The price of gold has fluctuated widely over the last five decades, due to various factors like fear of inflation, as well as everyday political and economic events. This frequent rise and plummet of the value of gold is often seen in the spikes and falls of line and bar graphs, but Austrian artist Klemens Schillinger has visualized it in a set of gold rings. In a piece produced for Vienna Design Week, Element 79, Schillinger charts out the price of gold every year going back to 1965, showing how much gold could be bought for the same amount of money over different years.
“The gold price has changed quite a bit over the past 50 years; this becomes the design parameter for a ring,” Schillinger tells Dezeen. “You can see how much ring you would have gotten in that year.” Of the 50 rings he designed for the chart, Schillinger produced five–those for the years 1970, 1980, 1990, 2000, and 2015–for the project. An app he also created for the project allows users to scroll through time to see the ring change in size as the decades pass. In the 1970s, for instance, consumers would get 7.5 times more gold than just 10 years before.