Gold, like no other metal, has a fascinating history and a special place in the world. For thousands of years it has been used as an ornament of kings, a currency and standard for global currencies, and more recently, in a wide range of electronic devices and medical applications.
In these current uncertain and unstable financial times, gold has once again become a popular investment – it provides some respite against governments’ efforts to debase by printing more money (or creating inflation), lowering the value of money we hold (our wealth).
Uses of Gold
In today’s world, gold’s primary use is make jewellery and ornamental objects. Some 48 percent of newly mined and recycled gold goes into the fabrication of jewellery. Pure gold, or 24-carat gold, is too soft to make jewellery so it tends to be made out of gold alloys, blended with a combination of silver, palladium and copper to make the metal harder-wearing. Depending on which metal is alloyed with gold determines the colour of the metal. For example, a 50:50 gold-copper alloy will produce 12-carat (12k) red gold, while if the alloy is made with silver or palladium, it will look paler. Most gold jewellery is made from 9-18-carat gold, although some is made with 22-carat gold.
Bullion Desk Gold Prices
|AM $||1385.25||22 May|
|AM £||917.749||22 May|
|AM €||1071.429||22 May|
|PM $||1408.50||22 May|
|PM £||930.440||22 May|
|PM €||1084.880||22 May|
Demand for investment gold (bars, coins and medals) has picked up in recent years, accounting for some 37 percent of end-use consumption in 2011 – a clear sign that the retail end of the market has invested in gold as a means to safeguard wealth against the potential for the financial crisis to escalate. Even in Asia, where gold jewellery has a dual use of an adornment and as an item of wealth/investment, demand for gold bars has picked up. The same is true in China, where clampdowns on property investment have encouraged investors to buy gold as a means to protect their wealth from the effects of inflation.
The proliferation of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) over the past decade means these have now has absorbed some 2,500 tonnes of gold. Since 2004, around 290 tonnes of gold has been bought by ETF investors each year on average, which represents some seven percent of end-use demand.
The most important industrial use of gold is in the manufacture of electronics. Solid state electronic devices use very low voltages and currents that are easily interrupted by corrosion or tarnish at the contact points. Gold is the highly efficient conductor that can carry these small currents. The boom in mobile technology, handheld electronics and computers has led to a 55-percent rise in gold’s use over the past decade – it now accounts for eight percent of total end-use demand.
Sample Gold News from FastMarkets ProfessionalGold sideways to firmer, Fed news awaited by Eddie vanderWalt - 22-05-2013
Precious metals were sideways to firmer in early European trading on Wednesday, trading more steadil...
US GOLD - Dovish comments from Fed's Bullard boost gold ahead of FOMC minutes by TJennemann - 22-05-2013
Orlando, Florida 22/05/2013 - Gold futures are likely to push aside all other news on Wednesday to f...
BASE AND PRECIOUS METALS MORNING VIEW - Metals consolidate ahead of key data by WAdams - 22-05-2013
The metals put in a choppy and nervous day of trading yesterday, having started on a high note follo...
Gold down 1 pct, metals give back Asian gains but double bottom may be in place by Eddie vanderWalt - 21-05-2013
Precious metals bounced in Asian trading hours, with gold briefly breaking above the psychologically...
BASE AND PRECIOUS METALS - European Morning View - Yesterday's show of strength suggests bases are in place by WAdams - 21-05-2013
London 21/05/2013 - The metals got off to a weak start in Asia on Monday, but recovered as the...
On this page are samples of the gold charts and gold prices that are available from FastMarkets Professional.
FastMarkets Sample Gold Charts