What I kept seeing was that folks

What I kept seeing was that folks were either saying they had no experience with gold of any kind, or were investing only in gold bullion which is only one form of gold (and the most expensive in terms of buy-in levels). Also the clunkiest, as Sharon has pointed out, in terms of converting it to currency. What I was talking about, and no one else here has yet mentioned they have any experience with it, was gold coin. It’s a lot easier to work with, a lot easier to buy, a lot easier to trade, and a very potent investment vehicle for small scale investing. That’s why I was going to such lengths about how it works. Is it the be-all, end-all of investing? Of course not, no one investment would be. But is it given due consideration as an attractive option, in comparison with the other forms of investment typically traded by individuals? Realistically, I think it’s usually overlooked. Which again is why I made such a point to show its strengths and weaknesses. I could say the same about silver coin; a good “starter” precious metal, holds value, easy to work with, no federal meddling, etc. Stela, as to how to convert your bullion into currency, the short answer is I’m not sure if you can “trade it in” for gold coin. We’ve never worked with gold bullion so I have no idea – that was too rich for our blood at the time. And yes, you have to have a trading partner who can handle gold bullion. That list is relatively short. Honestly I’m not sure I’d ever mess with gold bullion for exactly the reasons you mention. It would require some shuffling to translate that bullion into dollars (or whatever other currency) in your hand. That’s not its strength. Its strength is its longevity compared to paper assets which come and go a lot more easily. The “midpoint” between the ultra-convenient paper assets, and the clunky brick long-term value of gold bullion, is the gold coin I keep harping about.

OK, this has gone quite a bit further than I expected or wanted. Gold and silver are a part of our investment plans, in the form of coin, for all the reasons I’ve mentioned. They aren’t the only thing we plan to invest in, nor even the centerpiece. But they can play a unique roll in anyone’s investment plan who cares to include them. That’s all I was trying to get across.

OK, don’t want to get into arguments

so this will be it for me on this topic. The price of gold did drop 2% over the course of calendar year 2012. It is usually not a short turnaround investment. But in the past five years, it’s increased in value by 85%. None of my savings accounts have had returns at that rate, and stock performance may or may not have matched that. My house and property certainly didn’t appreciate that much in the last five years, nor did any of our other durable goods/assets. And looking over the 10 year, 50 year and 100 year history of gold prices in this country, it has steadily climbed, sometimes by a lot. So it can at least compete with other forms of investing. I’ve been trying to find a chart that would allow me to compare the DJIA side by side with gold and silver, to see how they each performed over longer periods of time. All three have steadily improved in value over time, with individual bobbles here and there of course, and at different rates. Haven’t found a chart yet that allows me to compare all three side by side, but here’s a nice chart for gold that goes back up to 60 years.
Haven’t found one yet for DJIA that goes back in those increments. All of them either go back only 5 years, or go back to the beginning of the industrial average. That leaves out a whole lot of good comparable info. I’ll keep looking.