Great story. Thanks for posting this. It is truly amazing to think that something we take for granted was a currency of sorts not so long ago. I remember learning about the spice trade in school and thinking, wow, all this fuss over something I use every day at little cost. But also thinking, well, any time a recipe calls for say, saffron, I discard it because saffron is so freaking expensive compared to most spices I use regularly!