The following is a brief point about the historical price of gold over a 40-year period. (source: search.yahoo.com/r/_ylt=A0oGdW6YEZJPD3UAB19XNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTE1MXYwdHRpBHNlYwNzcgRwb3MDMQRjb2xvA3NrMQR2dGlkA1JDRjAzNF8yNDE-/SIG=1231vivl2/EXP=1335001624/**http%3a//www.nma.org/pdf/gold/his_gold_prices.pdf )
Price in 1972: $58.42
Price in 1977: $147.84
Price in 1980: $615.00
Price in 1990: $383.51
Price in 2000: $279.11
Price in 2010: $1224.53
My interpretation is twofold: 1) Gold fluctuates like any other asset value and can form bubbles. 2) Gold can be a hedge against perceived inflation in the short-term, but must be held for a minimum of 20 years to qualify as a true hedge against long-term inflation.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.