New York Loan Company primarily loans against and buys gold jewelry and fine watches. Clients often have questions about gold and the gold market. Gold has been in forefront of the public’s mind recently, due to its increased value and the subsequent “cash for gold” shops that popped up just about everywhere. The history and significance of gold is long and challenging, but having even a little knowledge of one of our most valuable resources might benefit you. Jordan Tabach-Bank, the owner and CEO of Beverly Loan Company and New York Loan Company, points out “About 50% of gold mined is used for jewelry, which, of course, is our concentration.” He continues, “It’s important for myself and my staff to have a strong knowledge of gold, and other precious metals including silver and platinum.”
Tabach-Bank is an expert on the price of gold and has been featured on several news programs to discuss the gold market. Gold has been an important commodity since it was first discovered, and shows no signs of slowing down. Tabach-Bank explains, “New York Loan is a different kind of pawn shop, and we are happy to test, evaluate and loan against your lustrous gold jewelry and answer any questions you may have.”
The first signs of the use of gold came from the Egyptians, who have a long history with the precious metal. They considered it to be a divine, and often associated it with the brilliance of the sun. The Egyptians were the first to smelt gold in 3600 BC, to discover how to alloy gold with other metals, and to create the “lost-melt” technique that is still used in jewelry making today.
The Lydian’s (present day Turkey) were the first to mint coins for trade, although the Romans were the first to use gold coins as a widespread currency system. Great Britain was the earliest country to use the “Gold Standard” as a monetary system, where currency would be fixed to the weight of gold; and in the 19th century, all major countries other than China used the Gold standard.
From the 19th to the 21st century, gold became even more significant as gold rushes took place in the United States. The largest and most famous gold rush took place in 1848 in California, where the discovery of gold caused the population of San Francisco to grow from 1,000 to 25,000 in just two years. In fact, hundreds of ships that were used to bring prospectors to California were abandoned in the harbor because nobody wanted to leave the boomtown. The last American gold rush happened in 1896 in Klondike, Alaska.
The significant role of gold in the world currency systems ended after President Nixon ended the US dollar convertibility to gold in 1971. This in turn resulted in a record per ounce gold price in January 1980. The price again hit a record high 40 years later in 2011, and has stayed considerably high since. Today there is an estimated 171,300 tonnes (metric ton) of gold around the world in reserves, and of that the United States has about 30%.