Why gold is so popular right now

The ancient Romans already treasured gold: bust of the Eastern Roman emperor Licinius I.
Image: Hubertus Hamm, Goldkammer

Even in wars or past economic crises, gold has never been as expensive as it is today. Why is precious metal so popular right now – and is it permanent?

I.n the night of Monday the gold price reached its highest level in its history. One troy ounce (31.1 grams) at times cost $ 1944.71. This exceeded the old high of $ 1921 held for many years. But not only in the American currency, also in euros, the gold price reached a new all-time high of 1660 euros per troy ounce. Other precious metals have also become more expensive. Both silver and platinum are still a long way from their record highs.

How can that be? Since ancient times, gold has been considered valuable in almost all cultures, with very few exceptions. And yet the price is now at the highest level in its history? However, the further back you look into the past, the more you have to take into account the development of the general price level and currencies. Some gold fans claim that if you look at very long-term periods and take into account the change in the price level, gold has always roughly kept its value in real terms. To do this, they read from ancient sources that in ancient Rome a rich Roman received an toga with a belt and leather sandals for an ounce of gold. Today, an ounce is worth a good $ 1900 – with a little bit of goodwill you can perhaps say that a bespoke suit plus shoes could be roughly in this price range. But of course that is very constructed.

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