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Price of Gold Per Ounce Live & Historical Charts
Gold Price Today
|Gold Spot Price||Spot Change|
|Gold Price per Ounce||$1,640.25||0.00|
|Gold Price per Gram||$52.74||0.00|
|Gold Price per Kilo||$52,735.26||0.00||
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Check the price of gold with Money Metals Exchange’s interactive live and historical chart. The chart below allows you to check gold spot prices dating back 20 years up to the current date.
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The Mystery and Wonder of Gold Prices
Gold prices are constantly changing, which keeps investors checking the price of this precious metal every morning. Despite this level of speculation, gold continues to be the most popular investment precious metal. For centuries, gold has been a mysterious symbol of value and wealth. Learn more about gold prices and what makes this precious metal coveted by so many people around the world today.
A Brief History of Gold
Dating back as far as 600 BC, gold has been used as money and to preserve wealth. Today, mints produce gold bars and bullion coins for dealers to sell to buyers. The first coins with gold were struck in Asia Minor.
However, gold was used during the period of Grecian history before and during the time of Homer’s life. During the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, European nations starting minting gold coins rather than their earlier preference of using silver for coinage.
The gold standard for money was used throughout the years of industrial economies in the nineteenth century. Gold certificates and bills were added to this circulating stock of money based on the value of gold. After World War II, the gold standard was replaced by convertible currencies with fixed exchange rates based on the Bretton Woods system.
Starting in 1971, the USA refused to redeem its dollars in gold because excessive government debt and money printing had caused the gold price per ounce in the free market to rise way above the fixed redemption price of gold. Since the dollar was backed by gold up to that point and had gained the status as the most important reserve currency, most other countries around the world had already abandoned their own gold standards and instead pegged their currencies to the dollar.
The financial turmoil and debt problems in recent years have reinvigorated the debate about returning to a gold standard, particularly as gold prices have risen sharply.
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Gold Price: The Pure Beauty and Value of Gold
As an alloy, gold content is measured in carats. Pure gold is 24k. Gold is always considered the most desirable precious metal, even as the prices of certain platinum group metals have been higher. The perception of gold brings to mind wealth and comfort, beyond that associated with stocks, equities and money. Buying gold is a way to diversify risks, as the stock market can be unpredictable. The safest, most reliable play on gold prices is to own physical gold. However, investors also use contracts, futures, and derivatives to build financial portfolios exposed to gold prices.
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The globalist International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington, D.C, maintains statistics of national assets reported by countries around the globe. This includes gold holdings. The price of gold is reported per ounce. An investor refers to a 24-hour spot gold price chart. The price per ounce is reported in real-time as 24-hour trading ensues worldwide. Before investors decide to buy gold from a dealer, it is wise to refer to trading charts for AM and PM values – or better yet, reference live global spot prices – to ensure accurate pricing. While is can be impossible to predict the value of future markets, live reports help buyers make a prudent purchase. The use of an online calculator can also be helpful.
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Gold Price and Investment Demand
Commodities are basic goods that can be interchanged with other commodities of the same type in commerce. Gold is not specifically a currency or a commodity. Since it has the features of both, it is best described as “commodity money.” Trading happens on the spot market in addition to the future market used for commodities. Gold is not reliant on a single central bank or government. For this reason, precious metal investments are used to hedge against inflation and financial turmoil.
What is the Gold Spot Price and How is it Determined?
Traders determine the spot price of gold on futures exchanges. Metals contracts change hands in London and Shanghai when U.S. markets are closed. But the largest and most influential market for metals prices is the U.S. COMEX exchange. The quote for immediate settlement at any given time is effectively the spot price.
Spot (paper) prices can sometimes diverge from real-world pricing in the markets for physical precious metals. For example, during periods of extreme stress in markets it may be impossible to obtain physical metal anywhere near the quoted spot price. Premiums on retail bullion products may surge as a consequence. When the physical market diverges from the paper market, wholesale over the counter prices may be more realistic than spot prices.
Why Does the Gold Price Fluctuate?
Excessive money printing tends to drive gold prices up, as there are more currency units chasing basically the same number of gold ounces. On the other hand, the price of gold does not tend to perform as well as compared to other assets when governments are behaving responsibly and living within their means. Geopolitical conflict, mine supply, and demand for gold in jewelry also have a bearing on gold prices.
An investor will seek to make a profit, but there is always a risk of loss with any investment. The most successful investors seek updated information daily, each week, and every month before they start to trade, sell, or purchase gold. The published dollar amount rates will constantly change, so buyers will expect to gain and lose along the way. Before investing, check indexes such as the NASDAQ for the latest rates based on the USD. Review the end of the day Commodity Future Price Quotes for Gold (COMEX) and determine the bottom line using online calculators. Rely on facts rather than the opinions of a writer at a blog website, tweets from a social media account you follow or commentary at the office. A random comment may not be valid while facts and figures are verifiable. Rather than making a quick response to a conversation, take the time to do your own research.
What Causes the Price of Gold to Go Up?
A hundred years ago, gold sold for just $20 per ounce. In recent years gold has traded between $1,200 and $1,900 per ounce. That’s a huge move up in nominal terms over the past century. Yet in real terms gold prices today aren’t much different from what they were when they were last quoted at $20 an ounce.
It’s not that gold has become so much more expensive. It’s that the currency in which gold prices are quoted has depreciated so much. (The U.S. dollar has lost nearly 97% of its value since the Federal Reserve was created in 1913.)
Over time, gold’s value in terms of purchasing power stays relatively constant. Of course, there are major cycles wherein gold can gain or lose value dramatically due to supply and demand issues, speculation, or manipulation. But as long as the dollar keeps losing value, gold – the ultimate money – can be expected to ultimately reflect that depreciation by carrying a steadily higher price tag.
What Was the Highest Price of Gold per Ounce Ever?
Gold prices hit an all-time high of $1,900/oz. in August 2020. However, that nominal high wasn’t actually a new high in real terms. The January 1980 peak of $850/oz still hasn’t been surpassed when adjusted for inflation.
According to the government’s own inflation calculator, $850 in 1980 dollars translates to $2,475 in 2020 dollars…and $2,708 in 2020 dollars.
These are low-end inflation adjustments based on a heavily massaged Consumer Price Index. In recent years the CPI has tended to understate real-world inflation, according to many independent economists. So gold could run significantly higher even than the CPI-adjusted figures before making a true new high in real terms.
Gold Price Per Gram
How many grams are in an ounce of gold?
One troy ounce of gold is equivalent to 31.1 grams. Although gold prices are most commonly quoted in ounces, gold bullion is also bought and sold by the gram. Grams can be a more convenient unit for pricing when trading gold in small quantities or using gold for everyday barter transactions.
Better bullion dealers sell gold bullion products by the gram. For example, Pamp Suisse and other well-regarded mints produce 1 gram gold bars. Also, the Royal Canadian Mint produces packs of 1 gram gold Maple Leaf coins.
What is the Dow to Gold Ratio?
The Dow:gold ratio measures how highly valued the stock market is compared to gold. The Dow:gold ratio tends to move lower during both deflationary depressions (as in the 1930s) and inflationary panics (as in the late 1970s). At the bottom of the Great Depression, Dow:gold reached a 1:1 ratio. That same 1:1 ratio was briefly reached again in January 1980 when both gold prices and the Dow Jones Industrials sported an 850 handle.
In 2020 and 2020, the Dow:gold multiple has ranged from 16 to 20. During the next financial crisis, that ratio is likely to collapse in favor of gold. Some gold bugs believe a return to 1:1 parity will happen again.
A 10,000 Dow and $10,000 gold, for example, may seem far fetched today. But during a true panic in markets, one or the other price extremes – or both, simultaneously – could be realized.
Ways to Purchase Gold
Gold products as an investment are typically purchased in the following three forms:
The weight of gold is measured by troy ounce. Gold can be purchased by the gram, in ounces, or even by the kilo in the form of a gold brick. Since sizes vary from an oz to kilos, direct physical possession of gold is not required. Often this gold is stored in a safe, with a dealer, or at the bank or another facility. Other options include gold certificates, exchange-traded products, gold bullion price derivatives, and gold accounts.
For example, contributing to a gold or precious metals IRA is another way to invest get and exposure to the gold price and the physical metal itself. The IRA custodian allows more diverse investments. The IRA holds physical bars or bullion as well as paper assets. Gold self-directed accounts can also include other types of retirement accounts. Precious metals that can be held in these IRA accounts include gold, silver, palladium, and platinum. It is required these metals held inside of an IRA are in the form approved by the IRS for this purpose.
Types of Gold Bullion?
The three main types of gold bullion are bars, rounds, and coins. Each type come in a variety of sizes. Bars may range from a single gram to 100 ounces each. Rounds and coins are commonly sold in 1 ounce and fractional sizes.
The main difference between a round and a coin is that the former is produced by a private mint while the latter is produced by a government mint. A government-minted gold coin typically has a legal tender face value attached to it (which is considerably less than its intrinsic metal value).
Specialty products such as jewelry and collector’s items are generally not considered to be bullion. Bullion investors should avoid collectible (numismatic) coins that carry high premiums over spot prices.
Is Gold Bullion Traceable by the Government
In almost all cases, no – dealers do not have to report the transaction to the IRS or other federal agencies.
There is one extremely rare exception. For a disclosure requirement to be triggered, BOTH of the following conditions have to be met:
Personal checks, debits, bank wires, and credit card payments are NOT considered cash or cash instruments. Therefore, purchases using them do not trigger disclosure by a dealer regardless of the amount.
How to Invest in Gold
From beginners to educated investors, it is easy to invest in gold. Before signing a contract or purchasing any gold product, prices should be calculated and clearly quoted. Verify all costs and fees before you commit to buy anything. Ask questions and remember that time is of the essence. While you should never feel pressured, the price of gold rises changes every minute so expect to be asked to make a commitment to lock in your price.
Whether you have hundreds or thousands to spend, this savvy financial asset is accessible to everyone. Call Money Metals Exchange for a free expert consultation today. The process is discreet, secure, and beginner-friendly. Investing in gold is a cost-effective, simple way to create a safe-haven for your assets. Money Metal Exchange is with you every step of the way as you discover the mystery and wonder of owning gold. Contact us today to find out more about investing in gold and other precious metals!
Storing Physical Gold Safely
It’s good to take a two-pronged approach. First, store some of your gold at home in a well-concealed safe for immediate access in case of emergency. Store the remainder of your gold in a secure, insured bullion storage facility. Insist on segregated gold storage to avoid co-mingling your bullion with that held by other customers.
Safe-deposit boxes at banks are generally not suitable for bullion storage. Some banks have policies that explicitly prohibit gold bullion. Plus, your gold would be at risk in the event the bank goes under or gets raided by government agents. You don’t want your gold tied into the banking system, even indirectly.
The Beginner’s Guide to Investing in Gold
Here’s everything you need to know about how to invest in this precious metal.
Imagine yourself sitting in a stream swirling water in a pan, desperately hoping to see a small yellow glint of gold and dreaming of striking it rich. America has come a long way since the early 1850s, but gold still holds a prominent place in our global economy today. Here’s a comprehensive introduction to gold, from why it’s valuable and how we obtain it to how to invest in it, the risks and benefits of each approach, and advice on where beginners should start.
Why is gold valuable?
In ancient times, gold’s malleability and luster led to its use in jewelry and early coins. It was also hard to dig gold out of the ground — and the more difficult something is to obtain, the higher it is valued.
Over time, humans began using the precious metal as a way to facilitate trade and accumulate and store wealth. In fact, early paper currencies were generally backed by gold, with every printed bill corresponding to an amount of gold held in a vault somewhere for which it could, technically, be exchanged (this rarely happened). This approach to paper money lasted well into the 20th century. Nowadays, modern currencies are largely fiat currencies, so the link between gold and paper money has long been broken. However, people still love the yellow metal.
Where does demand for gold come from?
The largest demand industry by far is jewelry, which accounts for around 50% of gold demand. Another 40% comes from direct physical investment in gold, including that used to create coins, bullion, medals, and gold bars. (Bullion is a gold bar or coin stamped with the amount of gold it contains and the gold’s purity. It is different than numismatic coins, collectibles that trade based on demand for the specific type of coin rather than its gold content.)
Investors in physical gold include individuals, central banks, and, more recently, exchange-traded funds that purchase gold on behalf of others. Gold is often viewed as a “safe-haven” investment. If paper money were to suddenly become worthless, the world would have to fall back on something of value to facilitate trade. This is one of the reasons that investors tend to push up the price of gold when financial markets are volatile.
Since gold is a good conductor of electricity, the remaining demand for gold comes from industry, for use in things such as dentistry, heat shields, and tech gadgets.
How is the price of gold determined?
Gold is a commodity that trades based on supply and demand. The interplay between supply and demand ultimately determines what the spot price of gold is at any given time.
The demand for jewelry is fairly constant, though economic downturns do, obviously, lead to some temporary reductions in demand from this industry. The demand from investors, including central banks, however, tends to inversely track the economy and investor sentiment. When investors are worried about the economy, they often buy gold, and based on the increase in demand, push its price higher. You can keep track of gold’s ups and downs at the website of the World Gold Council, an industry trade group backed by some of the largest gold miners in the world.
How much gold is there?
Gold is actually quite plentiful in nature but is difficult to extract. For example, seawater contains gold — but in such small quantities it would cost more to extract than the gold would be worth. So there is a big difference between the availability of gold and how much gold there is in the world. The World Gold Council estimates that there are about 190,000 metric tons of gold above ground being used today and roughly 54,000 metric tons of gold that can be economically extracted from the Earth using current technology. Advances in extraction methods or materially higher gold prices could shift that number. Gold has been discovered near undersea thermal vents in quantities that suggest it might be worth extracting if prices rose high enough.
Image source: Getty Images.
How do we get gold?
Although panning for gold was a common practice during the California Gold Rush, nowadays it is mined from the ground. While gold can be found by itself, it’s far more commonly found along with other metals, including silver and copper. Thus, a miner may actually produce gold as a by-product of its other mining efforts.
Miners begin by finding a place where they believe gold is located in large enough quantities that it can be economically obtained. Then local governments and agencies have to grant the company permission to build and operate a mine. Developing a mine is a dangerous, expensive, and time-consuming process with little to no economic return until the mine is finally operational — which often takes a decade or more from start to finish.
How well does gold hold its value in a downturn?
The answer depends partly on how you invest in gold, but a quick look at gold prices relative to stock prices during the bear market of the 2007-2009 recession provides a telling example.
Between Nov. 30, 2007, and June 1, 2009, the S&P 500 index fell 36%. The price of gold, on the other hand, rose 25%. This is the most recent example of a material and prolonged stock downturn, but it’s also a particularly dramatic one because, at the time, there were very real concerns about the viability of the global financial system.
When capital markets are in turmoil, gold often performs relatively well as investors seek out safe-haven investments.
Ways to invest in gold
Here are all the ways you can invest in gold, from owning the actual metal to investing in companies that finance gold miners.
The markups in the jewelry industry make this a bad option for investing in gold. Once you’ve bought it, its resale value is likely to fall materially. This also assumes you’re talking about gold jewelry of at least 10 karat. (Pure gold is 24 karat.) Extremely expensive jewelry may hold its value, but more because it is a collector’s item than because of its gold content.
Bullion, bars, and coins
These are the best option for owning physical gold. However, there are markups to consider. The money it takes to turn raw gold into a coin is often passed on to the end customer. Also, most coin dealers will add a markup to their prices to compensate them for acting as middlemen. Perhaps the best option for most investors looking to own physical gold is to buy gold bullion directly from the U.S. Mint, so you know you are dealing with a reputable dealer.
Then you have to store the gold you’ve purchased. That could mean renting a safe deposit box from the local bank, where you could end up paying an ongoing cost for storage. Selling, meanwhile, can be difficult since you have to bring your gold to a dealer, who may offer you a price that’s below the current spot price.
Another way to get direct exposure to gold without physically owning it, gold certificates are notes issued by a company that owns gold. These notes are usually for unallocated gold, meaning there’s no specific gold associated with the certificate, but the company says it has enough to back all outstanding certificates. You can buy allocated gold certificates, but the costs are higher. The big problem here is that the certificates are really only as good as the company backing them, sort of like banks before FDIC insurance was created. This is why one of the most desirable options for gold certificates is the Perth Mint, which is backed by the government of Western Australia. That said, if you’re going to simply buy a paper representation of gold, you might want to consider exchange-traded funds instead.
If you don’t particularly care about holding the gold you own but want direct exposure to the metal, then an exchange-traded fund (ETF) like SPDR Gold Shares is probably the way to go. This fund directly purchases gold on behalf of its shareholders. You’ll likely have to pay a commission to trade an ETF, and there will be a management fee (SPDR Gold Share’s expense ratio is 0.40%), but you’ll benefit from a liquid asset that invests directly in gold coins, bullion, and bars.
Another way to own gold indirectly, futures contracts are a highly leveraged and risky choice that is inappropriate for beginners. Even experienced investors should think twice here. Essentially, a futures contract is an agreement between a buyer and a seller to exchange a specified amount of gold at a specified future date and price. As gold prices move up and down, the value of the contract fluctuates, with the accounts of the seller and buyer adjusted accordingly. Futures contracts are generally traded on exchanges, so you’d need to talk to your broker to see if it supports them.
The biggest problem: Futures contracts are usually bought with only a small fraction of the total contract cost. For example, an investor might only have to put down 20% of the full cost of the gold controlled by the contract. This creates leverage, which increases an investor’s potential gains — and losses. And since contracts have specific end dates, you can’t simply hold on to a losing position and hope it rebounds. Futures contracts are a complex and time-consuming investment that can materially amplify gains and losses. Although they are an option, they are high-risk and not recommended for beginners.
Gold mining stocks
One major issue with a direct investment in gold is that there’s no growth potential. An ounce of gold today will be the same ounce of gold 100 years from now. That’s one of the key reasons famed investor Warren Buffett doesn’t like gold — it is, essentially, an unproductive asset.
This is why some investors turn to mining stocks. Their prices tend to follow the prices of the commodities on which they focus; however, because miners are running businesses that can expand over time, investors can benefit from increasing production. This can provide upside that owning physical gold never will.
However, running a business also comes with the accompanying risks. Mines don’t always produce as much gold as expected, workers sometimes go on strike, and disasters like a mine collapse or deadly gas leak can halt production and even cost lives. All in all, gold miners can perform better or worse than gold — depending on what’s going on at that particular miner.
In addition, most gold miners produce more than just gold. That’s a function of the way gold is found in nature, as well as diversification decisions on the part of the mining company’s management. If you’re looking for a diversified investment in precious and semiprecious metals, then a miner that produces more than just gold could be seen as a net positive. However, if what you really want is pure gold exposure, every ounce of a different metal that a miner pulls from the ground simply dilutes your gold exposure.
Potential investors should pay close attention to a company’s mining costs, existing mine portfolio, and expansion opportunities at both existing and new assets when deciding on which gold mining stocks to buy.
If you’re looking for a single investment that provides broadly diversified exposure to gold miners, then low-cost index-based ETFs like VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF and VanEck Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF are a good option. Both also have exposure to other metals, but the latter focuses on smaller miners; their expense ratios are 0.53% and 0.54%, respectively.
As you research gold ETFs, look closely at the index being tracked, paying particular attention to how it is constructed, the weighting approach, and when and how it gets rebalanced. All are important pieces of information that are easy to overlook when you assume that a simple ETF name will translate into a simple investment approach.
Investors who prefer the idea of owning mining stocks over direct gold exposure can effectively own a portfolio of miners by investing in a mutual fund. This saves the legwork of researching the various mining options and is a simple way to create a diversified portfolio of mining stocks with a single investment. There are a lot of options here, with most major mutual fund houses offering open-end funds that invest in gold miners, such as the Fidelity Select Gold Portfolio and Vanguard Precious Metals Fund.
However, as the Vanguard fund’s name implies, you are likely to find a fund’s portfolio contains exposure to miners that deal with precious, semiprecious, and base metals other than gold. That’s not materially different from owning mining stocks directly, but you should keep this factor in mind, because not all fund names make this clear. (For example, the Fidelity Select Gold Portfolio also invests in companies that mine silver and other precious metals.)
Fees for actively managed funds, meanwhile, can be materially higher than those of index-based products. You’ll want to read a fund’s prospectus to get a better handle on its investing approach, whether it is actively managed or a passive index fund, and its cost structure. Note that expense ratios can vary greatly between funds.
Also, when you buy shares of an actively managed mutual fund, you are trusting that the fund managers can invest profitably on your behalf. That doesn’t always work out as planned.
Streaming and royalty companies
For most investors, buying stock in a streaming and royalty company is probably the best all-around option for investing in gold. These companies provide miners with cash up front for the right to buy gold and other metals from specific mines at reduced rates in the future. They are like specialty finance companies that get paid in gold, allowing them to avoid many of the headaches and risks associated with running a mine.
Benefits of such companies includes widely diversified portfolios, contractually built-in low prices that lead to wide margins in good years and bad, and exposure to gold price changes (since streaming companies make money by selling the gold they buy from the miners). That said, none of the major streaming companies has a pure gold portfolio, with silver the most common added exposure. (Franco-Nevada, the largest streaming and royalty company, also has exposure to oil and gas drilling.) So you’ll need to do a little homework to fully understand what commodity exposures you’ll get from your investment. And while streaming companies avoid many of the risks of running a mine, they don’t completely sidestep them: If a mine isn’t producing any gold, there’s nothing for a streaming company to buy.
The built-in wide margins that result from the streaming approach provide an important buffer for these businesses. That has allowed the profitability of streamers to hold up better than miners’ when gold prices are falling. This is the key factor that gives streaming companies an edge as an investment. They provide exposure to gold, they offer growth potential via the investment in new mines, and their wide margins through the cycle provide some downside protection when gold prices fall. That combination is hard to beat.
What’s the best way for a beginner to invest in gold?
There’s no perfect way to own gold: Each option comes with trade-offs. That said, probably the best strategy for most people is to buy stock in streaming and royalty companies. However, what to invest in is just one piece of the puzzle: There are other factors that you need to consider.
How much should you invest in gold?
Gold can be a volatile investment, so you shouldn’t put a large amount of your assets into it — it’s best to keep it to less than 10% of your overall stock portfolio. The real benefit, for new and experienced investors alike, comes from the diversification that gold can offer. Once you’ve built your gold position, make sure to periodically balance your portfolio so that your relative exposure to it remains the same.
When should you buy gold?
It’s best to buy small amounts over time. When gold prices are high, the price of gold-related stocks rises as well. That can mean lackluster returns in the near term, but it doesn’t diminish the benefit over the long term of holding gold to diversify your portfolio. By buying a little at a time, you can dollar-cost average into the position.
As with any investment, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer for how you should invest in gold. But armed with the knowledge of how the gold industry works, what each type of investment entails, and what to consider when weighing your options, you can make the decision that’s right for you.
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