At the start of golden ages golden stories should be told.
The Incas believed gold was the “Sweat of the Sun” and silver was “Tears of the Moon,” gold represented the glory of their sun god, Inti.
Early Greeks thought gold was a combination of water and sunlight.
Turkey’s "Gold of Troy" treasure trove was dated to between 2450 -2600 B.C. It contained gold works ranging from delicate jewelry to a one troy pound (12 troy ounces) gravy boat.
The graves of nobles at the ancient Citadel of Mycenae near Nauplion, Greece, contained elegant works of art created by skilled craftsmen more than 3,500 years ago - gold figurines, masks, cups, diadems, and jewelry, plus hundreds of decorated beads and buttons.
In ancient Egypt, gold was considered the skin or flesh of gods, in particular the Egyptian sun god Ra. Gold was unavailable to anyone but the pharaohs. The Egyptian word for gold was “nub,” taken from gold-rich Nubia - shown on the Turin Papyrus as a major gold producer in antiquity.
The first true coins in Western civilization were issued, about 640 B.C., by King Ardys of Sardis. They were small round lumps comprised of electrum (a naturally occurring amalgam of silver & gold) - they were not of any standard weight & purity of metal or size.
The Greeks would not accept the electrum coins in trade so the coins were outlawed by King Croesus (560-546 B.C.) and gold or silver coins were issued. When the Lydians were captured by the Persians in 546 B.C., the use of gold coins began to spread.
"Gold, measured out, became money. Gold's beauty, scarcity, unique density and the ease by which it could be melted, formed, and measured made it a natural trading medium. Gold gave rise to the concept of money itself: portable, private, and permanent. Gold (and silver) in standardized coins came to replace barter arrangements, and made trade in the Classic period much easier…
A monetary standard made the world economy possible. The concept of money, (i.e., gold and silver in standard weight and fineness coins) allowed the World's economies to expand and prosper.
Money had been invented. Its name was gold." A brief History of Gold, onlygold.com
There are more than 400 references to gold in the Bible, including specific instructions from God to cover furniture in the tabernacle with “pure gold.”
“By the late 13th century it was the city state of Venice that controlled trade throughout the Mediterranean. And the Venetians knew that if they wanted to consolidate and further increase their power and influence that they needed a coin that would be accepted by all nations. For such a coin would allow trade to flow freely and easily and greatly facilitate payment for goods.
Many references list Giovanni Dandolo as the originator of the Venetian ducat in 1284. But it was actually in 1274 when the Doge of Venice, Lorenzo Tiepolo, began minting a gold coin with the image of the Doge kneeling before St. Mark on the obverse and the figure of Christ on the reverse - and thus the gold ducat was born. It was a coin weighing 3.5 grams and struck in .986 gold. These specifications for the ducat would remain the same for the next 700 plus years. It continues to be struck even today. Not since the Roman Empire, had a coin of gold been struck that would capture the trust of all nations and be as enduring as the ducat.
The popularity of this coin quickly spread throughout Europe and even beyond to most areas of the Middle East and including India, Egypt and Africa. For here, at last, was a coin that allowed any nation of the world to trade with another and have a uniform method of payment. In all cases, the specifications of the coin were the same - 3.5 grams of .986 gold. In later years, the ducat was also struck in fractions and multiples - from as small as 1/32 ducat to as large as the extremely rare 100 ducats…
Today, the US dollar is the currency that is accepted worldwide; and before the dollar it was the British pound. But the gold ducat stands out above all other coins as having achieved acceptability over the known world based on its reputation and specifications. For centuries the ducat held the position of being the world's currency. No other coin can make that claim.” The Ducat, Doug Prather winsociety.org
The world's first hallmarking system, scrutinizing and guaranteeing the quality of precious metal, was established in 1300 at Goldsmith's Hall in London - where London's Assay Office is still located today.
In 1422 the Venice Mint struck a record 1.2 million gold ducats using 4.26 tonnes of gold from Africa and Central Asia.
Gold was one of the gifts of the Magi.
Almost all of the gold that has ever been mined still exists.
Gold is called a "noble" metal because it does not oxidize under ordinary conditions. Its chemical symbol Au is derived from the Latin word "aurum."
Gold is bright yellow and has a high luster. Apart from copper and caesium it is the only non-white colored metal - the arrangement of outer electrons around the gold nucleus is the reason for the yellow color. Copper creates pink and rose tones in gold. The more the copper, the deeper the effect.
Gold can mixed with other metals to give it different colors.
White gold can be 18-karat or 14-karat. There are two basic types of white gold alloys: gold mixed with nickel and gold mixed with palladium. To enhance the whiteness, almost all white gold is plated with rhodium, a shiny, white metal which is extremely hard.
Of the 92 natural elements in the earth’s crust, Gold ranks 58th in rarity - occurrence of gold in the earth's crust = .005 parts per million. The largest gold nugget ever found is the “Welcome Stranger” discovered by John Deason and Richard Oates in Australia on February 5, 1869. The nugget is 10 by 25 inches and yielded 2,248 ounces of pure gold. A one ounce nugget of gold is a rarer find than a five carat diamond.
Estimates suggest that the total volume of gold ever mined is approximately 170,000 tonnes or 5,465,670,000 ounces. To visualize, imagine a single solid gold cube with edges of about 20 meters. The population of the world was 7,000,000,000 in October of 2011 so there were .78 ounces or 24.88 grams of gold per person on the planet – that’s $1,240 worth of gold for each person.
Sixty-five percent of all gold in circulation has been extracted since 1950.
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