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Gold

A Brief History of Gold and Gold Prices

Jul 2, 2020

Gold has been recorded in literature and historical tracts as being used for jewelry and coinage dating back as far as 600 BC. For a long stretch of time, a gold standard was used as a monetary policy across the globe. Additionally, because it is a naturally mined material that is solid under standard conditions and extremely malleable, it has lent itself to a variety of uses. These days, it seems like gold can be found everywhere: in jewelry, in dental supplies, and even in food. Because we work so much with gold jewelry, coins, and bars, we thought now would be a good time for a brief history lesson to explain why now is such a great time to sell.

Within the last 100 years, we’ve seen a great number of fluctuation in the price of gold due to sociopolitical and economic events. Perhaps one of the most extreme events in American history, one that parallels today’s economy, is the Great Depression. Toward the end of the Great Depression, an executive order was signed by then-president Franklin D. Roosevelt forbidding the hoarding of gold coins, bars, and certificates. The country had fallen into such a state of economic despair that the hope was by forcing people to use their gold as currency, the economy would see a boost. Americans were allowed to keep up to a small amount of gold, though those who dealt with gold for industrial, professional, or artistic use could keep more. Additionally, coin collectors were able to keep their prized collections, which is how we are able to find some of these rare pieces that pre-date 1933.

These moves helped boost the economy somewhat, but it was ultimately the second World War that powered the country’s economic engine to previously unseen heights. By the conclusion of the second World War, the United States was the most powerful nation in the world, both politically and economically. Accordingly, the United States had the most stable currency in the world. This led to a period of time where the world’s currency was tied to the American dollar, which was tied to the value of gold.

Gold KrugerrandIn 1971, the United States moved to what is called “fiat currency,” where the government maintains the value of currency using materials that are not based on commodities, such as gold and silver. The move came after a failed program in which the United States and eight major European countries agreed to sell off their gold if the international price rose too high. Accordingly, this led to a dramatic loss in gold reserves. In the United States alone, one-fifth of the country’s gold reserves were gone.

Gold prices have always increased when the country is in an economic recession, which is a reason why many people prefer to own gold outright because it can be traded in for cash. As we learned in the Great Depression, during Black Monday in 1987, and during the 2008 economic recession, gold prices skyrocket when other forms of currency appear to be unstable. Right now, gold prices are among the highest they’ve ever been, which makes it a great time to trade in your gold jewelry, coins, and bars.

Samuelson’s Buyers has been working with customers to buy and sell gold for nearly a century now, and we have built our reputation on fair prices. Whether or not you’re ready to sell, we’re here to answer all of your questions about your gold, its fair market value, and more. To start the process, call 301-804-6176 or contact us online to request an appointment with one of our certified buyers.

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