An overview of gold – weights and measures; physical and chemical properties

An overview of gold
Weights and measures; physical and chemical properties

Weights & Measures

The basic unit of weight used in dealing with gold is the troy ounce. One troy ounce is equivalent to 20 troy pennyweights. In the jewelry industry, the common unit of measure is the pennyweight (dwt.) which is equivalent to 1.555 grams.

1 troy ounce = 31.1034 grams
1 troy ounce = 1.0971 ounce avoirdupois (U.S.)
1 troy ounce = 480 grains
1 kilogram = 32.15 troy ounces
1 metric ton (1,000 kilos) = 32,151 troy ounces
10 tolas (Indian Subcontinent) = 3.75 troy ounces
5 taels (Chinese) = 6.02 troy ounces

Standard Bar Sizes

400 troy ounces (12.5 kilos)
32.15 troy ounces (1 kilo)
100 troy ounces (3.11 kilos)

Also, a wide variety of smaller-sized bars by various manufacturers are not deliverable to any exchange, but trade among makers in smaller markets.

Karat Gold Conversions

24-karat = .995 to .9999 pure (fine) gold
22-karat = .916 pure (fine) gold
18-karat = .750 pure (fine) gold
14-karat = .583 pure (fine) gold
10-karat = .4167 pure (fine) gold

The degree of purity of native gold, bullion (bars or ingots of unrefined gold), and refined gold is stated in terms of gold content. “Fineness” defines gold content in parts per thousand. For example, a gold nugget containing 885 parts of pure gold and 115 parts of other metals, such as silver and copper, would be considered 885-fine. “Karat” indicates the proportion of solid gold in an alloy based on a total of 24 parts. Thus, 14-karat (14K) gold indicates a composition of 14 parts of gold and 10 parts of other metals. Incidentally, 14K gold is commonly used in jewelry manufacture. “Karat” should not be confused with “carat,” a unit of weight used for precious stones.

Geological & Mining Background

Gold is relatively scarce in the earth, but it occurs in many different kinds of rocks and in many different geological environments. Though scarce, gold is concentrated by geologic processes to form commercial deposits of two principal types: lode (primary) deposits and placer (secondary) deposits.

Lode deposits are the targets for the “hardrock” prospector seeking gold at the site of its deposition from mineralizing solutions. Geologists have proposed various hypotheses to explain the source of solutions from which mineral constituents are precipitated in lode deposits.

One widely accepted hypothesis proposes that many gold deposits, especially those found in volcanic and sedimentary rocks, formed from circulating ground waters driven by heat from bodies of magma (molten rock) intruded into the Earth’s crust within about 2 to 5 miles of the surface. Active geothermal systems, which are exploited in parts of the United States for natural hot water and steam, provide a modern analog for these gold-depositing systems. Most of the water in geothermal systems originates as rainfall, which moves downward through fractures and permeable beds in cooler parts of the crust and is drawn laterally into areas heated by magma, where it is driven upward through fractures. As the water is superheated, it dissolves metals from the surrounding rocks. When the heated waters reach cooler rocks at shallower depths, metallic minerals precipitate to form veins or blanket-like ore bodies.

Two thirds of the world’s supply comes from South Africa, and 2/3 of USA production is from South Dakota and Nevada. Other main mining areas are Canada, Russia, Australia and China. The metal is recovered from its ores by cyaniding, amalgamating, and smelting processes. Refining is also frequently done by electrolysis.

Occurrence of gold in the earth’s crust = .005 parts per million

Estimated total mine production = 160,000+ tonnes since gold was first discovered
[Date of first gold coin = approx. 560 B.C. (minted by Croesus of Lydia)]

A metric tonne (equals 1,000kg) of gold has a volume of 51,762 cubic centimeters, equivalent to a cube with sides of only 37.27cm — approx. only 1′ 3” !.

In fact, the total amount of gold in the world is a surprisingly small quantity. Here’s how you can calculate the volume of the total quantity that has ever been mined.

The annual worldwide production of gold is approximately 80 million troy ounces per year. There are 32.15 troy ounces in a kilogram. Gold has a specific gravity of 19.3, meaning that it is 19.3 times heavier than water. So gold weighs 19.3 kilograms per liter. A liter is a cube that measures 10 centimeters (about 4 inches) on a side. Therefore, the world produces a cube of gold that is about 5.1 meters (about 17 feet) on each side every year. In other words, all of the gold produced worldwide in one year could approximately fit into an average living room and garage!

This annual production weighs 2,572,000 kilograms. A recent spot price for gold was $740 U.S. — using that number, all of the gold produced in a year is worth $59.2 billion.

Similarly, it is estimated that all the gold ever mined in the world (160,000 tonnes as of 2007), could be placed in a single cube roughly 60 ft. on a side, with a value of $3.68 trillion.

Gold occurs in sea water to the extent of 0.1 to 2 mg/ton, depending on the location where the sample is taken. No method has been found for recovering gold from sea water profitably.

The name originates from the Old English Anglo-Saxon word ‘geolo’ meaning yellow. The Symbol Origin is from the Latin word ‘Aurum’ meaning “Glowing Dawn”.

Gold is classified as a “Transition Metal” which are located in Groups 3 – 12 of the Periodic Table. An Element classified as a Transition Metals is ductile, malleable, and able to conduct electricity and heat.

Chemical & Physical Properties

Chemical symbol for gold = Au
Atomic number = 79 (79 protons and electrons; 118 neutrons)
Number of naturally occurring isotopes = 1 (stable) (70 total possible)
Atomic radius = 0.1442 nm
Atomic mass = 196.96657 amu
Density = 19.3 g/cubic cm
Specific gravity = 19.32 (Gold is one of the densest of all the chemical elements, compare to 7.87 for steel, 14.0 for mercury and 11.4 for lead.)
Melting point = 1064.43 ºC degrees
Boiling point (liquid to gaseous state) = 2807 °C
Crystal structure: FCC (cubic)
Thermal conductivity = 310 W m-1 K-1
Electrical resistivity = 0.022 micro-ohm m at 20°C
Youngs modulus = 79 GPa
Hardness = 2.5 (Mohs), 25 Hv (Vickers)
Tensile stress = 124 MPa

Gold is extremely malleable (the extent to which a material can undergo deformation in compression before failure). In the annealed state it can be hammered cold into a translucent wafer 0.000013 cm thick. One ounce of gold can be beaten into a sheet covering over 9 square metres and 0.000018 cm thick.

Gold is extraordinarily ductile (degree of extension which takes place before failure of a material in tension). One ounce can be drawn into 80 km (50 miles) of thin gold wire (5 microns diameter) to make electrical contacts.

The ability of gold to efficiently transfer heat and electricity is bettered only by copper and silver, making it indispensable in electronics for semi-conductors and connectors in computer technology — especially because gold is at the top of the series indicating its high corrosion resistance. In practise, gold dissolves only in aqua regia (a mixture of hydrochloric and nitric acids) and in sodium- or potassium- cyanide. The latter solvent is the basis for the cyanide process that is used to recover gold from low-grade ore. In everyday use gold does not tarnish.

Electronic Uses

The resistance to oxidation of gold has led to its widespread use as thin layers electroplated on the surface of electrical connectors to ensure a good connection. Gold-plated connectors are an integral part of plugs and sockets for cable terminations, integrated circuit sockets and printed circuit boards. In general, the more sophisticated the equipment and the greater the need for reliability, the greater the requirement to exploit the advantages of gold as a material. This means that in telecommunications, computers, automotive electronics and defense systems where safety is critical, gold is indispensable. Gold performs critical functions in computers, communications equipment, spacecraft, jet aircraft engines, and a host of other products.

Other Uses

Gold’s efficiency as a reflector of heat  and infra-red radiation has led to liquid gold being used to reduce heat transmissions from aircraft engines and in the United States’ Apollo space program. In the latter, reflective gold-coated plastic film was wrapped around parts of the lunar landing module and the moon buggy to protect sensitive parts from solar radiation.

Recordable compact discs depend upon gold’s high reflectivity. Disc players require a high reflectivity of the laser beam and the only possible materials are gold, silver or copper. With the latter two metals, there is the inherent risk of tarnishing and oxidation. This is not a concern with gold. The gold surface is deposited on the recordable CDs by a process called sputtering.

Jewelry consumes around 75% of all gold produced. Gold for jewelry can be given a range of hues depending on the metal with which is alloyed (white, red, blue, green etc.).

· White gold (an alloy of gold with platinum, palladium, nickel, and/or zinc) serves as a substitute for platinum.

· Green gold (a gold/silver alloy) is used in specialized jewelry while gold alloys with copper (reddish color) are more widely used for that purpose (rose gold).

· Colloidal gold is added to glass to colour it red or purple.

· Gold can be made into thread and used in embroidery.

· Gold is used in restorative dentistry especially in tooth restorations such as crowns and permanent bridges as its slight malleability makes a superior molar mating surface to other teeth, unlike a harder ceramic crown.

· Colloidal gold (a gold nanoparticle) is an intensely colored solution that is currently studied in many labs for medical, biological and other applications. It is also the form used as gold paint on ceramics prior to firing.

· Chlorauric acid is used in photography for toning the silver image.

· Gold(III) chloride is used as a catalyst in organic chemistry. It is also the usual starting point for making other gold compounds.

· Gold is used as a coating enabling biological material to be viewed under a scanning electron microscope.

· Many competitions and honors, such as the Olympics and the Nobel Prize, award a gold medal to the winner.

· Since it is a good reflector of both infrared and visible light, it is used for the protective coatings on many artificial satellites and on astronauts’ helmets to prevent blindness from the sun.

· Gold is applied as a thin film on the windows of large buildings to reflect the heat of the Sun’s rays.

· Gold flake is used on and in some gourmet sweets and drinks. Called varak (or varaq) in India. Having no reactivity it adds no taste but is taken as a delicacy. Some use it as an excuse to create super-expensive delicacies ($1,000 cocktails). For similar reasons, it is also used as the basis for some superstitious, over-the-top health claims. Only the salts and radioisotopes (mentioned above) have any evidence of medicinal value.

Medical Uses

The claims for the medical benefits of gold date back many of thousands of years. Many ancient cultures, such as those in India and Egypt used gold-based medicinal preparations. Early applications of gold in China were in the treatment of ailments such as smallpox, skin ulcers and measles. In Japan, tradition suggests thin gold-foils placed into tea, sake and food are beneficial to health.

Apart from the obvious use of gold alloys in dental restorations, there are also a number of direct applications of gold in medical devices. As with dental applications, these are related to the excellent biocompatibility of gold as a material. Applications include wires for pacemakers and gold plated stents used in the treatment of heart disease.

Gold possesses a high degree of resistance to bacterial colonization and because of this it is the material of choice for implants that are at risk of infection, such as the inner ear. Gold has a long tradition of use in this application and is considered a very valuable metal in microsurgery of the ear.

Gold and gold compounds have also historically been used in drugs for the treatment of a wide range of ailments. This use of gold compounds in medicine is called chrysotherapy. The Frenchman Jacques Forestier reported in 1929 that the use of gold complexes was beneficial in the treatment of arthritis. Later work after the Second World War demonstrated conclusively that gold drugs are effective in treating rheumatoid arthritis patients. Two of the most commonly referred to gold compounds in such treatments are Myocrisin and Auranofin.

The isotope gold-198, (half-life: 2.7 days) is used in some cancer treatments and for treating other diseases.

Finally, it should also be borne in mind that without the reliability that gold provides in electronic components within medical devices such as pacemakers and ventilators,  many medical treatments would not be as effective as they are today.

Catalysts

The following reactions have now been shown to be effectively catalysed by supported gold catalysts:

· Carbon monoxide oxidation, including selective oxidation in a hydrogen stream
· Catalytic combustion of hydrocarbons
· Hydrochlorination of ethyne
· Hydrogen + oxygen reaction to give hydrogen peroxide
· Hydrogen sulphide and sulfur dioxide removal
· Oxidation of glucose to gluconic acid
· Oxidative decomposition of dioxins
· Oxidative removal of mercury
· Ozone decomposition
· Reduction of NOx with propene, carbon monoxide or hydrogen
· Selective oxidation, e.g. epoxidation of olefins,
· Selective hydrogenation, e.g. of alkynes and dienes to mono-olefins
· Vinyl acetate synthesis from ethene, acetic acid and oxygen
· Water Gas Shift


Sources:

ABC’s of Gold Investing p.138, V is for; www.abcs-of-gold-investing.com/
chemistry.allinfoabout.com
Crescent Chemical Company,
CRC Handbook of Chemistry & Physics,General Interest Publications of the U.S.G.S. – pubs.usgs.gov/gip/prospect1/goldgip.html
Lange’s Handbook of Chemistry,
www.lenntech.com/Periodic-chart-elements/Au-en.htm
Los Alamos National Laboratory,
money.howstuffworks.com/question213.htm
www.periodic-table.org.uk/element-gold.htm
www.radiochemistry.org/periodictable/elements/79.html
World Gold Council; www.gold.org
Wikipedia


A word on USAGOLD
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Disclaimer – Opinions expressed on the USAGOLD.com website do not constitute an offer to buy or sell, or the solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any precious metals product, nor should they be viewed in any way as investment advice or advice to buy, sell or hold. USAGOLD, Inc. recommends the purchase of physical precious metals for asset-preservation purposes, not speculation. Utilization of these opinions for speculative purposes is neither suggested nor advised. Commentary is strictly for educational purposes and, as such, USAGOLD does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy, timeliness or completeness of the information found here. (Please see our Risk Disclosure here.)

Posted in Reference |

World Gold Production by Country

World Gold Production by Country
Top ten producers, in metric tonnes
2004 – 2018
Source: U.S. Geological Survey

In the fifteen years of this survey, China more than doubled its gold mine production and rose to the top slot, while South Africa cut its production in half and fell from first to eighth. The United States and Australia held steady in and around the two and three slots for much of the period until 2014 when the United States slipped to the number four slot. Russia climbed from number seven in 2006 to number three in 2014, and has held that ranking ever since.

2018

Production Reserves
1. China 400 2,000
2. Australia 310 9,800
3. Russia 295 5,300
4. United States 210 3,000
5. Canada 185 2,000
6. Peru 145 2,600
7. Mexico 125 1,400
8. South Africa 120 6,000
9. Uzbekistan 105 1,800
10. Brazil 81 2,400
Global total 3,260* 54,000*
* Global total includes Ghana, Kazakhstan, Papua New Guinea and Indonesia and “other countries” aggregate not listed in top ten table (all years).
___________________________________________________________________

2017

Production Reserves
1. China 440 2,200
2. Australia 300 9,800
3. Russia 255 5,500
4. United States 245 3,000
5. Canada 180 2,200
6. Peru 155 2,300
7. South Africa 145 6,000
8. Mexico 110 1,400
9. Uzbekistan 100 1,800
10. Brazil 85 2,400
Global total 3,110* 54,000*
* Global total includes Ghana, Kazakhstan, Papua New Guinea and Indonesia and “other countries” aggregate not listed in top ten table (all years).
___________________________________________________________________

2016

1. China 455 2,000
2. Australia 270 9,500
3. Russia 250 8,000
4. United States 209 3,000
5. Canada 170 2,400
6. Peru 150 2,400
7. South Africa 140 6,000
8. Mexico 125 1,400
9. Uzbekistan 100 1,700
10. Indonesia 100 3,000
Global total 3,100* 57,000*
* Global total includes Ghana, Papua New Guinea and Brazil and “other countries” aggregate not listed in top ten table (all years).
___________________________________________________________________

2015

1. China 450 2,000
2. Australia 278 9,500
3. Russia 252 8,000
4. United States 214 3,000
5. Canada 153 2,400
6. Peru 145 2,400
7. South Africa 145 6,000
8. Mexico 135 1,700
9. Uzbekistan 102 1,400
10. Indonesia 97 3,000
Global total 3,100* 56,000*
___________________________________________________________________

2014

1. China 450 1,900
2. Australia 270 9,800
3. Russia 245 5,000
4. United States 211 3,000
5. Canada 160 2,100
6. Peru 150 2,100
7. South Africa 150 6,000
8. Uzbekistan 102 1,700
9. Mexico 92 1,400
10. Ghana 90 2,000
Global total 2,860 55,000
___________________________________________________________________

2013

1. China 430 1,900
2. Australia 265 9,900
3. United States 230 3,000
4. Russia 230 5,000
5. South Africa 160 6,000
6. Peru 151 2,100
7. Canada 124 920
8. Mexico 98 1,400
9. Uzbekistan 98 1,700
10. Ghana 90 2,000
Global total 2,800 54,000
___________________________________________________________________

2012

1. China 370 1,900
2. Australia 250 9,900
3. United States 235 3,000
4. Russia 218 5,000
5. South Africa 161 1,900
6. Peru 160 6,000
7. Canada 104 920
8. Mexico 97 1,400
9. Uzbekistan 93 1,700
10. Ghana 87 2,000
Global total 2,690 54,000
___________________________________________________________________

2011

1. China 355 1,900
2. Australia 270 7,400
3. United States 237 3,000
4. Russia 200 5,000
5. South Africa 190 6,000
6. Peru 150 2,000
7. Canada 110 920
8. Ghana 100 1,400
9. Indonesia 100 3,000
10. Uzbekistan 90 1,700
Global total 2,700 51,000
___________________________________________________________________

2010

1. China 345 1,900
2. Australia 261 7,400
3. United States 231 3,000
4. Russia 192 5,000
5. South Africa 189 6,000
6. Peru 164 2,000
7. Indonesia 120 3,000
8. Canada 91 920
9. Uzbekistan 90 1,700
10. Ghana 82 1,400
Global total 2,560 51,000
___________________________________________________________________

2009

1. China 320 1,900
2. United States 223 3,000
3. Australia 222 7,300
4. South Africa 198 6,000
5. Russia 191 5,000
6. Peru 182 2,000
7. Indonesia 130 3,000
8. Canada 97 920
9. Uzbekistan 90 1,700
10. Ghana 86 1,400
Global total 2,450 51,000
___________________________________________________________________

2008

1. China 285 1,900
2. United States 233 3,000
3. Australia 215 5,800
4. South Africa 213 6,000
5. Peru 180 1,400
6. Russia 176 5,000
7. Canada 95 1,000
8. Uzbekistan 85 1,700
9. Ghana 75 1,600
10. New Guinea 62 65
Global total 2,260 47,000
___________________________________________________________________

2007

1. China 275 1,900
2. South Africa 252 6,000
3. Australia 246 5,000
4. United States 238 3,000
5. Peru 170 1,400
6. Russia 157 5,000
7. Indonesia 118 3,000
8. Canada 101 2,000
9. Uzbekistan 85 1,700
10. Ghana 84 1,600
Global total 2,380 47,000
___________________________________________________________________

2006

1. South Africa 272 6,000
2. United States 252 3,700
3. China 245 1,200
4. Australia 244 5,000
5. Peru 203 3,500
6. Indonesia 164 1,800
7. Russia 159 3,000
8. Canada 104 1,300
Grand total 2,460 42,000
USGS reported top eight producers only.
___________________________________________________________________

2005

1. South Africa 295 6,000
2. Australia 262 5,000
3. Uniterd States 256 2,700
4. China 225 1,200

5.Peru

208 3,500
6. Russia 169 3,000
7.Indonesia 140 1,800
8. Canada 119 1,300
Grand total 2,470 42,000
USGS reported top eight producers only.
___________________________________________________________________

2004

1. South Africa 341 6,000
2. Australia 259 5,000
3. United States 258 2,700
4. China 215 1,200

5.Peru

173 3,500
6. Russia 169 3,000
7. Canada 129 1,300
8. Indonesia

93

1,800
Grand total 2,430 42,000
USGS reported top eight producers only.
___________________________________________________________________

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A word on USAGOLD – USAGOLD ranks among the most reputable gold companies in the United States. Founded in the 1970s and still family-owned, it is one of the oldest and most respected names in the gold industry. USAGOLD has always attracted a certain type of investor – one looking for a high degree of reliability and market insight coupled with a professional client (rather than customer) approach to precious metals ownership. We are large enough to provide the advantages of scale, but not so large that we do not have time for you. (We invite your visit to the Better Business Bureau website to review our five-star, zero-complaint record. The report includes a large number of verified customer reviews.)


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Disclaimer – Opinions expressed on the USAGOLD.com website do not constitute an offer to buy or sell, or the solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any precious metals product, nor should they be viewed in any way as investment advice or advice to buy, sell or hold. USAGOLD, Inc. recommends the purchase of physical precious metals for asset preservation purposes, not speculation. Utilization of these opinions for speculative purposes is neither suggested nor advised. Commentary is strictly for educational purposes, and as such USAGOLD does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy, timeliness or completeness of the information found here.


Posted in Reference |

BlackSwansYellowGoldOODLinkPage

________________________________________________

Graphic image of black swan on yellow gold medallionBlackSwansYellowGold
How gold performs during periods of deflation,
disinflation, stagflation and hyperinflation

“That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.” – Aldous Huxley

Though Huxley’s observation is readily applied to humanity collectively, it does not apply so easily to individual investors. As justification, we offer the ongoing (and long-term) success of the USAGOLD website as well as the soaring statistics on the growth of private gold ownership over the past decade both in the United States and abroad, inspired directly by the lessons learned over the past decade of financial market upheaval. The following short essays are dedicated to the safe-haven gold investor who, like noted financial author Nicholas Taleb, believes that it is just as important to prepare for what we cannot foresee as what we can.


BlackSwansYellowGold Series

Gold as a deflation hedge

Gold as a disinflation hedge

Gold as a stagflation hedge

Gold as hyperinflation hedge

Gold as the portfolio choice for all seasons

A chronology of panics, mania, crashes and collapses
(400 BC to present)

_______________________________________________

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NEWS & VIEWS
Forecasts, Commentary & Analysis on the Economy and Precious Metals


SELECTED ARCHIVES

What we said then.  What we say now. (December 2019)  NEW!
2020 vision – Five charts to contemplate as we prepare for the new year NEW!
What makes this gold market rally different from all others

Bank of England’s Carney delivers dollar shocker at Jackson Hole meeting
Gold responds to the trade and currency war
Summer doldrums turned upside down
Gold breaks to the upside
The Exter Inverted Pyramid of Global Liquidity

The inverted yield curve as a harbinger of higher gold prices 
Gold in the age of high-speed eclectronic trading
The $12 trillion federal debt bombshell
Will 2019 be the year of the big breakout for gold?
Divergent paths among major gold producers tell an important tale


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Editor:  Michael J. Kosares, founder of USAGOLD and author of The ABCs of Gold Investing – How To Protect and Build Your Wealth With Gold


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A word on USAGOLD
– USAGOLD ranks among the most reputable gold companies in the United States. Founded in the 1970s and still family-owned, it is one of the oldest and most respected names in the gold industry. USAGOLD has always attracted a certain type of investor – one looking for a high degree of reliability and market insight coupled with a professional client (rather than customer) approach to precious metals ownership. We are large enough to provide the advantages of scale, but not so large that we do not have time for you. (We invite your visit to the Better Business Bureau website to review our five-star, zero-complaint record. The report includes a large number of verified customer reviews.)


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Disclaimer – Opinions expressed on the USAGOLD.com website do not constitute an offer to buy or sell, or the solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any precious metals product, nor should they be viewed in any way as investment advice or advice to buy, sell or hold. USAGOLD, Inc. recommends the purchase of physical precious metals for asset preservation purposes, not speculation. Utilization of these opinions for speculative purposes is neither suggested nor advised. Commentary is strictly for educational purposes, and as such USAGOLD does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy, timeliness or completeness of the information found here.

Posted in News and Views archive, Reference |

ReferenceLibraryIndex

Gold Market Reference Library
A website within a website

photo of library sign reading 'silence please'

Daily Gold Price History
1996 to present
Source: FOREX, London Bullion Market Association

Daily Silver Price History
1996 to present
Source: FOREX, London Bullion Market Association

Historic Price Charts
Gold charts in various timelines
Source: Galmarley.com

Historic Price Charts
Gold charts in various currencies
Source:  Galmarley.com

Archive – News & Views
Forecasts, Commentary & Analysis on the Economy and Precious Metals
(Monthly newsletter)

Source: USAGOLD

Gold Trends + Indicators
Auto-updating, interactive charts
Source: St. Louis Federall Reserve, ICE Benchmark Administration

Key Economic Charts
Various charts important to gold owners
Source: St. Louis Federal Reserve

Gold Trading Hours
London, NewYork, Hong Kong-Shanghai, Sydney, Zurich
Source: World Time Server

Gold Classics Library
Timeless gold-based essays collected from 1997 to present
Sources: Elite thinkers past and present

Black Swans
Chronology of panics, mania, crashes and collapses from 400BC to present
Sources:  Various, USAGOLD

Piles of Gold Image Gallery
Photo library for your website & other venues

Gold Production by Country
Rankings, 2004 to present
Source: U.S. Geological Survey

Official Sector Gold Reserves
Rankings by country in tonnes and as a percent of total reserves
Source: Banks around the World

Physical Properties
Physical and chemical facts about gold
Source: Scientific Community


Graphic of USAGOLD client portal connection. Ready to invest.  Start here.

A word on USAGOLD – USAGOLD ranks among the most reputable gold companies in the United States. Founded in the 1970s and still family-owned, it is one of the oldest and most respected names in the gold industry. USAGOLD has always attracted a certain type of investor – one looking for a high degree of reliability and market insight coupled with a professional client (rather than customer) approach to precious metals ownership. We are large enough to provide the advantages of scale, but not so large that we do not have time for you. (We invite your visit to the Better Business Bureau website to review our five-star, zero-complaint record. The report includes a large number of verified customer reviews.)


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Disclaimer – Opinions expressed on the USAGOLD.com website do not constitute an offer to buy or sell, or the solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any precious metals product, nor should they be viewed in any way as investment advice or advice to buy, sell or hold. USAGOLD, Inc. recommends the purchase of physical precious metals for asset preservation purposes, not speculation. Utilization of these opinions for speculative purposes is neither suggested nor advised. Commentary is strictly for educational purposes, and as such USAGOLD does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy, timeliness or completeness of the information found here.

Posted in Reference |

MonetaryTrendsIndicatorsChartStudy

Monetary Trends and Indicators

These regularly updated charts offered in conjunction with the St. Louis Federal Reserve monitor statistical categories of interest to gold owners.

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Unemployment Rate


Consumer Price Index


Money Supply
(MZM)


Reserve Bank Credit:  Securities Held Outright


Dollar Index
(Major Currencies)


10-Year Treasury Yield
(Constant rate)


Accumulated Federal Debt


Federal Debt Held by Foreigners


Mortgage Rate
(30-year fixed)


Additions to National Debt
(Change from year ago, millions of dollars)


Monetary Base


Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) Index


Federal Debt as a Percent of Gross Domestic Product


Interest Paid on National Debt
(Annual)


Excess Reserves of Depository Institutions
(On deposit at the Federal Reserve)


U.S. Treasury Securities and Mortgages Held by Federal Reserve


U.S. Treasury and Mortgage Securities Combined Held by Federal Reserve
(in aggregate)


U.S. Treasury and Mortgage Securities Combined Held by Federal Reserve
(Change from year ago, millions of dollars)


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A word on USAGOLD – USAGOLD ranks among the most reputable gold companies in the United States. Founded in the 1970s and still family-owned, it is one of the oldest and most respected names in the gold industry. USAGOLD has always attracted a certain type of investor – one looking for a high degree of reliability and market insight coupled with a professional client (rather than customer) approach to precious metals ownership. We are large enough to provide the advantages of scale, but not so large that we do not have time for you. (We invite your visit to the Better Business Bureau website to review our five-star, zero-complaint record. The report includes a large number of verified customer reviews.)


Graphic of Online Order Desk Connection: Great prices. Quick delivery. All the time.

ORDER DESK
1-800-869-5115 Ext#100
orderdesk@usagold.com


Disclaimer – Opinions expressed on the USAGOLD.com website do not constitute an offer to buy or sell, or the solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any precious metals product, nor should they be viewed in any way as investment advice or advice to buy, sell or hold. USAGOLD, Inc. recommends the purchase of physical precious metals for asset preservation purposes, not speculation. Utilization of these opinions for speculative purposes is neither suggested nor advised. Commentary is strictly for educational purposes, and as such USAGOLD does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy, timeliness or completeness of the information found here.

Posted in Reference |

GoldTrendsChartStudy

Gold Trends and Indicators

These interactive charts offered in conjunction with the St. Louis Federal Reserve and the ICE Benchmark Administration monitor statistical categories, price histories and historic correlations of interest to gold owners. To update the charts, please move the toggle button on the year bar all the way to the right.

Charts may take a moment to load.
To see the most updated version of the chart, click on the right arrow on date bar.


Gold Annual Returns
(Year over year)


Gold Annual Returns
(Year over year for the same month)


Gold Price
(One year)


Gold Price
(Ten year)


Gold Price
(Since 1970)


Gold Price
(Since 1970, log scale)


Gold Price
(Annual average)


Gold and the Purchasing Power of the U.S. Dollar
(Since 1970)


Gold and the Volatility Index


Gold and the National Debt


Gold and the Dollar Index


Gold and the Monetary Base


Real Rate of Return on Gold
(Annual)


Real Rate of Return on U.S. Dollar
(Annual)


Graphic of Client Portal connection: Ready to invest. Start here.

A word on USAGOLD – USAGOLD ranks among the most reputable gold companies in the United States. Founded in the 1970s and still family-owned, it is one of the oldest and most respected names in the gold industry. USAGOLD has always attracted a certain type of investor – one looking for a high degree of reliability and market insight coupled with a professional client (rather than customer) approach to precious metals ownership. We are large enough to provide the advantages of scale, but not so large that we do not have time for you. (We invite your visit to the Better Business Bureau website to review our five-star, zero-complaint record. The report includes a large number of verified customer reviews.)


Graphic of Online Order Desk Connection: Great prices. Quick delivery. All the time.

ORDER DESK
1-800-869-5115 Ext#100
orderdesk@usagold.com


Disclaimer – Opinions expressed on the USAGOLD.com website do not constitute an offer to buy or sell, or the solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any precious metals product, nor should they be viewed in any way as investment advice or advice to buy, sell or hold. USAGOLD, Inc. recommends the purchase of physical precious metals for asset preservation purposes, not speculation. Utilization of these opinions for speculative purposes is neither suggested nor advised. Commentary is strictly for educational purposes, and as such USAGOLD does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy, timeliness or completeness of the information found here.

Posted in Favorite web pages, Reference |

GoldTradingHours

Gold Trading Hours
London – New York – Sydney – Hong Kong – Shanghai – Tokyo – Zurich

Local time. Weekdays unless otherwise noted.
To see clocks (the time in each trading center), click on black icon to activate. You may need to download the latest version of Adobe Flash Player.




London
London Bullion Market Association
(United Kingdom)
Gold Price Auction
Morning fix: 10:30 AM • Afternoon fix: 3:00 PM
(Administered by ICE Benchmark Administration)


New York
Comex
(United States)
8:20 AM – 1:30 PM
Globex
6:00 PM to 5:15 PM (Next day)
6:00 PM (Sunday/Open)


Denver
USAGOLD
(United States, Colorado)
8:00 AM – 7:00 PM

 

–––––––––– International Date Line ––––––––––



Sydney
Australian Securities Exchange
(Australia)
10:00 AM – 4:00 PM


Hong Kong • Shanghai
Chinese Gold and Silver Exchange Society
(Hong Kong)
8:00 AM (Monday) – 1:30 PM (Saturday)

Shanghai Benchmark
(Mainland China)
Morning fix: 10:15 AM
Afternoon fix: 2:15 PM

Shanghai Futures Exchange
9:00 AM – 11:30 AM; 1:30 PM – 3:00 PM; 9:00 PM – 2:30 AM




Tokyo
Tokyo Commodity Exchange (TOCOM)
(Japan)
Day Session: 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM
Night Session: 5:00 PM to 11:00 PM




Zurich
Bank settlement
(Switzerland)
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM


Graphic of Client Portal connection:  Ready to invest. Start here.

A word on USAGOLD – USAGOLD ranks among the most reputable gold companies in the United States. Founded in the 1970s and still family-owned, it is one of the oldest and most respected names in the gold industry. USAGOLD has always attracted a certain type of investor – one looking for a high degree of reliability and market insight coupled with a professional client (rather than customer) approach to precious metals ownership. We are large enough to provide the advantages of scale, but not so large that we do not have time for you. (We invite your visit to the Better Business Bureau website to review our five-star, zero-complaint record. The report includes a large number of verified customer reviews.)


Graphic of Online Order Desk Connection: Great prices. Quick delivery. All the time.

ORDER DESK
1-800-869-5115 Ext#100
orderdesk@usagold.com


Disclaimer – Opinions expressed on the USAGOLD.com website do not constitute an offer to buy or sell, or the solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any precious metals product, nor should they be viewed in any way as investment advice or advice to buy, sell or hold. USAGOLD, Inc. recommends the purchase of physical precious metals for asset preservation purposes, not speculation. Utilization of these opinions for speculative purposes is neither suggested nor advised. Commentary is strictly for educational purposes, and as such USAGOLD does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy, timeliness or completeness of the information found here.

Posted in Favorite web pages, Reference |

GoldPriceMajorCurrencies

Gold Price in Major Currencies
Euro, Pound Sterling, Swiss Franc, U.S. Dollar, Canadian Dollar, Australian Dollar and Japanese Yen

one day gold price chart eurofive year gold price chart euro

five year gold price chart British pound

one day gold price chart

five year gold price chart Swiss franc

one day gold price chart Swiss franc

five year gold price chart US dollar

one day gold price chart US dollar

five year gold price chart Canadian dollar

one day gold price chart Canadian dollar

five year gold price chart Australian dollar

one day gold price chart Australian dollar

five year gold price chart Japanese yen

one day gold price chart Japanese yen

Source: Galmarley.com


Graphic of Client Portal connection:  Ready to invest. Start here.

A word on USAGOLD – USAGOLD ranks among the most reputable gold companies in the United States. Founded in the 1970s and still family-owned, it is one of the oldest and most respected names in the gold industry. USAGOLD has always attracted a certain type of investor – one looking for a high degree of reliability and market insight coupled with a professional client (rather than customer) approach to precious metals ownership. We are large enough to provide the advantages of scale, but not so large that we do not have time for you. (We invite your visit to the Better Business Bureau website to review our five-star, zero-complaint record. The report includes a large number of verified customer reviews.)

Graphic of Online Order Desk Connection: Great prices. Quick delivery. All the time.

ORDER DESK
1-800-869-5115Ext#100
orderdesk@usagold.com


Disclaimer – Opinions expressed on the USAGOLD.com website do not constitute an offer to buy or sell, or the solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any precious metals product, nor should they be viewed in any way as investment advice or advice to buy, sell or hold. USAGOLD, Inc. recommends the purchase of physical precious metals for asset preservation purposes, not speculation. Utilization of these opinions for speculative purposes is neither suggested nor advised. Commentary is strictly for educational purposes, and as such USAGOLD does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy, timeliness or completeness of the information found here.

Posted in Reference |

HistoricGoldChartsTimelines

Historic Gold Charts
Daily, Weekly, One-Month, One-year, Five-year and Twenty-year
(U.S. dollar, euro)

week gold price chart US dollar
one day gold price chart US dollar
one year gold price chart US dollar
1 month gold price chart US dollar
historic gold price chart US dollar
five year gold price chart US dollar
month gold price chart euro
one day gold price chart euro

Source: Galmarley.com


Graphic of Client Portal connection:  Ready to invest. Start here.

A word on USAGOLD – USAGOLD ranks among the most reputable gold companies in the United States. Founded in the 1970s and still family-owned, it is one of the oldest and most respected names in the gold industry. USAGOLD has always attracted a certain type of investor – one looking for a high degree of reliability and market insight coupled with a professional client (rather than customer) approach to precious metals ownership. We are large enough to provide the advantages of scale, but not so large that we do not have time for you. (We invite your visit to the Better Business Bureau website to review our five-star, zero-complaint record. The report includes a large number of verified customer reviews.)


Graphic of Online Order Desk Connection: Great prices. Quick delivery. All the time.

ORDER DESK
1-800-869-5115 Ext#100
orderdesk@usagold.com


Disclaimer – Opinions expressed on the USAGOLD.com website do not constitute an offer to buy or sell, or the solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any precious metals product, nor should they be viewed in any way as investment advice or advice to buy, sell or hold. USAGOLD, Inc. recommends the purchase of physical precious metals for asset preservation purposes, not speculation. Utilization of these opinions for speculative purposes is neither suggested nor advised. Commentary is strictly for educational purposes, and as such USAGOLD does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy, timeliness or completeness of the information found here.

Posted in Reference |

GoldClassicsLibraryIndex

Row of books on library shelf

Gold Classics Library
Timeless and treasured essays collected over our more
than two decades on the world wide web


Money and Politics in the Land of Oz
by Quentin P. Taylor
L. Frank Baum claimed to have written The Wonderful Wizard of Oz “solely to pleasure the children” of his day, but scholars have found enough parallels between Dorothy’s yellow-brick odyssey and the politics of 1890s Populism to suggest otherwise. Did Baum intend to pen a subtle political satire on monetary reform?

Gold and Economic Freedom
by Alan Greenspan
“[T]he welfare statists were quick to recognize that if they wished to retain political power, the amount of taxation had to be limited and they had to resort to programs of massive deficit spending, i.e., they had to borrow money, by issuing government bonds, to finance welfare expenditures on a large scale.”

Who Owns and Controls the Federal Reserve?
by Dr. Edward Flaherty
Is the Federal Reserve System secretly owned and covertly controlled by powerful foreign banking interests? If so, how?

Gold Seizure: How it could happen and what you can do about it
by David L. Ganz, J.D.
Much has been offered in the way of opinion on the matter of a potential gold confiscation, but too little of it is well-researched, well-informed and grounded in a true understanding of the laws and regulations involved. Herein the author, a prominent New York City attorney who specializes in numismatic and precious metals’ law and is often called upon by Congress to offer testimony in this regard, unravels past legal precedent and offers practical suggestions on a course of action for those concerned with the possibility of a contemporary confiscation.

Layman’s Guide to the Rules and Laws of Finance and Investment
by R.E.McMaster
There is an old saying that not all that glitters is gold — as in the gold coins many of you have held in your hands. There is another kind of gold that inhabits the practical wisdom of the ages. In today’s “go-get-’em,” “read-it-and-forget-it” world of everyday web browsing, it can be a challenge to separate the run of the mill from the meaningful.

Britain’s Gold Sales ‘a Reckless Act’
by Sir Peter Tapsell
In this speech before the House of Commons, June 16, 1999, Sir Peter Tapsell argued vigorously to keep the government from selling off over half of the country’s gold reserves. It remains one of the most eloquent speeches ever made on the merits of gold ownership for nation-states and individuals alike.

Alan Greenspan-Ron Paul Congressional Exchanges
The Congressional exchanges with Ron Paul Here we spotlight Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan’s remarkable and extended dialogue with Representative Dr. Ron Paul from 1997 – 2005 before the Congressional Committee on Financial Services.

Golden Slumbers
by Kenneth Rogoff
In this short 2013 essay, Dr. Rogoff discusses gold’s volatility, its decline from all-time highs to $1250 per ounce and tells why it might one day rise again.

The ‘Criterion’ Speech on Gold
by Charles DeGaulle
Delivered at the Palais de l’Élysée in 1965, Charles DeGaulle’s “Criterion” speech remains perhaps the most eloquent short discourse ever delivered on gold’s historical role as the final arbiter of value.

Fiat Money Inflation in France
by Andrew Dickson White
The famous study on the late 1700s runaway inflation in France. White reveals toward the end of the essay how those who had the wisdom to keep their savings in gold weathered the inflationary storm.

Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds
by Charles
Mackay
We include this remarkable study with an agenda. If the rising generations now receiving their education, or even their more jaded elders, find application in their own investment philosophy, then the purpose of this Gilded Opinion entry has been served. Complicated and timelessly revealing, here you will find examples of herd behavior, delusion, mania, craftiness, and financial loss and gain.

Ten Rules For Investing In Gold
by John Hathaway
Gold is a controversial, anti-establishment investment. Therefore, do not rely on conventional financial media and brokerage house commentary. In this area, such commentary is even more misleading and
ill-informed than usual.

The Scientific Tale of the Creation of Gold
by Robert Krulich
Only in a supernova is it possible to create atoms with 30 protons, 40 protons, 50 protons or even 60 protons. Nature prefers even numbers for stability…Gold is a rare, odd-numbered atom with 79 protons.

Pompous Prognosticators
by Colin Seymour
Optimism was abundant as the stock market crash of 1929 unfolded.  Seymour offers an oft-referenced chronology sure to raise an eyebrow.

Gresham’s Law in the History of Money
by Dr. Robert A. Mundell, 1999 Nobel Laureate
Gresham’s Law is not a statement about static conditions; it is a statement about 
a dynamic process. “Good money drives out bad if they exchange for the same price” is an acceptable expression of Gresham’s Law. But a better statement of it is that “Cheap money drives out dear if they exchange for the same price.”

The Only “Why Gold” Infographic You Will Ever Need
by Jeff Desjardins
This 
five-part infographic on gold will educate and delight prospective and experienced gold owners alike. Not the stuff of dry economics, it reveals in roughly 15-minutes viewing time how gold came to be mankind’s most revered form of money and safe haven asset, and why it is likely to remain so for a long time to come.


Graphic of Client Portal connection: Ready to invest. Start here.
A word on USAGOLD – USAGOLD ranks among the most reputable gold companies in the United States. Founded in the 1970s and still family-owned, it is one of the oldest and most respected names in the gold industry. USAGOLD has always attracted a certain type of investor – one looking for a high degree of reliability and market insight coupled with a professional client (rather than customer) approach to precious metals ownership. We are large enough to provide the advantages of scale, but not so large that we do not have time for you. (We invite your visit to the Better Business Bureau website to review our five-star, zero-complaint record. The report includes a large number of verified customer reviews.)


Graphic of Online Order Desk Connection: Great prices. Quick delivery. All the time.

ORDER DESK
1-800-869-5115 Ext#100
orderdesk@usagold.com

Posted in Gold Classics Library, Reference |

BlackSwansYellowGold–Search landing page

________________________________________________

Graphic image of black swan on yellow gold medallionBlackSwansYellowGold
How gold performs during periods of deflation,
disinflation, stagflation and hyperinflation

“That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.” – Aldous Huxley

Though Huxley’s observation is readily applied to humanity collectively, it does not apply so easily to individual investors. As justification, we offer the ongoing (and long-term) success of the USAGOLD website as well as the soaring statistics on the growth of private gold ownership over the past decade both in the United States and abroad, inspired directly by the lessons learned over the past decade of financial market upheaval. The following short essays are dedicated to the safe-haven gold investor who, like noted financial author Nicholas Taleb, believes that it is just as important to prepare for what we cannot foresee as what we can.


BlackSwansYellowGold Series

Gold as a deflation hedge

Gold as a disinflation hedge

Gold as a stagflation hedge

Gold as hyperinflation hedge

Gold as the portfolio choice for all seasons

A chronology of panics, mania, crashes and collapses
(400 BC to present)

_______________________________________________

Posted in Reference |

Gold as the portfolio choice for all seasons

Back to our Introductory Information Packet

graphic image of black swan on yellow gold medallion

BlackSwansYellowGold
How gold performs during periods of deflation,
disinflation, stagflation and hyperinflation

_____________________________________________________________________

Gold as the portfolio choice for all seasons

“An ounce of gold cost $271 in 2001. Ten years later it reached $1,896—an increase of almost 700 percent. On the way, it passed through some of the stormiest periods of recent history, when banks collapsed and currencies shivered. The gold price fed on these calamities. In a way, it came to stand for them: it was the re-discovered idol at a time when other gods were falling in a heap of subprime mortgages and credit default swaps and derivative products too complicated to even understand. Against these, gold shone with the placid certainty of received tradition. Honored through the ages, the standard of wealth, the original money, the safe haven. The value of gold was axiomatic. This view depends on a concept of gold as unchanging and unchanged—nature’s hard asset.” – Matthew Hart, Vanity Fair

photo of gold pile featuring American eagle gold coin, one ounceA book could be written on the subject of gold as a hedge against the major negative economic scenarios – deflation, disinflation, stagflation and hyperinflation. I hope the short sketches provided over the course of this series have served at least as a functional introduction to the subject. The conclusion is clear: History shows that gold, better than any other asset, protects the portfolio against the range of ultra-negative economic scenarios, such so-called black swan, or outlier, events.

Please note that throughout this series I was careful not to favor one scenario over the other. The argument as to which of these maladies is most likely to strike the economy next is purely academic with respect to gold ownership. A portfolio hedge in gold protects against all of the disorders just outlined and no matter in which order they arrive.

I would like to close with a thoughtful justification for gold ownership from a UK parliamentarian, Sir Peter Tapsell. He made these comments in 1999 after then Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, forced the auction sale of over half of Britain’s gold reserve.

“The whole point about gold, and the quality that makes it so special and almost mystical in its appeal, is that it is universal, eternal and almost indestructible. The Minister will agree that it is also beautiful. The most enduring brand slogan of all time is, ‘As good as gold.’ The scientists can clone sheep, and may soon be able to clone humans, but they are still a long way from being able to clone gold, although they have been trying to do so for 10,000 years. The Chancellor [Gordon Brown] may think that he has discovered a new Labour version of the alchemist’s stone, but his dollars, yen and euros will not always glitter in a storm and they will never be mistaken for gold.”

As relevant today as the day they were first spoken, Tapsell’s description gets to the heart of the matter with respect to gold an important part of the well-rounded portfolio. His reference to “dollars, yen and euros” has to do with the British treasury’s proposal at the time to sell its gold reserve and convert the proceeds to “interest-bearing” instruments denominated in those currencies. Though Tapsell was addressing gold’s function with respect to the reserve of a nation-state (the United Kingdom), he could have just as easily been talking about gold’s role for the private investor.

As it turned out, the “dollars, yen and euros” that the Bank of England received in place of the gold have only continued to erode in value while paying a negligible to non-existent return. Gold, on the other hand, was selling for less than $300 per ounce at the time.  Twelve years later, it rose to what many believe to be an interim peak of $1800 and is trading now in the $1200-1300 range.  What would Britain give to have that 415 tonnes of gold back as it faces Brexit and is looking to undergird the international value of the pound?

We receive calls regularly from what I like to call the “Old Guard” – those who bought gold in the $300s, $400s and $500s, even the $600s. Some became very wealthy as a result of those early purchases. The most important result though is not the gains but the end result of preserving assets through some very difficult and dangerous times when others watched their wealth dissipate. When it comes to preserving assets, gold remains, in the most fundamental sense, the portfolio choice for all seasons.

––Michael J. Kosares


BlackSwansYellowGold Series
Gold as a deflation hedge
Gold as a disinflation hedge
Gold as a stagflation hedge
Gold as hyperinflation hedge
Gold as the portfolio choice for all seasons
A chronology of panics, mania, crashes and collapses


Graphic of Client Portal connection:  Ready to invest. Start here.

A word on USAGOLD – USAGOLD ranks among the most reputable gold companies in the United States. Founded in the 1970s and still family-owned, it is one of the oldest and most respected names in the gold industry. USAGOLD has always attracted a certain type of investor – one looking for a high degree of reliability and market insight coupled with a professional client (rather than customer) approach to precious metals ownership. We are large enough to provide the advantages of scale, but not so large that we do not have time for you. (We invite your visit to the Better Business Bureau website to review our five-star, zero-complaint record. The report includes a large number of verified customer reviews.)


Graphic of Online Order Desk Connection: Great prices. Quick delivery. All the time.

ORDER DESK
1-800-869-5115 Ext#100
orderdesk@usagold.com


Disclaimer – Opinions expressed on the USAGOLD.com website do not constitute an offer to buy or sell, or the solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any precious metals product, nor should they be viewed in any way as investment advice or advice to buy, sell or hold. USAGOLD, Inc. recommends the purchase of physical precious metals for asset preservation purposes, not speculation. Utilization of these opinions for speculative purposes is neither suggested nor advised. Commentary is strictly for educational purposes, and as such USAGOLD does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy, timeliness or completeness of the information found here.


Michael J. Kosares is the founder of USAGOLD and the author of The ABCs of Gold Investing – How to Protect and Build Your Wealth With Gold [Third Edition]. He is also editor and commentator for USAGOLD’s Live Daily Newsletter and editor of the News & Views monthly newsletter.

Posted in Reference |

BlackSwansYellowGold–Hyperinflation

Back to our Introductory Information Packet

Graphic image black swan on gold medallion

BlackSwansYellowGold
How gold performs during periods of deflation,
disinflation, stagflation and hyperinflation

_____________________________________________________________________

Gold as a hyperinflation hedge
France (1790-1795)

“The inability to predict outliers implies the inability to predict the course of history. . .But we act as though we are able to predict historical events, or, even worse, as if we are able to change the course of history. We produce thirty-year projections of social security deficits and oil prices without realizing that we cannot even predict these for next summer — our cumulative prediction errors for political and economic events are so monstrous that every time I look at the empirical record I have to pinch myself to verify that I am not dreaming. What is surprising is not the magnitude of our forecast errors, but our absence of awareness of it.” –– Nicholas Taleb, The Black Swan – The Impact of the Highly Improbable

1788 French assignatAndrew Dickson White ends his class historical essay on hyperinflation, “Fiat Money Inflation in France,” with one of the more famous lines in economic literature:

“There is a lesson in all this which it behooves every thinking man to ponder.”

The lesson that there is a connection between government over-issuance of paper money, inflation and the destruction of middle-class savings has been routinely ignored in the modern era. White’s essay tells the story of how good men – with nothing but the noblest of intentions – can drag a nation into monetary chaos in service to a political end. Still, there is something else in White’s essay – something perhaps even more profound. Democratic institutions, he reminds us, well-meaning though they might be, have a fateful, almost predestined inclination to print money when backed against the wall by unpleasant circumstances.

Episodes of hyperinflation ranging from the first (Ghenghis Khan’s complete debasement of the very first paper currency) through the most recent (the debacle in Venezuela) all start modestly and progress almost quietly until something takes hold in the public consciousness that unleashes the pent-up price inflation with all its fury.  Once the inflationary genie is out of the bottle, it is difficult to get back in. Frederich Kessler, a Berkeley law professor who experienced the 1920s nightmare German Inflation first-hand, gave this description some years later during an interview published in Ralph Foster’s book, “Fiat Paper Money: The History and Evolution of Our Currency” (2008):

“It was horrible. Horrible! Like lightning it struck. No one was prepared. You cannot imagine the rapidity with which the whole thing happened. The shelves in the grocery stores were empty. You could buy nothing with your paper money.”

photo of grouping louis d or gold coins

Towards the end of “Fiat Money Inflation in France,” White sketches the price performance of the roughly one-fifth ounce Louis d’ Or gold coin:

“The louis d’or [a French gold coin weighing.1867 net fine ounces] stood in the market as a monitor, noting each day, with unerring fidelity, the decline in value of the assignat; a monitor not to be bribed, not to be scared. As well might the National Convention try to bribe or scare away the polarity of the mariner’s compass. On August 1, 1795, this gold louis of 25 francs was worth in paper, 920 francs; on September 1st, 1,200 francs; on November 1st, 2,600 francs; on December 1st, 3,050 francs. In February 1796, it was worth 7,200 francs or one franc in gold was worth 288 francs in paper. Prices of all commodities went up nearly in proportion. . .

Examples from other sources are such as the following — a measure of flour advanced from two francs in 1790, to 225 francs in 1795; a pair of shoes, from five francs to 200; a hat, from 14 francs to 500; butter, to, 560 francs a pound; a turkey, to 900 francs. Everything was enormously inflated in price except the wages of labor. As manufacturers had closed, wages had fallen, until all that kept them up seemed to be the fact that so many laborers were drafted off into the army. From this state of things came grievous wrong and gross fraud. Men who had foreseen these results and had gone into debt were of course jubilant. He who in 1790 had borrowed 10,000 francs could pay his debts in 1796 for about 35 francs.”

Those two short paragraphs speak volumes of gold’s safe-haven status during a tumultuous period and may raise the most important lesson of all to ponder: the role of gold coins in the private investment portfolio.

––Michael J. Kosares


BlackSwansYellowGold Series
Gold as a deflation hedge
Gold as a disinflation hedge
Gold as a stagflation hedge
Gold as hyperinflation hedge
Gold as the portfolio choice for all seasons
A chronology of panics, mania, crashes and collapses


Graphic of Client Portal connection: Ready to invest. Start here.

A word on USAGOLD – USAGOLD ranks among the most reputable gold companies in the United States. Founded in the 1970s and still family-owned, it is one of the oldest and most respected names in the gold industry. USAGOLD has always attracted a certain type of investor – one looking for a high degree of reliability and market insight coupled with a professional client (rather than customer) approach to precious metals ownership. We are large enough to provide the advantages of scale, but not so large that we do not have time for you. (We invite your visit to the Better Business Bureau website to review our five-star, zero-complaint record. The report includes a large number of verified customer reviews.)


Graphic of Online Order Desk Connection: Great prices. Quick delivery. All the time.

ORDER DESK
1-800-869-5115 Ext#100
orderdesk@usagold.com


Disclaimer – Opinions expressed on the USAGOLD.com website do not constitute an offer to buy or sell, or the solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any precious metals product, nor should they be viewed in any way as investment advice or advice to buy, sell or hold. USAGOLD, Inc. recommends the purchase of physical precious metals for asset preservation purposes, not speculation. Utilization of these opinions for speculative purposes is neither suggested nor advised. Commentary is strictly for educational purposes, and as such USAGOLD does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy, timeliness or completeness of the information found here.


Michael J. Kosares is the founder of USAGOLD and the author of The ABCs of Gold Investing – How to Protect and Build Your Wealth With Gold [Third Edition]. He is also editor and commentator for USAGOLD’s Live Daily Newsletter and editor of the News & Views monthly newsletter.

Posted in Reference |

BlackSwansYellowGold–Stagflation

Back to our Introductory Information Packet

Graphic image of black swan on yellow gold medallion

BlackSwansYellowGold
How gold performs during periods of deflation,
disinflation, stagflation and hyperinflation

_____________________________________________________________________

Gold as a stagflation hedge
United States (1970s)

“The inability to predict outliers implies the inability to predict the course of history. . .But we act as though we are able to predict historical events, or, even worse, as if we are able to change the course of history. We produce thirty-year projections of social security deficits and oil prices without realizing that we cannot even predict these for next summer — our cumulative prediction errors for political and economic events are so monstrous that every time I look at the empirical record I have to pinch myself to verify that I am not dreaming. What is surprising is not the magnitude of our forecast errors, but our absence of awareness of it.” –– Nicholas Taleb, The Black Swan – The Impact of the Highly Improbable

In the contemporary global fiat money system, when the economy goes into a major tailspin, both the unemployment and inflation rates tend to move higher in tandem. The word “stagflation” is a combination of the words “stagnation” and “inflation.” President Ronald Reagan famously added unemployment and inflation together in describing the economy of the 1970s and called it the Misery Index. As the Misery Index moved higher throughout the decade so did the price of gold, as shown in the graph shown below.

In a recent interview, former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan warned that stagflation looms on the horizon for the United States:

“I would say we are in a bond market bubble and a bond market bubble really means is that prices are too high and when they move down long term interest rates move up. And if you take a look at the structure of not ‘price-earnings ratios’ but ‘earnings-price ratios’ in the stock market, you find that the critical issue of what engendered some of the strength in recent periods is essentially the decline in real long-term interest rates as it factored into the market.  That is in the process of changing and I think that the bond market bubble is now beginning to unwind and that is going to bring us ultimately into a state of stagflation and beyond that it is very difficult to tell.  This is not an easy economic outlook because there are too many variables which we haven’t seen in recent decades.”

At a glance, the chart tells the story of gold as a runaway stagflation hedge. The Misery Index more than tripled in that ten-year period, but gold rose by nearly sixteen times. Much of that rise has been attributed to pent-up pressure resulting from many years of price suppression during the gold standard years when gold was fixed by government mandate. Even after accounting for the fixed price, it would be difficult to argue that gold did not respond readily and directly to the Misery Index during the stagflationary 1970s.

Overlay chart of gold price and misery index 1971-1980

In a certain sense, the U. S. experience in the 1970s was the first of the runaway stagflationary breakdowns, following the abandonment of the gold standard in 1971. Since then, similar situations have cropped up from time to time in other nation-states. Argentina (the late 1990s) comes to mind, as does the Asian Contagion (1997), Mexico (1986) and most recently, Venezuela. In each instance, as the Misery Index rose, the citizen/investor in these countries who took shelter in gold preserved his or her assets as the crisis moved from one stage of deterioration to the next.

––Michael J. Kosares


BlackSwansYellowGold Series
Gold as a deflation hedge
Gold as a disinflation hedge
Gold as a stagflation hedge
Gold as hyperinflation hedge
Gold as the portfolio choice for all seasons
A chronology of panics, mania, crashes and collapses


Graphic of Client Portal connection:  Ready to invest. Start here.A word on USAGOLD – USAGOLD ranks among the most reputable gold companies in the United States. Founded in the 1970s and still family-owned, it is one of the oldest and most respected names in the gold industry. USAGOLD has always attracted a certain type of investor – one looking for a high degree of reliability and market insight coupled with a professional client (rather than customer) approach to precious metals ownership. We are large enough to provide the advantages of scale, but not so large that we do not have time for you. (We invite your visit to the Better Business Bureau website to review our five-star, zero-complaint record. The report includes a large number of verified customer reviews.)


Graphic of Online Order Desk Connection: Great prices. Quick delivery. All the time.

ORDER DESK
1-800-869-5115 Ext#100
orderdesk@usagold.com


Disclaimer – Opinions expressed on the USAGOLD.com website do not constitute an offer to buy or sell, or the solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any precious metals product, nor should they be viewed in any way as investment advice or advice to buy, sell or hold. USAGOLD, Inc. recommends the purchase of physical precious metals for asset preservation purposes, not speculation. Utilization of these opinions for speculative purposes is neither suggested nor advised. Commentary is strictly for educational purposes, and as such USAGOLD does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy, timeliness or completeness of the information found here.

Michael J. Kosares is the founder of USAGOLD and the author of The ABCs of Gold Investing – How to Protect and Build Your Wealth With Gold [Third Edition]. He is also editor and commentator for USAGOLD’sLive Daily Newsletter and editor of the News & Views monthly newsletter.

Posted in Reference |

BlackSwansYellowGold–Disinflation

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graphic image of black swan on yellow gold medallion

BlackSwansYellowGold
How gold performs during periods of deflation,
disinflation, stagflation and hyperinflation

_____________________________________________________________________

Gold as a disinflation hedge

“The inability to predict outliers implies the inability to predict the course of history. . .But we act as though we are able to predict historical events, or, even worse, as if we are able to change the course of history. We produce thirty-year projections of social security deficits and oil prices without realizing that we cannot even predict these for next summer — our cumulative prediction errors for political and economic events are so monstrous that every time I look at the empirical record I have to pinch myself to verify that I am not dreaming. What is surprising is not the magnitude of our forecast errors, but our absence of awareness of it.” –– Nicholas Taleb, The Black Swan – The Impact of the Highly Improbable

Just as the 1970s reinforced gold’s efficiency as a stagflation (combination of economic stagnation and inflation) hedge, the 2000’s decade solidly established gold’s credentials as a disinflation hedge. Disinflation is defined as a decrease in the inflation rate over time (or a constantly low inflation rate), and should not be confused with deflation, which is an actual drop in the price level. Disinflations, as pointed out above, are close cousins to deflations and can evolve to that if the central bank fails, for whatever reasons, in its stimulus program. Central banks today are activist by design. To think that a modern central bank would sit back during a disinflation and let the chips fall where they may is to misunderstand its role. It will attempt to stimulate the economy by one means or another. The only question is whether or not it will succeed.

Up until the “double oughts,” the manual on gold read that it performed well under inflationary and deflationary circumstances, but not much else. However, as the decade of asset bubbles, financial institution failures, and global systemic and sovereign debt risk progressed, gold marched to higher ground one year after another. As events unfolded, it became increasingly clear that the metal was capable of delivering the goods under disinflationary circumstances as well. The fact of the matter is that, during the 2000s even as the inflation rate hovered in the low single digits (See chart, green area], gold managed to rise from just under $300 per ounce in the early 2000s to just over $1800 per ounce by 2011 — a gain of nearly 650%. Since then, gold has taken a breather. As this essay is written, it is trading in the $1200 per ounce range — still up over 425% in the new century.

Overlay chart of gold and consumer price index 2002-2012, gold rises as inflation flatlines

The world’s central banks, historically at odds with each other with respect to currency policies since 2008, have teamed up to deliver ever larger doses of monetary stimulus that go far beyond ordinary tinkering with interest rates. Money printing has become a global undertaking – a phenomenon the consequences of which are yet to be determined. All in all, the 21st century ushered in a new era for gold, one in which it filled a hole in its resume. Now gold has come to be viewed as an effective hedge against one of the contemporary economies’ most nettlesome problems – chronic disinflation and the systemic financial risks it periodically imposes.

––Michael J. Kosares


BlackSwansYellowGold Series
Gold as a deflation hedge
Gold as a disinflation hedge
Gold as a stagflation hedge
Gold as hyperinflation hedge
Gold as the portfolio choice for all seasons
A chronology of panics, mania, crashes and collapses


Graphic of Client Portal connection:  Ready to invest. Start here.

A word on USAGOLD – USAGOLD ranks among the most reputable gold companies in the United States. Founded in the 1970s and still family-owned, it is one of the oldest and most respected names in the gold industry. USAGOLD has always attracted a certain type of investor – one looking for a high degree of reliability and market insight coupled with a professional client (rather than customer) approach to precious metals ownership. We are large enough to provide the advantages of scale, but not so large that we do not have time for you. (We invite your visit to the Better Business Bureau website to review our five-star, zero-complaint record. The report includes a large number of verified customer reviews.)


Graphic of Online Order Desk Connection: Great prices. Quick delivery. All the time.

ORDER DESK
1-800-869-5115 Ext#100
orderdesk@usagold.com


Disclaimer – Opinions expressed on the USAGOLD.com website do not constitute an offer to buy or sell, or the solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any precious metals product, nor should they be viewed in any way as investment advice or advice to buy, sell or hold. USAGOLD, Inc. recommends the purchase of physical precious metals for asset-preservation purposes, not speculation. Utilization of these opinions for speculative purposes is neither suggested nor advised. Commentary is strictly for educational purposes and, as such, USAGOLD does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy, timeliness or completeness of the information found here. (Please see our Risk Disclosure here.)


Michael J. Kosares is the founder of USAGOLD and the author of The ABCs of Gold Investing – How to Protect and Build Your Wealth With Gold [Third Edition]. He is also editor and commentator for USAGOLD’s Live Daily Newsletter and editor of the News & Views monthly newsletter.

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BlackSwansYellowGold–Deflation

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Image of black swan on gold medallion

BlackSwansYellowGold
How gold performs during periods of deflation,
disinflation, stagflation and hyperinflation

_____________________________________________________________________

Gold as a deflation hedge
United States (1930s)

“The inability to predict outliers implies the inability to predict the course of history. . .But we act as though we are able to predict historical events, or, even worse, as if we are able to change the course of history. We produce thirty-year projections of social security deficits and oil prices without realizing that we cannot even predict these for next summer — our cumulative prediction errors for political and economic events are so monstrous that every time I look at the empirical record I have to pinch myself to verify that I am not dreaming. What is surprising is not the magnitude of our forecast errors, but our absence of awareness of it.” –– Nicholas Taleb, The Black Swan – The Impact of the Highly Improbable

Webster defines deflation as a “contraction in the volume of available money and credit that results in a general decline in prices.” Typically deflations occur in gold-standard economies when the state is deprived of its ability to conduct bailouts, run deficits and print money. Characterized by high unemployment, bankruptcies, government austerity measures and bank runs, a deflationary economic environment is often accompanied by a stock and bond market collapse and general financial panic – an altogether unpleasant set of circumstances.

The Great Depression of the 1930s serves as a workable example of the degree to which gold protects its owners under deflationary circumstances. First, because the price of gold was fixed at $20.67 per ounce, it gained purchasing power as the general price level fell (as shown in the chart below). In 1933, when the U.S. government raised the price of gold to $35 per ounce in an effort to reflate the economy through a formal devaluation of the dollar, gold gained even more purchasing power. President Franklin D. Roosevelt also confiscated gold bullion by executive order in concert with that devaluation, but exempted “rare and unusual” gold coins which later were defined by regulation simply as items minted before 1933. As a result, only those citizens who owned gold coins dated before 1933 were able to reap the benefit of the higher fixed prices.

Overlay chart of gold price and purchasing power of the dollar, 1929-1940
Second, since gold acts as a stand-alone asset that is not another’s liability, it functioned as an effective store of value before and after the 1929 stock market crash and the string of bank failures that followed in its wake. Those who either converted a portion of their capital to gold bullion or withdrew their savings from the banking system in the form of gold coins before the crisis struck weathered the breakdown. Those who did not found themselves at the mercy of events when the stock market crashed and the banks closed their doors (many of which had already been bankrupted).

How gold might react in a deflation under today’s fiat money system is a more complicated scenario. Even in a fiat money system like the one we have today, the general price level would be falling by definition. Economists who make the deflationary argument within the context of a fiat money economy usually use the analogy of the central bank “pushing on a string.” It wants to inflate, but no matter how hard it tries the public refuses to borrow and spend. (If this all sounds familiar, it should. This is precisely the situation in which the Federal Reserve finds itself today.) In the end, so goes the deflationist argument, the central bank fails in its efforts and the economy rolls over from recession to a full-blown deflationary depression much like what happened during the 1930s.

How the government treats gold under a deflationary scenario will play heavily into its performance. If gold is subjected to price controls and restricted ownership, as it was in the 1930s deflation, it would likely perform as it did then, i.e., its purchasing power would increase as the price level fell. Under such circumstances, the ownership of “rare and unusual” gold coins might once again come into play. If ownership is not restricted, it would turn out to be the best of all possible worlds for gold owners. Its purchasing power would increase as the price level fell, and the price itself could rise as a result of increased demand from investors hedging systemic risks and financial market instability.

The disinflationary period leading up to and following the financial market meltdown of 2008 serves as a good example of how the second scenario might unfold. The disinflationary economy is a close cousin to deflation and is covered in the next installment in this series. It provides some solid clues as to what we might expect from gold under a full deflationary breakdown.

––Michael J. Kosares


BlackSwansYellowGold Series
Gold as a deflation hedge
Gold as a disinflation hedge
Gold as a stagflation hedge
Gold as hyperinflation hedge
Gold as the portfolio choice for all seasons
A chronology of panics, mania, crashes and collapses


Graphic of Client Portal connection: Ready to invest. Start here.

A word on USAGOLD – USAGOLD ranks among the most reputable gold companies in the United States. Founded in the 1970s and still family-owned, it is one of the oldest and most respected names in the gold industry. USAGOLD has always attracted a certain type of investor – one looking for a high degree of reliability and market insight coupled with a professional client (rather than customer) approach to precious metals ownership. We are large enough to provide the advantages of scale, but not so large that we do not have time for you. (We invite your visit to the Better Business Bureau website to review our five-star, zero-complaint record. The report includes a large number of verified customer reviews.)


Graphic USAGOLD Connection to online order desk

ORDER DESK
1-800-869-5115 Ext#100
orderdesk@usagold.com


Disclaimer – Opinions expressed on the USAGOLD.com website do not constitute an offer to buy or sell, or the solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any precious metals product, nor should they be viewed in any way as investment advice or advice to buy, sell or hold. USAGOLD, Inc. recommends the purchase of physical precious metals for asset preservation purposes, not speculation. Utilization of these opinions for speculative purposes is neither suggested nor advised. Commentary is strictly for educational purposes, and as such USAGOLD does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy, timeliness or completeness of the information found here.


Michael J. Kosares is the founder of USAGOLD and the author of The ABCs of Gold Investing – How to Protect and Build Your Wealth With Gold [Third Edition]. He is also editor and commentator for USAGOLD’s Live Daily Newsletter and editor of the News & Views monthly newsletter.

Posted in Reference |

BlackSwansYellowGold–Chronology

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Graphic image of black swan on yellow gold medallionBlackSwansYellowGold
How gold performs during periods of deflation,
disinflation, stagflation and hyperinflation

_____________________________________________________________________

A chronology of panics, mania, crashes and collapses
(400 BC to present)

“You say: ‘I did not think it would happen.’ Do you think there is anything that will not happen, when you know that it is possible to happen, when you see that it has already happened?” – Seneca, 62 AD

This chronology was compiled as an accompaniment to my short study on the four most commonly predicted worst-case economic scenarios – Black Swans, Yellow Gold: How gold performs during periods of deflation, chronic disinflation, runaway stagflation and hyperinflation. My original intent was to make a short list that would illustrate the frequency with which periods of economic breakdown made their appearance in the historical record. Little did I know how extensive a project it would become. So much so, that it became worthy, as you can see, of its own web page.

Panics, mania, crashes and collapses, as it turns out, are as common to financial history as thunderstorms to placid summer afternoons. They tend to show up suddenly, wreak more than their fair share of havoc, and recede into the history books only after endless discussion of their causes and cures. Whether brought on by popular delusion, unscrupulous market operators, misguided governments and/or central banks or some random, unforeseen shock, black swan events are part and parcel of the human experience and just as permanent a fixture in our collective history as wars and natural disasters.

Those who think it can’t happen here, or that this time around it’s different, should take note of the number of black swan events in American history alone. The record is formidable. Gold ownership is traditionally a form of battening down the hatches against these recurring storms and, for the minority who adhere to it, an effective and ever-ready defense. Nialls Ferguson, the economic philosopher, summed up what a good many were thinking in the wake of the 2008 meltdown when he said, “Those few goldbugs who always doubted the soundness of fiat money — paper currency without a metal anchor — have in large measure been vindicated. But why were the rest of us so blinded by money illusion?” Why indeed. . .


Sovereign Default of 400 BC (Syracuse, Greece) – Dionysius confiscates gold and silver money, re-mints it keeping the weight the same but changing the denomination from one to two drachmae — the first known official devaluation at the expense of the general population. A virulent inflation ensues.

Sovereign Default of 377 BC (Ephesus, Greece) – Gold and silver jewelry confiscated to pay budgetary deficit and avoid a collapse of the city-state, no compensation is paid to owners (reported by Aristotle).

Punic Wars Inflation of 241-146 BC (Rome) – Continuous debasement of gold and silver coinage to pay for wars against Carthage. Wealthy classes of savers, who saved in the form of metal, suffered greatest losses, heavily indebted masses did not object.

Sovereign Default of circa 200 BC (Miletus, Greece) – Economic depression, first instance of forced public bond subscription by citizens to pay the debts of bankrupt city-state.

Inflation Crisis of 64 AD (Rome) – Emperor Nero debased gold, silver and copper coinage as an indirect tax on Roman savers, policy ignited inflation and caused general impoverishment of the lower classes. This same devaluation tactic was used repeatedly by emperors during Rome’s decline and fall.

Inflation Crisis of 301 (Rome) – Emperor Diocletian minted an overvalued silver denarius and touched off a rapid and devastating price inflation, then speculative frenzy and social chaos.

Inflation Crisis of 1020 (China) – One of the first paper money printing schemes (S’ung Dynasty) to buy off potential invaders that led to rapid inflation.

(Note: China’s Cai Lun invented paper in 105 AD, so it is fitting that China would introduce the first paper banknotes in 806 AD. Upon Marco Polo’s return from China, he described its use as money: “All these pieces of paper are issued with as much solemnity and authority as if they were of pure gold or silver; and on every piece a variety of officials, whose duty it is, have to write their names, and to put their seals. And when all is duly prepared, the chief officer deputed by the Khan smears the Seal entrusted to him with vermilion, and impresses it on the paper, so that the form of the Seal remains printed upon it in red; the Money is then authentic. Anyone forging it would be punished with death.” It would follow too that the first abuses in the printing of paper money would occur where it was first issued.)

Hyperinflationary Crisis of 1166 (China) – Money printing scheme (Chin Dynasty) based on government monopoly of tea and salt to pay for war against Mongols led to hyperinflationary breakdown.

Inflation Crisis of 1296, 1309, 1350 and 1374 (China) — Series of inflationary crises related to debased currency issuance by various dynasties, explosive credit and subsequent economic breakdowns.

Inflation Crisis of 1455 (China) – Excess issuance of paper money caused inflation to soar, paper currency eliminated as means of payment for several hundred years.

Medici Bank Collapse of 1494 (Florence, Italy) – Corruption, faulty investment, political intrigue and incompetent management brought down the famed Florentine bank — millions lost resulting in tyrannical taxes imposed on citizenry.

Inflation of 1520-1640 (Spain, Europe) – Gold and silver from the New World drove down the value of money leading to Europe-wide hyperinflation. Spain defaulted on its sovereign debts in 1557, 1560, 1575 and 1596.

Tipper and See-Saw Debt Crisis of 1621 (Holy Roman Empire) – States in Europe minted debased coinage that touched off an inflationary nightmare resulting in widespread riots, political instability and crippled economies.

Tulipmania of 1637 (Netherlands) – Speculative frenzy in tulip bulbs ruined thousands when the bubble burst.

South Sea Bubble of 1720 (Great Britain) – Collapse of inflated shares in the South Sea Company ruined investors; value depended on individuals willing to pay ever higher prices for shares, not company- generated profit.

Mississippi Bubble of 1720 (France) – Financial crisis and paper money scheme perpetrated by John Law based on exaggerated wealth and trade opportunities in Louisiana. French economy collapsed when the bubble burst.

Crisis of 1772 (Great Britain) – Triggered by collapse of a major London banking house.

Continental Currency Failure of 1779 (United States) – America’s first currency collapsed, George Washington complained that a “wagon load of money will scarcely purchase a wagon load of goods”, Spanish silver dollar cost 1.25 Continentals in 1777 and 500 Continentals in 1781.

Fiat money inflation of 1789 (France) – Over-issuance of paper money plunged nation into decade-long inflationary crisis leading ultimately to the French Revolution.

Panic of 1792 (United States) – Brought on by credit expansion of newly formed Bank of the United States and rampant speculation by prominent bankers.

Panic of 1796 (United States, Great Britain) – Precipitated by collapse of inflated land prices.

Debt panic of 1813 (Denmark) – Early sovereign default created internal financial crisis.

Panic of 1819 (United States) – End to first American boom-bust economic cycle fueled by unrestrained issuance of paper money through the Second Bank of the United States, encouraged speculation resulting in financial disaster.

Panic of 1825 (Great Britain) – Stock market crashed due to widespread failure of British banks, near collapse of the Bank of England.

Panic of 1837 (United States)– Deflationary breakdown in the United States caused 25% unemployment rate, bank collapses, business failures.

Panic of 1847 (Great Britain) – Financial markets collapsed following 1840s railroad boom with similar effects to the Panic of 1837, specie standard reinstituted as a result.

Panic of 1857 (Global) – First pervasive international economic breakdown. New York financial sector did not recover until after the Civil War Panic of 1866.

Panic of 1873 (United States, Europe) – So-called “Long Depression” lasting twenty years started with financial failures in Vienna and spread to rest of Europe and finally the U.S., resulting in widespread bank failures and railroad bankruptcies.

Panic of 1884 (United States) – Caused by tight credit following depletion of gold reserves in Europe and failure of two New York City banks with ripple effect to other banks.

Panic of 1890 (Great Britain) – Crisis triggered when Barings Bank nearly went bankrupt due to poor investments in Argentina. Bank of France bailed out British central bank.

Panic of 1893 (United States) – Gilded Age collapse and stock market collapse similar to 1873 triggered by shaky railroad investments and a coup in Argentina, also caused a run on gold at the U.S. Treasury.

Panic of 1896 (United States) – Commodity price deflation and a drop in U.S. silver reserves caused stock market collapse and minor economic depression.

Panic of 1901 (United States) – First crash on the New York Stock Exchange precipitated once again by speculation in railroad stocks.

Panic of 1907 (United States) – Major banking panic, run on deposits, stock market collapse (many feel that this panic led ultimately to the creation of the Federal Reserve System). JP Morgan organized bank bailout to keep financial failure contained.

Panic of 1910–1911 – The after-effects of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, the break-up of Standard Oil caused slight depression.

Nightmare Hyperinflation of 1923 (Germany) – Inflation rate hit 3,250,000% per month at its peak, many blamed World War I reparations as the cause of the money printing binge that brought on the crisis. (Note: Similar hyperinflationary crises, though not as severe, occurred during the 1920s in Hungary, Poland, Austria and the Soviet Union.)

Wall Street Crash of 1929 (United States, Global) – The most devastating stock market crash in U.S. history launched the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Nightmare HyperInflation of 1944 (Greece) – Started with the German occupation and reached its peak after liberation. Citizens refused to accept the Drachma in commerce, the country became impoverished.

Nightmare Hyperinflation of 1946 (Hungary) – Worst inflation ever recorded, prices doubled every fifteen hours wiping out savings.

Stagflation Crisis of  1973 (United States, Global) – Global double-digit inflation rates and high unemployment caused by decoupling gold from the dollar and two associated dollar devaluations (1971, 1973).

Debt Crisis of 1982 (Latin America) – Excessive external debt triggered most serious capital crisis in Latin American history,  currency devaluations and  sovereign debt defaults.

Stock market crash of 1987 (Global) – Began in Hong Kong, spread to Europe and then the United States, the largest one-day percentage decline in history of Dow Jones Industrial Average (called Black Monday).

S&L crisis of 1989-1991 (United States) – Nearly one-fourth of U.S. savings and loan associations failed as the result of bad real estate loans and brought on a mirror real estate crash and disinflationary economic environment.

Asset bubble of 1990 (Japan) – Stock and real estate prices crashed launching Japan’s Lost Decade, deflationary/disinflationary crisis largely confined to Japan.

Scandinavian banking crisis of 1990 (Sweden, Finland) –  Currency and financial institution breakdown, real estate bust.

Pound sterling crisis of 1992–93 (Great Britain) – Speculative attack on British pound forced UK’s withdrawal from European Exchange Rate Mechanism and caused recession.

“Tequila Crisis” of 1994 (Mexico) – Sudden devaluation of peso touched off high inflation,  asset destruction, bank runs and  controversial bailout by the United States government.

Financial Crisis of 1997 (Asia) – Financial contagion affected several Asian nations, including stock market collapses, high inflation and unemployment, real estate busts and a general financial panic.

Monetary Crisis of 1998 (Russia) – Russia devalues ruble, defaults on its debts with knock-on effects globally, including an 11.5% drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average in three trading sessions and the collapse of Long Term Capital Management.

Economic collapse of 1999 (Argentina) – Government defaults on sovereign debts causing bank runs, riots, capital flight. Overnight, the government freezes all bank accounts for 12 months. The economy grinds to a virtual halt.

Dot-com bubble bust of 2001 (United States) – Internet stock speculative frenzy ended in general stock market collapse and malaise that lasted for over a decade. Helped launch gold’s secular bull market.

Bank crisis of 2008 (Iceland) –  Banks’ collapse caused depositor run, sharp drop in value of Icelandic kronor.

Nightmare Hyperinflation of 2008 (Zimbabwe) – The worst 21st century hyperinflation thus far, a 79.6 billion per cent annual inflation rate at its peak in 2008.

Financial Crisis of 2008 (United States, Global) – Near collapse of global financial system caused extensive, widespread government bailouts and strong international safe-haven gold demand among private investors, institutions and central banks.

Sovereign debt crisis of 2010 (European Union) – Began in Greece and spread through most of Europe. Ongoing crisis precipitated fear among global investors about stability of Europe’s banking system and the euro currency bloc.

– Michael J. Kosares


BlackSwansYellowGold Series
Gold as a deflation hedge
Gold as a disinflation hedge
Gold as a stagflation hedge
Gold as hyperinflation hedge
Gold as the portfolio choice for all seasons
A chronology of panics, mania, crashes and collapses


Image of Client Portal graphic Ready to invest? Want more information? Start Here

A word on USAGOLD – USAGOLD ranks among the most reputable gold companies in the United States. Founded in the 1970s and still family-owned, it is one of the oldest and most respected names in the gold industry. USAGOLD has always attracted a certain type of investor – one looking for a high degree of reliability and market insight coupled with a professional client (rather than customer) approach to precious metals ownership. We are large enough to provide the advantages of scale, but not so large that we do not have time for you. (We invite your visit to the Better Business Bureau website to review our five-star, zero-complaint record. The report includes a large number of verified customer reviews.)


Image of USAGOLD Coins and bullion since 1973, gold and silver coins, great prices, quick delivery, all the time

ORDER DESK
1-800-869-5115 Ext#100
orderdesk@usagold.com


Disclaimer – Opinions expressed on the USAGOLD.com website do not constitute an offer to buy or sell, or the solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any precious metals product, nor should they be viewed in any way as investment advice or advice to buy, sell or hold. USAGOLD, Inc. recommends the purchase of physical precious metals for asset preservation purposes, not speculation. Utilization of these opinions for speculative purposes is neither suggested nor advised. Commentary is strictly for educational purposes, and as such USAGOLD does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy, timeliness or completeness of the information found here.


Michael J. Kosares is the founder of USAGOLD and the author of The ABCs of Gold Investing – How to Protect and Build Your Wealth With Gold [Third Edition]. He is also editor and commentator for USAGOLD’s Live Daily Newsletter and editor of the News & Views monthly newsletter.

Posted in Reference |

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