Savers opt to invest in gold for usually one or two reasons - it's traditionally viewed as the ultimate safe haven during times of economic volatility and therefore seen as a wealth preserver. In addition it is used as a hedge against the US dollar.
Given that stock markets have endured some of their worst falls on record as the financial crisis hit, that the response to this was to print unprecedented amounts of money and that the dollar has been floundering, it should come as no surprise that the precious metal has been booming.
The first pure gold coins were struck by King Croesus of Lydia (present-day Turkey) during his reign between 560BC and 547BC - and gold coins have continued as legal tender ever since.
Many years down the line, investors still love gold and the precious metal has proved a valuable winner in recent years.
Gold has hit a run of new highs over recent months. A dash for its perceived safe haven status has seen the price of spot gold traded for over a record $1,800 per troy ounce (11 August 2011). On 11 July 2011, the price stood at the $1,544.20 mark. Gold prices dropped slightly in the New Year, but started to pick up value from February hitting the $1,353.25 mark, slightly off the 7 December 2010 high of $1,427.60.
In April 2011, prices smashed through to record highs of $1,532.91 an ounce, since then, gold prices have continued to climb and are now reaching even higher heights.