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Over the last 150 years metal prices, although erratic, have generally increased in terms of dollars of the day. However, in terms of inflation adjusted, constant 2001 dollars, the prices of copper, silver, lead, zinc, and molybdenum have all decreased, many significantly, over the last century and a half. Only the value of gold, although variable, has remained relatively stable over this time. Present day metal prices are all below the best-fit curves of the historic prices in constant dollars, and should move upward from the trough of the current short-term price cycle. Unfortunately, the long-term outlook for copper, silver, lead, zinc, and molybdenum is for continued downward pressure. Only gold appears likely to retain its value for the foreseeable future.
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