While the owning of gold was illegal for US citizens from 1933, the USA sat atop international trade after World War 2, allowing gold convertibility at the same price of 35 dollars an ounce for other nations. This was called the ‘Bretton Woods’ agreement, referring to the location where it was signed. However, partly due to the cost of paying for the Vietnam War, the number of dollars in circulation began rising in the 1950s and 1960s. Nations like France and West Germany seized their chance to exchange their devaluing dollars for the real thing, gold at $35 an ounce. In 1971, the window for exchanging gold was officially closed.