Gold Price History

Through all of the turmoil that the world has gone through, the price of gold is one thing that has largely remained the same. Gold, which was originally used as a form of legal tender, both in the U.S. and international marketplace, is now more widely used for investing rather than actual purchasing, so its value has changed drastically over the years. For many, gold is a commodity that is more valuable as a collection than an investment or any other type of use.

Gold is traditionally weighed in Troy Ounces (31.1035 grammes). It has a specific gravity of 19.3,  meaning that it is 19.3 times heavier than water. So gold weighs 19.3 kilograms per litre. With the density of gold at 19.32 g/cm3, a troy ounce of gold would have a volume of 1.64 cm3. A tonne of gold would therefore have a volume of 51, 760 cm3, which would be equivalent to a cube of side 37.27cm (Approx. 1′ 3”). At the end of 2003, Gold Field Mineral Services (GFMS) estimated that above-ground stocks represented a total volume of approximately 150,500 tonnes, of which 61% had been mined since 1950. All the gold ever mined would form a cube measuring only 19m on each side. This cube would, for example, easily fit under the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

The proportion of gold in jewellery is measured on the carat (or karat) scale. The word carat comes from the carob seed, which was originally used to balance scales in Oriental bazaars. Pure gold is designated 24 carat, which compares with the “fineness” by which bar gold is defined.

The price of gold gradually declined from that point, bringing it to an all-time low since taken off the gold standard of just under $253 per ounce in 1999, which had never happened before. After September 11, 2001, the markets changed drastically, and gold has been gradually rising back up in price since then. In 2006, the value of gold reached about $715 per ounce, which was another high point for the precious metal. Gold then reached an all time high again on March 17, 2008 at $1023.50 the first time ever over the magical $1,000 mark.