The gold standard is the fixing of the value of a currency to the price of gold. Before 1971 the USA was on the gold standard, fixing the price of the dollar as one 1/35 of an ounce of gold. This mean the price of gold was also fixed, in dollar terms, at $35 an ounce. This gold standard meant the dollar could not be inflated in value as it was fixed to the value of gold. When President Nixon took the dollar off the gold standard he made inflation possible. Today the price of a gold ounce in dollars is over $1,000.