Gold bar of 1 kg
Until mid 1971 gold played a crucial role in the international financial system. The value of the currency was directly or indirectly expressed in gold and the central bankers determined the price of the gold. The price of gold was very stable for decades. The American president Richard Nixon put an end to this on August 15, 1971, his measure is still known as the Nixon shock. After the Nixon shock, the price of gold is a matter of supply and demand. On the international commodity markets, the price of gold is expressed in American dollars per troy ounce, which is just over 31.1 grams. In 1980 the price of gold reached a record of 887 dollars per troy ounce. In 2011 the price of gold reached a new nominal record of $1900 per troy ounce, corrected for inflation this was still slightly lower than the old record.

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Since the 1980 summit, gold has been in a so-called bear market. After the high inflation of the late seventies and early eighties, the price of gold rose to a record high of US$887 per ounce. After this, the price of gold dropped to a low of US$254 per ounce in 2001, before starting an unprecedented climb. This climb is due to the fact that worldwide it became clear to the large investors and economists that the United States was engaging in deep debt and financed it through its own currency through the Federal Reserve (FED). The euro crisis has reinforced the recourse. This shows that there is a resort to physical gold. Investment gold is supplied in coins, such as the Kruger ring, or in bar form. Nowadays it is also possible to invest in Gold exchange-traded funds (GETF).

The material adjective of gold is golden. The older guilder is sometimes also heard. If something is covered with a layer of gold or gold paint, it is called gilding. The word gold has gained its place in language as “valuable” and / or “durable”, or is otherwise used figuratively, for example:

A golden wedding stands for a 50-year anniversary of marriage.
A golden jubilee stands for a 50th anniversary
The gold medal symbolizes the first place
The gold record, for popular music albums
The Golden Age
The golden section
The Golden Fleece
The currency guilder, originally a gold coin.
Cone gold, cat gold, gold micaceous gold
The word ‘tinsel’ means something that one wants to pass off as gold or something of value, but in fact it is not. An example of this is the mineral pyrite (cf. English: fool’s gold, German: narrengold), which was loved by pseudoal chemists and quacks because of its golden appearance. Cat gold is also fake gold – cats are known to be fake – only this refers to yellow mica or, regionally, to yellow resin. Yellow mica is also known as gold mica.

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The term gold in biological names
The word gold is also used in biology to give animals and plants a name. The name ‘golden’ can refer to a yellow colour as well as to a golden sheen, often the Latin aurata is used. Examples are the rain of gold (Laburnum anagyroides) and the golden poison dart frog (Dendrobates auratus), because of their yellow colours, and the golden beetle (Cetonia aurata), because of its metallic sheen.

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Silver was already used for decorations and as a means of payment before the beginning of our era. Excavations show that as early as 4000-3500 B.C. silver was separated from lead on islands in the Aegean Sea and Anatolia. Often silver was associated with the moon, the sea and various gods. In alchemy the symbol of a crescent moon was used for silver and alchemists called it Luna. The metal mercury was thought to be a kind of silver. In some languages this is still apparent from the name that mercury has such as quicksilver in English or mercury (with the meaning living silver) in somewhat older Dutch. Much later it turned out to be two completely different elements.

The name silver leads to the Old High German silbar of the Germanic root *seluƀra-. It is suspected that this is a loan word that originates from Asia Minor or even further away. In Latin silver is called argentum, to which silver owes the symbol Ag.

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