A Tale of Gold over the Centuries, Across the Cultures

Posted by Deb | Guest Post | Sunday 10 September 2017 6:40 pm

For centuries, gold has been a symbol of power, prosperity, and wealth. Since the day it was first discovered, people have held gold to be of remarkable significance. It has fascinated the humankind with its lustre – made people grow in wealth and power, and even brought them down with destruction.

No matter what page of history we turn back to, the importance of gold has been prominent across cultures. It may have varied from religious and ethnic aspects, but it has always been deemed valuable.

Don’t believe us? Read along to find out more!

Gold_Ingots_on_white_background

Invasions & Discoveries

Unlike the modern era, where we can simply buy gold from Goldstackers and the likes of them, the early civilizations had to dig their own gold. It was the gold that led Christopher Columbus to the discovery of America. He wanted to capture the source of gold in China and was looking for a route that led him there – he ended up finding America instead.

It was once again gold that led the Spanish conquerors into looting and plundering the Aztec and Incan civilizations. It is said these civilizations were involved in gold mining and had huge stashes of gold.

Religion & Gold

Christians consider gold to be a sacred metal. The rings that join two people in holy matrimony are made of gold. Their ceremonial chalices and cups are usually crafted out of this precious metal. Christians believe that only gold is a metal pure enough to be used for holding the wine that represents Christ’s blood. It is said that the Book of Mormon in its original form was scribed on tablets of gold.

Egypt

Moving on to the ancient Egyptians, gold was an extremely prized possession. The Egyptian Queens and Pharaohs owned large stores of gold. It was considered to be the Sun God’s flesh – obviously, because of its colour. The Egyptians believed gold to be a representation of eternal life. This is why, when a person of religious or social significance died, their caskets were made of or inlaid with solid gold.

Central America

The ancient tribes in Central America thought gold to be precious enough to be presented to their gods. They threw the gold into sacred lakes or rivers as their humble offerings.

indian gold jewellery

Asia

Gold is probably the most commonly used precious metal across Asia. From the relics of the Buddhist civilization that once lived in Afghanistan to the extensive use of gold in making jewellery and other valuable crafts in China, Korea, and the Indian subcontinent – gold craft is something embedded in the collective Asian culture.

Africa

Over the years a number of African cultures have used gold on a wide scale to craft a myriad of objects. Most of these objects were created for the beautification of the tribal heads and chiefs. Many African countries still have dedicated gold workshops to exclusively produce gold artefacts that are vastly used in the continent for ceremonial purposes. Gold also happens to be one of the major exports of countries like Sudan, Bantu, and Ethiopia.

Think you’ve got an interesting tale of gold to narrate in connection with different cultures? Let us know about it.

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