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The Surge in Gold Prices

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Gold prices have more than quadrupled since July 1978, in contrast to the substantial stability they have exhibited for over a century. The price of gold was $20.67 per ounce during most of the period from 1834 to 1933; in 1934 it was raised to $35.00 per ounce." The price remained at $35.00 until 1968, when the governments of the United States and several other nations terminated their efforts to peg the price. Gold prices then rose slowly, first reaching $100 in May 1973 and $200 in July 1978. Since then the price rise has accelerated, reaching $300 in July 1979, $400 in October 1979, $500 in December 1979, and $800 in January 1980. On January 18, 1980, gold sold in the London market for $835 per ounce.

Gold prices have more than quadrupled since July 1978, in contrast to the substantial stability they have exhibited for over a century. The price of gold was $20.67 per ounce during most of the period from 1834 to 1933; in 1934 it was raised to $35.00 per ounce." The price remained at $35.00 until 1968, when the governments of the United States and several other nations terminated their efforts to peg the price. Gold prices then rose slowly, first reaching $100 in May 1973 and $200 in July 1978. Since then the price rise has accelerated, reaching $300 in July 1979, $400 in October 1979, $500 in December 1979, and $800 in January 1980. On January 18, 1980, gold sold in the London market for $835 per ounce.


Suggested citation: Anderson, Gerald, 1980. “The Surge in Gold Prices,” Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Commentary, 01.28.1980.

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