I noticed you said this:
My personal view is that Western (physical) demand is not going to lead.. it's going to follow. Western demand won't awaken until price explodes, and by then (already actually) there won't be much Gold left for Westerners to invest in. The Gold that has flowed out to points East is not going to come back. Not at $1300, or $1400, or $1500. It will not flow back until there is a reset of the price to truly reflect supply vs. demand. The purpose of my writing here is to help folks awaken to the fact that our situation today, with Gold available, and reasonably cheap, will not, cannot, continue. The situation we find ourselves in today is the result of official manipulation.. and this is where Dave and I disagree (understatement). I align myself with folks like Dave Kranzler on this point;
Gold won't pop until western demand returns. That will happen all on its own, when it is time. All this talk of "official manipulation" is just stuff put out by people who can't imagine why the price of gold would ever drop. 🙂 "Sure, commodities can tank, but gold should continually move higher because…well…because its GOLD after all! And gold is just so cool…"
Goldbugs imagine some sort of "Fiat Pearl Harbor" scenario where suddenly, everyone wakes up one day and decides they need to own gold. I just don't see it happening like that. (And even Pearl Harbor shouldn't have been a surprise…and wasn't, not strategically anyway).
Some group of western gold buyers will start buying again because of some fundamental motivation – like a flight to safety, or incipient inflation, or as a correlation with a rising commodity index. Then another chunk of buyers will hop on because they are trend-followers. Buying from both parties in the west will continue as long as the reason remains in place. Once in place for long enough, the trend will drag another bunch of later-stage trend followers on board. Then the bankers will ratchet up the hype, telling everyone you have to own gold or you're an idiot, retail will start to become involved, then soon prices will start going vertical, those bankers will sell out at the top, and Ma & Pa Kettle will break down and buy – right at the peak. As usual.
We may have a Fiat Pearl Harbor someday, but just like Real Pearl Harbor, it won't come out of a clear blue sky. We'll get signs of a trend change first.
I do agree with Jim, gold is available right now in small coin form, and is reasonably cheap – and this may not be the case forever. Gold in retail coin form can become quite scarce very quickly, since most of the world's gold supply is in the big bars. And unless you don't mind lugging around 400 oz (33 pounds!) bars, if there is a retail buying panic, the 1oz items will probably be sold out in relatively short order.
So when I hear of gold running out, that's what I think of. Gold coins – running out. Given there are 170k tons of gold out there, we won't ever run out, especially if you aren't picky about the form it comes in. It will always be available for a price.
The whole thing about "gold moving from east to west and never coming back" – eh. I'm not a believer in that one. If you really want gold to "come back" from asia – fly there, bring out your cash, buy some, and take it back with you. Gold jewelry is priced only about 5% above melt value in Thailand. It's a "wearable savings account" for many. That's about the same premium you'd pay for an actual coin in the US!
And of course if you are questioned coming back across the border, why, you are just wearing those 15 gold chains like your hero Mr. T! "I pity da fool…" [*]
[*] I have no idea if this approach would actually work. I certainly haven't tried it! 🙂