Gold price statistics: what is the history of gold prices in the US?

1 min readLast updated March 28, 2024by Unbiased team

Delve into gold price statistics and uncover the factors that shape the gold market, as well as historical trends, the current status, and future projections.


  • Gold's value surged to an all-time high of $2,195 per ounce on March 8th, 2024. 

  • 26% of Americans now consider gold the best long-term investment, nearly doubling since 2022. 

  • Faith in stocks and mutual funds has dwindled, with only 18% of Americans considering them the best investment in 2023, down from 24% in 2022. 

  • Forecasts predict that gold prices will continue to be influenced by Federal Reserve interest rate cuts and declining US real yields. 

Who is buying gold in the US? 

In the US, gold is being purchased by a diverse range of investors, including individual retail investors, institutional investors, hedge funds, and central banks.  

According to gold price statistics, interest in gold as an investment has been growing, driven by factors such as economic uncertainties, geopolitical tensions, and the desire for portfolio diversification.  

The rise of financial products like gold ETFs (Exchange-Traded Funds) has also made gold more accessible to a broader range of investors, further contributing to its demand in the US market. 

The interest of Western investors in gold has driven its price from a low of $1,160 during the summer of 2018 to a historic peak of $2,195 in March 2024. As a result, gold has emerged as one of the most sought-after financial assets globally.  

According to a Gallup poll, approximately 26% of Americans view gold as their preferred long-term investment, marking a significant increase from 2022's figure of 15%.  

Conversely, the percentage of Americans favoring stocks and mutual funds as their top investment choice dropped from 24% in 2022 to 18% in 2023. 

What is the current price of gold? 

The price of gold in America and globally fluctuates due to a multitude of factors and dynamics within the global market.  

The current price of gold in America stands at approximately $2,150 per ounce (March 19, 2024), reflecting its stability amidst global uncertainties.  

The past year saw significant fluctuations, with the price of gold ranging from a low of $1,831 on February 10, 2023, to its all-time high of $2,195 on March 8, 2024.  

This represents a year-to-date gain of 5% and a blistering 12-month gain of 19%.​

What is the history of the price of gold? 

Remarkable stability punctuated by significant events characterizes the history of the price of gold.  

Notably, Sir Isaac Newton, as the master of the U.K. Mint, set the gold price at L3.17s. 10d. per troy ounce in 1717, which remained effectively unchanged for two hundred years until 1914. However, during the Napoleonic wars from 1797 to 1821, the price experienced fluctuations due to the economic turmoil of the time.  

Similarly, the official U.S. Government gold price underwent minimal changes from 1792 to the present day, with only four adjustments recorded.  

Starting at $19.75 per troy ounce, the price increased to $20.67 in 1834, followed by a significant jump to $35 in 1934. Further adjustments occurred in 1972, raising the price to $38 and, in 1973, to $42.22.  

The establishment of a two-tiered pricing system in 1968 marked a pivotal moment in the history of the price of gold, allowing the market price for gold to fluctuate freely.  

For example, as the table from the NMA illustrates, the price has grown dramatically. Let’s look at a snapshot of prices over 100 years at 20 year intervals: 

YearAverage price
2016 $1250.74
1996 $387.81
1976 $124.74
1956 $34.99
1936 $34.87
1916 $18.99

*Prices from 1883 to 1994 were taken from the World Gold Council and Timothy Green's Historical Gold Price Table. **Prices from 1995-present,, based on the London PM fix.

What causes gold to drop in price? 

Gold prices can drop due to various factors, such as a strong dollar, rising interest rates, and low inflation. When this happens, the cost of gold per gram may also be affected.  

While changes in production levels, market conditions, economic stability, geopolitical events, and investor sentiment collectively contribute to the fluctuations in the price of gold, ultimately, its value is dictated by supply and demand.  

In 2009, Aaron Regent, then president of Barrick Gold Corp., the world’s second-largest gold producer, argued that global gold production was in terminal decline, having peaked at the turn of the millennium and that it would continue to fall.  

This assertion aligns with the idea that a decrease in gold production can lead to a rise in prices due to reduced supply. The subsequent doubling of gold prices until late 2011 reflects how supply constraints can impact market prices.  

What is the future of gold prices? 

According to a forecast by J.P. Morgan, gold prices in 2024 will be influenced by Federal Reserve interest rate cuts and declining US real yields.  

While short-term fluctuations are anticipated, gold prices are expected to surge to reach new heights later in the year, with a projected peak of $2,300 per ounce by 2025.  

This outlook is based on previous trends and gold price statistics. It underscores gold's resilience as a hedge against economic uncertainties and geopolitical tensions, reaffirming its status as a preferred investment avenue for risk-averse investors. 

Get expert financial advice 

The history of gold prices and current numbers tell a compelling story of investor sentiment and global economic dynamics, from historical stability to present-day fluctuations.  

In considering these statistical insights, we are reminded of gold's timeless appeal and its role as a financial safe haven in times of uncertainty.  

To profit from gold, seeking expert financial advice is essential to navigating the complexities of gold price statistics and this type of investment.  

Unbiased can match you with a financial advisor who can provide the financial advice you need to manage your money successfully and optimize your investment strategy in the ever-evolving gold market landscape. 

Find a financial advisor now


Unbiased team

Our team of writers, who have decades of experience writing about personal finance, including investing and retirement, are here to help you find out what you must know about life’s biggest financial decisions.