From being a prime medium of financial transaction to being an essential element to create electronic devices, gold is considered to be one of the elements that have great contributions to the progression of mankind. Gold is not only sought after because of its uses in various fields, but also because of its rarity, its beauty, and the meaning it holds.
Gold in Ancient Persia and Egypt
Archaeologists have discovered that this element has been used in the Middle East since 6000 years ago. One of their findings is the gold jewellery pieces, which were found in Queen Zer and Queen Pu-abi’s tombs. These gold accessories, which dated back to the 3rd millennium BC, are considered the oldest among the ancient finds.
In ancient Egypt, pharaohs were buried with their material possessions to provide them with means when they make their journey towards the afterlife.
The tomb of Tutankhamen, which also stored one of the largest collections of gold jewellery, ornaments and even a gold coffin, also proved that even during ancient times gold held such a high value.
The history of gold also shows that this precious metal found its way over to Europe, where it was first used as currency. The Romans also used gold extensively that they would create household items from gold.
The Gold Rush
Ever since the dawn of time, civilizations have always valued this rare piece of metal. So much so that whenever news of an abundant supply of gold came out, people would flock to that place to own some.
In 1848, people from the farthest corners of the country and even from the farthest regions of the world flocked to Sutter’s Mill, California, in the hopes of becoming rich overnight. One of the largest gold rushes occurred during this time and hundreds of people searched for lands to dig for gold.
After the gold rush of 1848, other countries around the world experienced the same thing. In 1884, abundant supplies of gold were discovered in South Africa. In 1851 and 1897, abundant supply of gold was discovered in Australia and Canada, respectively.
Gold as Currency
In the 19th century, gold held a new purpose and became a means to stabilize global economy. Every country was required to only issue currency that is equal to the amount of gold reserves that they have. But it was only after the First World War when one country, the United States of America, honoured this agreement.
When the Great Depression came about, the US stopped their gold exportation and the following years saw the US dollar replacing gold in international trade. Despite the use of US dollars for international trade, gold remained the global benchmark for wealth and economic stability. Gold history continues to show that the value of precious metal has never wavered. Throughout centuries, it has been used to represent wealth, stability and power.