Gold’s Worst Plunge Since 1983 Ends 12-Year Bull Run: Timeline

Gold for immediate delivery plunged the most since 1983 on April 15, deepening its slump into a bear market to show a loss of about 30 percent from its record in September 2011.

The following is a timeline from 1980 to April 15 when the price sank 9.1 percent.

1980: Gold reaches then-record $850 an ounce.

May 1999: Bank of England announces sales of gold reserves in five auctions.

August 1999: Gold falls to low of $251.95

September 1999: First Central Bank Gold Agreement announced where 15 European central banks including the European Central Bank agreed to limit collective sales to 2,000 metric tons over five years through 2004.

2003: First gold-backed exchange-traded fund started.

March 2004: Second Central Bank Gold Agreement limiting collective sales of European central banks to 2,500 tons through


November 2004: SPDR Gold Trust, world’s biggest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, created.

2005: Gold tops $500.

2006: Gold exceeds $700.

March 2008: Gold reaches $1,000 for first time.

September 2008: Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. collapses.

October 2008: Gold drops to one-year low of $682. Investors sell gold to raise cash as equities, other commodities tumble.

November 2008: Federal Reserve pledges to buy $600 billion in debt in first round of so-called quantitative easing.

February 2009: Gold climbs back above $1,000.

March 2009: Fed pledges to buy as much as $300 billion of Treasuries over next six months

April 2009: China announces 76 percent increase in its gold reserves to 1,054 tons

September 2009: Third Central Bank Gold Agreement limiting collective sales of European central banks to 400 tons a year till 2014.

September 2009: International Monetary Fund approved gold sales of 403.3 tons, of which 200 tons were later sold to India.

December 2009: Barrick Gold Corp., world’s largest producer, announces end of all gold hedges. Gold climbs above $1,200 for first time.

November 2010: Fed pledges to buy $600 billion of Treasuries in second round of quantitative easing.

November 2010: Gold climbs above $1,400 for first time.

March 2011: Gold extends record on Europe’s debt crisis, so-called Arab spring in the Middle East.

September 2011: Cash gold climbs to record $1,921.15. Fed announces Operation Twist program of replacing short-term bonds with longer-term debt.

September 2012: Fed announces open-ended Treasury and mortgage securities purchases at $40 billion a month.

October 2012: Gold climbs to 2012 high of almost $1,800.

December 2012: Holdings in gold-backed exchange-traded products reach record 2,632.5 tons, before commencing their decline, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

December 2012: Fed increases open-ended bond buying purchases to $85 billion a month. Lawmakers wrangle over fiscal cliff.

January 2013: Gold climbs to 2013 high of almost $1,700.

February 2013: Gold drops below $1,600 for first time in six months. Fed minutes suggest some members want to vary the pace of asset purchases.

April 12, 2013: Gold tumbles 5 percent, entering bear market as prices drop more than 20 percent from a record close of $1,900.23 in September 2011. Cyprus may sell gold in its reserves to cover a bailout, raising speculation that other central banks may sell.

April 15, 2013: Gold slumps 9.1 percent, the most since 1983.