Sir Isaac Newton, as the Master of the U.K. Mint, set the price of a troy ounce of gold in 1717 which remained unchanged for two hundred years, until 1914, except wars during 1797 to 1821. The official gold price in the U.S. has changed only four times since 1792, starting at $19.75 per troy ounce to $42.22 in 1973 and other prices in between. However, the market price of gold per troy ounce since duel pricing created in 1968 has been fluctuating widely from average price of $39.31 in 1968 to $1,571.52 in 2011.
Gold is a dense, soft, and shiny metal. Its bright yellow color, shine, and resistance to acids make it more attractive as a jewelry metal. Because of its softness, when making jewelry it is alloyed with other metals. Copper has been the favorite alloy metal for gold. It comes in alloys of lower caratage of 10k to 22k. The highly sought-after metal also used in coinage, dentistry and electronics. Gold standard has been the monetary policy throughout the human history. India and China leads the world’s gold jewelry consumption.
As of 2009, it is estimated that approximately 165,000 tons of gold have been mined throughout the human history.