Actually, his assumption is correct; it's not that gold is getting more valuable it's that the value of currencies fall relative to gold. You can buy less gold for $100 now than you could a year ago, and much less than you could ten years ago, etc.
As such, gold is a great safety net against runaway inflation, because it retains it's value. We can set aside the argument over it being real intrinsic value or agreed upon value; the point is if you've got a hunk of gold, you've got something that has value in our society, and that will keep that value even as the spending power of the dollar (or whatever your local currency is) decreases.
Again, this doesn't stand up to scrutiny. An ounce of gold can buy a lot more groceries than it could 10 years ago. Is this because food has somehow become less valuable as well?
No; it's because gold has become much more valuable relative to the dollar. If you were to take your ounce of gold to a grocery store (assuming you found one that accepted gold) the first thing they would do is determine the dollar value
of your gold before allowing you to use it to buy anything. Since you are getting more dollars for that ounce of gold ($1,560) than you would ten years ago ($365) you can buy more with it.
If gold has a steady value, why control the mining of it? If it really holds it value magically outside of the laws of economics, why not pull as much out as possible to increase overall wealth?
Nobody said anything about a steady value. Obviously the intrinsic value fluctuates like any other commodity. However, the main source of the increase in buying power comes from the relative value to currency.
Why is gold particularly special compared to other precious metals that are also fairly inert, shiny and rare?
Because gold has historically been used as money around the world to a far greater degree than other precious metals.
Shouldn't they have the same value properties as gold then? In that case why does the value of gold against these other metals change?
You seem stuck on the idea that someone is suggesting that these commodities never fluctuate. As far as I know, nobody has.
No, gold is seen as more valuable now that currency seems unsteady, therefore its value rises.
Yes; because the value of currency is unsteady and has been trending downward. As that happens, the value of gold relative to currency goes upward. It's not that gold is has suddenly become intrinsically more valuable in the past few years; it's just that the thing it's compared against has become less
Again, if everything went to hell, would gold continue to retain its value? Of course not, you'll find buyers probably but not at the same rate. Therefore, gold has a higher value now than in 2000 for the same reason the Canadian Dollar has a higher value now.
Which is remarkably similar to what I said in the first place; which is that as long as the economy is working and society is stable, gold is a good safety net against inflation.
The idea that gold somehow doesn't fluctuate in value is a scam perpetuated by those who have an interest in gold and/or getting you to buy into gold.
Again, I don't believe anyone here has stated that gold doesn't fluctuate. The point was, the real driving force of gold' value right now is currency falling.