In Germany, gold is now available from vending machines in airports and railway stations - Gold to Go. Shoppers can buy a 1-gram wafer of gold or a larger 10g bar. Seeking safety for their savings, individuals have purchased 150 tonnes of gold, mainly in the form of coins. Investors poured money into special funds (known as exchange traded funds ("ETFs")) which pool investor monies to buy over 1000 tons of gold.
Having earlier sold off their holding, some central banks are now re-building their gold reserves.
Refiners are unable to keep up with demand for gold bars and coins. New gold vaults are being built to accommodate demands for secure storage.
As the Global Financial Crisis continues and the cure of easy money proves as dangerous as the disease, the gold price has increased from around $250 per troy ounce in 2001 to a peak of around $1900 in 2011. It now trades at around $1700 per ounce.
As poet John Milton wrote: "Time will run back and fetch the age of gold."
Text: Satyajit Das
AP Images and Wikimedia Commons