To own gold is to control part of one's own wealth, to personally take possession of it. That part of your money converted to gold is no longer tallied every year by institutions far away – instead, it becomes your business and your business only. It drops off the radar screen as far as others are concerned. policy.
Yet it is there for you, always. Yours to do with as you wish. For whatever might happen in the future, gold assures that money will always be at hand, to have, to give, to barter, to hide away, or to simply hold gold as a wealth insurance.
In the U.S. today we tend to see gold as an investment rather than as money. But in fact, gold is and has been for thousands of years, wealth itself. It is the essential inflation hedge, and is currently trading within 10% of a 19-year low price. Marketwise, time is currently on gold's side as its price in U.S. dollars is near a historic low.
Put a little thought to it, and you understand that to buy gold is not to spend or use up your assets, but in fact to help preserve them.
Today, most of us let others control our wealth in financial institutions, banks, and brokerage houses that we entrust to electronically store our accounts. But if you have significant assets to protect, is it smart not to have some of those assets in monetary insurance?
And what exactly does gold insure against? Well, for the most part it insures against economic uncertainty of all kinds. Inflation and the threat of inflation are best held in check with gold, as it will hold its value in times of weakening currencies. But also it protects you in monetary crises or interruptions in our ordinary economy.
Gold is held as a store of value, even in the most remote and 'primitive' parts of the globe, and has been for hundreds of years. In a money crisis, gold holds its value (increasing in value in relation to paper money) and protects its owners from the ravaging of purchasing power suffered by those whose money is credit-based rather than gold-based.
But, let's admit it, insurance is boring. The real fun of gold is gold itself.
Gold in its brilliance, its beauty and its warmth, commands our attention as no other element does. There is something timeless about our primal response to it – we like it, want to touch it, and find it easily fabricated into beautiful things. Even as basic and unassuming a form as a well-executed gold coin reflects light beautifully over its design and seems to glow.
Why own gold? Because it's private money which becomes permanent insurance and a family heritage. Because it lasts as does nothing else. And because a person of means without gold is taking an imprudent risk entrusting all his or her wealth to outside institutions.