The Physics
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Price of Gold

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CNN Money Commodities. 6 June 2005. Gold (CMX) (US per troy oz.) 6/6 Settle- $425.80 $13.69/g
"Gold". Microsoft Encarta. 2004. CD-ROM. "After subsequent sharp decreases, prices rose to a high of $850 in January 1980… in early 90s settled at around $370/oz." $11.89/g
World Gold Council Values. 30 May 2005. [Graph. Note: mass is in Troy oz.] $13.43/g
Darby, Michael R. The International Transmission of Inflation. University of Chicago P. 1984. 14. "In 1944, the US Gold Price was fixed at $35/oz." $1.13/g
Dollar Down, Gold Up in Europe. Forbes. 2 June 2005. Gold traded in London at $417.20/oz.
Gold traded in Zurich at $417.00/oz.
Gold traded in Hong Kong at $417.55/oz.

Gold was one of the first precious metals discovered by man. It was first used in ancient Middle Eastern civilizations. Gold is very popular because of its nature- gold is very ductile and malleable. It doesn't corrode or tarnish. It is unaffected by air, heat, moisture, and most solvents. Since gold was rare, different cultures began using it as currency and as a basis for international monetary transactions.

The symbol on the periodic table of elements for gold is Au, and in Latin gold is called aurum or "shining dawn." Its boiling point is 3129 K and its density is 192 grams per cubic centimeter. Most gold is used for jewelry, and some is used for currency. The rest is used as gold leaf, for gilding and lettering; or for electrical connectors and printed circuit boards. Radioisotopes of gold are used for biological research in the treatment of cancer.

The current gold spot price, as of June 6 2005, is $417.70 per troy ounce in the United States. To understand how much it is worth in grams, you can divide by 31.1035. That would mean the current gold spot price, per gram, is approximately $13.

The price of gold is standard around the world in different markets. However, there may be slight variations- no more than one dollar. In London, the current price is $13.41/g. In Zurich, the price is $13.40/g, and in Hong Kong the price is $13.42/g.

In 1792, Congress adopted a bi-metallic currency to serve as the nation's monetary exchange. It was valued at $0.62/g. In 1834, the price of gold was raised to $0.66/g, following a depression. It remained this price for about one hundred years, until the next depression struck- Franklin Delano Roosevelt devalued the dollar by raising the price of gold to $1.13/g. In 1971, leaders from the ten most industrialized nations met to raise the price to $1.22/g, to benefit the economic conditions of their countries. On December 31, 1974, the US federal government revoked a 41-year prohibition on the private possession of gold. Around that time gold was traded at record highs meeting $6.43/g. After acute decreases, prices rose to a high of $27.33 in January 1980. They then sank appreciably and in the early 1990s settled at about $11.89/g.

Eugene Kondratov -- 2005