Gold is a precious mineral held in high regard for thousands of years. Before mining technology, gold played different roles for different societies and civilizations. But as far as how far back the discovery and use of gold goes, you may be surprised.
Many people know that gold is old, but not many can say how old it is. Well, there's no doubt that gold is quite old, but its actual age will surprise you. In some countries, gold was discovered before people tried to sail or go on a flight - that's how old gold is in a nutshell.
Scientists believe that during the formation of Earth, the debris of dead neutron stars led to heavy elements like gold and molten iron sinking into the planet’s core, and there may be enough metals in the core to cover the entire surface of the Earth in a thick layer. The top kilometer of the Earth’s surface alone is thought to hold around 1 million tons of gold, and gold deeper into the Earth is transported out by earthquakes, like a shifting fault that impacts mineral-rich water and volcanoes.
Gold and precious metals are created through a process of nuclear fusion, and some fraction of gold was likely created during the big bang. Immediately following the big bang, hydrogen and helium were the only two elements formed, but gold and other metals followed suit.
But then, that's not everything you should know about how old gold is. There's so much more to know, including how it got discovered, who discovered it, and how it became valuable. Also, it's worth knowing whether gold is a worthy investment for the 21st century.
This article will take a more in-depth look at some of these topics. It will help you know how far gold has come and what you can expect from it in the future. Read on to learn everything you should know about gold and how old it is as of today.
Here's everything you should know.
How Was Gold Discovered?
As mentioned earlier, the gold discovery happened thousands and thousands of years ago, dating back even to the time of Midas. Thus, it isn't easy to credit its discovery to an individual. But then, there have been various myths, and stories told from multiple cultures, religions, and locations worldwide about the origin of gold.
Gold occurred in various parts of the world during its discovery and is thought to be created in rocks from the Earth’s crust. According to ancient people, there was abundant gold in countries like Egypt in the early days. It then became a vital means of exchange for international trade because of its high value and has also been traced to gold deposits in South Africa. The first coinage was created in Lydia around 600 BC, but around half of the world’s gold is predicted to be billions of years old.
Thus, there's no obvious explanation of how people discovered gold. What's there is what followed a short time after humans came into contact with it. Most modern narratives explain the gold rush that followed. Everyone went looking for this treasure and wanted to get hold of it.
Ancient Mesopotamians then used it to make the world's first gold jewelry. Other people also went on to use it for many different purposes, depending on location. For instance, Egyptians used it to make tombs for iconic people. Its uses have continued to evolve over the years.
Who Discovered Gold?
As mentioned before, you cannot credit anyone for the discovery of gold. Its discovery came at a time not much was documented around the world. But then, it is right to say that ancient Mesopotamians and Egyptians discovered this treasured metal.
According to research, gold started getting used in most countries before the civilization of mankind. Most of the earliest civilizations came after it had become popular in many places. There are massive mentions of Egypt and Mesopotamia; early gold and gold leaf usage was mainly in Europe and South America.
It is also worth mentioning that gold discovery didn't happen simultaneously all over the world. Some countries knew gold and its uses earlier than others. Most of Europe, Asia, America, etc., used gold earlier before other continents discovered it and knew its value.
And, gold is the most precious metal people around the world had seen at the time. Items made from gold were also the most treasured. There isn't much that has changed today, but there are many other precious metals in the world giving gold a run for its money.
What Year Was Gold Found?
Unlike other queries about gold, there's more light about when people first found it. Most researchers have put the year of gold discovery as 2,600 B.C. As mentioned earlier, gold was in abundance at its time of discovery, and many people were in a rush to possess it.
About 1,000 years later, in 1,223 B.C., people began to use gold for various purposes. The making of Egyptian tombs discussed before is among the most important uses of gold. Tutankhamun, an iconic Egyptian pharaoh's tomb, was constructed from the earliest discovered gold.
Many years later, in 700 B.C., the world's first gold coins came into existence. The innovation went a notch higher in 564 B.C., when the first gold currency also came into being. All these happened because the gold mining and refining techniques continued to improve.
While approaching modern times, quality concerns came up. People wanted to create high-quality gold products, and the metal's purity mattered. That's how the world's first hallmarking systems came into existence in 1,300 B.C. These systems helped people verify the quality and purity of gold.
How Did Gold Become Valuable?
Today, everyone knows gold as a valuable metal. But then, how and when did people understand its value? Well, as mentioned earlier, people used gold for many purposes in ancient times. They even used it as a currency to trade different kinds of items they needed, and gold coins were prominent in the early 1900s.
However, the exchange rates of gold then and today are entirely different. That explains why people consider gold and investment and are buying it from dealers like Acre. Today people are even trading gold coins that have become much more expensive because of their high-end beauty.
The value of gold increased during the gold standard monetary policy era. Economies had started to use paper money, and people used it to acquire a fixed amount of gold. The riches of a country depended on how much gold it could produce or had in its reserves. That's when the value of gold increased even further.
However, the value of gold has been going up and down over the years separately from paper currency. Two significant crises, World War I and World War II, played essential roles in this fluctuation. After World War 1, many people preferred the British pound sterling and the U.S. dollar to gold.
That caused a significant drop in the value of gold. World War II affected it even further as the U.S. itself drained its gold reserves to rebuild itself. But, how has the value of gold changed today?
Gold in the 21st Century
Gold’s value and meaning in our society have changed since ancient times. Unlike before, countries have paper money, and gold is no longer a currency anywhere in the world. It is, however, still used globally for various commercial and industrial purposes.
Today, gold production and quality have improved in various aspects. Technology has made it possible to refine gold to a high-quality and pure metal. The decorations, jewelry, and other items made from gold today are of higher quality compared to earlier times.
An estimated 20% of the total gold in the world remains unutilized after making such items. This gold doesn't go to waste as there are various applications they can get put into. For instance, it has helped in coating various items to prevent corrosion. Even the smartphones, calculators and electronic devices you use have some gold parts in them.
Another change that has happened is the increased liquidity of gold. The demand for gold has been increasing consistently, and the gold market is booming. Many people buy gold bars from dealers and find a buyer for them whenever they want, making it a significant investment.
Is Gold a Good Investment?
Now onto the question that comes to everyone's mind when they hear someone mention gold. Many people want to invest in it but then wonder if they'll get any returns. Well, the reality is that gold is an excellent investment if you make the right decisions before putting your money into it.
For instance, you need to decide the type of gold you'll invest in. Gold bars in their pure form are the most preferred type among investors today. They are cheaper than coins and are beginner-friendly. Once you decide what kind of gold to invest in, such as white gold or gold dust, you need to choose your dealer carefully.
The dealer you choose will determine how well your investment journey goes. If buying gold bars, for instance, you need to find reputable dealers like Acre. Services offered by such dealers aim at increasing flexibility and convenience as well as reducing financial strain.
For instance, they allow you to pay a deposit and financial installment for your gold. You get the bars delivered to your doorstep once you clear the whole sum. This is among the many benefits of buying gold from a reputable dealer and industry leader.
Gold has a great history that dates back to ancient times. There's no proper documentation of its discovery, but this article has brought together everything you should know about it.
Still want to know more about gold? Interested in buying a few bars for yourself? Visit us at Acre Gold to learn about our affordable gold bar subscription plans.