In 2008, I graphed the annual US price of gold. In this post, I revisit gold but this time I graphed the market price along with the real price (adjusted for inflation using 2012 dollars). When you take the inflation into account, the annual price of gold has spiked over $1,700 twice since the US left the gold standard, once in 1980 and again in 2012.
In this graphic, I briefly touch upon the history of gold standard. Beginning in 1792, the US Mint pegged the dollar to gold and silver. In 1900 the US went on the gold standard (i.e. the dollar was pegged just to gold). During this time, except for monetary crisises, the market price for gold matched the "official" price set by the US government. In the 1970s, the US finally left the gold standard and allowed the dollar to float freely on international currency markets.