Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The History Of Gold

For many years gold has been a symbol of success and power for many powerful nations of the world. It has been the reason why wars have been fought, and how our present came to be. Gold has been the obsession of many people that have done both good and terrible things for the precious metal. The first uses of gold have been traced as far back as the Middle East when civilization as we know it first began. Egyptian jewelry has been found in the tomb of Queen Zer. It has also even been found in the tomb of Queen Pu-abi of Ur in Sumeria. These are the oldest forms of gold jewelry ever found on the planet, and it is proof that our ancient ancestors had the ability to not only mine this gold, but also how to craft it into very beautiful jewelry and coins. Over the centuries many Egyptian tombs have been raided and many of the gold artifacts were stolen from their tombs. The tomb of Tutankhamen was discovered undisturbed and many precious jewelry items made from gold have been found there.
The Persian Empire which is now modern day Iraq, has many interesting gold pieces that were made very unique. Most of the gold jewelry from the Persian Empire was made because of the religion  Zoroastrianism. Persian gold artifacts are famous mostly because of their style. They used a lot of animal features in their artwork. After the Arabs conquered them in the 7th century AD, there style of gold art has changed drastically. Here is a cup that is from the Persian era that is made of solid gold...

The city of ancient Rome was one of the most diverse cities of the ancient world. When it was flowering as a civilization many gold artisans traveled to Rome so that they may sell their work to the higher class that lived all throughout the region. When Christianity planted its roots in Rome people stopped burying their loved ones with their gold jewelry this caused gold from that time period very hard to find. The way we have seen a lot of it is through church hoards and the stashes from kings and queens.

Way before settlers and explorers came to the new world (The Americas) gold smithing was highly popular among the pre-Columbian cultures. Their skill at creating beautiful gold art was very well established long before the arrival of the Spanish. They had already mastered many of the techniques to mine, granulate, and even the hammering of gold perfectly. They even used different inlay and wax methods to create beautiful pieces of art out of gold. Spanish conquerers or conquistadors melted down most of this precious gold from these pre-Columbian cultures, and not much of it exists today in its true form. Some of this gold has still been found however in different grave sites to this day.

During the creation of the colonies in North America, there was a huge gold rush in California. The most  well known gold rush was in Sutter's Mill in 1858. Many people from all around the world flocked to California with hopes of striking it rich and buying loads of gold mining and panning equipment. The people that made the most money in the area though were probably the people selling the equipment to gold hungry settlers. This however is not the only place that has had a gold rush. Many people have always flocked to different parts of the world to strike it rich, including Africa, Australia, and even Canada.

The Gold Standard was adopted in 1821 which meant all of a nations currency must be backed in a fixed weight in gold. This may be one of the reasons why the United States really felt the great depression. The other reason was the huge expenses caused by the World Wars. With this the gold standard was abolished so that the federal reserve can print more and more money. This may be why we have such a big problem today. The Federal Reserve must be audited by the people, and despite its name, is not very Federal at all, and is owned by international bankers. I hope you have enjoyed reading this article, please leave comments if you have anything else to add.

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