Physical gold and silver are as liquid as cash in a bank account, but with constant increases in the price of gold driven by investment demand and scarcity, gold generates more income than bank savings. This is especially true during financial crises. Some people argue that gold has no intrinsic value, that it is a barbaric relic that no longer possesses the monetary qualities of the past. They argue that in a modern economic environment, paper money is the preferred currency; that gold is only good as a material for making jewelry.
Gold is the metal we'll turn to when other forms of currency don't work, which means that gold will always have value in difficult and good times. As Philip points out, even if gold mining production were to double (which would be an extraordinary feat), the flow of new gold to the market would only be 3%. Gold can stimulate a subjective personal experience, but it can also be objectified if adopted as an exchange system. Those who have a negative view of gold often use the phrase “you can't eat gold and silver”.