The average American family has $15,000 of credit card debt. We have hundreds of thousands of failing mortgages. We have gazillions out of work or underemployed so who is buying all these stupid coins at nearly $1400 each?
The small retail Chinamen and Hindu buyers typically purchase by the gram(s) ... and while a gram or 2 isn't alot, when you combine that amongst hundreds of millions of retail buyers, it adds up quickly... meanwhile, Americans would rather purchase the most recent copy of the National Enquirer, or packets of Viagra.
Last year there were 7.8 million US households with a net worth of $1 Million dollars or more, excluding their primary residence. If each of those households put just 1% of their first million (many are multi-millionaire's) in GLD it would increase the gold holdings by 139% or add 1,773 tonnes. There is a lot of money floating around out there and Mr Ben is adding to it by the trillions. You also have to remember that gold is a world market with 6+ Billion people out there.
I'll tell you who else was buying the metals like crazy, this last month in particular...
Institutional investors who tried to short the metals on their way up too early. They got fried alive and kept burning on the way up. I suspect that many, many of these investors were unwittingly pushing the prices higher as they were covering their losing short positions leading into options expiration...a classic short squeeze with options expiration week as the catalyst.
They all shorted too soon and burned each other up.
That "demand" for the metals won't be there in the weeks ahead.