Currency of Kings? – The History of Gold

Gold CoinsGold has been a part of human culture for thousands of years. Some archeologists think it was the first metal ever used by humans, and the archeological record has examples of of gold jewelry dating back more than 6000 years.

Gold naturally occurs in an easily workable state while other metals usually require more processing, and because it can often be found in riverbeds when gold panning, it was an obvious metal for our ancestors to take advantage of. Virtually every known culture has some history of using gold, and some special association for the metal. Gold Coins
Even before people started using the gold as currency, many cultures began to associate the metal with deities and religious customs. The earliest civilizations in Mesopotamia and Egypt had goldsmiths, and gold is mentioned on Egyptian hieroglyphs dated to more than 4000 years ago. It is believed that the Egyptian were one of the first cultures to create gold coins although they were only used as gifts. The first use of gold coinage as currency was in the ancient kingdom of Lydia, about 2500 years ago.

The use of gold as money continued to spread from one culture to another throughout history. The ancient Greeks, who believed that gold was a combination of water and sunlight, used gold as money, and so did the Romans. Gold made a great choice for currency because nearly every culture throughout the world considered it valuable, and gold was easy to turn into coins because it’s so malleable.

Physical gold continued to be the standard that backed up most currency for most of recorded history, and all the way into the early 1970’s when it was completely abandoned in 1971. Gold is still used in jewelry, along with certain specialized technological applications, and people still purchase gold as an investment for its security in the form of bars or coins like gold Sovereigns and Krugerrands. This precious metal will probably always hold a special place in all cultures, and many believe its value will continue to increase as time goes by.

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