December 2012 was a touch-and-go month for gold, as it ended the month about $50 lower than it started. Some may be led to think that the value of the metal had tanked, at least judging from recent sensationalist headlines calling it a risk asset rather than the traditional hedge against inflation that it has served for centuries. A number of pundits have gone so far as to show the numbers behind why gold prices should be marked to oil, not the dollar. Others have begun to realize that gold has not tanked because more than Americans buy and trade the metal. Still others claim that like fiat money, gold’s value is a group hallucination.
But no one can deny one simple fact: Since 2001 – and including in 2012 – the price of gold has climbed each year over the previous.