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In principle, holding gold is a form of insurance against war, financial Armageddon, and wholesale currency debasement. And from the onset of the global financial crisis, the price of gold has often been portrayed as a barometer of global economic insecurity.

So, does the collapse in gold prices — from a peak of $1,900 per ounce in August 2011 to under $1,250 at the beginning of July 2013 — represent a vote of confidence in the global economy?

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