GOLD AND THE FIRST CIVILIZATIONS Known gold deposits were widespread in ancient times. Ancient Egyptian production was so extensive that it approached monopoly for several thousand years. Until the first millennium BC. Practically all gold production was under the control of the pharaoh.
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. . 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.
The gold standard has been completely abandoned by all countries; a process of abandonment that gradually began towards the end of the First World War. First found at surface level near rivers in Asia Minor, such as the Pactolus in Lydia, gold was also mined underground from 2000 to. by the Egyptians and later by the Romans in Africa, Portugal and Spain. This is because as the productive capacity of an economy grows, so does its money supply, but since the money supply is limited by the amount of gold an economy has at any given time, the capacity of an economy to produce more and grow is also limited.
Interestingly, many of the countries that abandoned the gold standard earlier were able to recover from the depression sooner than those that remained below the gold standard. As mentioned earlier, this led many countries to finally abandon the gold standard entirely and never look back. In 1284, about a hundred years later, Great Britain issued its first gold coin, the florin, while throughout Europe, in present-day Italy, the Republic of Florence issued the first golden duchy, which soon became the most popular gold coin in the world and remained so for another five centuries. The first pure gold coins with printed images are attributed to King Croesus of Lydia, between 561 and 546 in.
C., and a contemporary gold refinery has been excavated in the capital, Sardis. This is where the golden chemical symbol Au comes from to represent gold in the periodic table of the elements. All that said, this series of blog posts on gold will seek to explain why it is such a precious metal, making a story, discussing its properties, the extraction and production process, the uses of gold, the main gold-producing countries and, finally, explaining its role as a traded commodity. In the United States, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt instituted a series of measures to prevent gold hoarding, such as forcing banks to hand over all their gold holds to the Federal Reserve, not allowing them to exchange dollars for gold, and also prohibiting any export of gold.
Concern for the authenticity of gold led the Egyptians to devise a method for determining the purity of gold around 1500 BC. (or before). The Mint was legally required to buy and sell gold and silver at a rate of 15 parts of silver to 1 part of gold. In an attempt to create a framework for all gold-backed international currencies, the Bretton Woods Agreement was created in 1944. At that time, the only major countries remaining on the gold standard with significant gold reserves were the United States and France.
Finally, with the outbreak of World War II, the depression had ended and some countries finally returned to using the gold standard. .