Gold is one of the most controversial valuable metals available to man. Since the discovery of gold millions of years ago, the metal has never been short of significant roles in the life of man. The article below traces the background of gold since its first discovery to the present day.
The First Discovery of Gold
The initial discovery of gold traces back to millions of years ago. No country has the claim of the first discovery of gold for it was present along streams and water bodies around the world. Inhabitants of the world way before modern civilization first found deposits of gold along the streams and deep underground.
After scrutiny of the naturally existing metal, Gold was found to be a commodity of rare beauty and qualities. The discovery of a beautiful metal which does not tarnish easily paved the way for a niche in the field of currency and decorations.
To unlock the full potential of this newfound gem, different countries started developing new methods of processing the metal to their specifications.
Gold in Egypt
Egyptians fell in love with gold and decided to go a step further to produce more. They used slaves, criminals, and captives of war to produce more gold from the primitive goldmines.
The gold produced in Egypt was mainly for the Pharaoh. The pyramids were built using gold blocks. Pharaohs were buried with plenty of gold.
Egyptian goldsmiths played a very important role in the history of gold. The first process of smelting gold took place in Egypt in 3600 B.C. The technology later spread across the globe.
The Egyptians used gold as a symbol of power in the temples and the palace. The Egyptians made advancements in the use of gold. Some of the maps indicating the locations of gold mines still exist because the durable gold background used to design them.
Gold in Ancient Greece
The knowledge of gold smelting spread like wildfire across the globe. With time, most nations had embraced the knowledge from Egypt to produce more gold.
By 550 B.C, the Greeks were mining gold throughout the Middle Eastern regions and the Mediterranean. It was during this time that scholars like Plato and Aristotle began to investigate the origins and geological composition of gold.
The mining of gold was embraced by the Greek citizens and the government. Residues of some gold mines are still available today in Greece as evidence of the widespread mining of gold.
Gold was a part of social status and symbol of power in the Greek nation. The rare commodity was associated with the Greek gods. Mortals in possession of gold used the metal as currency.
Romans and Gold
After the Greek Conquest of gold, the Romans took the mantle to promote the spread and mining of gold. Using the available resources at their disposal, they advanced the available technologies from Greece and Egyptians.
The Romans used slaves, and prisoners to work in underground gold mines. To maximize the gold production, they developed machinery to mine gold deposits from water bodies and underground.
The Romans built the sluices, water wheels, mining hydraulics, and long toms. These new machines allowed them to further exploit the old gold mining sites where they found gold deposits that humans could not locate without some extra machinery help.
It was during the reign of the Romans that money gained a standard monetary value. Gold was used as currency in most parts of Europe and later spread around the globe.
Gold in the Modern World
Later on in the year 1717, the currency was officially linked to gold. This changed the general attitude towards the metal. The gold standard was set, and many countries adopted it.
In 1848, gold was discovered in the state of California. The demand for gold attracted more miners leading to the historical gold rush. Since then, more deposits of gold are discovered around the globe.
Changes in the attitude towards gold and its uses are constantly changing as years elope.
Uses of Gold
- Making jewelry. Gold has been used to make jewelry and ornaments since the first discovery. Jewelry made of gold lasts longer and symbolize a higher social status.
- Gold is used as currency. Gold is highly valuable and limited in supply. Gold was initially used as currency in some countries. Nations later adhered to the gold standards. Governments and wealthy individuals hold gold investments in the convenient form of bullions.
· Gold is used in art. Gold is rare but very beautiful with a unique color. Some artists are using gold in liquid form to create a gold background for their portraits. Portraits with a gold background appear more beautiful, and they exhibit durability.
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