The Importance of Gold
Throughout history gold has been around, playing an important part in the civilisation of mankind. It has been used as currency in many ancient cultures, and it was also used to fashion beautiful gold jewellery and artworks for the wealthy and the nobility.
Where does Gold Come From?
Gold can be found in many forms in nature. In its free elemental form, it’s often found as nuggets, grains, in ore veins and rocks, and in silt and sediment deposits.
Other occurrences of gold are in solid solutions with other metals, such as silver, and other alloys like palladium and copper. Less common is gold that forms part of mineral compounds and inclusions.
And strange as it may sound, gold can also be found in the seawater of most oceans, forming part of the composition of the water at between 10-30 parts of gold per quadrillion, making it uneconomical to try and extract.
Why is Gold Found throughout Human History?
This is a question that cannot be answered for certain. What is certain however is that human beings have always been drawn to gold, from as early as the Old Stone Age right up to the present time.
Perhaps it is the rich bright yellow lustre of this precious metal that has always held an appeal for humans, or perhaps it’s because gold has always been somewhat rare and therefore more valued than others metals? Nobody knows for certain, but the fact remains that gold was prized as a currency in many ancient civilizations, and even more so in the manufacture of gold jewellery and other precious items.
The Uses of Gold Today
These days not much has changed and gold is still one of the most popular precious metals available on the market, exceeded in value only by palladium. It is used on a daily basis to make beautiful gold jewellery and exclusive art and decor pieces.
Gold bullion is also a highly prized trading commodity and monetary asset, bought and hoarded by governments and large banks across the world as a safeguard for economic downturns. And because gold is so malleable and easy to cast and shape you can buy gold bullion in many different forms, sizes, and weights.
In addition to gold being found in its free native form, a lot of today’s gold is also obtained by recycling. Pawn shops and other gold buyers contribute to the recycled gold market by buying up old gold jewellery and smelting it down to be refined and used again.
For the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the gold medals were made entirely from recycled gold extracted from electronics. This project was launched as an environmentally friendly initiative and Japanese citizens were asked to participate and donate their old mobile phones and other electronic equipment and devices. Over 6.21 million mobile phones were recycled and approximately 32 kilograms of gold was extracted during the Tokyo 2020 Medal Project.
So it’s quite easy to see why recycled gold can also be a significant new source of gold worldwide.