World Coins

New Burdette book explores into 1940s Saudi gold

A new reference from numismatic researcher and author Roger W. Burdette — Saudi Gold and other Tales from the Mint — explores the use of gold as a single monetary standard, commonly accepted by most nations.

“The United States, with its diverse and questioning population, attempted to have gold and silver as ‘semi-exchangeable’ if not practical dual standards,” according to Burdette. “After decades of mannered stability, a once ubiquitous gold exchange standard crumbled under international economic pressures resulting from World War I.”

During the Great Depression, according to Burdette, the U.S. Treasury Department launched a large construction and modernization plan for the Mint’s production facilities.

“This included separate bullion depositories for gold and silver, enlargement of existing mints and a proposed new mint in Indiana,” Burdette explains. “[Mint] Director Nellie Ross reinvigorated the Mint Service with better training, heightened security, improved facilities and crucial direct oversight.”

Central to the U.S. efforts during World War II to save and maintain democracy, according to Burdette, was “securing the cooperation of allies and non-aligned states for raw materials, overflight permission, and advance base logistics planning.”

Alluding to the title of his new book, Burdette addresses one of many events involving the production of coinage, lend-lease arrangements and, especially, relations between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United States.

“This was one of personal kindness, connection and respect between President Roosevelt and King Abdulaziz bin Abdul Rahman Al Saud,” writes Burdette. “America’s diplomatic goal was not oil — we were self-sufficient — but access to a transportation base for troops required for the expected invasion of Japan.

“The gold discs which coin collectors associate with Saudi Arabia were only incidental, but after decades of confusion we present what actually happened.”

Burdette concludes his reference with examination of two of America’s iconic coins.

“The first, honors the wartime president who led with courage and commitment,” Burdette notes. “The second recognized a man who held no great political office, but became a revered American national philosopher.”

Burdette’s 258-page hardcover reference is being published by Seneca Mill Press LLC in Sterling, Virginia.

Saudi Gold and other Tales from the Mint is available from Wizard Coin Supply ( The cover price for the 8½ x 11-inch hardcover book is $39.99. Buyers may also download a complete digital index edition at no cost. This will facilitate subject searches and provides a convenient copy for use on phones, tablets, and similar portable devices.

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