Total reserves (includes gold, current US$)

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This is partly down to its ability to retain its value over time, along with its status as a relatively safe asset that can act as a hedge against unstable circumstances and uncertain financial conditions. ETFs - While exchange traded funds are generally intended to mirror the gold price rather than influence it, many large ETFs hold a significant amount of physical gold.

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APMEX’s Gold price chart shows real-time data for Gold prices today and the historical price of Gold per lurkstatic.ml prices may be viewed for any date within the last 30 years in the interactive chart below.

For thousands of years, human beings have placed a high premium on gold. Coveted for its malleability, its relative scarcity and its vibrant color, this precious metal has long been a widely treasured asset. Along with its enduring popularity as a crucial jewelry-manufacturing component, gold has always been used as a monetary instrument. More recently, from the late nineteenth century up until the outbreak of World War I, many countries across the globe anchored the value of their currencies to a specific amount of gold.

This only ended in , when the US opted to stop aligning its dollar with the gold price. While the precious metal no longer functions as an official currency, the gold price remains a highly influential element in financial markets and world economies.

Given the importance of the gold price to the global marketplace, it pays to understand the factors that determine its value: Stability - As the bedrock financial instrument underlying global currencies, gold is considered a fairly secure asset.

Its price tends to rise in times of turmoil, as governments and investors turn to it as a hedge against uncertainty. Inversely, gold prices usually drop in stable times, as riskier yet potentially more profitable avenues of investment become more viable.

Supply and demand - As with most assets on the open market, an excess of demand for gold normally for jewelry-making, or manufacturing certain medical, industrial and technological products drives up the gold price assuming supply is constant.

On the other hand, a weakening of demand often has the opposite effect on its value, sending the price lower assuming supply is constant. When the value of the US dollar increases, gold becomes more expensive for other nations to purchase. Additionally, when the dollar starts to lose its value, investors look to gold as a safe-haven alternative and this helps to push its price up.

As a result, these banks wield immense pricing power in global gold markets. If the banks suddenly increased or reduced their gold exposure at once, even slightly, this would have a magnified effect on the gold price. Central banks therefore rely on a joint though unofficial commitment to refrain from unilaterally engaging in large-scale gold sales that could destabilize global markets.

ETFs - While exchange traded funds are generally intended to mirror the gold price rather than influence it, many large ETFs hold a significant amount of physical gold. Therefore, the inflows and outflows from such ETFs can affect the metal's price, by altering the physical supply and demand in the market. This is partly down to its ability to retain its value over time, along with its status as a relatively safe asset that can act as a hedge against unstable circumstances and uncertain financial conditions.

Gold forecasts can act as an indicator for other markets. Find out the fundamentals that look likely to drive future price action.

The gold-silver ratio is a useful tool for traders of the two precious metals. We share two strategies on how to trade knowing this ratio.

What are the top gold trading strategies and tips traders use? Learn how to trade gold from the experts and the differences between trading gold and trading forex. The recent bounce in the price of gold from its one-week low looks to have played out with the fundamental background suggesting a lower price in the short-term.

But don't just read our analysis - put it to the rest. Your forecast comes with a free demo account from our provider, IG, so you can try out trading with zero risk. Many of the bills would make it possible for residents to exchange the physical coins for goods and services, so you could use coins to buy anything from groceries to a car as long as the store chooses to accept them.

However, most people aren't going to walk around with such valuable coins in their pockets, said Vieira. Plus, calculating the value of the coins -- especially if they come from different parts of the globe and are of different sizes and shapes -- will get tricky. It's more likely that the states will create electronic depositories and accounts for the coins to make transactions easier, when and if the initial bills are passed, he said.

When customers swipe their debit cards to make transactions, physical gold and silver coins would be transferred between accounts in privately-owned depositories or vaults based on the market value of the metals. Before deciding on a specific form of currency, some states -- including Minnesota, Tennessee, Virginia and North Carolina -- are considering proposals that would first require a committee to review their alternative currency plan.

The future of U. The states' proposals have been gaining steam among Tea Partyers and Republicans, many of whom also endorse a nationwide return to the gold standard, which would require the U.

Tea Party "father" Ron Paul is sponsoring the "Free Competition in Currency Act," which would allow states to introduce their own currencies, and rival Newt Gingrich is calling for a commission to look at how the country can get back to the gold standard. But it will be the individual states that could really get the ball rolling, said Vieira.

Even if several of the current proposals get killed, the introduction of so many bills at the state level is drawing national attention to the issue, he said. Of all the state proposals circulating right now, Republican-controlled states including South Carolina, Georgia, Idaho and Indiana have the best chance of passing their proposed bills this year, said American Principles Project's Danker.

If just one or two states implement an alternative currency, it could have a Domino effect, he said. There are, of course, many people who think the recent push for alternative state currencies should be stopped in its tracks. David Parsley, a professor of economics and finance at Vanderbilt University, said he thinks state-issued currencies are a "terrible" idea.

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