History of Gold

Gold is believed to have been discovered about 4000 B.C. by a civilization in what is now Eastern Europe. Formed into jewelry and garment fixtures, it was to become one of the most valuable commodities ever discovered. About 1000 years later, the Sumer civilization, which was located in what is now Iraq, started using gold to create pieces of jewelry; many of the fashions designed by the Sumerians are still popular today, 5000 years later.

In China, around 1091 B.C. gold was first formed into ingots or squares and legalized as currency. This was the first and definitely not the last time that gold would be shaped and used as currency. The country of Lydia began minting coins made of pure gold in around 560 B.C. By this time, gold was becoming a hot commodity around the globe and was being used as a standard for bartering and trading.

A couple of hundred years later, around 300 B.C. Jews and Greeks began to practice Alchemy, the ancient science of turning common metals, like lead into gold—of course nobody ever discovered how to do this in the 400-500 years that Alchemy was practiced. By the time of the European Renaissance, a gold and silver standard economy had been in place for 300 years or more.

1799 A.D.—Cabarrus County, North Carolina, a 17 pound golden nugget is discovered, this is the first documented discovery of gold in the United States. By the year 1828, the state of North Carolina supplies all the gold coined in the Philadelphia, United States mint.  It was in 1937 that Fort Knox was first opened and began to store a majority of all US holdings of gold, a vast majority of which was in the form of gold ingots.

In 1961, all American citizens at home and abroad were forbidden to own gold, and in 1974 this band was lifted allowing American citizens to own bullion, ingots and other forms that just jewelry. In 1973 the price of gold was $42.22 per troy ounce, the date of this writing, it is worth $950 plus, per regular ounce.

As you can see from this brief history, gold has been a vital part of the world economy since before the dawn of recorded time, and will continue to increase in value as time passes.