The history of gold trading

There are major gold rushes that happened in the 19th century. In California, in early 1848, a carpenter from New Jersey picked up some gold nuggets at a place known as Sutter’s Mill near the Sacramento River. This area was besieged by thousands of miners hoping to strike it lucky on the gold fields. That went on for a couple of years until the next big gold rush happened all the way in 1951 Australia. Australian miners struck gold in the Ballarat and Bendigo region of Victoria. The gold mined in Australia was significantly different from the gold found in California. It was common to find gigantic nuggets in Australia whilst Californian gold was more like fine grains or a gold dust. People are still finding gold nuggets in Australia. If you do stumble upon a gold nugget you can make a lot of money by finding someone to sell gold nuggets Melbourne.

Canada had its own gold rush in the 1896 when gold was discovered along the Klondike River and the Yukon. This gold rush was short lived. By 1899, the gold fever had subsided and many people had moved on to try their luck elsewhere.

The biggest gold rush arguably has to be the South African Gold Rush in 1886. This happened at the time when diamond digging was at its height. A diamond digger from Kimberley named George Harrison is accredited with making the first gold find in the Witwatersrand district. However, mining in South Africa was different. The gold lay deep within the ground. It isn’t gold that you might stumble upon. A lot of capital investments would be made over the years to create machinery and equipment that would extract this metal safely and efficiently. Unlike the Australian and North American gold fields, the gold bearing reefs of the Witwatersrand seemed to have an infinite amount of gold. Gold mining operations continued throughout the years, more gold reefs were discovered and mining operations expanded.

South Africa was for many years the largest gold producer until 2006. Now countries like China, Russia united States and Peru have eclipsed South Africa in their production figures.

The United States Congress introduced a gold standard in 1792 and this would change the modern history of gold. The government passed an act that established a fixed price of gold in U.S dollar terms. Gold coins became legal tender in the United states. The U S. was required to buy and sell gold at a rate of 15 parts silver to one part gold. Silver denominations were used for small denominations whilst gold was used for larger denominations. This meant that the price of gold rarely went beyond 15.5 to 1 this would change after the Civil War, when the U.S. government could no longer pay its debts off using silver or gold. This is when paper money was introduced as the official Fiat currency of the United States.

World War I and II created havoc in the world financial markets and the gold standard in particular. After the decades of conflict and the Great Depression world leaders came together under what would be known as the Bretton Woods Agreements where a system of fixing the price of gold to the U.S dollar was created. At the time, the U.S was the strongest country to emerge out of World War II and pegging the value of gold to the U.S dollar would end up making the U.S economic superpower . The price of gold was fixed at $35 an ounce in 1944. The gold standard would later collapse after the Vietnam war. In 1971, President Nixon decided to end the Bretton Woods System. Gold charts from the 70’s show a flat price, but skyrocketed to $800 in 1980.

Countries stopped using gold standards as of 2014. There is no currency that is backed by gold. The last country whose currency was pegged to a gold standard was Switzerland. This does not mean that counties sold all their gold or that they stopped acquiring more gold. Most countries store their gold and get more in order to guard against future economic emergencies. America’s famous gold reserves are held at Fort Knox. Exactly how much gold is in there, no one really knows.  We do know that Russia has been the largest buyer of gold in recent time. They managed to increase their gold by 224 tonnes since 2017. Some countries are selling instead of buying, mostly to help pay off massive debt. The ideal situation is not to sell gold reserves, but to keep them as a safe-haven asset.

What does the future hold for gold?

The great thing about gold is that it can be a safe haven asset for individuals as much as it is for governments. You can spend money on gold items that you use when you need to and store when you don’t need to like jewellery. You can sell this gold when you need cash.

The price of gold has gone through some interesting upheavals. In August 1999 the price of gold dropped to $251.70. When the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003, gold was viewed as a safe haven and its price rose. In 2011, gold prices hit the dizzying height of $1,900 an ounce. In recent years, the price has hovered around $1,200 and $1,400.  Although, accurately predicting the future price of gold can be hard, most experts agree that it is most likely to continue climbing gradually over the next couple of years. Will it ever get to $2000? Will it fall below the thousand dollar mark again? No one really knows. If you have gold nuggets and you need cash then there is no point holding on to your gold in the hope of some future increase in the price. This could ultimately be the best time to sell gold nuggets Melbourne for cash.

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