The documentary, Fiat Empire, makes the claim:
“When you suggest to people that their money should be gold or silver coin, as it says in the Constitution, they sometimes stare at you with a blank expression, or make the most extraordinary comments.“
In some cases, those responses are justified, since the Constitution doesn’t say money should be gold or silver coin.
Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution grants Congress the power “To coin Money,” but nowhere is the word “money” defined in the Constitution.
The Coinage Act of 1792 provided for the coining of copper, in addition to gold and silver, and made those coins lawful tender, showing that something other than gold and silver were coined as money by Congress during the era of the Founding Fathers.
Some cite Article I, Section 10 to claim the Constitution says money should be gold or silver coin.
“[No State shall] make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts;“
But that is a restriction on the individual States of what they can make legal tender, and not a requirement that they make gold and silver coin legal tender. In the same section is the restriction which prohibits the States from coining money, so the only money that can be coined by government is by Congress, and includes more than just gold and silver.
For more misconceptions about gold and silver in the Constitution, please read The Constitution doesn’t insist on a gold or silver-backed currency.