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Charting The Price Of Gold... All The Way Back To 1265

Tyler Durden's picture


We have often seen requests to show the price of gold going back as long as possible. Tonight we can oblige, with a gold price chart, indexed in 2010 British Pounds, going all the way back to 1265. To the surprise of many, the early 1980s gold price surge is not the only time in history when gold exploded as America's game with inflation was almost lost. It appears that based on the surge in gold back in the late 15th century, there was actually quite a serious need for Columbus to go forth and find a source of gold, because last we checked Ferdinand and Isabella did not have Bernanke's money printers back then. And yes, as Goldman says, there were no ETFs back in the 16th century to draw demand away from the real deal and into make believe exposure.

And more or less the same in (synthetic) USD terms:


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Tue, 01/10/2012 - 21:44 | 2052687 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Ain't seen nothing yet bitchez!

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 22:07 | 2052776 CIABS
CIABS's picture

who would i rely on to tell the truth about the price of gold for the last 750 years?  the bank of england and goldman sachs!  the main message of their chart is that the price of gold is on the high side right now.  buy low, sell high, right?

how are they adjusting the paper pound for inflation?  using the price of gold, maybe.  one british pound used to buy, let's see, a pound of silver.  now it takes about 310 paper pounds to buy a pound of silver.  but i'm forgetting to adjust for the price of silver there.  my bad.

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 22:28 | 2052861 masterinchancery
masterinchancery's picture

On the low side, rather.

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 22:31 | 2052873 He_Who Carried ...
He_Who Carried The Sun's picture

It'll surely take out the record again, in about 347 years. Good one, Tylers.

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 23:01 | 2052998 Manthong
Manthong's picture

Well, the gold proponents maintain that over the years an ounce of gold equates to a fine suit..

                                   of armor?


Tue, 01/10/2012 - 23:28 | 2053111 SGS
SGS's picture

last 100 years looks like a shit show.

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 23:49 | 2053207 trav7777
trav7777's picture

Britain had periodic gold/silver imbalances.  The historical ratio was an average.

Once the Sterling Bill came to be, they were able to fix the POG worldwide.

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 03:07 | 2053626 Hober Mallow
Hober Mallow's picture

The copies of gold and silver inflated, 
which after the theft were thrown into the lake, 
at the discovery that all is exhausted and dissipated by the debt. 
All scrips and bonds will be wiped out.

Century VIII

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 03:56 | 2053644 NewThor
NewThor's picture

Nostradamus spells it all out.

It's all there in his quatrains,

are you Indiana Jones enough to find it?

It's worth the search,

if you're man enough for the Quest

everyone needs to be ready for

what happens in March.

The Medusine Machine that makes the Markets

doesn't last for foreve,r moneyfuckers.

Vaya Con Dios.

Money was never time.


Wed, 01/11/2012 - 09:12 | 2053896 BigJim
BigJim's picture

"The copies of gold and silver inflated"! Whoa! Sounds like the 350:1 leveraged unallocated gold market to me.

And as for "which after the theft were thrown into the lake" - this must surely refer to all the precious-metal boating accidents we ZHer's seem particularly prone to.

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 09:23 | 2053953 BigJim
BigJim's picture

What I'd really like to see is a chart plotting Central Bank's attempts to instill confidence in their paper by talking down gold.

Or a chart plotting the amount of leverage in the unallocated market at any particular moment, depressing the spot price.

Or a plot charting the median wage of a Goldman Sachs employee producing misleading charts vs. the median wage of someone actually producing something of value.

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 03:14 | 2053633 SilverRhino
SilverRhino's picture

Tailored suit yes.  Suit of armor?  in modern times that is around 1.5 to 3 ounces of gold actually.

Before firearms became prevalent having a suit of plate armor was on par with owning a Mercedes.  (30 ounces of Au)

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 09:39 | 2053989 FurQ
FurQ's picture

nice titties

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 12:45 | 2054852 MayIMommaDogFac...
MayIMommaDogFace2theBananaPatch's picture

Those aren't Party Hats?  ^^

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 09:43 | 2054008 rrrr
rrrr's picture

A British pound was equivilant to a pound of sterling. The silver content of sterling is 92.5%.

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 23:33 | 2053137 theman
theman's picture

As alluring as this chart is, it is absolutely worthlees/misleading without complete disclosure of the underlying assumptions and math.  Pretty picture, though.

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 01:57 | 2053554 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

True. is this in inflation adjusted currency? Has to be, or it's completely without meaning.


Wed, 01/11/2012 - 05:13 | 2053713 Non Passaran
Non Passaran's picture

Why? It could be in bushels of wheat or whatever.

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 07:18 | 2053791 Surly Bear
Surly Bear's picture

Personally, I'd like to see this chart in more meaning terms such as number of ex-wives with their kids or whores per ounce for our banking friends.... Thanks, Tyler.

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 23:41 | 2053170 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture

How will the new D&D rules affect Gold?


Now, the third edition (the previous edition) was popular and the RPG hobby had a huge renaissance during it. Actually a huge bubble and then a huge crash, but for a time, the RPG industry, which is barely a rounding error even in the category of specialty games, actually was making money.

Partly fueling that bubble was an Open License. For the first time, ever, the game was packaged with an open license. Homebrewers and wannabe D&D writers could actually just publish their own stuff for D&D, and it was all perfectly legal. The Open License allowed everyone to use D&D rules in perpetuity. Freely -- no royalties owed.

The theory was that if you could essentially corner the market by doing this, by unleashing a thousand garage game designers to write for your product, and even if you were losing, hypothetically, sales dollars to these "competitors," they really weren't full competitors-- because at the end of the day they were supporting, and generating a need for, your main product, the actual rules.

That part of it worked like the dickens.

But -- there's a downside to granting, to everyone in the world, a super-generous royalty free open license "in perpetuity." When this was first dreamed up, people asked the head of the D&D company, Ryan Dancey, Doesn't this mean people can just publish all your rules under their own covers and charge for it?

Dancey said, "It sure does!" But he didn't think that would be a problem because D&D would always have better production values which result, naturally, from an operation of some scale (at least a much larger scale than a guy in his garage cranking out illustration-free copies of the rules). So the threat of some competitor for the actual rules was pretty minor.


What happened was that D&D 4th was such a departure from the well-liked (and yet super-clunky) 3rd edition rules that... someone did in fact go ahead and start publishing the rules under the Open License, but it wasn't some guy in his garage. It was a somewhat-established game company, using a lot of the same artists who illustrated the actual D&D products.

And further, the anger over D&D 4 was so great people flocked to support this competitor company, which was actually simply publishing D&D 3rd edition under a different (lame) name, Pathfinder. And I hear that Pathfinder is actually... outselling the actual D&D game it's knocking off. Or at least it's too close for comfort.

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 23:51 | 2053219 trav7777
trav7777's picture

um...some of us like discovered women

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 03:43 | 2053654 NewThor
NewThor's picture

Hey. I played dungeons and dragons when I was younger.

I've spent over 100 hours of my life playing World of Warcraft.

I'll put the quantity of quality women: beautiful, sexy, cute, funny, smart, talented, creative, 

I've spent quality time with up against any man on Zerohedge.

ANY man.

Tarantino is a fucking geek, right?

...but most important, I'm uncanny in a fist fights, bullet battles or super unsecure situations.

Did The Dark Knight make any money?

Comic books are for kids.

If religion outlawed mythology,

where would be a good place to hide it?

Paladin for life.


Wed, 01/11/2012 - 03:58 | 2053668 NewThor
NewThor's picture

What is the super power I would wish for?

The ability to heal hearts, souls and minds.

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 09:51 | 2054036 rrrr
rrrr's picture

The ability to heal hearts, souls and minds sounds appealing, but think about what is required. You can't heal these merely by waving a magic wand, that only works in comic books and cheap TV programs. Actually healing someone's mind can take intensive work for many decades. Souls take much longer. And hearts heal by themselves, in fact rather quickly. But a true ability to heal these, believe me, you'd get severe compasion fatigue in less than one month.

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 00:30 | 2053371 HoofHearted
HoofHearted's picture


Boy, you ain't from around here, are ya?

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 10:02 | 2054070 Crumbles
Crumbles's picture

Been around Zhedge longer than U, asswipe. Engage brain b4 starting fingers. Still no avatar 'cept that sack 'o shit we see. Descriptive, woot!

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 11:05 | 2054332 gmrpeabody
gmrpeabody's picture

Play nice!

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 01:39 | 2053531 lemonobrien
lemonobrien's picture

depends on the dungeon master.

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 02:19 | 2053575 dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

the Squid always strikes first

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 03:45 | 2053657 NewThor
NewThor's picture

The REAL Goldman Sachs Vampire Squid is Cthulu.


Wed, 01/11/2012 - 08:29 | 2053872 Master Pimp
Master Pimp's picture

Greetings from Greece!ZHedge kicks a$$!

Oh come on guys, the true global / intergalactic eternal currency is energy (and farmland)!!! Wht the heck are u gonna do with gold? Are you reptilians?HAHAHHAH!

Come buy real estate in Greece!

or uranium, or platinum, or some oil related securities!


Wed, 01/11/2012 - 12:25 | 2054757 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

It's all about perspective.   Here's a nice link from Ed Steer this morning.  The graphic is awesome:

Everything you wanted to know about gold

This graphics-intensive story showed up as a posting over at the website yesterday. I can't vouch for the accuracy of the figures, but it appears that the author has done his homework.

Reader Tolling Jennings was the first person through the door with this story yesterday...and it's a must read. Use the 'click to enlarge' feature to bring the commentary up to full-screen size once the website has loaded. The link is here.

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 21:45 | 2052690 Squishi
Squishi's picture

thunder and lightning.

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 03:46 | 2053658 NewThor
NewThor's picture

Have I mentioned I love thunder, lightning, rain, dogs, horses and beer?

Long live light sound and love!

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 21:46 | 2052693 tmosley
tmosley's picture

From the chart, one can rightly guess that there isn't much room for real gold appreciation.  As suspected, it is a method by which to maintain one's purchasing power in times of crisis.

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 21:57 | 2052729 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

And luckily this crisis is just like the rest since we can run automobiles off of unicorn piss forever!

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 22:14 | 2052802 tmosley
tmosley's picture

There was another crisis just like this one in China during the time frame of this chart, but I doubt the chart reflects worldwide prices, as there was no worldwide market at the time.

I'm not saying "dont buy gold", for fucks sake.  I am saying that one should buy it as wealth preservation, not to build wealth.

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 22:16 | 2052811 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Say what you want.  In real terms it is underpriced.

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 22:33 | 2052878 tmosley
tmosley's picture

What is?  Gold?  How can you value gold?  Gold is a claim on wealth.  It may be able to buy more things in the future, as the fiat structure collapses, but that doesn't mean it is more valuable.  Your wealth isn't growing by owning gold.  Everyone else's is decreasing because they own fiat.  It looks like you have increased your purchasing power, but the reality is that everything else has just gotten cheaper (an important distinction, as this means falling standards of living for all those around you, rather than you simply increasing your standard of living).

Other things, like silver, WILL increase your wealth.  But gold maintains it.  That doesn't mean "don't own gold".  Just the opposite.  You MUST own gold.  But don't expect it to buy you more new goods than it does now (assuming non-desperate sellers).

Imagine an ant staking a claim to some territory on a deflated balloon.  Gold is like having a plot staked out, which grows with the inflation of the balloon.  Owning something like silver is like owning territory on the inflating balloon while also grabbing more besides. 

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 23:16 | 2053068 SgtShaftoe
SgtShaftoe's picture

I mostly agree, however Mises and Hayek even contested that money was not an accurate barometer of "value", and that even "money" could be over / under priced.  It is yet imperfect even as a unit of account in any form.  In gold's situation, one can fairly argue that it's under-priced in terms of things and historical "money" for a number of reasons.  So your same inflating balloon analogy is applicable to gold as well as silver.  Obviously, silver should inflate at a much higher velocity, with some healthy volatility as well.  I'm betting big on silver and gold / miners.  90% of my net worth except for a small rural homestead in the midwest that's been in my family since the indians is riding on that.  From a historical perspective I know I'm positioned right, I just hope I can hold out long enough to see a return without being slashed to death.  When is that wage spiral going to start moving with the prices????????   

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 00:39 | 2053397 Socratic Dog
Socratic Dog's picture

""money" could be over / under priced"

Yeah, that's my problem with the chart.  What is a 2010 pound sterling really worth?

I've been thinking about food prices, and the fact that an ounce of gold will currently buy about 14 years of calories for a man, in the form of 50 pond sacks of corn at retail.  My monthly rent ($2,00) buys more.  There seems to be a serious dislocation here, in that the value of the dollar is seriously overestimated in the price of corn.  Gold I don't know, it may be that an ounce of gold has always bought 14 years of food, but I somehow doubt it. 

The point I'm trying to make is that pricing gold in some arbitrary currency at some arbitrary point of time seems a bit stupid, as currency isn't "real".  It might be better to price that currency by the amount of gold it will buy.  But best would be to price both currency and gold against some real measure of value.  Such as food for a month, for example.  A man's suit?  Too subject to other forces (price of labor, price of wool, availability of mechanisation).  Food is so basic and irreducible that it might suffice as a measure.  Then again, it depends so much on the price of energy that it is probably just as worthless.

Can any of you bright lads help me out here?  What represents a an absolute measure of worth?  Young pussy maybe?

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 03:50 | 2053662 NewThor
NewThor's picture

There is no spoon.

Sometimes I think letting human beings create language is the ultimate

catch 22 of free will.

Too many words rots minds into an unstable insanity.

"The Earth is 4.5 billion years old."

lol. humans are so silly.

There is no time, bitchez.

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 04:49 | 2053697 Blank Reg
Blank Reg's picture

How about a days labor. (unskilled)

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 07:58 | 2053830 Snidley Whipsnae
Snidley Whipsnae's picture

Socratic Dog...

Food isn't a good measure against gold long term because of the 'green revolution'.

The green revolution is, to simplify, the use of modern fertilizers, pesticides, crop rotations, and large farms using large equipment. A couple of hundred years ago an acre of corn would yeild from 2 to 20 bushels. Now an acre of corn yeilds ~ 200 bushels and using far less man hours to get the corn from seed to silo.

At the time of the American Revolution about 97% of Americans worked/lived on farms. Now that picture is reversed and about 5% of Americans work/live on farms.

Most Americans believe that the largest migration of workers in America took place when the dust bowl hit the South West and the people left for California (see Grapes of Wrath, etc), but that is not true.

The largest number of Americans to migrate took place shortly after WW2 when the mechanical cotton picker came into use in the cotton belt and made share croppers and day labor cotton workers redundent. These displaced workers moved to Detroit, Chicago, NY City, and the 'rust belt' in enormous numbers.

So, imo, it's difficult to find an item (commodity or consumable) that has not been made much, much less costly due to advances in technology, scale, and productivity. Even the mining of base and precious metals have been effected ... and, on top of all this we must remember that slave labor is no longer a factor but was a large factor a few hundred years ago. During the Roman occupation of Gaul they used many thousands of slaves to divert large rivers to wash away entire mountains into enormous sluice boxes to get the gold out of the mountains. How does one factor all the changes into the long term price of gold?

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 09:18 | 2053924 BigJim
BigJim's picture

'Worth' (or 'value') is almost entirely subjective... a lot depends on where you and your trading partners are located within Maslow's hierarchy. This is why valuing one particular commodity over a large period of time is very difficult.

I don't think it's possible to produce a meaningful chart like the BoE/Squid's one above. Yes, they've stated it's vs. 2010 GBP, but how do you 'value' GBP, when it was for a time valued in gold, and before that in silver? So it's really the value of gold vs. what? vs. Land? What kind of land - rural, urban? vs. Food? What kind of food? Wheat? Corn? Bread? vs. Clothing? What kind of clothing? workwear? suits? just cloth? vs. Energy? What kind of energy? Wood? Coal? BTU? vs. Labor? What kind of labor? unskilled, artisan, financial? Do we take into account all the price suppressions and subsidies governments have distorted prices with over the years?

Maybe against baskets of goods... but how are they weighted? By the average amount consumed now, or adjusted for period?

This is why I'm deeply suspicious of Squiddly's chart, which shows gold to be historically highly priced... that seems a very convenient conclusion for the main HR department of the world's central banks to come to.

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 23:16 | 2053070 Ura Bonehead
Ura Bonehead's picture

Gold is currency.  Ron Paul and a bunch of bitchez on the Internet says so, so it must be true.  Right?

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 23:18 | 2053081 tmosley
tmosley's picture

No, gold is money.  Gold CAN be currency, but this is not always the case.  For example, it is currently not currency, but 100 years ago, you could buy goods from any shop with gold coins were you so inclined.

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 23:52 | 2053223 AUD
AUD's picture

That depends who you are. Large amounts of gold are turned over every business day just like FX. And before you cry, "but its only paper", so what? FX is only paper too, even ethereal bytes on computers these days.

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 23:45 | 2053190 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture


How many of you have recently tried to buy a new tv, snow blower, or gas with either Gold or Silver?

Wake me when Home Depot accepts Gold or Silver as FULL payment for a Dewalt power tool.

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 23:56 | 2053237 tmosley
tmosley's picture

Duh.  Learn the difference between money and currency.  It might just save your wealth one day.

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 00:09 | 2053286 Savonarola
Savonarola's picture

Tyler, please bring back the math questions. Please.

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 04:08 | 2053676 bigkahuna
bigkahuna's picture

When that happens, you will not need anyone to wake you up - but you will probably need your side arm for a while.

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 06:52 | 2053769 rufusbird
rufusbird's picture

Friggin Lowe's would not take my T-Bill as payment for my new lawn mower either. Stuff must be worthless!

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 08:00 | 2053833 DaBernank
DaBernank's picture

Hahaha! and I rolled 5 barrels of oil all the way to Home Depot and they wouldn't take those either!

By the time retail accepts gold as full payment for products, it very well might be the only thing they accept.

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 08:49 | 2053897 Lndmvr
Lndmvr's picture

Why would anyone buy a Dewalt?

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 12:50 | 2054868 MayIMommaDogFac...
MayIMommaDogFace2theBananaPatch's picture

Because you CAN EAT Dewalt Power Tools!  Seems hard-to-believe, I know...

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 11:57 | 2054640 mess nonster
mess nonster's picture

U can n Utah!

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 23:53 | 2053230 trav7777
trav7777's picture

silver will only increase your wealth via speculative bubble.

energy supply collapse will eliminate demand for silver as surely as night follows day.  Substitution will occur just like the chinese knock off swiss watches.

Already most household wiring is aluminum with fkin paint on it as an insulator.

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 23:58 | 2053248 tmosley
tmosley's picture

Trav once again lying.  Most if not all household wiring is COPPER.  Aluminum wiring is a good way to burn your shit down.  That's why they stopped using it in housing a LONG time ago.

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 00:13 | 2053299 trav7777
trav7777's picture

pop open an outlet and take a look for yourself...I wouldn't have believed it either.  I don't know how most residential construction passes code.

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 01:43 | 2053535 Canaduh
Canaduh's picture

I can only speak for Canada, and aluminum is definitely NOT used in new residential installations, except for feeds to the panel from the meter (much thicker wire, also protected by a pipe or armored cable).

However, how most stuff I see passes code is a wonder to me also.

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 08:05 | 2053839 Snidley Whipsnae
Snidley Whipsnae's picture

Maryland tried aluminum for new home construction. When a lot of new homes began burning down they switched back to copper.

Using alumium causes corrosion/oxidation to build up at connectors. This causes resistance to rise which means more heat due to resistance. Enough heat leads to fire at that connection.

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 08:35 | 2053883 Jendrzejczyk
Jendrzejczyk's picture


Wed, 01/11/2012 - 08:37 | 2053885 Jendrzejczyk
Jendrzejczyk's picture


Wed, 01/11/2012 - 06:20 | 2053747 _underscore
_underscore's picture

Gold is a claim on wealth when that 'claim' exists in a cohesive & co-operative social environment. Fiat paper currency has an even more tenuous claim on wealth - it requires that we give obeisance to, and recognise the authority of, our rulers (I hope that's not oxymoronic!).

I think gold (and to some extent silver) are valuable when the 'fiat claim' is weak & becoming untrusted - as is the case now, in my view.

 For all the SHTF theorists (and wishers, it almost seems sometimes..) who espouse gold/silver ownership for social cataclysm-type scenarios as a means of existing/propspering/surviving etc, I think are sadly misguided. I only hold PMs because I don't think things will get to that state - just a bit worse than now, with currency debasement  or wealth 'confiscation' via fiat currency mechanism.



Wed, 01/11/2012 - 13:08 | 2054904 passwordis
passwordis's picture

  but the reality is that everything else has just gotten cheaper

  But don't expect it to buy you more new goods than it does now (assuming non-desperate sellers).

Nonsense. Of course Gold will buy you more. You can buy more things today than you could three days ago if you own gold.

  Buying more things is the whole point! The vast majority of people are buying silver/gold to make money.. Eric Sprott is buying to increase his wealth. The guy buying 10 ounces of silver a month as well as everyone in between is buying metals as an investment not a hedge. 

  If inflation goes to 10% next year and Gold increases by 20%.. you have a 10% net gain in purchasing power.  You can "buy more things"!   Why pretend it's any more complicated than that?


Wed, 01/11/2012 - 09:45 | 2054018 XitSam
XitSam's picture

Well I say, dollars are over-valued.

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 22:21 | 2052835 beachdude
beachdude's picture

It's funny... I heard Deb from Dexter in your "for fucks sake" remark.

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 23:36 | 2053143 ultimate warrior
ultimate warrior's picture

+1 but can't wealth preservation and building wealth go hand in hand?  I mean if the dollar crashes and becomes worthless those holding gold will not only retain wealth but will also have a great opportunity to increase wealth.

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 23:45 | 2053187 tmosley
tmosley's picture

It will enable you the opportunity to increase wealth, yes.  But it won't increase on its own.  If you sit on your laurels, you will find that eventually your purchasing power will normalize.  You need to buy up productive assets at firesale prices before that happens.

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 09:59 | 2054060 XitSam
XitSam's picture

Absoluetly. Don't go buy a McMansion, you can get living quarters anytime.  Buy a bakery or a wood shop or a machine shop or a farm or a factory.

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 23:49 | 2053209 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture

ultimate warrior

"I mean if the dollar crashes and becomes worthless those holding gold will not only retain wealth but will also have a great opportunity to increase wealth."

Not necessarliy.

Letter Re: The Bosnian Experience

Stash as much ammo in different locations as you can. I did not have enough ammo in the first place and whatever I had was used or traded within first month of me leaving my home. Ammo was good trading currency and could get you a meal at any time. Local paper currency was basically worthless but if you had foreign currency, then you were in better shape. At that time German Mark was most popular currency in Europe and could get you anything in former Yugoslavia during the war. The Gold and Silver were good to have but it was harder to find someone that would accept gold and silver as form of payment .

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 23:56 | 2053239 trav7777
trav7777's picture

Gold gets you out of the country.

Look; if you want to know what to keep "just in case," emulate the jews.  They have currency, gold, and diamonds and next to nothing else.

The bosnians who couldn't get out had to worry about stashing ammo.  I know (biblically) a couple of chicks who lived through that war and nobody from there talked about ammo stashing and the rest of this BS.

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 00:32 | 2053379 akak
akak's picture

If gold will get you out of THIS country (or at least off ZeroHedge), here's my ounce!

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 22:35 | 2052883 FeralSerf
FeralSerf's picture

Are you still trying to convince everyone that's there's no more oil and BP needs to own ANWR?

Never underestimate technology and human ingenuity (or stupidity).

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 23:26 | 2053100 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Global oil production peaked in 2005.  Since then production has platued.  There has not been a major find put on production since, like, the 30's. 

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 10:18 | 2054132 Willzyx
Willzyx's picture

The credit bubble and the rest of the global economy peaked shortly thereafter.  Coincidence?

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 21:47 | 2052697 ozziindaus
ozziindaus's picture

Does that mean it's at 1000 Pounds today? Higher than the 80's?

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 21:50 | 2052708 jarboejl
jarboejl's picture

Inflation adjusted?

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 21:48 | 2052700 jarboejl
jarboejl's picture

Got all 'volatile' when Keynesianism started taking root...weird.  :)

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 21:49 | 2052706 Schmuck Raker
Schmuck Raker's picture

The most appropriate question may be,

"Who has been suppressing the price of gold for the last 200 years, and why?"

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 21:52 | 2052713 tmosley
tmosley's picture

The likely answer for most of that time period is "the Industrial Revolution".  The amount of gold that has come onto the market in the last hundred years is staggering, with the price being maintained primarily by the rising population of people.

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 22:13 | 2052797 Schmuck Raker
Schmuck Raker's picture

Oh-ho-ho, a likely story indeed T-Mo.

And, you might have fooled me too, but Tyler updated us with another chart! So the REAL question NOW is -

"Who has been suppressing the price of gold for the last FOUR HUNDRED years? And, WHY?"

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 22:20 | 2052828 tmosley
tmosley's picture

I'm confused as to how they could have pricing in terms of dollars before dollars existed.

The drop in price in the 1500's is easily attributable to gold from the New World.

It's hard to value money against something as transient as fiat currency.  It makes little or no sense to value something in dollar terms before the dollar existed.  Might as well give it a price in monopoly money, or linden dollars.

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 23:14 | 2053063 Hephasteus
Hephasteus's picture

Pricing things in dollars before dollars existed is quite a feat of pricing discovery.

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 23:59 | 2053250 trav7777
trav7777's picture

there wasn't that much gold.  What there was was an ungodly amount of silver in the new world.  These finds in this hemisphere, along with Sterling Bill machinations, changed the fundamentals of the ratio.

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 05:50 | 2053729 Overflow-admin
Overflow-admin's picture

Same as looking at the euro index before 2000 ;)



Tue, 01/10/2012 - 22:53 | 2052964 JohnG
JohnG's picture



(just in case you are not being facetious)

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 23:53 | 2053213 jarboejl
jarboejl's picture

You right schmuck, the expansion of the British Empire (and slave labor in the ever increasing numbers of colonies causing price deflation) could never cause the the pound to rise in value causing the need for fewer pounds to buy a troy ounce of gold.

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 00:00 | 2053257 trav7777
trav7777's picture

huh?  Slave labor wasn't much of a factor ever.  It was only useful in lower latitudes anyway.  This is the reason for the demographics trends as juxtaposed with geography (aka, blacks were susceptible to respiratory tract infections at higher latitudes)

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 07:55 | 2053819 Gavrikon
Gavrikon's picture

Maybe, but the multis are sure as fuck using the hell out of it now.  Wonder how that affects the price of tea in China.  Or gold in China . . .

By the way, to suggest that blacks are in any way different from whites is racist, you, er, RACIST!

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 22:15 | 2052806 SilverDOG
SilverDOG's picture


Fragmenting through generalization is so spineless.

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 22:22 | 2052838 tmosley
tmosley's picture

Please elaborate.

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 23:31 | 2053127's picture

The likely answer for most of that time period is "the Industrial Revolution".  The amount of gold that has come onto the market in the last hundred years is staggering, with the price being maintained primarily by the rising population of people.


The industrial revolution enabled producers to create all sorts of goods more cheaply and the price of these goods in gold actually decreased slightly over the course of the 19th century. Productivity has continued to increase throughout the 20th century and so gold should have deflated even more dramatically. The per capita amount of gold in the world is roughly the same as it was in 1913 but there are vastly more goods and services available today at better prices. Gold should properly be priced two or three times higher in FRNs than it is today by my dead reckoning.

But then again maybe not.

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 23:34 | 2053146 tmosley
tmosley's picture

No, you are quite right.  I was talking about the decline at the very start of the 1800's.  There is documented evidence of central bank supression of the gold market starting during the Great Depression.

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 23:50 | 2053208's picture

Got it.

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 00:02 | 2053263 trav7777
trav7777's picture

that's simply not an accurate way to think of it.

A computer in 1940 was worth millions.

Gold is supply AND demand like anything else.  Do not assume demand has been level.  It has fallen per capita.

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 07:58 | 2053828 Gavrikon
Gavrikon's picture

Of course it has fallen per capita.  Hw many folks do you know who have an extra $1650 for an ounce?  Moreover, why would they see any need to have it as long as Uncle Sam is sending out the checks?

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 22:29 | 2052858 Sancho Ponzi
Sancho Ponzi's picture

Who the hell inserts a comma after beginning a sentence with 'And'? Lose the 'Raker' and look in the mirror.


Sat, 01/14/2012 - 00:01 | 2064087 Schmuck Raker
Schmuck Raker's picture does that make you feel?

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 21:51 | 2052710 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

fascinating the Great Deflation from World War I to World War II. Just how much can a government control should it really want to? It was said the first thing FDR did when he woke up as President was to fix the price of gold (35 bucks an ounce give or take). Shall we go back to those days?

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 21:54 | 2052716 Harlequin001
Harlequin001's picture

Yes but if I recall correctly that was an increase from $20 wasn't it?

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 22:10 | 2052784 Amish Hacker
Amish Hacker's picture

To $35 from $20.67---a 69% move. That would imply a post-confiscation price today (starting at $1600 gold) of $2,700.

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 21:57 | 2052730 bogbrush
bogbrush's picture

15th Century problem was a lack of wood, not a lack of gold. Draw your own conclusions...

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 23:34 | 2053141's picture

I guess those medieval chicks weren't all that cute.

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 07:35 | 2053803 Freebird
Freebird's picture

Yes. You are of course referring to the devastation of forests not only in Britain but across Europe in the scramble to shipbuild. Under Elizabeth's reign, Chatham lay idle, the country was broke, the coffers empty. As a result the crown sanctioned privateering on the quiet & received two thirds of the gold plundered from Spanish vessels. Without which Britain's navy could not be restored, her shoreline protected & key trade routes controlled. History bitchez.

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 21:57 | 2052731 Dealer
Dealer's picture

Pound sterling, bitchez!!!

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 23:35 | 2053147's picture

Stirling engine, bitchez!

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 21:59 | 2052739 Narcolepzzzzzz
Narcolepzzzzzz's picture

650 years of silver prices and gold/silver ratio:

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 23:29 | 2053112 Bubbles_2.0
Bubbles_2.0's picture

For 74 out of the last 80 years Silver has traded under $10.00. The three bears, many, many bubble chasers lost big.

Many trading futures & options, etf's, miners Slaughtered.

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 23:37 | 2053157's picture

Well a dollar used to be defined as roughly 3/4 oz. of silver. That ought to tell you something about FRNs and who is getting slaughtered wholesale.

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 22:06 | 2052766 SDRII
SDRII's picture

is the point of the chart to anchor upside expectations?

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 22:06 | 2052768 The trend is yo...
The trend is your friend's picture

population adjusted we're looking at 7000 - 10000 GBP

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 22:07 | 2052778 lynnybee
lynnybee's picture

wow ..... what a chart !   i luv stuff like this ; thanks for making my day, ZEROHEDGE , you're the best.

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 22:13 | 2052799 Cyrano de Bivouac
Cyrano de Bivouac's picture

The price of gold fell after the Spanish discovery of gold and importation of gold into Europe. The net effect was Spain fripped it(the gold) away on luxury goods, foreign wars and was soon to become a debtor nation. Much like The USA with the advantage of having the the world's reserve currency has blown the 40 to 0 lead it had with world since 1945.

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 22:22 | 2052839 SilverDOG
SilverDOG's picture

Genocide and theft for the transport of gold to Europe.

Due to the lack of world currency(silver) in European soil and massive war debt.

The Chinese sailed around the world 50 yrs before Columbus was sent to explore for commodities. If the Chinese has not stopped in Europe, the dark ages would have continued.

No worry, Dark Ages part deux(2) is upon US and Europe.

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 22:42 | 2052918 tmosley
tmosley's picture


Hate to tell you, Zhang's fleet didn't make it to Europe.  They MIGHT have made it down the coast of Africa, and probably traded with North American Indians, but they certinanly didn't land in Europe propper, much less "bring them out of the Dark Ages".  It was the return of knowledge kept by the Arabs that sparked that tinder.

Also, as much as I have studied the American cultures that existed prior to Columbus, the people were much MUCH better off under Spanish rule than they were under their own barbarism.  Death by sacrifice to the gods was probably in the top three causes of death post-childhood.  Don't even ask about the fertility rituals (imagine if Cowboy Bill has started his own religion, and the priests that followed made it WORSE).

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 23:07 | 2053038 SilverDOG
SilverDOG's picture

You are adept at lying as a result of your limited Rockefeller printed history books.

Try studying history through literature and art, and greatly broaden your knowledge.

Then attempt another westernized justification of narcissistic thievery.

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 23:28 | 2053113 tmosley
tmosley's picture

Oh, sorry I don't subscribe to your "Make Shit Up And Call Anyone Who Calls You Out A Rockefeller Stooge" school of thought.

Do you know that on feast days in the Aztec capital, they would sacrifice tens of thousands of caputered slaves and soldiers to their various gods?  Did you know that children with curly hair were often taken off of the street for sacrifice?  Did you know that during the spring fertility ritual, a pubescent child would be gang raped by priests, then skinned alive, and a priest would wear the skin with his dick sticking out through the vagina opening?

Sure, Spaniards were often brutal, but never on that scale.  A few people a year might be burned at the stake, but no-where near the numbers that were seen in Aztec dominated society.

Just how the fuck do you think a small company of men with perhaps a hundred muskets and a few cannons were able to conquer a city with hundreds of thousands of residents, including a large warrior caste?  Every single tribe from the sea to the outskirts of Tenochtitlan joined them.  It was the obsidian sword, not the musketball that conquered that brutal theocracy.

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 00:08 | 2053281 trav7777
trav7777's picture


Wed, 01/11/2012 - 07:59 | 2053831 Freebird
Freebird's picture

1421. Who's up for a re-read?

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 15:00 | 2055384 SilverDOG
SilverDOG's picture

Of course I was force fed the hearsay you gluttonously preach. I attended public school as you blatantly purvey.

Do you know as in Alexandria, the religious "advisor" to the invader had the first order performed; burning the library. Thus destroying Central Americas recorded history due to cowardly fear. 

Double lies created the fear imposing history for the benefits of the oligarchy, no others. 

I can see you so hungry for more. Like a starving dog waiting behind his four legged friend for dinner. Do not worry, your dinner is served hot.


Wed, 01/11/2012 - 00:07 | 2053277 trav7777
trav7777's picture


Westerners stole nothing and gave everything in trade.

The new world produced far more silver than gold, higher than historical ratios.

The Chinks never sailed around the world...they sailed to Africa and no further.  They took back some africans as slaves and castrated them.

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 00:23 | 2053340 tmosley
tmosley's picture

No, they stole plenty from individuals, especially in Latin America.  It's just that their rulers failed to recognize natural rights, which resulted in wholesale slaughter, and their eventual collapse upon the arrival of the far less cruel Spaniards.

People talk about the slavery imposed by the Spaniards, but the fact is that they simply used the same labor system already in place, ie conscription.  The Aztec rulers had the "right" to recruit anyone living in their territory to do any form of labor required.  The Spaniards adopted this, and kept it that way for some time, until the people began to rebel upon seeing how other peoples around the world lived.  This eventually created the environment that was needed for the Mexican Independence movement to take hold.

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 00:45 | 2053411 akak
akak's picture

The Spanish MAY have been less cruel than the Aztecs, in certain respects (the Spanish did not engage in formal human sacrifice and cannibalism), but overall the Europeans were undoubtedly FAR more cruel towards the indigenuous peoples than most New World tribal leaders or ruling elites were towards their own people.  Yes, many (not nearly all by any means, though) New World societies practiced slavery, warfare and torture, but few if any of them engaged in the near-genocidal, brutal, wholesale enslavement-to-death of entire societies the way the Spanish routinely did.  At least most of them saw each other as fellow human beings, whereas most of the Spanish, especially in the first century after contact, saw the New World natives as only human cattle to be exploited, or as vermin to be eliminated.

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 01:06 | 2053463 tmosley
tmosley's picture

Not really.  What we think of as a single civilization was actually a large number of city or nation states.  As I recall there were five "great" nations in the area surrounding Tenochtitlan (I only recall the name of one, Teotiuacan), but there were hundreds or thousands of smaller villages.  These are where the sacrifices were drawn from for the most part, as well as the lower levels of their own societies and those few who willingly gave themselves up for sacrifice (generally those riddled with disease, who wanted a "flowery death" to get into their version of Valhalla).

The Spaniards were evil and cruel by European standards.  They were positively SAINTS by Nauhatl standards.  If it were really as you say, then Mexico would be populated by blond haired blue eyed Spaniards, not brown skinned black haired mostly native people.

Not saying the Spanish were right in what they did.  I'm just stating the truth as I see it.  I would have much preferred to be a peasant under the Spaniards than under the Nauhatl.  Under the Spaniards, there were opportunities to advance.  Trade flourished.  Modern technology was imported, etc etc.  And the population of the place tells the tale.  They had a population explosion, even after the ravages of smallpox swept through their nations.

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 02:35 | 2053597 akak
akak's picture

Well, I have to agree with you about the Aztecs --- who were, as you say, only the ruling elite of a large, mostly non-Nahuatl empire --- as the more I have learned about them over the years, the more I am alternately fascinated and nightmarishly appalled. 

I know that EVERY anthropology professor (I have had several) will start the first lecture of the first day of their classes with "It is wrong to think that we can judge other cultures", but I say bullshit --- the Aztecs were as brutal, vicious, savage and yes, EVIL as almost any ruling elite throughout history.  And not just in warfare and slavery; did you know (well, you probably do) that they would sacrifice up to 20,000 human victims in ONE DAY in honor of their "gods" and their utterly perverted, twisted, sick religion?  Fuck if I am NOT going to judge that as barbaric and monstrously depraved!  No Islamic nation or group on their worst days were ever as callously and hideously warped as that shit.

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 10:20 | 2054138 XitSam
XitSam's picture

Let's just say 12 hours of daylight and 15,000 sacrifices. That's one every 3 seconds. All day long.

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 07:50 | 2053816 Freebird
Freebird's picture

"Blond haired blue eyed Spaniards" LOL

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 08:33 | 2053880 Instant Wealth
Instant Wealth's picture

My choice: black haired blue eyed Spanish ladies. Especially at night, they look marvellous.

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 09:39 | 2053993 Freebird
Freebird's picture

The grandmothers with blue hair & black eyes are also a good look

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 10:01 | 2054063 tmosley
tmosley's picture

ITT tards don't understand the difference between Mexicans (who are mostly Native American) and Spaniards, nor the difference between Modern Spain (which is 1500's Spain+Moors) and 1500's Spain (freshly re-conquered by BLOND HAIRED BLUE EYED EUROPEANS).  

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 11:40 | 2054532 Freebird
Freebird's picture

If I had posting rights Mr Mosely I would put up photos of the crew of the Santa Maria.

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 01:15 | 2053488 xavi1951
xavi1951's picture

Dear new trav7777 or just trav777,


You have got to be the biggest bull shitter on web.  You sound good to the uninformed..... but you smell of liberal socialist puke!

Your icon (flipping the finger) tells me everything I need to know about you.  You are an idiot that tries to intimidate others by spewing shit and trying to convince them that it is delicious.  It is the old ,"I am an educated person and you are not, so I know better than you, and I am bewtter than you."  I have been reading your posts on the different articles and they are all the same.  SHIT!!  trav7777 then new trav7777........... try no trav7777.  Loser!!!!!

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 05:54 | 2053732 Overflow-admin
Overflow-admin's picture

Don't put all cultures in the same basket, stupid!

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 22:24 | 2052844 akak
akak's picture

I have to seriously question the methodology used in preparing this chart.

How can the price of gold POSSIBLY have been swinging around at ALL, much less bouncing so wildly, in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries (minus perhaps the Napoleonic era) when the British pound was FIXED to a certain, unvarying amount of gold?  The chart should show a flatline, or nearly so, for well over 200 years, should it not?

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 22:38 | 2052900 Hansel
Hansel's picture

The Bank of England and Goldman wouldn't lie to you, would they?

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 23:59 | 2053253 AUD
AUD's picture

Yes, the Bank of England was only chartered in 1664, or something like that. Unless there are records existing from previous 'state banks' through to the 13th century, I don't see how this graph was created.

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 00:55 | 2053437 JOYFUL
JOYFUL's picture


How can the price of gold POSSIBLY have been swinging around at ALL, much less bouncing so wildly, in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries (minus perhaps the Napoleonic era) when the British pound was FIXED to a certain, unvarying amount of gold?

Perhaps because it is commonly forgotten in discussions of this type that up until it's final successful repression as 'real money,' in the latter part of the C19th, silver was in constant competition with gold as the standard by which value was measured. Prior to the hyperinflation produced when the Continental Congress did da Bernake by printing notes and suppressing free commodity pricing, pieces o eight were the currency of the colonies.  Amerikans would be amazed to learn how consistently their politicians have betrayed them for selfish ends, right from the start!

Manipulations of gold&silver were a constant feature of the entire period shown on the graph, starting from the Venetian banking oligarchs who suppressed nation states through their ability to determine the price of gold&silver via their draw on supplies of cheap eastern gold looted by their Mongol buddies, paid for by looted European silver - scoring huge profits and controlling kings similar to the way the derivatives markets have played havoc with sovereigns in the present.

The incomparable Richard Cantillon discussed the dynamics of this relationship between the two metals, long before lightweight plagiarists like A Smith & K Marx muddied the waters with their theories of value that had no ties to empirical evidence.  His insights into the need for freely fluctuating exchange rates between gold&silver and the role of the entrepeneur, as opposed to the mercantilist were suppressed and forgotten for two centuries, while the manipulators have held sway, but still stand unchallanged as pointers to the way forward once the present spawn of the Venetian Black Nobility hegemonists are finally defeated.

Yes, the Bank of England was never more than a screen for the Venetian-Amsterdam-Franfurt bankers to hide behind, but some very famous names of American "patriots" were ALSO little more than agents for the same!!!

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 22:28 | 2052864 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

Have u seen her all in Gold...

like the Queens in days of old..

she bangs everyone around...

like the sunset going down..

Have you seen the lady Pharaoh...

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 22:41 | 2052915 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

There's a lady who's sure all that glitters is gold....

And as we wind on down the road

Our shadows taller than our soul

There walks a lady we all know

Who shines white light and wants to show

How everything still turns to gold

And if you listen very hard

The tune will come to you at last....

She's buying a stairway to heaven

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 22:57 | 2052978 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

Thanks... I love Zeppelin. 

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 23:18 | 2053082 realitybiter
realitybiter's picture

and a new day will dawn for those who stand long

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 23:43 | 2053178's picture

I live for my dreams and a pocketful of gold.

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 22:36 | 2052892 wang (not verified)
wang's picture

the strangest thing

pressed for time these days I visit zh and open article i am interest in seeing  in tabs for viewing later - must have hit the wrong key and ended up with this flashback, which could have been today

this was the link at the bottom of the page I hit in error

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 22:37 | 2052897 AmazingLarry
AmazingLarry's picture

Gold: the breakfast of champins since 1265. The graphs fell off cause so much was eaten. Tradition, bitchz.

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 22:42 | 2052913 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 I still think ( xau) is going to dip lower along with ( crude) in the near term. [ 2-4 ] weeks as primary earnings wind down.

   Gold is a good trade though! I just hate getting stuck on the { Anti Parabolic} side of the trade, and meandering through ( Catch-up)<>

 P.S - Is Timmah getting some " Stipend" from PBoC?  Next week he'll be bartering " NUKES"! /sarc on

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 22:46 | 2052930 dr.charlemagne
dr.charlemagne's picture

tyler, please put a widget on the front page with the GOFO rate. Or do you not think it is important?

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 22:55 | 2052963 wang (not verified)
wang's picture

since I am on lline a warning to those who drink...

store bought OJ e.g. Minute Maid, Store Brand, Tropicana etc


Unless it says it is from Florida, FLUSH IT (or spray it on your lawn)


(Brazil is by far the largest producer of OJ)



Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!