Gold: The Only Reliable Currency
Britain lost a fortune selling-off its gold reservesClick thumbnail to view full-size
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!