GOLD

BY,. MAGHILAN.A MBA,SVCE.

How did gold get its name?
• Actually, gold is not the true name of this rare yellow metal although it is the commonly accepted name in use today. Almost every culture has had some experience with gold and there have been many names for this precious metal. The term "Gold" as we know it today, actually derives from Old English and Germanic origins.

• The German Gothic language expressed gold with the word gulþa which later evolved into geolu in the Old English language. Geolu is translated to mean "yellow", thus naming the metal for it's most dominant characteristic; its golden yellow colour. In the twelfth century, Middle English brought another evolution to the word and our modern word, gold, came into existence.

History of gold
• gold has been in use by humans as far back as the Chalcolithic or Bronze Age. Early artisans of the time period used gold to fashion jewelry and other adornments. Golden artifacts have been found in the Balkans that predate the Christian Era by four millennia. • Throughout history, gold has had a rich history that has taken it through ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome and Africa. It has long been a part of the symbolism of these cultures and is used dominantly in their artifacts and adornments.

• In 2600 BC, the ancient king Tushratta of Mitanni claimed that gold in Egypt was more plentiful than dirt, perhaps the first reference to the modern phrase "streets paved with gold". • The Greek geographer, Strabo, shared the ancient methods of refining and extracting the gold from ore, including a smelting process called "Fire-Sitting".

• The Romans were the first to develop wide spread gold mining methods, including hydraulic mining. Their quest for gold led the ancient Roman empire to expand throughout most of the known world. • Wars have been fought for it; love has been declared with it. Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs portray gold as the brilliance of the sun; modern astronomers use mirrors coated with gold to capture images of the heavens.

• Historically, Its Worth Has Been Stable Over the past decade, the value of gold has risen sharply, from about $279 per ounce in 2000 to around $1,300 per ounce in mid2010. Yet for most of the previous two centuries, the per-ounce price was stable for extremely long stretches.

• It Can Be Stretched for Miles
Gold is so soft and malleable that an ounce of it could be stretched into a wire 50 miles in length, or be flattened into a sheet 100 square feet in area. • It's Sifted From Soil Much of today's gold supply comes not from digging deep mines in search of ore-bearing veins, but from sifting through vast quantities of soil for loose grains eroded from mountains and carried by flowing water.

• It's Soft But Heavy Despite its softness, gold is so incredibly dense and heavy that a cubic foot of it weighs half a ton. In 1875, English economist Stanley Jevons calculated that if the 20 million British Pounds in transactions that cleared the London Bankers Clearing House each day were paid in gold coins, it would require 80 strong horses to haul them away.

• It's Born in Supernovas The best guess for the source of all heavier elements is the only force in the universe with the enormous energy needed to fuse large nuclei: a supernova explosion. So the next time you hold gold in your hand, try to imagine mind-blowing circumstances of its birth, a genesis that must reach back to before the origin of our Solar System.

• Most of it Becomes Jewelry

According to the World Gold Council, about 70 percent of the world's gold output is used for making jewelry. Only about 13 percent is used to make coins, put in nations' central banks or purchased by investors. The rest goes to a variety of uses, such as industrial applications and dentistry. India is the biggest consumer of gold, snapping up about a quarter of the world's supply.

• Its Karat Was First a Fruit The karat, the measurement of the purity of gold, originally was a measure of weight. The unit was named after the fruit of the leguminous carob tree, whose pods each weigh about one-fifth of a gram. • It's Used in Electronics Gold is prized not just by jewelers and bankers but by electronics manufacturers because its high degree of thermal and electrical conductivity makes it an excellent material for efficient wires and contacts.

• It Comes in Many Colors

In relatively pure form, gold has a characteristic sun-yellow color. But when combined in alloys with other metals — silver, copper, nickel, platinum, palladium, tellurium and iron, among others — it can take on hues ranging from silver-white to green to orangered

• Gold melts at 1064 degrees centigrade. • ...And only boils at 2808 degrees centigrade. • 171300, This is the total number of tonnes of gold mined since the beginning of civilisation. • ... all of which would fit into a crate of 20 metres cubed. • 100,million people worldwide depend on gold mining for their livelihood. • It is rarer to find a one ounce nugget of gold than a five carat diamond. • The 394 %, increase in the price of gold from Dec 2000 to October 2010.

Why gold prices are rising ??
• Gold Prices in recent past has out-performed every other Asset Class. So,after hitting Rs 16,000 per 10 gm in September 2009, gold prices zoomed to touch the Rs 31,800-mark in November 2012.

• Inflation: Gold has always been a good tool to fight inflation. Rising inflation rate appreciates gold prices. With inflation rising to record highs, gold will prove to be a safe bet. • Economic crisis : Gold has always given high returns over a long term. As the crisis triggered a fall in markets across the globe, many investors wary of investing in stocks or bonds, found refuge in gold. Gold is globally accepted and easily convertible into cash.

• A fall in gold supply : Gold mining is decreasing and the demand for gold is increasing. Gold supply has decreased by almost 40 per cent as the cost of mining, legal formalities and geographical problems have increased which has led to a fall in gold mining. • Interest rates : The interest rates affect gold prices. Whenever interest rates fall, gold prices rise. Lowering interest rates increases gold prices as gold becomes a better investment option

• Political concerns, crisis : Whenever there is a crisis, war, terrorist attack etc, investors rush to prevent erosion of their investments and gold as a safe haven. After 9/11 terror attacks in the United States, the demand for gold had gone up. • Festivals: Indians are among the largest consumers of gold. Gold has been used as ornaments and gifted during festivals and weddings. So there is a huge demand for gold during the festive season.

• Low saving rate : With banks offering lower interest rates, fixed deposits make little sense. It is cheaper to even borrow money to invest in gold. • Investment in gold bonds : The other option is to invest in gold bonds or certificates issued by commercial banks. • These bonds generally carry low interest rates and a lock-in period varying from three years to seven years. On maturity, depositors can take the delivery of gold or amount equivalent depending on their options.

• No income tax : Since there is no regular income from investment in gold, the income will not be subjected to tax. • Stable investment : Gold pricing is not volatile so it remains stable. It is more stable than currencies. • High value and liquidity : It can be converted into cash and hence it is a highly liquid asset. • Good security : It is easy to get a loan banks since banks accept gold as security.

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