When fear and uncertainty rises, many investors start thinking about having a portion of their assets in precious metals.
Traditionally these have been an effective store of value, even a medium of exchange when the standard economic system breaks down.
While bitcoin may also be adopting a similar role, when economies collapse and the standard infrastructure fails, precious metals may still be a vital way to trade.
Who knows, perhaps Greece could face widespread uncertainty in coming months.
But for New Zealand, such scenarios seem remote.
However, precious metals also have fashion, jewelry, even industrial uses, and it is these uses that underpin the everyday value.
interest.co.nz has many resources tracking gold and other precious metals.
Firstly, the daily closing prices in London and New York are graphed here which provides a valuable perspective of recent and long term trends.
These charts are unique because they show both the traditional US dollar values and the value in New Zealand dollars. They include prices for gold, silver, and platinum.
These prices are the wholesale bullion rates.
But for a more practical price assessment, we also track local retail selling prices for coins, bars and buying prices for precious metal 'scrap' (that is, for precious metals that will be melted down locally).
Prices for gold coins are here. This tracks both buying and selling prices at NZ Mint, and the Perth Mint..
Prices for gold bars are here. This tracks both buying and selling prices at NZ Mint, and the Perth Mint.
Prices for 'scrap' are here. This covers reference prices from the Perth Mint and Kitco so you can assess how attractive prices from local buyers really are.
We also track how much gold New Zealand exports, here (at the bottom of that page).
In addition, we publish stories that track the world consumption of gold products by sector along with the volumes supplied by the mining industry. Recently this data shows there is rising supply and waning demand; demand is greatly influenced less by retail or jewelry, more by hedge fund speculators and the central banks of non-Western countries.