, but the laws, and the universal concurrence of mankind, that make money.