Latest Gold Spot Prices
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This page allows our visitors to see the latest 30 day spot prices for gold in GBP. For more information on the history of gold prices and demand, read our article underneath the graph.
30 Day Gold Spot Prices:
History of the Price of Gold for the Last 50 Years
Gold is prized and sought after is every corner of the world. Historically gold has been used as a measure of a country’s wealth. There is evidence of use of gold as a decorative, sacred and ornamental instrument as far back as the 5th millennium B.C by Sumerians in Mesopotamia and Egyptians. King Croesus, ancient Lydian ruler, is believed to be the first person to issue gold coins on a large scale in 560-546 B.C. Eventually gold coins became a standard of exchange for global commerce.
Price of Gold Before 1970s
Gold has played a vital role in global economy. Bank of England, which was established in 1694, was the first centralized bank to have reserves of gold. In 1717, the master of the UK Mint Sir Isaac Newton set gold price at one guinea for 8.38g crown gold (22 carat), which was to last for two centuries. This put Britain was on gold standard until 1931. The US adopted gold standard officially in 1900 with the passage of the Gold Standard Act.
The foundation of post world war economic system was laid by Bretton Woods agreement in 1944. During this period the conversion rate for one troy ounce gold was set at US$ 35. The central banks of six European countries, the UK and the US formed the London Gold Pool in 1961, which collapsed in 1968. After the collapse, these countries could not maintain gold price at $35 per ounce. This was the first time when gold price started to float freely.
Gold Bull Market from 1970-1980
The price of gold went up from US$ 35 per ounce at the beginning of 1970s to US$870 by the end of the decade. With the collapse of the post-war Bretton Woods agreement, gold could now be freely traded nationally as well as internationally. High inflation rates, high unemployment rates and low growth rates characterized the US and many European economies during 1970s. Currency values fell further with the expansion of the supply of money and rise in national debts. These conditions resulted in investors taking more interest in material assets, especially gold.
A number of important events supported gold bull market during 1970s. The effects of oil embargo declared by OPEC members between October 1973 and March 1974 included skyrocketing oil prices and rise in gold prices. Private possession of gold was allowed in 1974 and the Commodity Exchange at New York began trading in gold futures in 1975, which further increased gold rates. The Vietnam War, Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan and Iranian revolution also caused rise in gold prices during the second half of 1970s.
Gold Bear Market during 1980s and 1990s
After a price rise of almost 2,500% during 1970s, the gold rates followed a completely different trend for the next two decades. The price of gold stood at US$677 per ounce in 1980, which decreased to US$409 by 1990 and was further down to US$283 by 2000. This indicates a decrease of almost 60%.
Some major events that resulted in bear gold market during 1980s and 1990s include the discovery of new gold deposits in Australia and North America in 1982, the merger of New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) and Commodity Exchange under NYMEX and the establishment of domestic gold market in Russia in 1994 and the Central Bank Gold Agreement signed by 15 Central European banks in 1999.
The Existing Gold Bull Market
The 21st century has witnessed almost continuous rise in gold prices from US$265 per ounce in 2001 to over US$1400 in 2010. This indicates a rise of 528%. Steady economic growth in China and India has resulted in increased demand for gold jewellery. Rise in the US national debt and the nationalization of the biggest US insurers and mortgage lenders because of 2008 financial crises has also led to increase in demand for gold. In March 2011, gold prices reached an all time high of US$1440 per ounce at New York.