Gold: its History, From Origins to the Present Day

This page repeats, in chronological order, the great episodes of human history, from the discovery of the first gold glitter, to its industrial exploitation, through the battles fought by the peoples to conquer gold territories or to plunder accumulated wealth, sometimes for millennia, by civilizations that have disappeared today.

(This page will be regularly fed by new articles, historical documents, etc. Check back regularly!)

The formation of gold, according to nuclear physics and geology, is much earlier than that of its exploitation by man, which is therefore very recent. Appeared several billion years ago (12 billion years according to some scientific estimates), well before the formation of the solar system (and therefore well before that of the Earth), it would actually be essentially present in the core of our planet from which it would go back to the bark with other hot materials. However, according to a second hypothesis, the quantity of Gold price per Gram present on the surface of the globe could not be solely from these migrations of hot materials towards the surface, but would also come from a rain of asteroids occurred about 4 billion years.

The first gold objects made by man

Long before the first mines, humans were able to use gold. The phenomenon of erosion which degrades the nuggets and causes gold flakes in the river beds probably allowed it to be very quickly exploited, just after the copper, but well before the bronze and iron. It is also its exceptional malleability that had to facilitate its use.

The gold of Varna

It is only in the history of mankind that it was barely seven thousand years ago that man began to use gold. The first tangible proof of the use of the precious metal dates back, according to the different dates, around 4600 to 4200 years before our era: it is about the first objects made in gold and brought to light in Europe, in the Necropolis of Varna located on the edge of the Black Sea, east of Bulgaria. This archaeological site has made it possible to establish that during this period, men were already engaged in a real Gold price per Gram work by designing jewels and ornaments (bracelets, belts) and various objects used for worship (including a scepter), also made of gold.

In other parts of the globe, for example in Egypt, gold is also very early exploited, and mines are even dug to extract the precious ore.

Exploration and conquest of the American continent

The discovery of America in 1492 opened an era of exploration and conquest, motivated by the search for new territories and the importation of raw materials, at the top of which figure the gold, which will last several centuries, and which does not is still not finished yet.

Aztec Gold

It is first of all the gold of South America and especially that of the Aztec civilization which arouses the greed of the great European powers. The Old World has indeed views on the New World which he wants to plunder wealth. In just two years, Hernán Cortés leads an expedition in which he defeats the indigenous peoples and conquers an immense territory (including present-day Mexico, the south of the United States and all Central America), plundering the Aztec treasures.

The Spain of Charles V seeks indeed to enrich itself by appropriating the gold that the peoples have amassed, and engage in a war in which the Aztec Empire is defeated. At the beginning of the 16th century, in 1521 precisely, the troops led by the Conquistador Hernán Cortés, are victorious.

The European powers share the spoils of the South American continent. The numerous mines from which Aztec gold is mined enrich the coffers of Spain, Portugal, but also France and England.

The Gold Rush in North America

A little more than three centuries later, in 1848, some 300,000 explorers from all over the world will set off in successive waves in a frenzied quest that will take them to California, where they will begin prospecting, searching the California subsoil or simply equipped with a pickaxe, shovel and pan, engaged in
Gold price per Gram panning along streams in search of the famous gold vein, or, in default of some nuggets, or even of gold flakes carried with the alluviums.

It is this quest, the strongest of which will span a little less than a decade (exactly 8 to 9 years), which will be named the Gold Rush, or “California Gold Rush” in English. While some pioneers enriched themselves immeasurably, others found only death or destitution, and many left much poorer than they were. A myth was built around this Gold Rush, and the wealth contained in the California subsoil. However, the ore was present and several veins were discovered and exploited.

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