The people of Britain have one supreme currency virtue. They are not victims of the metallic complex. Gold and silver have never been regarded, in Britain, with feelings of exaggerated respect or reverence. Their worth has been estimated from a purely utilitarian standpoint. They have qualities which render them ideal currency media for primitive, stationary or unprogressive countries. British indifference to the metallic substance of its money is largely due to the fact that the pound sterling, as a money of account, was not, except for a brief period, a coin. The British attitude to gold is that of a nation of shopkeepers. A shopkeeper would not agree with the economists' dictum that one of the functions of money is to provide a store for savings. Foreign economists and financiers have frequently expressed their astonishment at what they regard as the serious disproportion between Britain's gold reserves and her international liabilities.