Cash For Gold: Historical Prices


Cash price for gold is not at an all time high but is still very high compared to most of history.

Selling gold jewelry today is a good idea because of most jewelry does not use a lot of gold, and prices are so high.

Like most people, every morning I read the news. I take a look at the headline articles discussing current political happenings (or just politician's statements), check the progress of Denver and Kansas City teams, the weather, and more. Additionally, I see what is happening with the gold market.

First, I should admit that I know more about the diamond market than the gold market. I have written a few articles on the polished diamond market to be specific. However, the gold market is much more confusing and involves many more players. The volatility and volume are both much higher. For polished diamonds, jewelry is the market and drives demand. Gold has more uses than jewelry including minted as coins and bars and stored as gold bullion for investment purposes.

This investment use in gold creates a large market and need for information on gold prices. The picture shows historical gold prices dating back to the late 1700s. The red line shows the changes in cash for gold price. The years corresponding to each gold price are listed on the bottom.

Historical breakdown

For most of our history, the price has been flat largely due to regulations from the government. Interestingly enough, the data shows a bump in 1864 possible due to the Civil War ending and a hoax from newspapers. Around 1972, the price shoots up. Gold prices begin fluctuating more. The government moved away from backing our currency with gold (known as the gold standard).

My dad’s experience is interesting here. My dad began working in the early 1960s, but he really came of age in the 1970s. His line is that “Gold Prices have been $400 for my most of career; they are really high now” is really true. 1970s gold prices were much lower than today. Interestingly enough, jewelry had more gold. Think about the heavy gold chains that were so popular back then, but we have no hope of selling today to ladies who all want minimal amount of gold.

In 2004, gold prices shot up. The multi-year rise meant that jewelry became more expensive, and prices were ever changing. Cash price for gold has eased in the past few years but is still much higher than the long term average.

Important notes for consumers

Gold prices change but are still very high, but that should not factor too much in your decision to sell. These prices at listed in per ounce. Most jewelry uses less than a tenth of an ounce; you can input the weight of your jewelry and gold value calculator. Prices need to change significantly to really change how much you will receive.

written by Joseph Dolginow

September of 2018


gold, value