This young man belonged to a Hungarian family that lived in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood in the mid-1970s. He had two gold teeth that gave him a distinctive look. Gold is rarely used for fillings and dental applications today because of its expense. However, it was fairly common in the early 1970s. Gold can withstand chewing forces, routinely lasts 15 to 30 years, and is one of the most stable, non-reactive metals known to man.

In 1970, the cost of gold was $36 an ounce. The U.S. government repriced gold to $42 per ounce in 1973, and then decoupled the value of the dollar from gold altogether. The price of gold quickly shot up to $120 per ounce. By 1975 when I took this picture, the cost was $160 per ounce. So much for gold teeth.