The history of gold is long and luxurious- it has been a symbol of value and elegance since its discovery around 3000 BC. People believe that gold was discovered in a natural state somewhere in a stream or the ground and that its allure was immediately cherished. Alongside its beauty, gold is useful because it is so versatile. For a while, one of gold's main uses was for decorations, and early on in ancient Egypt, it replaced the barter system and became a form of currency.
Since its discovery, gold has been used not only in the jewelry industry, but also in medicine, electronics, aerospace, and more.
Within every industry, the price of gold equates to a huge amount of money. Gold’s value has steadily increased with the economy and has proved to be profitable during tough times in the market. Following the 2008 recession, the price dropped dramatically but gained back its full value and then increased beyond what it was worth before. Since gold lasts through tough times, it may be beneficial if you were looking to buy gold.
Even when people sell gold jewelry, it can be difficult trying to determine the best price of the item since it is so precious. Gold prices are usually determined based off the supply and demand, the conditions of the market, and the value of the currency.
Gold has always been associated with wealth because the main enjoyers of the metal were royal and wealthy. People in ancient times used the metal for making items like utensils and shrines, and its attractiveness in decorating and embellishing was one of its main uses in the early ages. Those who could afford the metal would also use it as jewelry.
Another reason for its grandeur is because of its association with immortality and the gods. In Egypt, the metal was considered the “flesh of the Gods” and was therefore placed on pharaohs bodies and in tombs. These high figures wanted to preserve their remains forever, which is why they used gold so heavily in these burial rituals. Since it does not tarnish gold was equated with immortality, and this made it even more precious. For this reason, when we think of ancient Egypt, one of the main connections we make is with the metal.
Not only was gold associated with immortality, but it was also useful for medical practices. People in ancient Egypt used it as a healing agent, as by drinking it a patient could be mentally and bodily cleansed. This liquid gold was ingested and supposed to cure any diseases, provide perfect health, and replenish youth. Many royal persons would drink gold to keep them young and healthy, though sometimes it may have contributed to a faster death.
Since gold is one of the least reactive elements on the periodic table, it does not oxidize. As a result, it keeps its original color. It is also a malleable metal and can be morphed easily, which made it ideal for currency and its use in professional fields.
This metal can be pounded into a thin sheet, easily melted and quickly worked into shapes. Due to these qualities, it became the top choice when considered for a currency. While it lasted as a currency for a while, it no longer takes on this role because its exchange would no longer be practical since it is difficult to come by.
One of the reason why gold is so valuable is its rarity, which comes from the fact that it is difficult to produce. The element is heavy and consists of a large number of protons and neutrons, so miners who extract the metal do not usually do it in large quantities. Gold is formed by neutron stars colliding, and during Earth’s formation, the heavier elements were pushed down in the Earth’s core.
Gold is one of the only metals to have a distinct yellow color. Besides copper, which is reddish, all other metals are alike in that they are silver. Unlike gold, however, copper corrodes over time, such as with the Statue of Liberty. Therefore, gold is the only metal to be distinct in having a consistent color and chemistry, which contributes to its high worth.
The metal has a reflective color that catches the eye and makes it seem as if it’s glowing from the inside. The glistening surface of the metal draws attention as well- the shine of it was associated with the sun.
Jewelry is one of the first things people think of when they think of gold. Gold is one of the most expensive and rare pieces of jewelry you can buy, and people have worn it as an accessory since its discovery.
Outside of jewelry, gold is still useful in the medical and dental world. A practice known as chrysotherapy, which is the use of gold compounds in medicine, is used to treat arthritis. This was one of the first uses of the metal in medicine, and more recently it has been seen in treatment for cancer and in detecting HIV/AIDS. Within cancer treatment, it helps to locate prostate cancer, and it is useful in chemotherapy for tumors.
In dentistry, most people know of gold’s use with fake teeth. Gold is a useful material for crowns because it can withstand heavy forces and very rarely chips or breaks.
Gold is used in the electronic world because it is a great conductor. Though silver and copper are conductors too, they are prone to corrode after some time. Though silver is fast, since it is prone to corrosion, devices are made with a small amount of gold in addition to silver to give them a longer life. In electronics, gold will be used to plate connectors because it doesn’t create an oxide film that takes away from being a functional conductor.
Even in the world of aerospace, gold is useful because it is an efficient reflector. Since gold can reflect radiation, aerospace engineers will use it in astronaut equipment and vehicles for protection.
Gold and its properties as one of the natural elements make it a useful item in society. Since its discovery, gold has been cherished and protected, and even to this day, people praise it for its utility and its beauty.