I bought gold bullion at 600$ / oz.... it's now around $1,100. It's just a hedge against paper money going bust. Nothing wrong with that.
BUT... some unprincipled elements in the right-wing are exploiting fear and pushing bad gold purchases. Glenn Beck and Goldline International have been exposed in a Mother Jones article entitled Glenn Beck's Golden Fleece.
In short, Beck is pushing Goldline, and Goldline is hard-selling old 90% gold coins that have a buy-back value that is about 30% - 35% less than what they sell for (regular gold bullion buy-back spread is about 5%). They argue that it's "safer" to buy "antique" coins, because the U.S. Government is less likely to confiscate them (grain of truth alert).
It's a scam, plain and simple. Ironically, it's the Glenn Beck followers who are getting screwed.
Mother Jones, Glenn Beck's Golden Fleece, May/June 2010.