If you’ve experienced some sticker shock while shopping for fine jewelry, there’s a good reason. At the beginning of this decade, gold was trading below $300 an ounce. Since then, prices have soared. Last year, gold reached a 26-year high of $732 an ounce. This year hasn’t been quite as bad, with a trading range between $600 and $700. There are numerous reasons behind this increase, including high demand in Asia and India; lower production; and gold’s reputation as a “safe haven” in times of political uncertainty. While silver remains much cheaper, it too has more than doubled in price in the ’00 years. I monitor daily metal prices on Kitco.com. They also have excellent historical graphs and data.