In times of crisis, gold bars can literally be a lifesaver, since they are extremely liquid and are considered a stable store of value.
Goldis one of the only assets that is not a liability at the same time to another entity. No contract is needed to make a coin, bullion, or round of gold valuable. The dollar has not been able to turn into gold since President Richard Nixon ended that practice in 1971.1.Before this, people bought gold bars as a way to diversify their investment portfolio and give them protection against inflation.
In times of uncertainty, people are rushing to gold because of the false assumption that it will be a safe investment. The only thing that gives it value is the willingness of people to continue using it as a medium of exchange. And some people still do, but instead of burying gold bars in their backyard, they're buying stocks or mutual funds that invest in gold. Some people believe that silver is often a better investment than gold, hoping that its lower price will give them a better return if markets change for the better.
Fear is what drives people to a crisis, so the greater the concern, the more gold is sought and its price increases. When people fear that the economy will collapse, they rush to invest in gold, believing that they will be financially safe.