I don't think so - and neither does China.
That much was revealed in a diplomatic cable recently uncovered by Wikileaks.
According to the 2009 cable from the U.S. embassy, China believes the United States and Europe have, as a matter of policy, suppressed the price of gold to discourage its use as a reserve currency.
And there's a pretty compelling case to be made for a gold price conspiracy.
The Gold Price ConspiracyThe cable summarized several commentaries in Chinese news media sources on April 28, 2009.
"The U.S. and Europe have always suppressed the rising price of gold," it reads. "They intend to weaken gold's function as an international reserve currency. They don't want to see other countries turning to gold reserves instead of the U.S. dollar or Euro. Therefore, suppressing the price of gold is very beneficial for the U.S. in maintaining the U.S. dollar's role as the international reserve currency."
According to the cable, China believes that by building its gold reserves, it can not only safeguard itself against the declining value of the dollar, but encourage central banks around the world to expand their gold purchases, as well.
"China's increased gold reserves will thus act as a model and lead other countries towards reserving more gold," the cable said. "Large gold reserves are also beneficial in promoting the internationalization of the RMB."
Now, if all we had were the Chinese claiming the U.S. and Europe were suppressing gold prices, it would be easy to disregard as superficial propaganda.
But in fact, there's evidence that supports this claim.
In the decade between 1999 and 2009, central banks - dominated by the West - were net sellers of gold in every single year. And that's despite the fact that gold in that time soared from $250 an ounce to $1,200 per ounce - a nearly 400% gain.
Then there's the infamous "Brown Bottom."
Between 1999 and 2002, Gordon Brown, then U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer (and later Prime Minister), decided to sell nearly half of his nation's gold reserves. At the time, just the advance notice of these substantial sales drove gold's price down from $282.40 an ounce to $252.80.
Those gold sales yielded an average price of $275 an ounce, raising a total of $3.5 billion. Today, those 395 tons of gold would be valued more than $19 billion.
You have to admit, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to sell a solid asset whose price is moving steadily higher each year - especially when the United Kingdom's debt problem then wasn't nearly as bad as it is today.
The answer: Because there's a conspiracy afoot.