Gold has been a symbol of wealth and power since ancient times. Its shiny and metallic qualities, its relative scarcity, and the difficulty of extraction have all contributed to its perception as a valuable product. Gold is malleable, making it the easiest metal to work with, and its utility doubled after humans discovered that they could combine two or three metals to form a single tool. In mythology, gods and monarchs were often depicted with spears, swords, and armor made of gold.
But why is gold still so valuable today? It's not just about its physical properties; it's also about what other elements don't have. People have placed a special value on gold because it does not tarnish or react with sulfur in the air like silver does. This belief stems from the psychology of human beings and their desire to accumulate wealth, tangible assets, and precious metals. Gold also has several financial advantages compared to other assets; it has no time limit or lifespan, is portable and divisible, and cannot be counterfeited or inflated.
To obtain more gold for both domestic consumption and trade, royal authorities organized expeditions to the mines containing gold. During the gold standard era, anyone could go to a bank and exchange paper money for a certain amount of gold. This gave people assurance that the value of their money did not depend on their country's ability to pay its debts or its international position, but only on its capacity to produce gold. Gold is also very rare; if all the gold in the world melted down, it would fit within the limits of an Olympic swimming pool.
Private households often tried to acquire it as an important long-term property, but gold was rarely buried by private houses with graves. In ancient Near East societies, women often wore gold jewelry as a representation of family wealth or as a way of literally carrying family wealth. The discovery of South America and its vast gold deposits caused an enormous drop in the value of gold and an enormous increase in the price of everything else. Pure gold is highly resistant to aging and tarnishing, so most of the gold from the hominid era still survives today and can be found in smartphones, computer chips, and watches.
Gold does not rust or tarnish and has no stains because it reacts with almost nothing.When gold appears in the New World, it is also associated with the early development of pyrotechnology, suggesting that gold develops early as metallurgy develops. Gold has been a symbol of wealth and power since ancient times; its malleability, scarcity, resistance to aging and tarnishing, and financial advantages have all contributed to its value.