Gold's standing as the perpetually valuable element has been repeatedly underscored this year when striking record high prices.
And the precious metal served as security during the deep recession caused by the financial crisis that began in 2008. Yet as government officials devote energies and effort into rejuvenating the moribund economy, questions remain as to gold's value as an investment tool.
Reuters reports gold is considered a stalwart through rough economic times as it has "regained its shine at the worst of times over the past decade" while also noting its advances when the value of the U.S. dollar descends. Such has been the case during the recent past as fiscal crises appear more prominent.
"The reasons for buying gold haven't diminished," senior analyst Jeff Clark of Casey Research in Sacramento told the news service. "Unless we change course of how we handle the debt and deficits, there is a good reason to buy gold."
Another good reason to buy gold is the precious metal never will sink to having no value. To the contrary, since the middle of 2001, gold futures have skyrocketed 500 percent, which is equal to an annualized return of 17.5 percent.
Interest in pursuing gold in Nevada, from where 80 percent of the U.S.' supply of the precious metal comes, also has soared, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports, citing data from the Bureau of Land Management of the Department of the Interior. The state's offerings are a significant factor as to why the U.S. is the globe's fourth-biggest producer of gold, trailing China, then Australia and top entry South Africa.
An outfit that enables members' pursuit of gold has seen significant boosts in involvement. The Nye Gold Seekers club brags as many as eight new members per month and stands at about 500 – after having started three years ago with 10 members.
"The price of gold has a lot to do with it," club leader Janisse Ager told the Review-Journal, also noting the group's membership drive was prompted by the rough economic waters and high jobless levels in the southern region of the state.
Members of the group literally sift through the dirt with hopes of finding the precious metal and often those dreams are far-fetched.
"Basically, they're thinking they're going to pick up gold off the hills," Ager said.
The record price of gold futures is $1,575.79 per troy ounce, a value set in early May. That followed an April that saw the precious metal devote the majority of its trading sessions to rising in value, breaking all-time record-high prices, and setting new top values. Gold set record highs more than once per trading session several times in April.
The various drivers of gold futures include when the value of the dollar decreases, concerns about turmoil with nations' financial systems and institutions like the euro zone, and geopolitical events that shake confidence in stability.
Though gold's performance in May was nowhere near its prowess during the month prior, many still believe in the precious metal's intention to continue rising in value.
"Gold will eventually go up to $2,000 an ounce," Mike Frawley, global head of metals at the Newedge Group in New York, told Reuters. But he said that is unlikely to occur "much before early next year."
Another outfit agreed with gold striking that $2,000 benchmark and also predicted a surge in value will occur sooner than later.
CItiFX Technicals of Citigroup predicted gold futures will press all-time record high prices within weeks and exceed $1,700 per troy ounce by the end of the year.
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