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Gold standard: How volatile gold prices make for tricky appraisals

Buying gold in Canada

These earrings feature granulation, which adds value beyond that of the gold used in their design.

Just like any commodity, gold is traded in U.S. dollars, so the value of your local currency factors into the metal’s price. Case in point, the average price for an ounce of gold in January 2012 was $1656, but Canadians paid $1678 after currency conversion. Compare that to the price in January 2016 when gold cost $1097, which converted to $1561 Cdn. Despite the fact gold had dropped by 44 per cent, it really hadn’t changed so much when converted to Canadian dollars—a mere
7 per cent.

World economies not only determine currency exchange rates, but they also impact international supply and demand, affecting the price of gold. I’m not suggesting appraisers become economists, but it would be wise to develop an awareness of outside influences impacting the cost of gold and, ultimately, gold jewellery. World Gold Council (WGC) is a terrific resource. It publishes downloadable spreadsheets of gold prices in multiple currencies dating back to 1978. It also produces a quarterly publication reporting on gold demand, trends, and analysis.

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