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Gold has been coveted and used by human beings since the Bonze Age. Its scarcity, malleability and beauty has made it a store of value for thousands of years. Two of the biggest roles gold plays in our lives are that of jewelry and money.

It might sound strange these days to hear of gold being money. Decades of devalued fiat paper currency have conditioned our minds to think of the dollar, the euro, the yen when we hear the word “money”. It is gold, however, that is the ultimate money. As a currency, gold has served mankind for millenia.

As economies around the world slide into lethargy, with rising unemployment, skyrocketing tax rates and fiscal cliffs around every corner, interest in gold is booming. Investing in gold is not buying earrings or necklaces. It means giving up some paper money in exchange for true wealth. It means obtaining a good that cannot be devalued, cannot be frozen in a bank account and does not lose value over time.

To put things into perspective, consider a one-troy ounce gold coin with a face value of $50. Fifty years ago that coin was worth its face value: fifty dollars. In 2013 that same coin is worth more than $1,700 (yes, one-thousand seven hundred dollars)! How could a $50 coin be worth so much? The answer is one word: gold.

The coins you have in your pocket right now look silver, but don’t be fooled. They are merely a collection of metal alloys with no intrinsic value. Only your faith in their value and your faith in your government give it value. A gold coin, on the other hand, cannot be produced at will. The gold must be mined, refined and minted. Since gold is a scarce metal, this gives it an intrinsic value that can never be destroyed by a financial crisis or bank run.

The gold price is determined in the gold exchanges around the world, where investors trade assets related to gold. In 2013 one troy ounce of gold is traded for more than $1,600. Since a $50 gold coin contains one ounce of gold, it is easy to understand why its price is so high. Fifty dollars today will not buy you the same things they would 100 years ago. In the early 1900’s fifty dollars was enough for a month’s grocery shopping. Today it’s only good for a trip to 7-Eleven.

What happened to the dollar? Simple: it has been devalued. When US money was backed by gold, a $20 face gold coin bought a lot of goods. Twenty dollars today is barely enough to get you out of your front door because a twenty dollar bill is not backed by gold. Actually, it is not backed by anything except faith in government. The explosion of interest in investing in gold is a direct consequence of our nightmarish economic situation these days. As the public loses faith in government and its ability to solve problems, faith is also lost in its currency. Who pays for all the wars, social programs and bank bailouts? You do, through currency devaluation by means of money printing.

Gold cannot be printed. It cannot be suppressed. It cannot be controlled by politicians. Gold is a symbol of the free man. Does it surprise you that Amschel Rothschild was quoted as saying “Give me control of a nation’s money supply, and I care not who makes its laws.”.

The time to invest in gold is now. gold price is right.