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Gold: The Only Reliable Currency

Updated on September 7, 2011

Britain lost a fortune selling-off its gold reserves

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Some would have liked to see British PM, Brown, replacing Connery under the castrating laser!Gordon Brown and familiy leave office,  We imagine with no little relief.
Some would have liked to see British PM, Brown, replacing Connery under the castrating laser!
Some would have liked to see British PM, Brown, replacing Connery under the castrating laser!
Gordon Brown and familiy leave office,  We imagine with no little relief.
Gordon Brown and familiy leave office, We imagine with no little relief.

Traders Begging for your Gold

Britain's largely discredited Labour government, and its last PM, Gordon Brown, left Britain in an unholy financial mess. But far and away the most staggeringly inept act by the saturnine Brown was to sell off nearly half the country's gold reserves, beginning in May, 1999, carefully hoarded for more than 100 years. In the light of what gold sells for today - $1913.50 per ounce on August 23, 2011 - this fire sale of the country's wealth has cost the British taxpayer around 4 billion dollars in lost asset value so far.

"Goldfinger" Brown will never be forgiven for this arrogant stupidity - which he was advised against doing by bank leaders and economists all round the word . The man's chief failing was he could never listen and alienated all around him.

Gold. This rare (only 165,000 tonnes have been mined in all of human history) possesses an almost god-like aura. It has the scientific name AU, after the Latin, Aurum, Gold. It is extremely malleable and, although its ions are poisonous, it can be eaten or handled ad infinitum because it is practically inert and will not bond or be changed chemically by any process of the human body. This is why it has been used so extensively in dentistry, many preferring gold crowns to porcelain even up to this day.

Fifty percent of all gold ends up as jewellery, forty percent as investment, much of this by national banks or depositories like Fort Knox, where it acts as a guarantee for the value of printed money, (the Gold Bullion Standard). This used to be one for one in the US, but these strictures have slipped a lot in the last 50 years.

The remaining ten percent is used by industry.

Gold is the only trusted currency in times of emergency when fiat money (a nation’s legal currency) becomes devalued for one reason or another. You can see a country in trouble when institutions and individuals begin buying gold in any way possible and the price goes through the roof.

It seems every other storefront in the UK’s shopping malls have been taken over by those trying to talk us out of our gold recently. Newspapers, the internet and television are full of persuasive ads telling us how we can turn our old or unused jewellery into cash. The business is extremely competitive and most buyers only part with a fraction of the gold’s true worth, using the carat percentage or other smoke screen to foil sellers into thinking their gold is inferior and worth less. The truth is that gold is gold and the carat measurement of 9, 18, 22 or whatever, is the only yardstick for measuring worth (pure gold is 24 carat, but this is too soft to use as currency or jewellery, so the element is alloyed with other metal, such as copper, etc, to make it more durable).

Gold is one of the world’s heaviest substances, being nearly twice as heavy as lead. It is not compromised, even by most acids, although one acid, a nitric acid derivative, will combine with its ions, giving rise to the “Acid Test.” to determine the metal’s authenticity. Other substances, such as mercury, will combine with gold, as will cyanide, used in some mining processes, and combining to make one of the world’s most poisonous substances, as both the cyanide AND the gold in solution are deadly poison.

When we say we can taste something, we are really ingesting temporarily some ions of that material - metal, or whatever. But gold is bland to our taste, or any senses. Some experts say they can recognise gold by its lack or taste...careful, they might be the blokes telling you your priceless bracelet is made of brass!

Gold is so malleable it can be hammered into sheets just several microns thick. One ounce, for example, can be beaten and rolled into a sheet 300 square feet in area! This has meant gold has been used extensively for decorations throughout history.

Gold was once used as money all over the planet and only replaced fairly recently by fiat currency. Gold, however - and to a far lesser extent, silver - lurks in the wings ready to emerge as a hedge against inflation and drastic devaluation of a nation’s currency and its citizens other assets, (which is why savvy governments hang on to their gold), as it is right now in September, 2011.

Thanks, Gordon Brown... hope you are having to flog the wife’s wedding ring!


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    • cathylynn99 profile image

      cathylynn99 6 years ago from northeastern US

      where, oh, where is diogenes?

    • cathylynn99 profile image

      cathylynn99 6 years ago from northeastern US

      hope katia doesn't put your power out and keep you off hubpages.

    • cathylynn99 profile image

      cathylynn99 6 years ago from northeastern US

      to all the doom predictors above, i think we'll all be relatively okay until oil (black gold) runs out around 2050. we may be okay beyond that if technology ramps up and people quit having babies as if the world were inexhaustible.

    • cathylynn99 profile image

      cathylynn99 6 years ago from northeastern US

      a form of gold used to be used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. i think i remember the dose was limited because of toxicity to the kidneys. not sure about the latter.

      i prefer silver (as well as walks in the park), which makes me a cheap date.

    • QudsiaP1 profile image

      QudsiaP1 6 years ago

      How right you are about gold...

    • stars439 profile image

      stars439 6 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

      Interesting , and educational. I did not know it was twice as heavy as lead. I see a lot of cowboy s struggling to load it on their saddles on television. Bad news for the horses. Better off in a stage coach, train, or wagon with calvary guarding it. God Bless You.

    • BobbiRant profile image

      BobbiRant 6 years ago from New York

      I'll take a ton of this stuff, if you can manage it. :0) Well until the government tells me, 'no,no, not for you' I remember the Hunt brothers (millionaires) trying to buy up loads of it years ago, the government squelched their fun. Great hub about shiny, pretty metal we'd all love to have. Even though I have no gold.

    • 50 Caliber profile image

      50 Caliber 6 years ago from Arizona

      Bob, great article, I keep a bit of gold stashed along with silver, for the looming crash.

      I keep more booze and tobacco maybe, the tobacco in sealed mylar with 20 years of great shelf life. I figure to do a fair amount of trading goods for goods when folks become down and out.

      I hope I'm gone before it happens but have my doubts, great read for thought!, Dusty

    • diogenes profile image

      diogenes 6 years ago from UK and Mexico

      Thanks for all comments guys, I have read them and was cheered. I haven't time to reply this week, but will be back to normal Monday...Thinking of all the New Yorkers this weekend...Bob

    • profile image 6 years ago

      Will - I believe Nixon was a republican president if I am not mistaken - please don;t jump down my throat, I am not a democrat -


    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Not that long ago, gold and silver coins were the money of account in the US, and paper bills were merely bank and treasury receipts. All paper promised to pay the bearer on demand, the face value in either gold or silver. After all, it was the people's gold and silver. The banks were merely guarding it.

      Then came the Federal Reserve, and the people forgot whose gold and silver it was on deposit. They began to simply use the receipts as 'money'.

      The Federal Reserve printed up far more receipts than gold on deposit, and spent the phony money into circulation. That was called the "Roaring Twenties". Finally, the nervous Reserve began to burn all the phony receipts as they came back. The stock market, suddenly starved of cash, crashed, sending us into a deep recession. Then Franklin D. Roosevelt (of the banking Roosevelts!) was elected, and soon, the banks and the government stole the people's gold and later, in the 60's, their silver, all because they failed to pay attention and forgot it was their money!

      Now we are stuck with paper that is worth only what we believe it's worth at any given moment, and our gold and silver is gone.

      Excellent hub, Bob.

    • hafeezrm profile image

      hafeezrm 6 years ago from Pakistan

      Gold !! But how to hold: keeping in home, bank lockers or where? A government can protect. How an individual can? Apparently not a wise question? But kindly say something about an individual investor in gold. Thanks.

    • profile image

      Sophia Angelique 6 years ago

      Actually, Daho, I think HP, hard as the owners work, is done.

    • profile image 6 years ago

      Nixon did us in - and everyone siince then has done their damnedest to finish us off. . . gold or no gold

      voted up and interesting


    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 6 years ago from East Coast, United States

      I've been wondering lately, what with the high gold prices, if it is going to be the next bubble to burst. Anyway, the coolness of gold: always been precious, never thrown away, often remelted and remade. I could be wearing the gold of the Pharaohs (or a teensy bit of it)...if I wore gold.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 6 years ago from South Africa

      Based on a British Geological Survey, South Africa was the largest producer of gold in 2006, but last year it was China, then Australia and SA in the 3rd position. I’m living in the largest gold-producing region, knowing that a couple of mines were closed because there are no more gold to mine. Platinum is becoming quite popular – also as jewelry. So one ponders over the future of gold.

    • diogenes profile image

      diogenes 6 years ago from UK and Mexico

      Hi Austinstar: Bush is enjoying a renaissance here due to the tenth anniversary of 9/11. He is coming across in interviews as having the weight of the world on his shoulders and very statesman-like! ha!

      Re gold. It's mystifying how it all came about really, and it goes back before recorded history, if that's not a phrasal oxymoron...Bob

    • diogenes profile image

      diogenes 6 years ago from UK and Mexico

      I don't think that took, did it? Not here anyway. Of course, there are various interpretations and types of gold standard and I (or someone better equipped) should do a hub on it...Bob

    • Austinstar profile image

      Lela 6 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

      I like gold. It makes me smile. But neither paper or gold is worth more than what other people are willing to trade for it. People set the value of everything. Therefore we are doomed. Humans are notoriously dishonest and greedy.

      Bob, you worry about what Brown did to England, well we worry about what Bush did to the world. The man almost single handedly destroyed everything!

    • profile image

      Sophia Angelique 6 years ago

      I flabbergasted at the time everybody decided to go off the gold standard. I just couldn't see how affixing money to an 'industrial standard' wasn't going to be wobbly.

    • diogenes profile image

      diogenes 6 years ago from UK and Mexico

      Cheers Peter. You certainly know gold if anyone does! Bob

    • PETER LUMETTA profile image

      PETER LUMETTA 6 years ago from KENAI, ALAKSA

      Well you know my slant on gold, it is a magical substance and creates a feeling of comfort just holding it. It has been valued for all times in all cultures and will be more valuable in the future as the economies of the world collapse. A good HUB, Thanks, Peter