Gold Price

Daily Gold Price
$1,265.60
per troy oz.
Last Updated: February 19, 2017, 10:37 am
Prices updated daily.

Gold. It’s such a short and simple word, but in all history no other metal has captured the attention, imagination and excitement of people from all over the world as much as gold. For as long as humans have laid their hands on this precious metal, it’s been considered highly valuable. At first people wanted it because it was pretty compared to the other drab-colored metals. But as the years passed its many alluring properties were discovered, and that made it all the more valuable.

For thousands of years dating back to 3,100 BC, it has been used as currency. It’s very rare, so not everyone who wanted it can get it cheaply. In fact, it’s so scarce that in all of history mankind has mined only 171,000 tons of gold. In comparison, a single mining company has produced 323 million tons of Brazilian iron ore in just 2011 alone. It’s why people and governments have been chasing a comparatively small supply of this precious metal throughout history.

Gold came first before we used iron and fully utilized copper. It is the easiest metal to work with, as it is malleable and easy to melt. It occurs in a state that’s already pure and workable, unlike other metals which first need to be extracted from ore-bodies. It was used ornamentally at first, and it was highly valued because it didn’t tarnish. Its beauty led mankind to equate it with power, so this particular metal was associated with the gods and with kings and emperors. Even before it was used as currency, humans had high regard for the beauty and utility of the metal.

Below is the historical Gold price per troy oz.

YearPricePrice (Inflation Adjusted)Change
1833$20.65$931.600%
1834$20.65$1,059.480%
1835$20.65$900.610%
1836$20.65$794.610%
1837$20.65$750.480%
1838$20.65$761.060%
1839$20.65$761.060%
1840$20.65$900.560%
1841$20.65$900.560%
1842$20.65$982.290%
1843$20.65$1,059.300%
1844$20.65$1,039.040%
1845$20.65$1,000.420%
1846$20.65$931.400%
1847$20.65$931.400%
1848$20.65$1,059.260%
1849$20.65$1,000.430%
1850$20.65$1,059.220%
1851$20.65$900.390%
1852$20.65$900.390%
1853$20.65$844.090%
1854$20.65$844.090%
1855$20.65$806.350%
1856$20.65$794.430%
1857$20.65$771.820%
1858$20.65$782.940%
1859$20.65$857.640%
1860$20.65$885.710%
1861$20.65$857.670%
1862$20.65$782.970%
1863$20.65$692.650%
1864$20.65$568.730%
1865$20.65$529.640%
1866$20.65$524.550%
1867$20.65$529.640%
1868$20.65$551.240%
1869$20.65$568.700%
1870$20.65$593.640%
1871$20.65$606.990%
1872$20.66$600.500%
1873$20.66$614.190%
1874$20.66$614.190%
1875$20.66$643.740%
1876$20.66$668.200%
1877$20.66$713.350%
1878$20.66$765.070%
1879$20.65$713.010%
1880$20.66$685.590%
1881$20.66$651.760%
1882$20.66$668.270%
1883$20.66$685.610%
1884$20.66$713.440%
1885$20.66$723.200%
1886$20.65$722.850%
1887$20.65$703.570%
1888$20.66$703.910%
1889$20.65$713.060%
1890$20.66$703.900%
1891$20.68$704.580%
1892$20.68$714.080%
1893$20.68$714.080%
1894$20.66$733.180%
1895$20.65$743.160%
1896$20.71$745.320%
1897$20.71$745.320%
1898$20.71$734.950%
1899$20.66$703.830%
1900$20.68$695.260%
1901$20.71$678.430%
1902$20.69$660.860%
1903$20.67$660.220%
1904$20.68$652.380%
1905$20.64$635.430%
1906$20.62$605.620%
1907$20.66$586.560%
1908$20.67$586.840%
1909$20.68$556.200%
1910$20.64$555.130%
1911$20.64$543.650%
1912$20.65$527.610%
1913$20.64$516.820%
1914$20.72$513.680%
1915$20.72$508.600%
1916$20.72$471.360%
1917$20.72$401.500%
1918$20.72$340.250%
1919$20.70$296.620%
1920$20.68$256.340%
1921$20.58$285.030%
1922$20.66$304.730%
1923$21.32$308.903%
1924$20.69$299.77-3%
1925$20.64$292.330%
1926$20.63$289.010%
1927$20.64$294.150%
1928$20.66$299.520%
1929$20.63$299.090%
1930$20.65$306.430%
1931$17.06$278.19-21%
1932$20.69$374.4518%
1933$26.33$502.1421%
1934$34.69$641.6824%
1935$34.84$630.580%
1936$34.87$621.800%
1937$34.79$598.810%
1938$34.85$612.710%
1939$34.42$613.75-1%
1940$33.85$599.39-2%
1941$33.85$570.840%
1942$33.85$514.740%
1943$33.85$485.140%
1944$33.85$477.030%
1945$33.71$464.380%
1946$33.71$428.790%
1947$33.71$374.820%
1948$33.71$346.730%
1949$31.69$329.91-6%
1950$34.72$356.829%
1951$34.72$330.690%
1952$34.60$323.410%
1953$34.84$323.071%
1954$35.04$322.661%
1955$35.03$323.860%
1956$34.99$318.710%
1957$34.95$308.180%
1958$35.10$301.070%
1959$35.10$298.980%
1960$35.27$295.410%
1961$35.25$292.320%
1962$35.23$289.260%
1963$35.09$284.410%
1964$35.10$280.840%
1965$35.12$276.570%
1966$35.13$268.860%
1967$34.95$259.44-1%
1968$38.69$275.6210%
1969$41.09$277.466%
1970$35.94$229.60-14%
1971$40.80$249.6612%
1972$58.16$344.8530%
1973$97.32$543.3640%
1974$159.26$801.0739%
1975$161.02$742.361%
1976$124.84$544.01-29%
1977$147.71$604.3815%
1978$193.22$734.7524%
1979$306.68$1,047.8037%
1980$612.56$1,843.9450%
1981$460.03$1,255.48-33%
1982$375.67$965.39-22%
1983$424.35$1,056.6811%
1984$360.48$860.63-18%
1985$317.26$731.12-14%
1986$367.66$831.4714%
1987$446.46$974.5918%
1988$436.94$916.24-2%
1989$381.44$763.23-15%
1990$383.51$728.061%
1991$362.11$659.72-6%
1992$343.82$608.15-5%
1993$359.77$617.834%
1994$384.00$642.736%
1995$384.17$625.500%
1996$387.77$612.971%
1997$330.98$511.44-17%
1998$294.24$447.51-12%
1999$278.88$415.02-6%
2000$279.11$401.700%
2001$271.04$379.46-3%
2002$309.73$426.8012%
2003$363.38$489.4715%
2004$409.72$537.3811%
2005$444.74$564.138%
2006$603.46$741.7226%
2007$695.39$831.4413%
2008$871.96$1,004.3820%
2009$972.35$1,124.5210%
2010$1,224.53$1,393.8621%
2011$1,571.52$1,733.3722%
2012$1,668.98$1,803.006%
2013$1,411.23$1,502.02-18%
2014$1,266.40$1,326.65-11%
2015$1,160.06$1,214.04-9%
2016$1,250.74$1,279.517%
2017$1,199.47$1,199.47-4%

Price History

Gold price
Gold coins and bullion

The Incas call it “the tears of the Sun.” In his Iliad and Odyssey, Homer described it as a sign of wealth among humans, and the glory of the Immortals. But our first inkling of how the ancients valued gold precisely came from the first Egyptian dynasty dating back to 3,100 BC. Their code specified that “one part of gold is equal to two and one half parts of silver in value.”

The Greeks used a coin called a gold “talent”, which weight 26 kilos. At current prices of $40,728.57 per kilo, that’s the equivalent of $1.06 million. For the Greeks, that’s enough to pay the wages of a skilled craftsman for 270 years!

The Romans also used this precious metal as currency. But the price often fluctuated depending on current market environments. Augustus tried to set a gold standard in 30 BC, but that lasted for only a century. In 301 AD, Diocletian tried to set its value per pound to 50,000 denarii, but 3 years later the exchange rate was already 300,000 denarii per pound. By about 350 AD, the exchange rate was about 2.1 billion denarii per pound!

During the Middle Ages, it was used as currency as well. But by the time the 20th century started, governments began introducing a gold standard so that the price of the metal stabilized even during two devastating world wars. But by 1968, it became impossible to sustain.

In 1967, the price was $34.95 per ounce, and by 1974 it was $154. By 1980 it would reach a peak of more than $600 per ounce, before the price returned to the $300 level during most of the 1980s and 1990s. It dipped to below $275 per ounce in 2001, and then after that it rebounded spectacularly over the decade that followed. The price was an astronomical $1,900 per ounce in 2011. As of March 8, 2016, its price per ounce is $1,269.10.

Metal as Investment

Gold has always been considered valuable, so it has represented stability during times of economic uncertainty. In general, its prices go up when the value of the US dollar becomes weaker. That’s because when times are good and the value of the US dollar is strong, people continue to invest and trade in dollars. But investors often switch to gold when the dollar is weak. All over the world, central banks have gold reserves as a backup for their currency. It is a form of wealth protection and as a hedge against currency devaluation.

The value of the metal is also driven by the demand. And more than half of that demand is fueled by the jewelry industry. So if a nation’s citizens display a greater demand for the metal (as it’s happening now in China), the price rises. Another significant portion of the demand is for industrial and medical uses, as it is required for medical devices and precision electronics.

Investors can buy gold directly, trade in futures, participate in funds that deal with the metal, and trade in stocks of mining companies.

Purposes Used For

Gold is often used as jewelry. Because it is a very efficient conductor, it is found in almost all electronic devices including cellphones, TVs, and computers. It is also used as filling in the dental industry, and in fact it’s been used in dentistry since 700 BC. It is also widely used in the aerospace industry, and it is also commonly used as an award. A gold medal usually designates the overall winner.

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The displayed metal prices are estimates only. They are aggregated using multiple sources. Actual prices may vary based on region, supplier, or various other factors.