Even the most fierce gold bulls must be feeling sheepish after bullion tumbled its most in 30 years, raising questions about gold's value as part of an investor portfolio.
Most experts failed to see the collapse coming.
A Reuters poll in January of 37 banking analysts and consultants forecast another year or two of average record highs for gold, after 12 years of unbroken annual average gains from a spot low of around $250 per ounce.
A long list of banks forecast gold would average more than $1800 per ounce, up from $1668 in 2012.
They included ANZ, BNP Paribas, Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank, Commerzbank, Macquarie, Morgan Stanley, Standard Chartered and Goldman Sachs. Only one, National Australia Bank, predicted below $1600.
And even though banks had started back-pedalling on those forecasts, most still favoured the fundamental case for holding gold as an alternative currency and hedge against inflation.
Text: Veronica Brown, Reuters