Just because something is finite or rare doesn’t necessarily make it valuable. That’s a classic mistake people make when talking about currency.
Something has “real” value when it meets an actual human need or a desire.
Food and water, for example, have “real” value, because you would die without them. Shelter from the elements (such as a house) may also have some degree of “real” value (although much of what people refer to as “shelter” is mostly them flaunting their social status in the form of unnecessarily large houses). Land has “real” value because you can do things with it (growing food, building shelter, etc).
Gold has been seen as having value for millennia because of its inherit usefulness. For starters: It’s a very malleable metal which is resistant to oxidation and corrosion. It’s also shiny. This makes it ideal for making jewelry. Where there are people, there are always going to be people who want to show off their social status, and rare jewelry has a way of fulfilling that social need.
In the modern era, however, gold is a little less useful. We have all sorts of composite materials and advanced metals that are perhaps just as functional as gold for many purposes.
So much of the world’s gold supply has been hoarded up in vaults and is not even being used for anything anymore. The fact that the average person can get along just fine without it in their everyday lives (and yet the price is insanely high) means that the value of gold is currently suffering from a giant perception bubble. People think it’s worth more than it actually is, and because it’s rare, the price goes up, and since the price keeps going up, people want to buy it as an investment vehicle, and so the price keeps going up, and so people want to buy more, and it’s basically just a cycle that feeds on itself.
Plus, there are all the people who currently own gold and want the value to keep going up, so they are constantly going out of their way to tell people just how valuable gold is (and how it’s a foolproof investment). For the longest time, all you had to do was listen to any major talk radio station and you would hear countless ads about how you should “invest” in gold and blah blah blah.
In my opinion, the price of gold in the past couple of years has basically just been a giant bubble that demonstrates humanity’s greed and complete inability to assess the true value of things.
You can ride these sorts of bubbles for a while, but they will eventually always crash.