Here, we will know about the history of gold.
Gold, which means to shine or gleam, is the first precious metal that mankind came up with. It is one of the most precious metals on Earth. It is famous for its shine, value, malleability, etc.
India was known as Golden Bird/Sparrow or ‘Sone ki Chidiya’ and many people think that it is so because India found gold and had it in abundance, but the history of gold tells a different and interesting story.
The most fascinating fact for some will be that people did not initially find Gold in India! It was in streams, rivers, and ground globally.
Its luster, beauty, and rarity made it famous, and it soon became a symbol of royalty and glamour. Small amounts of natural gold were first found in Spanish caves during the period of 40,000 BC.
National Mining Association of Gold
As per the National Mining Association, gold was in use in 4000 BC in Eastern Europe. In those early days, people used gold to make shrines, idols of gods for worship, vessels of all kinds. They also used it to make jewelry as an adornment.
Many countries even started worshipping gold, some considered gold as the product of God, and some regarded gold as tears of the Sun. In some religions like Christianity and Judaism, gold has been related to holiness or goodness and evil.
As per the statement of Christopher Columbus, anyone having a product of gold has something of Great Value on earth and the ability to even help the souls to reach heaven.
It was around 1500 BC when the old kingdom of Egypt made gold as an exchange medium for trading purposes worldwide.
It was because of its region called Nubia, which was abundant in Gold and benefited because of this valuable metal.
Egypt created a coin that weighed 11.3 grams, which was known as the Shekel. Further, it came up as the standard measuring unit within the Middle East regions.
It comes from electrum, a mixture of gold and silver in two-thirds and one-third proportion respectively.
It was discovered here that gold can be mixed with other alloys as well to make the final product stronger and durable, and to give it different colors as well.
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Greeks were the first to start the mining of gold. Inspired by the Greeks, other countries also started their quest for gold. Countries made extra efforts to extract gold, they used prisoners, slaves, and criminals for the work.
Human trafficking also increased in those days so that countries can employ or forcefully use those people for mining and extracting gold. Also, new methods of mining and extracting of gold were invented.
For instance, the Romans started what we call the Hydraulic mining, Sluices, Water wheels, etc. They also enhanced their quality of gold by removing other rocks and material from the gold, making it pure and more valuable.
The Babylonians also found a method called the fire assay which they used to check the purity of gold and to separate impurities from gold through the fusion process.
Egyptians created a casting method which is the lost-wax process in which they bring an unoriginal gold sculpture from an actual wax product. All these methods were so effective that people use it for the present day.
Everyone understood and realized the value of gold even before people began use it as a currency in many countries.
Later, the minting of pure gold coins started around 560 BC. In 50 BC Romans issued a gold coin named Aureus. The name ‘Aureus’ comes from the Latin word Aurum which means gold.
Also, from these words – ‘Aureus’ and ‘Aurum’ comes the chemical symbol of Gold, i.e. ‘Au’ which is in the periodic table of elements. The currency was made till this time and its name was gold.
Gold In India
Gold entered in India through various ways, the major one being the export of spices, cotton, wheat, etc.
After the barter system and before the introduction of paper money, people used precious stones for purchasing goods and services which included gold, silver, copper, and other metals. Generally, gold was what the kings and landlords used.
In many countries, the kings and queens used to wear crowns made of gold. Also, during wedding ceremonies, the bride and groom dealt with piles of gold in the form of ornaments for their future security as well as a gift for the occasion.
One who had reserves of gold is economically and financially stronger or so said the ancient generation. Though, this concept has not changed much in today’s era as well.
There was a time in the history of the world, probably in the 19th century and early 20th century. Here, gold was the sole and main source of transaction, nationally as well as internationally.
The value of a currency of a country in the international market comes from the value of gold and reserves of gold held by a country.
But after the Second World War, things changed. Also, people realized the drawbacks of using the gold standard for determining the international currency.
The major shortcoming being gold production was not enough to meet the growing demands of international trade and investment.
Later, the rules of the Bretton woods system came into place. Here, the US dollar took the place of gold for valuing currency on the national and international levels.
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Value of Gold
In today’s epoch, the usage and value of gold can be seen and is significant too. People use it in international competitions. The winner or the great achievements get the first prize in the form of a gold medal or gold trophy.
Many other awards are also of gold like the Nobel Prize, Golden awards, Emmy awards, etc.
Gold has such a value that important principles or strategies or even formulas are named after it, for example, golden mean, golden principle, golden ratio, the golden rule, etc.
In India, the famous sacred place Golden temple or Harmandir Sahib is fully covered with gold.
Marriages are still incomplete without gold, golden ornaments are a must as they are the sacrosanct. As gold lasts for long, it is related to the strength of relationships.
Hence, the major development of gold was by the Europeans. The value of gold is still on all over the world and the Middle East, even today, is one of the sources.
Also, it is the second-largest market for the same, making Dubai, the City of Gold. It is so because Dubai plays a major role in establishing the area as a critical global market.
Gold has helped in the civilization of many countries and nations.
Final Words on History of Gold
The history of gold started from its discovery and has now progressed to the extent that it is now one of the most powerful and sacred metals.
It is not only for ornaments or worshipping but also for economic empowerment, investment, and strengthening the economy as a whole.
Though now, gold has skyrocketed prices, it is sacred as it was back in history. Man’s desire, demand, and obsession for gold have never reduced and it seems this is going to continue for the upcoming years and epoch too.
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