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The True Value of Gold

The True Value of Gold By Ellen Kelleher Financial Times, London Saturday, August 28, 2010 http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/e9378c6c-b0b8-11df-8c04-00144feabdc0.html The Baird & Co. warehouse sits in a dreary business park, half a mile east of London’s City airport. A black Mercedes and a blue Jaguar near the entrance are the sole touch of glamour. Step inside and men in overalls are fashioning medallions, bars, and rings from molten gold, purified in vats next door. From an office upstairs, Tony Baird, the company’s managing director and a former coin dealer, presides over the hubbub. “Gold is stable,” he says. “It’s the value of money that goes up and down.” Baird & Co. sells gold to everyone from pension funds to jewellers, and as the managing director says: “Our machines can’t work fast enough these days.” Demand for gold has risen since September 2008, when the financial crisis began roiling the markets, following the collapse of Lehman Brothers. Investors may have lost faith in paper money, but by June this year, $81.6 billion was stored in gold-backed, exchange-traded funds — more than eight times the amount invested in March 2006. Meanwhile, the Rand refinery in South Africa, which produces the world’s most popular gold coin, the krugerrand, has been forced to increase production to keep up with demand. And in May the Austrian Mint sold 238,000 ounces of its Vienna Philharmonic coin, a six-fold increase in a year.


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