How Much Money Is an Ounce of Gold?

by Tim Plaehn ; Updated July 27, 2017
Gold jewelry display counter

There is no a simple answer to the value of an ounce of gold. Gold is a commodity that trades on different financial markets and the price fluctuates over time.

History

After WWII, the U.S. fixed the price of gold at $35 per ounce. In 1971, President Nixon took the U.S. off the gold standard and allowed the price to fluctuate. Gold prices increased sharply in the 1970s, peaking at $850 per ounce in January 1980 before starting a 20 year decline. Since January 1, 2000 until August 2009 gold has fluctuated between $250 and $1,000 per ounce.

Identification

The current market price of gold can be found on any of the financial websites. Marketwatch.com has the current gold price on its front page.

Considerations

The market price of gold is the price London bankers get for 1,000 ounce bars stored in their vaults. Street price for an individual selling gold is based on the ability to prove the gold's pureness.

Potential

American Eagle Gold coins are the easiest way to buy or sell and ounce of gold in the U.S. The coins are also available in tenth-ounce, quarter-ounce and half-ounce sizes.

Misconceptions

Selling gold jewelry will not bring the current gold price per ounce. Jewelry gold is not pure, and the gold buyer will offer a significant discount to the spot gold price when purchasing gold objects.

Fun Fact

Gold is measured in troy ounces. There are 14.58 troy ounces to the pound. The troy ounce is approximately 10% heavier than the standard ounce.

About the Author

Tim Plaehn has been writing financial, investment and trading articles and blogs since 2007. His work has appeared online at Seeking Alpha, Marketwatch.com and various other websites. Plaehn has a bachelor's degree in mathematics from the U.S. Air Force Academy.

Photo Credits

  • Feng Li/Getty Images News/Getty Images