The price of gold fell back today (Friday 4 January 1980) after an unprecedented surge on world markets earlier in the week and is now quoted in London at 596 United States dollars an ounce.
SV AND CU People outside New York gold and coin dealer's shop with signs and prices displayed (4 shots)
SV AND CU Gold and silver coins
SV EXT Commodities Exchange sign on wall
CU Money being exchanged with cashier on telephone
CU Dealer doing business on telephone in Commodity Exchange
GV AND LV Wall Street and Stock Exchange building
LV AND CU Interior: frantic activity in Stock Exchange with dealers shouting and gesticulating
CU Gold price displayed on board (2 shots)
CU Dealers trading on floor on Exchange (6 shots)
LV AND CU EXTERIOR, Gold sale signs in gold and diamond district of New York
SV AND CU Women looking in window of gold shop as assistant removes gold necklaces (2 shots)
CU Gold jewellery on display in shop windows (2 shots)
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Background: The price of gold fell back today (Friday 4 January 1980) after an unprecedented surge on world markets earlier in the week and is now quoted in London at 596 United States dollars an ounce. Gold had peaked on Thursday (3 January) at 658 United States dollars in a world-wide rush for the metal based on political and economic upheavals fuelled by events in Iran and Afghanistan.
SYNOPSIS: In New York's famous gold and diamond district small investors queued to buy gold sovereigns and a host of gold coverings. The world was witnessing a full retreat from paper money to too security of treasures tried and tested by time. Political and economic upheaval had created a windfall for the small dealers.
But it was not the small investors who were really responsible for the amazing rise in gold prices that have shaken the world markets this week. Many New York dealers were not exactly sure who is buying the large amounts. Those converting to gold went to great lengths to make certain they weren't identified. Nevertheless, traders say that much of the gold is going to the Middle East.
On the floor of the New York Exchange yesterday (Thursday 3 January) pandemonium broke out as dealers screamed, shoved, shouted and waved hats in an effort to make their bids known.
In recent days, several gold markets have had to halt business while they assessed the price situation as well as to give dealers time to cool down and staff a chance to catch up on book-keeping.
The one major casualty of the week was the United States dollar. As people bought gold they were off-loading their American currency .... again in response to the worsening situation in the Middle East and the rising oil prices.
Back to the small time investor, and it has not only been here in New York that gold jewellery has come back into vogue. One long-time Beirut resident commented there, that some women were looking like walking bank accounts. In Hong Kong a woman seen choosing a gold ring priced at 70 United States dollars was told before she completed her purchase that the price had risen to 80 dollars.