So we ask Sanat: If we could run the clock back and start history again, could things go a different way, or would gold emerge again as the element of choice?
"For the earth, with every parameter we have, gold is the sweet spot," he says. "It would come out no other way."
http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2010/11/18/131430755/a-chemist-explains-why-gold-beat-out-lithium-osmium-einsteinium?sc=fb&cc=fp via Gizmodo | Photo by Flickr user Shiny Things used under Creative Commons license
It bulky; it's heavy; it's low-cost. No one will want to keep ingots around so they'll circulate big-time, which will perma-stimulate the economy.
Plus, if we make virtual currency (electronic, paper) illegal, no one will want to accumulate wealth, which will eliminate greed and its ills.
Back to basics!
Probably an overview of what metals have actually been used for currency would have been a good start, as this would show that gold use is actually fairly uncommon. Gold is actually really impractical. I'd imagine that this is because it's too soft, so gold coins wear very badly if they are actually used in trade and thus erode value with use. Harder metals work much better.