"The five gold rings are a win–win whatever interpretation is applied. Gold prices have risen from £15.64 an ounce on 1 December 1970 to £1,060.95 an ounce on 1 December 2012.Obligatory link.
"But the gold rings in the verse have also been interpreted as a variation of "five goldspinks", with a goldspink being an old name for a goldfinch.
"Since the Victorians stopped trapping goldfinches, which almost led to their disappearance in parts of England, especially in the north, they have done well. Numbers have increased by 124% since 1970, when the first detailed monitoring occurred, and since 1995 they have almost doubled, according to the RSPB."
Christmas The Guardian investigates the sustainability of the contents of the Twelve Days of Christmas:
Posted on Saturday, December 08, 2012