The London market fixings are internationally published benchmarks for precious metals prices. Considered to be a worldwide authority on gold valuation, London fixings are used to deal in large amounts, or to achieve the accepted average price of precious metals. Records trace bullion transactions in London back to the 17th century. But on September 12 at 11 a.m., N M Rothschild & Sons, Mocatta & Goldsmid, Pixley & Abell, Samuel Montagu & Co. and Sharps Wilkins performed the first official London gold fixing – marking the true beginnings of the gold market’s structure.
At nearly 100 years old, the London Gold Fixing is rich with reflections of world history – including wars, economic upheaval, policy changes, and much more. They say “all great things must come to an end,” but will that be the gold fixing’s future? After 117 years, the process behind the silver fixing was finally updated to use an electronic system – which should improve overall transparency in the long run – avoiding conflicts of interest and leading to wider institutional and public participation in the precious metals markets. Some market professionals speculate that the gold fixing may receive a similar update, but only time will tell.
Here in this brief timeline, you can see some of the major changes that have affected the gold fixing over the years.