When you are in the jewelry business, you have to keep up with the price of gold, because the majority of the items you sell are affected by that. And, lately, gold has soared in price. Why is that? Mainly because the US Dollar has declined in value as compared to other currencies, especially the Euro. And, the price of crude oil has been rising steadily. Coupled with the shaky US economy (according to some folks), these trends cause investors to run for cover and put their money into something that they feel will have lasting value--Gold. As you can see from the chart (courtesy of Goldprice.org), gold has tripled in value over the last 5 years, and since September of 2007 it has risen about 50%! You can click on the graph to get a larger view.
Gold prices have receded in the last couple of weeks after peaking at $1000 per ounce, but it remains very high compared to historical levels. Don't be surprised to see it resume an upward trend in the near future as crude oil continues to rise due to demand from newly-developing countries, such as China. Gold has always been regarded as a beautiful and precious metal, and will probably continue to be so for centuries to come!