Gold has been one of the most important parts of society. The metal is also considered precious, among four more primary others, which means that it possesses qualities such as extreme durability, high rarity, and significant economic value.
That said, it’s easy to say that gold is a valuable asset that has played, and is still playing, a significant role in people’s daily lives. This applies no matter a person’s status because of the metal’s versatility.
Considering all the exemplary qualities that the said metal has, it’s understandable why people would be curious about the history of gold, specifically how it started, where it was first found, and its likes. These, along with other topics, are what this article will focus on in the next sections.
When Was Gold First Discovered?
Gold was first discovered between the eras of 3000 BC to 4000 BC. Information regarding the exact year and founder is still unknown because of how early its presence has been detected in civilization.
Some reports say that its official starting date comes up to 1320 BC, but archeologists found more proof to support the former claim. One thing is for sure, though – the metal’s very first use started in some parts of Europe and the Middle East, specifically in Egypt.
The discovery of gold first spread around Asia, starting from Iraq to China to the other nearby countries. It then led to Europe, specifically Greece, Great Britain, Spain, and then eventually reached the United States in 1803 AD.
By this time, gold was already deemed famous and used worldwide. Its discovery in the US also sparked the very first gold rush in the country.
Where Did Gold Originate From?
Gold has many stories regarding its origins. Some are logical and are based on scientific findings. On the flip side, some stories revolve around mythical origins and speculations.
Starting with the logical and truest side, gold originates from the remains of dead stars that fell on Earth. In the present, the society’s gold source is the Earth’s core, where the metals form through their interaction with underground lava and magma. This is the same reason why gold mines exist.
Now, speaking of mythical origins, many early civilizations in ancient times believed that gold came from divine sources. There was a story about King Midas, whose touch makes anything gold, and that the metals back then were remains of the said king. Other groups believed that the gold they found was either the tears or sweat of the sun god.
What are the Uses of Gold?
Because of the extremely high quality of gold and its reliable properties, humankind has used it for a lot of purposes in equally versatile fields. In the present, a person can expect to find gold wherever they are. Contrary to misconceptions, the said metal isn’t really that rare, which is a big plus to civilizations.
That said, what exactly are the uses of gold? See the three main things below:
Gold for Jewelry Making
The top use of gold points to jewelry making. From necklaces, anklets, bracelets to the smallest of earrings, rest assured that one can find a piece of gold jewelry in their country.
The connection between gold and jewelry and furniture making has long been around since 6,000 years ago, which makes it the earliest use for gold.
Gold for Beauty and Health
Gold has antioxidant properties. Because of this, the latest advancements in beauty and health came up with the use of gold for cosmetics, such as face masks, face packs, and other skincare products. There are even reports pertaining to Egypt using gold for the same purpose in 10,000 BCE.
To add, gold is also a common metal used in dentistry, specifically serving as a replacement for natural teeth.
Gold as a Commodity
Since 700 BC, gold was officially considered a currency of trade and exchange in several countries, including but not limited to England, Minor Asia, and the US. Currently, however, all countries already accept gold as a reserve, but not as the main currency. This makes the metal a commodity for major financing needs.
Gold Prices Over Time
This section will talk about the gold prices over time and how they evolved throughout the years.
Data regarding gold prices date back to 1969 as the oldest. Back then, a gram of gold amounted to $41.40. It’s a low rate when looked at in the present, but it was a good starting price for commodities in the past. It played around $30 to $60 until 1973, and then eventually reached past the $100 point in 1974. In the said year, the metal is priced at $158.76.
Another milestone for gold happened in 1979, wherein gold had a price tag of $307.01 per gram. The year 1980 even saw a greater development because it reached $614.75. It incurred a rather big loss in the succeeding years until 2005 when the prices sunk to around $200 to $400. It only came back to the $600 point in 2006.
From 2010 up to the present, 2022, gold stayed in the $1,000 lane per gram. Specifically, it currently amounts to $1,890.73 in the latest year, an 8% increase from 2021 with $1,798.89.
Forecasts for the next five years show a continuous decline. According to the World Bank, the public should expect the metal to be priced at around $1,300 until 2035 because of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.
Gold has been around from 3000 BC to 4000 BC. It’s possible that it has been around longer and further in the past, but history considers the said date as the first one known to humankind when it comes to discovering the said metal.
Since then, gold has served a lot of purposes, including being used in jewelry, furniture pieces, dentistry, technology, and money.
Because of the many uses of gold, acting as currency, being the most significant, we can expect that its price in the financing and investment field will continue to rise in the coming years. It’s also in a good financial state in the present, amounting to $1,994 as of 2022.
On the last note, no matter what the specifics are, it’s evident that the society and its people have, and still are, given extreme importance to gold since it was discovered.