What is the World Gold Council?

The World Gold Council or the WGC is a nonprofit association of the world's leading gold producers. A market development organization for the gold industry, the World Gold Council includes 33 members and many members are gold mining companies. The WGC was established to promote the use of and demand for gold through marketing, research, and lobbying. Headquartered in London, the WGC covers the markets which comprise about three-quarters of the world's annual gold consumption.

Understanding the World Gold Council (WGC)

The WGC is an advocate for gold consumption. The WGC aims to maximize the industry's potential growth by monitoring and defending existing gold consumption. It also co-sponsors research in the development of new uses of gold, or of new products containing gold. For example, successful projects supported by the gold industry have led to the development of jewelry containing 99% gold. The organization's specific purpose is to stimulate and sustain the demand for gold.

The Story of Gold

Gold traces its origins to Ancient Egypt, where they first smelted gold around 3600 B.C.E. Today, gold is sought after for investment purposes and is also used in the manufacturing of numerous electronic and medical devices. Much of the world's gold was mined in the modern, postwar era and gold-mining operations take place on every continent except Antarctica. In recent decades, more countries have emerged as gold producers. As a result, gold mining has become less geographically concentrated and more stable. Today, the top producing countries are China, Russia, Australia, the U.S., Canada, Peru, and Ghana.            

The WGC and Investing in Gold

Gold is attractive as a commodity and an investment. Because gold has non-monetary uses, such as jewelry, electronics, and dentistry, it retains a minimum level of real demand. It is also impossible to perfectly counterfeit and has a fixed stock; there is only so much gold on Earth, and inflation is limited to the speed of mining.

The WGC was the creator of the first gold exchange-traded fund. An exchange-traded fund or ETF is a marketable security that tracks an index, a commodity, bonds, or a basket of assets like an index fund. Unlike a mutual fund, an ETF trades like a common stock on a stock exchange. Considered an attractive alternative investment for individual investors, ETFs typically have higher daily liquidity and lower fees than mutual fund shares. In fact, ETFs experience price changes throughout the day as they are bought and sold. Gold experts manage the GLD ETFs, increasing the likelihood of a positive investment.