What was gold used for in ancient times?

In ancient times, gold became sanctuaries and idols (“the golden calf”), plates, cups, vases and vases of all kinds and, of course, into jewelry for personal adornment. In most ancient cultures, gold was popular in jewelry and art because of its value, aesthetic qualities, ductility and malleability. Electrum (the natural alloy of gold and silver) was used in jewelry by Egyptians from 5000 BC. C.

Both men and women wore gold jewelry in the Sumerian civilization around 3000 BC. C., and gold chains were produced for the first time in the city of Ur in 2500 BC. To the Minoan civilization of Crete, at the beginning of the second millennium a. C., is credited with producing the first jewelry with a cable-type chain, and the Minoans manufactured a wide range of jewelry items using a wide range of techniques.

Gold jewelry took the form of necklaces, bracelets, earrings, rings, headbands, pendants, pins and brooches. The techniques and forms included filigree (a technique known to the Egyptians since 2500 BC). C.) in which gold was dragged on wire and twisted in different designs), fine whipped shapes, granulating (decorating the surface with small soldered gold beads), stamping, profiling, inlay, molding and engraving. In South America, gold was processed in a similar way by the Chavín civilization of Peru around 1200 BC.

C. and the Nazca society perfected gold smelting starting in 500 BC. The Romans used gold as a setting for precious and semiprecious gems, a trend that continued in the Byzantine era with the use of pearls, gems and enamels. Most likely, people have discovered gold for the first time in streams and rivers around the world, with its striking beauty and brilliance.

The well-known history of gold goes back a long time, so much so that, according to the National Mining Association, the cultures of present-day Eastern Europe used it for the first time in 4000 BC. to make decorative objects. Gold was generally used for a couple of thousand years only to create things such as jewelry and idols for worship. This was until around 1500 BC.

C., when the former empire of Egypt, which greatly benefited from its gold region, Nubia, turned gold into the first official medium of exchange for international trade. Later in history, the ancient Greeks saw gold as a symbol of social status and as a form of glory among immortal gods and demigods. Mortal humans could use gold as a sign of wealth, and gold was also a form of currency. Contrary to what you might think, the Olympic tradition of handing out gold medals to winners did not begin until the modern Olympic Games and has little to do with Greek tradition.

Archaeologists cannot pinpoint an exact time in human history when gold was discovered, but traces have been found in ancient caves dating from 40,000 to. Gold proved to be a popular metal among ancient peoples due to its natural and malleable state in which it is found in nature. This is how the California Gold Rush began in the story of how gold was discovered. Somewhere close to 300,000 people rushed to that great state, but only a few actually found the fortune they were looking for.

Of course, that's just the modern narrative. Gold was discovered in ancient times by the Romans, Egyptians and other primitive civilizations, although there is little agreement about when and where humans first came into contact with gold. One such date is 2600 a. A little over a thousand years later, in 1223 BC.

Later, the Romans expanded the possibilities of discovering gold based on Greek mining technology. Some of the Roman innovations include gold-mining constructions based on streams, such as locks, hydraulic wheels and hydraulic systems for mining. Since gold put California on the map, this precious metal has had a fascinating history, as it rose to fame during the height of the gold standard, which ended in 1971 when President Nixon suspended the convertibility of gold as a result of the overvaluation of the dollar and the increase in public debt in the 1960s. It was at this point that the United States made the transition to the now globally standardized fiat system, which values currency against another foreign currency instead of gold or a physical product.

The Egyptians also created detailed maps that provided information on where to find gold mines and the best gold deposits in the entire kingdom. Gold is such a precious material that for centuries several attempts were made to produce it through alchemy, that is, the chemical transformation of base metals into gold using the philosopher's stone (lapis philosophhorum). However, nations were not yet willing to abandon the gold standard completely, to reestablish it and, at the same time, they were hoping that a new era of international stability would return to the gold standard, but in reality it never happened. In 1717, the United Kingdom established the original Gold Standard, which linked 77 shillings to gold at a minting price.

This came after it was rumored that central banks around the world were reducing their gold bullion reserves and, at the same time, mining companies were selling gold in forward markets. Because of this, most gold price charts start sometime in the 1970s, when gold prices began to vary significantly. As a decorative coating, gold plating and gold leaf (gold beaten in extremely thin sheets) have been used to decorate shrines, temples, tombs, sarcophagi, statues, ornamental weapons and armor, ceramics, glassware and jewelry since Egyptian times. Although the Romans were by no means the first to use gold in their coins, they were the first to make gold coins a very common currency.

The salt mixed with silver and formed a vapor of silver chloride that left pure gold, which could be used to create a standardized minting with a guaranteed gold content. The process of colonization and globalization of other parts of the world by the developed world made new discoveries of gold commonplace and, with it, there was a large influx of supplies of this metal, allowing the gold standard to thrive. Concern for the authenticity of gold led the Egyptians to devise a method for determining the purity of gold around 1500 BC. (or before).

According to the gold standard, the money supply is directly linked to the supply of gold, which means that, during the First World War, many countries decided to temporarily suspend the gold standard in order to be able to print money to pay for their military participation in the war. . suggests that gold should be applied to wounds as a defense against “magic potions”. In 1900, the gold dollar was declared to be the standard unit of account in the United States and banknotes were issued to represent the country's gold reserves.