Historical Gold Prices

If you are seeking an allocation to an alternative currency, gold is perhaps the best option still.

It has proven itself time over multiple millennia as a store of value and medium of exchange.

On this page we will cover gold price history and historical gold prices from +5000 years ago in ancient Egypt to today in this 21st Century Gold Rush.

As a short primer, the following video covers the recorded history of gold and its fundamental supply demand factors today.

Gold Price History (United States - USA)

Most of our website visitors are from the USA and for that reason we will begin with a chart covering the US dollar price of gold since the founding of the United States of America (USA).

In our nation’s historically brief +240 year history the price of gold has swung from as low as $20.67 oz to a high close to $2000 oz in the late summer of 2011.

Below we will examine the major historical dates and charts for US dollar gold prices.

We will begin with a roughly 700 year gold price chart which uses UK gold price data converted into US gold prices even before Christopher Columbus arrived to the Americas.

700 Years of Gold Prices (USA)

US dollar gold price history spliced UK gold prices SD Bullion SDBullion.com

Up next is a historical gold price chart which covers the entire history of US dollar gold prices from the year 1776 to 2018.

All Time Gold Prices (USA)

Long term Gold Price History Historical Gold Prices USA SD Bullion SDBullion.com

For the majority of non war US history the price of gold was fixed at $20.67 per oz USD.

Following the 1933 gold nationalization also known as the US gold confiscation, the US dollar was devalued against gold by almost 70% to an eventual fixed price of $35 oz USD. 

Even your average nerd on Jeopardy doesn't know some of these simple facts, see for yourself on this $800 question.

Below you will find the US dollar gold price from 1925 through 1934.

Gold Prices in the Great Depression 1930s

Gold nationalization Gold confiscation US dollar devaluation vs gold SD Bullion SDBullion.com

France calls the London Gold Pool's Bluff and stands for physical Gold Bullion delivery 

After the late 1960’s collapse of the gold price rigging London Gold Pool, the August 1971 Nixon Shock ushered in our current floating fiat currency exchange standard where gold prices seemingly only gains value vs fiat currencies over the long term.

Below is a chart of gold prices in US dollars during the year 1971.

US dollar Gold Price 1971

Nixon shock end of Bretton Woods August 15, 1971 SD Bullion SDBullion.com

The following chart illustrates how the US dollar gold price performed from the London Gold Pool’s final years up to the year 1974.

US citizens were not allowed to own more than 5 oz of gold bullion each from 1934 to 1974.

US dollar Gold Prices 1965 - 1974

Gold price History 1965 - 1974 historical gold prices SD Bullion SDBullion.com.png

The next chart illustrates US dollar gold prices in its 1970s and 1980 gold bull market, which is currently being dwarfed by this 21st Century Gold Rush ongoing.

1970s 1980 Gold Bull Market

Gold Bull Market 1970 1980 historical gold prices Gold price history SD Bullion SDBullion.com

Now you can see this ongoing 21st Century Gold bull market's potential in the chart below and in this post about its future to come.

21st Century Gold Bull Market Ongoing

Gold Bull Market 2000s 21st Century Gold price history historical gold prices SD Bullion SDBullion.com

Finally we will use the most accurate historical inflation data available produced by ShadowStats to better understand gold’s US dollar value over the span of our nation’s history.

The chart below uses the ShadowStats Alternative CPI-U Measure which is an attempt at adjusting government benefiting CPI-U inflation underreporting which has widened since 1980.

The changes in methods used to report inflation have drastically changed over recent decades and were likely designed to move the concept of the CPI (core price inflation) away from being a measure of the cost of living needed to maintain a constant standard of living.  

This following chart is based on more accurate price inflation reporting methods in place as of 1980.

According to the chart US dollar gold prices and values were cheapest in the year 2000 and most expensive in late January 1980.

Gold Price Value Based on Real Inflation

Long term ShadowStats Alternative CPI-U Gold Price History Historical Gold Prices USA SD Bullion SDBullion.com

Gold Price History (United Kingdom - UK)

The following chart covers some 7 centuries of historical UK gold price data.

700 Years of Gold Prices (UK)

United Kingdom British Britain Gold price history historical gold prices 700 year UK gold prices SD Bullion SDBullion.com

Official British Gold Price Data

You can download each year’s official British gold price from 1257 to 1945 by clicking here.

The nearly seven hundred year data set begins with a British gold per ounce price of 0.89 £ oz and ends with multiple centuries of a fixed 4.25 £ oz price for gold in British pounds.

Following World War II the price of gold in british pound terms has almost gone up exponentially eclipsing 1000£ oz for multiyear stretches in this decade (2010s),

Historical Gold Prices vs Silver

One of the best ways to understand gold’s trading value historically is to measure it against its precious monetary cousin, silver.

For this investors often use the historic Gold Silver Ratio to understand perhaps which metal is undervalued vs overvalued short, medium, and even in the long term.

Here is a short definition of the gold silver ratio:

Gold Silver Ratio - (n) a moving ratio measurement of the amount of silver one can buy with a fixed amount of gold. Typically in the western world the gold to silver ratio is measured by simply dividing the  gold spot price by the silver spot price. It can be measured in like kind weights: grams, kilos, tonnes, troy ounces, etc.

For recorded history, the gold silver ratio has been as low as 2.5 to a somewhat recent all time of about 100 in the early 1940s and 1990s. The gold silver ratio hit about 33 in the spring of 2011 and dropped to as low as about 16 as gold and silver peaked in prices in early 1980.

As of producing this content the gold silver ratio has risen near 80. The following long term charts show the respective history of gold vs silver price ratios in the USA and UK respectively.

USA Historical Gold Price vs Silver Price Ratio

Long Term Gold Price History Historical Gold Prices Gold Silver Ratio USA SD Bullion SDBullion.com

UK Historical Gold Price vs Silver Price Ratio

Long Term Gold Price History Historical Gold Prices Gold Silver Ratio UK Britain British SD Bullion SDBullion.com.png

Longer Term Gold Price History vs Silver

The following content and historic data is directly sourced from  book is called ‘Silver Bonanza’ and it was authored by James Blanchard III released in 1995. 

Mr. Blanchard was a successful business man and the driving force behind the ‘re-legalization’ of private gold ownership in the USA in 1975.

Only recently have we learned through Wikileaks intercepted US cables that simultaneous efforts were ongoing to discourage US citizenry from buying and saving gold bullion long term (but that is a COMEX and gold price discovery topic for another post).

Below is nearly 5,000 years of gold silver ratio data:

The more ancient ratios are estimates for long periods of time. Those from 1600 to 1900 (AD) are yearly on periodic averages from Michael G. Mulhall, The Dictionary of Statistics, 4th ed. (London: George Routledge and Sons, 1899) and E.J. Farmer, The Conspiracy Against Silver, or a Plea for Bimetallism (New York: Greenwood Press, 1969; originally published 1886), p. 13.

The other statistics are from Steve Puetz’s Investment Letter, or from our own records. Statistics after 1900 are not yearly averages, but lows or highs that generally did not obtain for long periods. In 1980 the ratio stayed below 20 to 1 for the first two and a half months only, and touched under 16 to 1 for only a few days in January.


Time Frame, Era

Sell 1 oz Gold Bullion

To buy X oz of Silver

Menes, Egypt 3200 BC



Egypt, 2700 BC



Hammurabi, Mesopotamia, 2700 BC



Egypt 1000 BC



Croesus, Lydia 550 BC



Persia under Darius, son of Hystaspes (father of Xerxes)



Plato, ca. 445 BC



Xenophon (in Persia)



Menander, ca. 341 BC



Greece, ca. 300 BC



Rome, 207 BC



Rome, 189 BC



Rome, 40 BC, Julius Caesar



Rome, Claudius



Constantine the Great



Theodosian Code



Medieval England



Medieval Italy





Time Frame, Era

Sell 1 oz Gold Bullion

To buy X oz of Silver

Spain, 1497 AD, Edict of Medina



Germany, 1500 AD



1600 - 1620 AD



1700 - 1720 AD



1800 - 1820 AD



1821 - 1840 AD



1841 - 1860 AD



1861 - 1870 AD



1871 - 1880 AD



1881 - 1882 AD



1883 - 1884 AD



1885 - 1886 AD



1887 - 1888 AD



1890 AD



1932 AD



1940 - 1941 AD



1980 AD



1991 AD (February)



1994 AD (July)



For further information on gold price history and investing fundamentals, check out our 21st Century Gold Rush guide.

You can always find fresh up to date gold price information on our live Gold Price Page.

Be sure to bookmark them both if gold price history and information are important to you.