Why Gold Prices Keep Increasing

Why Gold Prices Keep Increasing

Did you know that gold prices have soared over 500% in the last 20 years? You might be wondering why this precious metal keeps getting pricier. It's not as simple as you might think.

The fluctuating value of the U.S. dollar, shifting demand for gold, changes in gold production, interest rates, and even geopolitical factors all play a role in this complex equation. To gain a full understanding of why gold prices keep increasing, we discuss:

  • Value of the U.S. dollar
  • Demand for gold
  • Gold production
  • Interest rates
  • Geopolitical factors

Ready to dig a little deeper? There's a fascinating world behind the glittering surface of gold prices, and you're just a step away from unraveling it.

Value of the U.S. dollar

Value of the U.S. dollar

While you might not immediately connect the two, the value of the U.S. dollar plays a crucial role in determining gold prices, as they often move inversely to each other, meaning when the dollar strengthens, gold prices typically drop, and vice versa. This inverse relationship between the dollar and gold is primarily due to global economic dynamics. When the dollar is strong, it means the economy is doing well, making riskier assets more attractive. Consequently, gold, often viewed as a safe haven during economic turbulence, tends to lose its appeal, causing its price to decrease.

However, when the economy is turbulent, and the dollar weakens, you'll find that investors flock to gold. This is because gold is a tangible asset that has held its value throughout history, providing a sense of security when fiat currencies like the dollar falter. Therefore, during economic downturns, gold prices usually rise as demand for this safe haven asset increases.

Predicting future gold prices involves carefully monitoring the dollar's performance. If you anticipate that the dollar will weaken due to economic or geopolitical factors, gold prices will likely rise. Conversely, if you foresee a strong economy with a robust dollar, you might expect a dip in gold prices.

Demand for gold

Demand for Gold

You'll find that the demand for gold is multifaceted. Jewelry-driven demand is a significant factor, accounting for a large portion of the physical gold demand globally. But don't overlook the impact of gold exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and industrial applications, both of which contribute to the rising demand and, subsequently, the increasing prices.

Jewelry-driven demand

When you think of purchasing gold, jewelry often comes to mind first; it's a popular form, but its impact on gold prices may surprise you. Jewelry, despite its visibility, is often a weaker driver of gold prices. Here's why: many people buy jewelry and keep it for years, even decades. This long-term holding pattern means less gold re-enters the market, thus not significantly affecting supply-demand dynamics. However, a surge in jewelry purchases - especially in large gold-consuming nations like India and China - can push up gold prices. Predicting these buying trends is tricky, but it's crucial for understanding gold price movements. So, while you're admiring that gold necklace, remember, that it's part of a complex, global market.

Demand from gold exchange-traded funds (ETFs)

Beyond the jewelry market's influence on gold prices, another crucial factor comes into play: the demand from gold exchange-traded funds (ETFs). You might already understand the concept of ETFs if you're familiar with stock buying. Gold ETFs invest in gold bullion or gold-mining companies, combining the broad industry exposure and stability of gold.

When more people invest in gold ETFs, demand rises, driving up the price of this precious metal. It's a direct correlation – as the interest in these ETFs grows, you'll likely see a parallel rise in gold prices. This trend doesn't show signs of slowing down. So, keep a keen eye on the gold ETF market. It's a key player in the ongoing tale of increasing gold prices.

Demand for industrial applications

Let's shift our focus to the industrial realm, where the demand for gold is significantly influenced by its diverse applications in sectors such as electronics, healthcare, and space exploration.

  1. Electronics: Your favorite gadgets wouldn't work without gold. It's used in connectors, switches, and wires due to its excellent conductivity.
  2. Healthcare: Gold is utilized in diagnostic procedures and therapeutic treatments. An increase in medical innovations boosts gold demand.
  3. Space Exploration: Gold's reflective properties protect spacecraft from radiation, pushing the need for gold even higher.
  4. Production Applications: As industries expand, more gold is needed to produce goods and complete services.

If these sectors surge, you can expect gold prices to follow suit. The correlation between industrial growth and gold value is something you should watch out for.

Gold production

Gold Production

Often, you'll find that gold production, a finite resource, is becoming increasingly challenging and costly due to the varying difficulty of prospecting and mining efforts. The accessibility of this precious metal is dwindling, making the task of extracting it an uphill battle. This is reflected in the plateauing of gold production over the last seven years, a trend that experts suggest could persist.

Furthermore, some predict that gold mining may become unsustainable by 2050, an alarming forecast that amplifies the inherent value of this limited resource. This progressive scarcity is a significant contributor to the rising cost of gold, as decreased supply naturally leads to increased prices.

The dollar value of gold is also connected to the cost of production. When the expense of mining increases, it directly impacts the price of gold. This is because gold miners need to maintain their profitability, and when costs rise, they pass these expenses on to the consumer.

Beyond the immediate economic implications, the environmental footprint of gold mining is also a factor to consider. As the process becomes more challenging, it often also becomes more damaging to the environment, which could lead to stricter regulations and subsequently, higher costs.

Interest rates

Interest Rates

Have you ever considered how interest rates impact the price of gold? Interest rates play a significant role in determining the value of the precious metal. When rates are high, gold's appeal as a non-interest-bearing asset diminishes, leading to a drop in its price. Conversely, when rates are low, gold becomes a more attractive investment option and its price tends to rise.

Here are four key ways in which interest rates affect gold prices:

  1. Expectations of Central Bank Rate Cuts: If investors anticipate a rate cut, they often flock to gold as a safe-haven asset, pushing up its price.
  2. Lower Bond Yields: When bond yields are low, gold's allure increases due to its potential for higher returns, causing its price to spike.
  3. Negative Interest Rates: In countries where interest rates are negative, gold becomes a more desirable asset, which can result in a surge in its price.
  4. Inflation Concerns: Gold is often seen as a hedge against inflation. Thus, when interest rates are low and inflation is anticipated, gold's price can escalate.

Geopolitical Factors

While it's true that interest rates significantly impact gold prices, another crucial variable to consider is the role of geopolitical factors. Often, when tensions rise and uncertainty prevails, you'll see an upward movement in gold prices. This is because gold is perceived as a safe-haven asset, a protective shield for your money in times of conflict. A case in point is the Russia-Ukraine conflict in early 2022, which saw gold prices gain a steady 6%.

Yet, it's important not to overstate the influence of geopolitical events. Gold is intrinsically linked to the U.S. economy, meaning that overseas conflicts might not exert as much influence on gold prices as domestic turbulence or changes in monetary policy.

You must also be aware of the market adage, "Buy the rumor, sell the news." It's not unusual for investors to pile into gold at the first whiff of conflict, only to unload their holdings when the crisis actually unfolds. So, you might see gold prices surge on rumors of war, only to flatline or drop when the conflict becomes a reality.


So, you're seeing gold prices consistently rise due to a variety of factors. A weaker U.S. dollar boosts gold's appeal. Growing demand, particularly from investors during uncertain times, sends prices higher. Limited gold production can't keep up, further lifting prices. Low interest rates make gold a more attractive investment. Lastly, geopolitical tensions often drive investors to gold as a safe haven. Keep an eye on these factors - they're key in predicting future gold prices.

Working with a well-established and trusted gold IRA company can provide access to competitive prices, price transparency, a reasonable buyback policy, reliable customer service, and security of your precious metals.  Gold IRAs can also provide tax benefits and advantages.

Depending on whether you are a high-net investor looking for the most competitive prices or require a lower investment minimum and affordable entry to the gold market, we have researched and reviewed our best 4 gold IRA and precious metal investment companies that meet those individual needs. Whether you prefer a tax-deferred gold IRA or owning the physical gold in your place of residence.

See the banner below to link to the free gold IRA checklist as well as the links to the free gold investment guides from the best gold IRA companies that we have reviewed and thoroughly vetted.

Gold Investment Guides

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Who holds the gold in a gold IRA?

Gold, and other such precious metals are to be stored and insured in an IRS-approved facility. Typically, a third-party company partnered with the Gold IRA company manages the IRS-approved depository

Before selecting a Gold IRA company, review the information about the storage facility options provided.

What is the minimum investment for a gold IRA?

Minimum investments will vary dependent on the gold IRA company you choose. It is incumbent that you take the requisite time to research the various providers for your specific precious metal investment strategy.

We have provided a list of reviews here of the top precious metal ira companies with a range of minimum investment amounts.


What are the fees for a gold IRA?

Minimum fees will also vary dependent on the gold IRA company you choose. Setup fees, annual fees, storage fees, and custodian fees are all subject to the discretion of the gold IRA company you choose.

Please see the list here of the best precious metals investment companies for buying gold in order to review the fees that apply.

What Precious Metals Are IRA approved?

Precious Metal IRAs can invest in IRS-eligible gold, silver, palladium, and platinum bullion and coins. The IRS maintains very specific regulations and requirements about the design, size, weight, and metal purity that determine which gold bars and coins can be held in a gold IRA or precious metals IRA.

Investment grade gold coins and bars are required to be at least 99.5% pure, and silver coins and bars must be at least 99.9% pure.


Adam ONeill

Author, lifelong investor, and creator of PreciousMetalsInvestmentPortfolio.com

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