As good as gold: the value of gold over time

Gold originally came to Earth through meteorites which contained gold. At that time the surface of the planet was still forming and much of the gold sank due to its comparative weight. Most of the gold ended up in the Earth’s core, too deep and hot for any human to reach. Some of it, however, ended up in the Earth’s crust and for thousands of years people have found ways to mine gold. The rarity of the metal, the fact it’s non-renewable, and the difficulty in obtaining it is a large part of why gold is valuable today.

The word gold comes from the old English word ‘geolu’, meaning yellow, and for over two thousand years gold has been revered for its colour and beauty. Gold has been prized by civilizations around the globe for centuries. For some, like the ancient Mayans, it was used as decoration and had a symbolic value representing the sun.  

But because of its rarity, gold has long been connected to monetary value as well. The very first coins came from the ancient kingdom of Lydia, today part of modern Turkey. These coins were made of a naturally occurring alloy, or blend, of gold and silver called electrum and set the precedent for using the precious metal as currency.

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