28 March

The Eternal value of gold

How much will an ounce of gold buy you? In the time of Jesus, it would buy a Roman citizen his toga (outfit), a leather belt and a pair of sandals. Today, the same amount of gold will buy a good suit, a leather belt and a decent pair of shoes. It just goes to show how this precious metal’s buying power has endured through time.

Gold, more than any other precious metal, has a special place in our history and our world today. It has adorned the Pharaohs of ancient Egypt to rulers and royalty. It is still the most sought after piece of jewellery to be seen on both a bride and groom’s wedding finger.

Even before gold was turned into money, it held high value and was considered a desirable commodity. It was used decoratively and the rich owned artefacts made out of the precious metal. It has always been symbolic of wealth.

Gold’s beauty, rarity, unique density (it is the heaviest metal next to platinum) and the easy way it could be melted and measured made it ideal for trading purposes. It was easily portable, could be carried in a pocket or bag and hidden from the naked eye, plus it was permanent, which is why it made sense to use it as money for trading. Almost 2,500 years ago gold coins began to replace barter arrangements and made trade much easier thereafter.

Gold has and will always contain long-term value. This has seen it become an ideal investment. It’s something safe to fall back on in times of need and has served this purpose throughout history until today.

While gold as an investment has its ups and downs in the short-term, as a long-term investment it has only ever seen an upward trend, and it remains extremely popular.  People buy it because it is a tangible asset with long-term benefits, offering eternal value to investors and collectors across the globe.

Let’s take a look at 10 reasons why gold is so valuable:

  1. It is malleable (soft) and ductile (supple and flexible) making it easy to work with.
  2. It is hard-wearing which makes it a reliable long-term investment and collectable.
  3. Gold doesn’t corrode which is why it is perfect as jewellery.
  4. It dates back to ancient times and is known to have been as valuable then as it is now.
  5. Gold appeals to both investors and collectors.
  6. Gold is used across many industries from electronics and dentistry to jewellery.
  7. As it’s a naturally occurring metal, which is often discovered during the mining of other metals such as copper, it is considered to be fairly rare.
  8. Gold is practical – it’s a great conductor of both electricity and heat as well as a strong reflector of infrared radiation.
  9. Gold has been used as a currency on a global level dating back to historical times.
  10. For most people, gold has sentimental value and it is prized for its luxury and fashion status.

Some fascinating facts about gold:

  • All the gold in the world would only fill two Olympic-sized swimming pools.
  • Gold is so rare that more steel has been poured in an hour than gold has been poured since the beginning of recorded history.
  • The Kruger Rand was the first modern gold bullion coin and has since become the default gold bullion coin for world investors. Over 60 million Krugerrands have been minted since it was first introduced in 1967.
  • The very first gold coins were created by King Croesus of Lydia in ancient Turkey in 540BC. 
  • Geologists believe gold comes from space and arrived on earth during meteorite storms over two billion years ago, and that the meteorites were formed following the collision of exotic stars.

Through it all – inflation, depreciation, currency fluctuations, global turbulence – gold has remained forever reliable and desirable. It has eternal value and, just as it was in history, to this day we continue to chase our pot of gold.