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Gold

A particularly valuable precious metal. Gold is an element with the atomic number 79. It is used for jewelry, electronics and for other purposes. Historically, gold was used in many cultures as the basis for currency, but this is no longer the case. Investments in gold are often used as a hedge against inflation because it tends to maintain its value over time.

gold

a mineral that is used both as an industrial base metal and for ornamental purposes, and is held by governments as part of their stock of INTERNATIONAL RESERVE assets in order to finance balance of payments deficits. Formerly, in the UK and many other countries, gold coins formed the basis of the domestic MONEY SUPPLY, but gold has now been replaced by banknotes and brass and nickel coins as the cash component of the money supply. See BULLION MARKET, WORLD GOLD COUNCIL.

gold

a monetary ASSET that is held by countries as part of their INTERNATIONAL RESERVES and used to finance BALANCE OF PAYMENTS deficits.

Formerly, many countries operated a GOLD STANDARD system under which gold was used as the basis of a country's domestic MONEY SUPPLY as well as being used to finance payments deficits. Gradually, however, the ‘pure’ gold standard gave way to domestic monetary systems based on paper money and other metallic coins and, internationally, the gold-exchange standard in which foreign currencies such as sterling and the American dollar were used alongside gold as reserve assets.

In 1935 the price of gold was ‘fixed’ at $35 per fine ounce by the USA, Britain and France as part of a monetary pact between the three countries. This price was then ‘officially’ adopted by member countries of the INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND on its formation in 1947; gold was used as the NUMERAIRE of the Fund's fixed exchange-rate system in setting par values for members’ currencies, and members were required to pay one quarter of their ‘quota subscriptions to the Fund in gold. Gold continued to serve as the linchpin of the IMF system, and its ‘official’ price remained pegged at $35 per ounce, down to 1971, when the Fund's fixed exchange-rate system gave way to floating exchange rates. Countries had, however, found it increasingly difficult to hold the price of gold at the $35 per ounce level as world demand for gold as an industrial metal and for ornamental purposes continued to expand. In 1961 a ‘gold pool’ was set up to regulate dealings in the metal, but in 1968 Fund members bowed to the inevitable and a ‘two-tier’ price structure was established; gold continued to be priced at $35 per ounce for ‘official’ transactions between countries’ central banks and the Fund, while the ‘free’ market price of gold was left to be determined by market forces.

In 1972, gold was dropped as the numeraire of the Fund and replaced by the SPECIAL DRAWING RIGHT unit, the Fund's existing gold holdings were sold off, and members were required to subscribe their quotas in a non-gold form. Outside the Fund, many countries have sold off part of their gold reserves, with the UK being particularly active in 1999, having taken the decision to reduce its gold holdings to around 8% of its total reserves. Overall, gold accounts for only some 0.3% of total international reserves. The market price of gold has fallen substantially over the past decade. In 1989 the price of gold averaged around $850 per ounce. Following UK gold sales in 1999, the price of gold at one point fell as low as $250 per ounce. However, despite the determination of the USA and a number of other major gold holders to put a moratorium on gold sales, the price of gold has remained depressed - currently (April 2005), it is around $430 per ounce.

The attractiveness of gold as a reserve asset is underpinned by the fact that, unlike national paper currencies (which are intrinsically worthless), it has a value in exchange as a commodity related to its use as an industrial base metal and for ornamental purposes. Gold holdings, however, suffer from the disadvantage that, compared with other assets such as STOCKS and SHARES, they yield no interest return.

References in periodicals archive ?
Thus, for example, in his display Pilatus Transformator, 1997, the artist modeled a series of giant rectangular volumes from gold foil that seemed to articulate either a child's image of the chocolate holdings of Switzerland or the gold stock of the country's banks (which had just attained the apex of infamy at the time, as the degree of their collaboration with fascist economic interests was revealed).
The company is celebrating its 18th anniversary by wrapping their burritos in gold foil instead of its signature aluminum foil to signify high quality ingredients that are "good as gold.
Thimblepress[R] will be showcasing the newest additions to their State Flower Collection, 19 illustrated gold foil state cards and a 16x24 gold foil USA map, alongside their popular Glitter Guide x Thimblepress[R] collection, their holiday and their everyday lines.
We've used pure silver foil and gold foil in the garments, which you put on your mithai or sweetmeats.
Wearing flares and platforms with a gold foil jacket, this post–marathon look is truly bad.
The Deluxe Box Set Edition is presented in a cloth-bound box (333mm x 333mm / 13" x 13") stamped with the Random Access Memories logo in gold foil on the cover.
BRONZE Age artefacts, which include 11 axes and a ring wrapped in gold foil, found by metal detectorists on farmland were yesterday declared treasure.
Last year, the European Union Court of Justice (ECJ) upheld a decision of the EU trademarks agency OHIM, which rejected Lindt's application for a trademark of its sitting bunny shapes wrapped in gold foil with a red ribbon bow tie.
Which is why when you lift the engine cover you will see gold foil covering many components, protecting them from heat.
Priced at an exorbitant rate, the dish is roasted crisp with a hint of olive oil and has a filling of mashed potatoes, in addition to the gold foil for the finishing touch.
With a nod to yesterday's glamour of Sobranie's Black Russians with their iconic gold foil filter, cigarette heels and glittering metallics offer a shortcut to 24-carat glamour for both night and day, the statement said.
The 900-plus page publication is bound in leather with gold foil stamping of the title, date and volume number on the spine.