Gold has been one of the most important metals in all of human history. As far back as the ancient Egyptians, gold bars were used as a store of wealth for the middle class and nobility, and many currencies, including the Roman Denarii and other ancient currencies, were made using precious metals like gold. More recently, gold was used by the United States as early as the 19th century as a way to back the dollar. In fact, the gold-backed US dollar was the centerpiece of the global economic system after the end of World War Two.
The trust that the global economic system had after World War Two cannot be overstated. Essentially every nation in the world agreed to use currency that the United States, a country that until that point was a relatively young and untested global power, created. Perhaps the single most important element in that decision by the international community was the guarantee by the United States that each dollar could be traded for a set amount of gold by anyone visiting the US treasury. This in effect meant that the pieces of paper in your wallet were, quite literally, as good as gold.
Gold prices over the last 40 years:
The gold backing of the US dollar would not last forever, and by the 1970s, presidential and legislative actions effectively rendered the gold backing of the US dollar over. As a result, the dollar lost a significant amount of its value, and gold prices shot up dramatically, from under $100 to just over $500 by the end of the 1970s. Back then, many believed that the hyperbolic price increase of gold would continue, and many investors purchased gold at what would become the long term peak of gold prices. Until the end of the century, gold prices remained stable in the $400 to $500 range. Although no one was getting rich off of gold, it was still an effective way to store your money in a stable commodity.
All of this changed with the economic insecurities of the 9/11 terrorist attack and the dot com bubble burst. For nearly a decade, global economic fears and a “loose monetary policy” by the United States Federal Reserve (essentially creating easy money and credit to soften the effects of a weak economy, coming at the cost of a devalued dollar) led to a dramatic increase in the price of gold. From the year 2000 until the year 2010, gold saw a significant price increase every year, fueled by speculators and investors jumping on the wagon and legitimate news of terrorist attacks, wars, inflationary monetary policies, financial collapse, and huge federal budget deficits (ostensibly funded by inflating the currency).
The end result of this decade of price increases in gold was a global price nearing $2000 per ounce. Although gold never did break through the $2000 range, it did get very close. And again, just like in the late 1970s, investors and speculators wondered if this was the beginning of an exponential price increase or the medium to long-term peak for gold prices. So far, the data has shown that the price run of gold has ended for the foreseeable future. Prices have rapidly decreased back to the $1200 to $1300 per ounce range. While this number still offers a healthy long-term trend line for gold, and has put all but the last investors in gold in the green, it does appear that the profit potential for gold as an investment has ended for now.
Why now is the best time to sell your gold
Arguably, the best time to sell your gold was a year or two ago, when the price was at all time record highs. However, no investor can really see the future, and so any gold that you haven’t sold already must be sold in today’s market realities. There are a number of factors that make selling your gold now a good proposition. Most likely, the gold you have was obtained when the price was far below the current price. Any gold jewelry from family or relatives is likely to be 5 or 10 years old, if not older. This means that selling your gold now will net you a considerable profit. In addition, the economic instabilities and fears that helped drive the historical price increase in gold from 2000 to 2010 appears to be largely over. Although the economic is certainly still weak and recovering slowly, the general consensus is that the worst of it is over. While it may take the United States another 5 or 10 years to fully recover and get back on track economically, it appears as though the dramatic measures taken in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis will not be needed again.
The key to selling your gold is to be a smart and educated member of the gold market. There unfortunately are a number of gold dealers that will take advantage of a seller’s ignorance and vastly underpay for their gold. Finding a reputable gold dealer, such as Raymond Lee Jewelers, is one surefire way to get the full value of your gold.
Uses for the money you make from selling your gold
There are a number of great ways to use the money you get from selling your gold. One popular choice is to take the cash and invest in the stock market. With the stock market recently hitting all time highs, it appears to many that now is the time to invest in what might be a major bull run in the stock market.
If the stock market isn’t for you, there are a number of more practical ways to spend your gold proceeds. Paying off debt and investing in household repairs and improvements can pay off significantly in the long term. Paying off interest-bearing debt will cause you to pay significantly less than you otherwise would have if you had continued to simply make your monthly payments. Household repairs and improvements can add to the selling price of your house when the time comes to eventually sell it. Plus, you will get to enjoy the benefits of those repairs and improvements in the meantime!
Another option is to take the money you’ve made from selling your gold and starting or investing in a new small business. There are countless people across the country that have always dreamed of starting their own business, but it usually comes down to a lack of funds. In the current credit market, it can be even more difficult to obtain financing for a small business. By taking pieces of gold that were sitting around the house and converting them into startup capital, you can fulfill your dream of becoming an entrepreneur!
Whatever you choose to do with your gold, remember to be a smart member of the market. There are plenty of uneducated individuals that will get screwed over by dishonest dealers and through foolish decisions. Make sure you have the information you need to sell your gold intelligently, and make absolutely sure to work with a reputable gold buyer. By doing so, you could be adding potentially thousands of dollars to the cash value of your gold.