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Cost of gold the year you were born

  • 2010: Ghana gold rush

    - Average close price: $1,224.53 (+25.9% compared to previous year)
    --- Inflation adjusted: $1,445.76 (+23.9%)
    - U.S. primary gold production: 231 metric tons (8.9% of world total)
    - U.S. secondary gold production: 198 metric tons
    - U.S. gold net exports: -233 metric tons (383 tons exported and 616 tons imported)

    By the end of the first decade of the 20th century, it was clear that Ghana’s vast goldfields had not been as thoroughly depleted as previously thought. Following centuries of tradition, outsiders flooded into Africa to exploit its natural resources and worked with corrupt governments to extract as much mineral wealth as possible for as little as possible, often without regard to social or environmental consequences. Following historical precedent, these nations’ poor did most of the grueling work, and received the least profits.

  • 2011: Utah Legal Tender Act

    - Average close price: $1,571.52 (+28.3% compared to previous year)
    --- Inflation adjusted: $1,798.67 (+24.4%)
    - U.S. primary gold production: 234 metric tons (8.7% of world total)
    - U.S. secondary gold production: 263 metric tons
    - U.S. gold net exports: 99 metric tons (649 tons exported and 550 tons imported)

    In 2011, Utah became the first state in America to declare U.S.-minted silver and gold coins as legal tender. The groundbreaking law made it legal for people in the state to use gold to pay for everyday goods and services. The passage of the Utah Legal Tender Act triggered a rush by other state legislators to pursue similar legislation.

  • 2012: Tibesti Mountains gold rush

    - Average close price: $1,668.98 (+6.2% compared to previous year)
    --- Inflation adjusted: $1,871.48 (+4.0%)
    - U.S. primary gold production: 235 metric tons (8.5% of world total)
    - U.S. secondary gold production: 215 metric tons
    - U.S. gold net exports: 373 metric tons (699 tons exported and 326 tons imported)

    Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi seized and mined much of the Tibesti Mountains, on the Chad-Libya border, when gold was discovered there. He was eventually forced to return it to Chad, but decades of turmoil and strife rendered it a no-man's-land. The Libyan dictator was toppled and killed in 2011, but within a year, fortune hunters from across the world flooded into the troubled strip of land with gold on their minds.

  • 2013: Wyoming Legal Tender Act defeated

    - Average close price: $1,411.23 (-15.4% compared to previous year)
    --- Inflation adjusted: $1,559.62 (-16.7%)
    - U.S. primary gold production: 230 metric tons (7.9% of world total)
    - U.S. secondary gold production: 210 metric tons
    - U.S. gold net exports: 378 metric tons (693 tons exported and 315 tons imported)

    In 2013, Wyoming attempted to follow in the footsteps of its neighboring state, Utah, in passing the Wyoming Legal Tender Act, It sought tax-exempt and legal tender status for gold and silver, but was defeated. That same year, South Carolina, Indiana, Kansas, and Arizona either introduced or passed similar bills.

  • 2014: Oklahoma OKs gold as money

    - Average close price: $1,266.40 (-10.3% compared to previous year)
    --- Inflation adjusted: $1,377.22 (-11.7%)
    - U.S. primary gold production: 210 metric tons (7.0% of world total)
    - U.S. secondary gold production: 135 metric tons
    - U.S. gold net exports: 203 metric tons (511 tons exported and 308 tons imported)

    The following year in 2014, Oklahoma joined the fray when Gov. Mary Fallin signed Senate Bill 862 into law. The law recognized U.S.-minted gold and silver as legal tender and exempted both from taxation.

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  • 2015: Another defeat for Wyoming gold

    - Average close price: $1,160.06 (-8.4% compared to previous year)
    --- Inflation adjusted: $1,260.07 (-8.5%)
    - U.S. primary gold production: 214 metric tons (6.9% of world total)
    - U.S. secondary gold production: 124 metric tons
    - U.S. gold net exports: 229 metric tons (494 tons exported and 265 tons imported)

    In 2015, the Wyoming Legal Tender Act was voted down once more. That same year, Gov. Doug Ducey of Arizona vetoed a similar bill that passed his state legislature by a wide margin.

  • 2016: Gold rush eats the Amazon

    - Average close price: $1,250.74 (+7.8% compared to previous year)
    --- Inflation adjusted: $1,341.65 (+6.5%)
    - U.S. primary gold production: 222 metric tons (7.1% of world total)
    - U.S. secondary gold production: 220 metric tons
    - U.S. gold net exports: 19 metric tons (393 tons exported and 374 tons imported)

    Although Peru is home to most of the known gold in the Amazon, every country within the great rainforest’s reaches contains—or is believed to contain—enough gold to attract legions of treasure hunters. Most of them operate small, illegal, unreported, and environmentally disastrous mining operations. By the mid-2010s, hundreds of thousands of acres of pristine jungle were burned or otherwise cleared for illegal mining operations, and countless more were poisoned by mercury and other mining waste.

  • 2017: Texas introduces gold protection bill

    - Average close price: $1,257.12 (+0.5% compared to previous year)
    --- Inflation adjusted: $1,320.36 (-1.6%)
    - U.S. primary gold production: 232 metric tons (7.2% of world total)
    - U.S. secondary gold production: 119 metric tons
    - U.S. gold net exports: 206 metric tons (461 tons exported and 255 tons imported)

    In 2017, Texas joined the growing chorus of states calling for protections on precious metals. That year, a state senator introduced SB2097, which, if passed, would give gold and silver legal tender status while protecting the metals from seizure by state authorities.

  • 2018: Gold discoveries decline…again

    - Average close price: $1,268.49 (+0.9% compared to previous year)
    --- Inflation adjusted: $1,300.54 (-1.5%)
    - U.S. primary gold production: 226 metric tons (6.8% of world total)
    - U.S. secondary gold production: 117 metric tons
    - U.S. gold net exports: 261 metric tons (474 tons exported and 213 tons imported)

    By 2018, it had become painfully clear that the world’s demand for gold was exhausting the Earth’s natural supply. The S&P Global Market Intelligence's annual Gold Discoveries report confirmed what industry insiders had long known—the rate of gold discoveries was continuing to decline, even as exploration costs were at record highs.

  • 2019: West Virginia removes gold tax

    - Average close price: $1,392.60 (+9.8% compared to previous year)
    --- Inflation adjusted: $1,402.41 (+7.8%)
    - U.S. primary gold production: 200 metric tons (6.1% of world total)
    - U.S. secondary gold production: 130 metric tons
    - U.S. gold net exports: 180 metric tons (350 tons exported and 170 tons imported)

    On March 8, 2019, Senate Bill 502 passed the West Virginia Legislature. The bill was signed into law on July 1, making sales of investment metal bullion and investment coins exempt from taxation in the state.

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