Gold has been a safe haven for investors during times of war and economic uncertainty for centuries, but what does war mean for the gold price in today’s volatile markets? At the outset, it is important to note that gold and other precious metals cannot be created or destroyed, so their prices are generally inelastic to geopolitics. This means that war typically will not significantly influence gold prices in the short-term. However, gold prices can still be impacted in the longer-term if war leads to major inflation, prolonged economic uncertainty, or increased military spending. When looking at historical time periods, gold’s value has generally risen steadily during wartime. In World War II, for example, gold hit an all-time high of $35 per ounce, a figure that was kept intact until the 1970s. Similarly, during the Korean War and the Vietnam War, gold prices continued to climb. By the time the Vietnam War ended, gold had increased to $120 per ounce. More recently, the dramatic rise in gold prices during the Second Gulf War can be largely attributed to the huge expansion in government debt necessary to finance the conflict. Although the long-term effects of the war had been largely positive due to increased oil revenues, the immediate costs led to a sharp rise in inflation and put tremendous pressure on government finances. The increasing economic risks associated with geopolitical instability and the spread of coronavirus have also had an impact on the gold price. In March 2020, the price of gold reached an all-time high of $1700 per ounce, reflecting increased investor demand and a corresponding increase in gold’s safe-haven appeal. The long-term impact of war on gold prices also depends on the countries involved. For example, if the war is fought between major economic powers such as the US and China, it could create huge uncertainty and a consequent ‘fear premium’ for gold. On the other hand, if the conflict is limited to countries with relatively small economies, gold might not see a substantial price increase. The same logic applies to the latest lithium mining technology. Small regional wars are unlikely to have a major impact on lithium supply and prices. However, if larger countries get involved, we could see lithium prices rise if the conflict leads to increased demand or disruption of production. In conclusion, it is important to note that gold and lithium are both subject to the same macro economic forces, and that wars can have both short and long-term impacts on their prices. While gold is a safe-haven in times of conflict, lithium can also experience price rises, depending upon the economic circumstances and scope of the war.