(BOSTON - March 27, 2012) -- Lawmakers in South Carolina on Tuesday were discussing a bill that proposes the use of gold and silver as currency, according to a published report.

Should the bill pass, the Palmetto State would become the second state in the U.S. to approve the precious metals for use to purchase, akin to the U.S. dollar, according to WSPA. Utah approved similar legislation in early April of last year and presently is working on tweaking it.

One co-sponsor of the bill said the motive behind advocating for gold and silver as currency is the poor state of the U.S. economy, which is the globe's largest economic system.

"With the economy the way it is and with the amount of… the national debt we have, many people are investing in precious metals, gold and silver specifically, to protect the value of their investment," State Representative Rick Quinn, a Republican, told the news source. "And so this is really kind of an effort to look at possibilities of how we would have an alternate currency if that would kind of work for the state."

One of the first steps would be the assembly of a nine-member study committee to present circumstances that would support the use of precious metals as currency. That panel would include three state senators, three members of the House and three members of the South Carolina business community, one of whom must be a certified public accountant.

Earlier this month, the Senate of Utah voted 24-4 to permit gold and silver to be used during retail transactions, according to The Standard-Examiner. That bill was sponsored by Brad Galvez, a state representative who has long supported the use of precious metals as currency.

The value of the coins would be dictated by the value of the precious metals at the time of use, which would render the face value on the silver or gold coin secondary.

A South Carolina House subcommittee passed the bill late last week and its supporters endorse permitting particular businesses to decide if they want to accept the precious metals as legal tender.

Additional states that have flirted with legislation proposing the use of precious metals as legal tender include Minnesota, North Carolina, and Idaho.

The record price for gold is $1,923.70 per troy ounce as established in early September of last year. Silver's record price is $50.35 as set in January 1980.