Scott Marra

Gold Through the History of Man

Gold through history.

The Color of Gold “They who worship gold in a world so corrupt as this have at least one thing to plead in defense of their idolatry—the power of their idol. This idol can boast of two peculiarities; it is worshipped in all climates, without a single temple, and by all classes, without a single hypocrite.” —C. C. COLTON

FROM THE BEGINNING IT WOULD SEEM MANKIND HAS BEEN HELD in thrall by the color of gold. In the book of Genesis we read: A river flowed out of Eden to water the garden and there it divided and became four rivers.

The name of the first is Pishon; it is the one which flows around the whole land of Hav-i-lah, where there is gold; and the gold of that land is good.' So it is that gold is the first metal mentioned in the Bible. Not only the first metal but the first element—before iron, copper, silver, stone or sand. It is the first inorganic material specificaly referred to by name. It would appear that it was just a short trip down the river from paradise to the gold mines. But the implications of all this I will gladly leave to the contemplation of theologians and economists. This, however, is certain: the use of gold as a primary store of value was highly developed long before the beginnings of the most rudimentary money systems. A great variety of gold ornaments and 46 HOW TO INVEST IN GOLD COINS jewelry of beautiful design and elaborate workmanship is con- spicuous among the treasures that have survived the ancient civili- zations. The Minoans, Assyrians, Etruscans, and particularly the Egyptians are noted in this respect. The earliest known treasure, however, is some gold beads found in excavations of a Sumerian culture dating from before 4000 B.c.2 Gold, along with copper, appears to be one of the first metals discovered and exploited by man. Egyptian sculptured reliefs have been found that depict gold working and mining operations as early as 3000 B.C. In the great dynastic ages of Egypt, gold statuettes and ornaments of spectacular beauty, as well as gems and precious stones in elaborate gold settings, were prized possessions of the Pharaohs and other royalty.