Even before gold was first mined in Bulgaria or Georgia in the fourth millennia B.C., the lustrous metal had captured mankind’s imagination as an ornament symbolic of power and status, as a medium of exchange, and as an ever-ready transportable store of wealth.
Through the eons, gold has endured, as city-states, empires and then nations receded into history, and industries rose and toppled like so many statues of fallen rulers. Even auriferous cynics concede that gold permanently retains a measure of value, unlike many stocks, bonds or cash now used as wallpaper, or property in cities that have died, or farmland turned fallow.
Through the generations gold has been championed as that one, last and best backstop against the unpredictable vagaries of society, nation and, of course, the cash-printing press. And yet, the investment world has changed in recent decades, creating opportunities where none existed yesteryear. From a keyboard, investors both individua