Gold has a very special place in society, yet very few people know how it all began. Understanding the history of this precious metal can provide insights as to how it has remained relevant throughout the centuries. As it turns out, this metal has been a crucial aspect of society for over 2 millennia.
Discovering Gold and Using it
Contrary to what some people may expect, gold has been around for dozens of centuries. In fact, it was used on a larger scale since 4,000 B.C., indicating the precious metal was known to humans well before this time. It has always served as a viable medium of exchange, and can still be used as such today.
Early hominids encountered gold as – perhaps – their first metal. It was a lot easier to find back then, as one could simply find it in most rivers. Today, all of these rivers have been mined out bar some, yet gold has successfully stuck around. Even today, it still brings a gleam to people’s eyes, and it holds significant value and standing in society.
Depending on whom you ask, it is likely that gold was discovered well before iron and copper. Although these latter two metals have contributed to the evolution of our society in a more tangible way, gold was potentially used well before these metals. In terms of trading, it was the go-to solution for many early hominids.
How is it Found?
Finding gold is fairly difficult, but it can be worth the effort. Unlike other metals, gold is often found in a pure state. More specifically, it is ready to be used directly, Even if it is found alongside other metals, working the bullion is not a complex task either. Other metals are more difficult to smelt, depending in which ore bodies they are effectively discovered.
Combined with other benefits, it is not hard to see why so many people are smitten by the discovery of gold. Unlike other metals, gold doesn’t tarnish, and it doesn’t show any real signs of corrosion either. This makes it stand out a lot from other common metals discovered throughout history. Gold found 1,500 years ago still looks the same today, at least in terms of quality.
Because of the workable nature of gold, it was primarily used to create ornaments and jewelry thousands of years ago. That situation slowly came to change around 1,500 B.C, when Egyptian rulers decided to make it an official medium of exchange. Ever since, gld has been associated with money, wealth, power, and prestige.
Will it Maintain its Status?
That question is a bit more difficult to answer. Nothing has changed about gold’s appeal throughout time. It remains valuable, sought-after, and even served as a global reserve currency at one point. Abolishing the gold standard is, in the eyes of many, still one of the biggest mistakes society has faced to date.
Maintaining the status of “wealth and power” will not be easy. At the same time, the current monetary system runs on its last legs, and will eventually meet its demise. Whether that will rekindle the appeal of gold, or push more people toward Bitcoin, remains unknown. Anything can happen.