What is the current price of gold? There are two ways to answer this question: look back on its illustrious history and understand how the world sees its value today.
Current Price Of Gold | Know The Basics
A Brief History of Gold
There’s no doubt the current price of gold makes it more precious than other commodities in the market. But its relevance and importance go back centuries.
Obviously, we cannot give a full history of one of the most precious metals in existence in a single article. So here’s a brief account that gives you the basics of what you need to know.
According to the Telegraph, our earliest evidence of human gold smelting hails from Egypt in 3,600 BCE. The first examples of jewelry appeared in Mesopotamia 1,000 years later. Tutankhamun’s funeral mask, the famous pharaoh head we know so well, made its debut in 1223. Gold is most famous, arguably, for providing a standard currency, which it first did in 564 BCE.
Gold As a Currency In the Ancient World
Currency is at once a simple and complex economic idea. Instead of having to barter for everything, societies benefit from having an agreed-upon medium of exchange. Everyone has some of this currency (money) and can exchange it for the goods they need at any time. That way, a farmer doesn’t have to wait until someone needs lettuce, say, before they can buy a blanket. They can use money instead.
A currency could technically be anything, including the paper money we use today. However, in many earlier societies, governments chose something of inherent value. Gold represented an obvious choice. Everyone loves it. It is so malleable one could mint it into small coins.
Upon this foundation, in 564 BCE, King Croesus of Lydia minted the first international gold currency. That’s not to say gold was never used as a medium of exchange before, because it was. But Croesus’s “croesids” were the first standardized, internationally recognized, reliable form of money as we know it today.
Gold In The Developed World
Gold retained its value long after the ancient period ended. In 1,300 CE, governments established “hallmarking” practices. When hallmarking, an official or expert inspects the gold to determine it meets certain standards. The first hallmarking office appeared in London at the Goldsmith’s Hall. That’s the same place where gold is still assayed, or assessed for worth, today.
The gold standard arose as a way for governments to assign the best current price of gold as currencies while still protecting it behind high walls.
As the World Gold Council explains, the gold standard is a system that links the value of currency directly to the value of gold. As such, a citizen of a country using the gold currency can come into a bank and trade currency on a standard ratio. Each country assigned a current price of gold per ounce.
In the United States, at the time of the Second World War, for instance, the rate was $35 per ounce. The worth each country assigned to gold determined exchange rates between countries.
Goodbye, Gold Standard!
However, the gold standard fell out of favor after several runs on exchanges. The problem? When people demand gold in exchange for currency, the government has an obligation to supply it.
If everyone demands gold at once, that currency may become worthless. That’s not a danger most countries were willing to take on. So while almost all used the gold standard at some point, most had switched to systems that tied to the strength of the American dollar.
Just because it isn’t used as the backbone of currency any longer doesn’t mean gold has no worth. Far from it. As with anything highly prized – other precious metals or gems – it still fetches a lot of money. This brings us to the real question: what is the current price of gold?
What Is the Current Price Of Gold?
Today, the price of gold fluctuates gently from day to day. You can check the current price on sites such as Kitco.
While the price shifts a bit each day, within the few weeks of this writing, it was in the range of $1,300 to $1,350 per ounce.
Because prices fluctuate, each day may represent a better or worse time to sell. If you’re looking to sell, acting quickly makes a huge difference in the amount you’ll make.
What does this mean for people who own gold? In a nutshell, it means gold is still of great worth. If you possess it, you can exchange it for cash at a variety of places. For one thing, you can go to many gold dealers and local shops to sell your coins or bars on the spot.
If you have gold jewelry or other types of gold that incorporate craftsmanship and jewels, a jeweler may represent a better option. That way, you avoid getting shortchanged.
Knowing the price of gold is also important for investors. It’s possible to invest in gold in a number of ways.
In addition to physical gold, gold-exchange traded funds and mining stocks may fit your investment needs. Such investments are complex, however. You’re better off getting the help of a professional facilitator than leaving the process to yourself.
If you’re ready for professional help, get in touch with a reputable gold dealer to learn more.