The History of Gold

Gold Bars and Squares

A staple in civilizations ranging from ancient times to the present day, Gold has played many roles in the development of culture, technology, medicine, dentistry, fashion, science, and even personal connections. Ranging from wedding bands to currency, Gold has had an immense history of value. From the first nuggets found in the earth to being used in the James Webb Space Telescope, Gold is not only extremely useful but carries an unforgettable shimmer that catches the eye.

Gold is a chemical element with an atomic number of 79 and atomic weight of 196.966. Its chemical element identifier is known as Au and has a bright yellow color with a tint of red, in its purest form. It is a great conductor for heat and electricity and is the most malleable metal on earth. So malleable that 1 gram of gold could be smashed into 1 square meter. It has a melting point of 1,947.52 °F, or 1,064.18 °C and can be shaped into numerous forms. By chemical manipulation Gold can become aqueous, typically used when refining the metal from its impure ore.

Liquid Gold

The History...

The name Gold can be traced back from Old English and Germanic origins. The Germanic word “Gulþą” is the start of this elements name creation. Later it had evolved into the Old English term “Geolu”, for “yellow; or to shine, gleam”. During the 12th century, “geolu” developed into the name we know today as Gold. As for its elemental identifier, Au, it had been derived from the Latin term for Gold, “Aurum”.

Though Gold artifacts have been dated back to around 1500 BC and its use as a currency had not been documented, it is still believed that this easily identifiable metal was used as an unofficial bartering item. The first known coinage with Gold content was the Lydian Trite struck by the Lydians, a civilization from 600 BC, near present day Turkey. This coin was made up of a gold alloy known as Electrum. Though there is some debate surrounding this, these coins are known to have a gold content of around 54%

Lydian Trite Gold Piece

"The first known coinage with Gold content was the Lydian Trite"

By 50 BC, Ancient Rome had minted the Aureus, a pure gold coin that would last until the 4th century, AD. As of the 13th and 14th century, European economies would re-utilize gold coinage by creating the “Noble”. The Noble had coin counterparts such as the half and quarter Nobles which became very popular during the times they were used. Between the times of the 16th and 20th century, the gold standard would be used in the ever growing economies of the world until most countries would abandon it and move towards a fiat based currency. Since the removal of the gold standard, Gold in its many forms has remained a vehicle of investment. Throughout its history gold has been known for its stored value and will continue as such.

Gold Noble PieceGold Coins

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1 comment

  • TylerOct 23, 2019

    Great blog Makayla!

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