Gold has been a valuable commodity for centuries. Throughout recorded (and unrecorded) history, gold has been used as a currency and a symbol of wealth and power. Gold has been found in gravesites, buried alongside remains dating back as far as 4,500 B.C.E.
This long-standing value demonstrates the stability of gold and its attractiveness over time. Gold is considered by investors to be one of the safest investments, recovering its value quickly through economic downturns. Its price often tracks in opposition to stock market or economic swings.
When investor confidence is shattered, gold prices often climb as nervous investors look for a safe place to put cash pulled out of the market. Gold is also a haven in times of inflation because it retains its value much better than currency-backed assets, which may climb in price, but drop in value.