Business: Ingot We Trust

Gold rush of '79 heats up

The famous 17-year cicada has nothing on the perennial goldbug. Quick-buck speculators, long-haul investors and just plain inflation-scared savers have put so much money into gold that last week it ballooned to a record $277.15 an ounce. Other precious metals have been piggybacking on the yellow stuff. Lately silver and platinum have risen even faster than gold. Predictions that gold could hit $300 an ounce by midsummer—and that other metals could rise in tandem —are becoming self-fulfilling as speculators rush to buy in anticipation of higher prices.

Europeans, who traditionally seek refuge in gold during...

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