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Buying Gold

The Story of Gold

Gold has a rich and fascinating history that has captured the imagination of people for centuries. Its beauty and rarity have made it a symbol of wealth and power, and it has been prized by cultures all over the world for its ability to be crafted into a wide variety of ornate and decorative objects.

But gold is more than just a pretty metal. It is also highly practical, with a long list of industrial and medical applications. Its ability to conduct electricity and resistance to corrosion make it a valuable component in the production of electronic devices, and it has been used in dentistry and medicine for centuries due to its non-toxic properties.

Despite its many practical uses, gold remains a popular choice for jewellery and other decorative items, and its appeal has only grown over time. Its enduring beauty and versatility make it a metal that continues to captivate and intrigue us, and it is likely to continue to hold a special place in human history for many years to come.

1300 BC

A golden Discovery

The discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun in the 1920s brought to light an extraordinary gold funeral mask, a true masterpiece of gold craftsmanship that had not been seen in over 3,000 years. This find was a testament to the enduring appeal and value of gold throughout the ages.

The development of the earliest coinage is a fascinating chapter in the history of gold. It is believed that gold currency was first created in Lydia by the legendary King Croesus, who used his advanced gold refining techniques to mint the world's first standardized currency. With a uniform gold content, these coins, known as "Croesids," could be traded with confidence and played a key role in the development of commerce. This innovation marked a turning point in the history of gold, as it became a widely accepted medium of exchange.

4th Century

Ancient Coinage

As gold currency spread to different parts of the world, ancient coinage began to appear in a variety of forms. For example, at the fall of the Roman Empire in the west, the Byzantine Empire in the east continued to mint coins with the portrait of their ruler, Theodoric, on one side and a figure of Rome on the other, with the inscription "Invicta Roma" (unconquered Rome). This was a way of demonstrating the power and resilience of the Byzantine Empire, even as the western Roman Empire was in decline.

Similarly, the Celtic peoples who settled in the British Isles developed their own distinctive coinage in the late pre-Christian era, drawing inspiration from the gold and silver coins that were most familiar to them, such as the gold staters of the Alexandrine Empire and its Hellenistic successors. This shows how gold was valued and admired by different cultures throughout history, and how it played a central role in the development of trade and commerce.


A World First

The world's first hallmarking system was established in England at Goldsmith's Hall in London around the year 1300, and it remains in operation today. The London Assay Office, located in the same place for the past 700 years, is responsible for ensuring the purity of gold through the use of a system of marks and symbols. This system has played a crucial role in establishing trust and confidence in the gold market, as it provides a way to verify the authenticity and quality of gold items. Through the centuries, the London Assay Office has continued to serve as a guardian of the integrity of gold and a symbol of its enduring value.


The Age of Steam

The development of steam power in the 18th century revolutionized the production of coins. Prior to this innovation, the maximum output using horsepower was around 40 coins per minute. With the introduction of steam presses, this number doubled almost immediately. Today, high-speed electric presses can produce over 700 coins per minute, a testament to the ongoing evolution of coin-making technology.

Matthew Boulton and James Watt were instrumental in this process, inventing milling and blank-cutting machinery powered by steam. This machinery was first installed in 1786 at the Soho Mint in Birmingham, where it was used to strike coins for the East India Company and other trade tokens. In 1809, the firm began supplying the Royal Mint with steam-powered machinery, which was used in the "Great Recoinage" of 1816-17. This marked a major milestone in the history of coin production, as it allowed for more efficient and cost-effective production of gold and other precious metal coins.

1848 and Beyond

The Californian Gold Rush

One of the most significant events in the history of gold occurred in 1848, when John Marshall discovered gold flakes while building a sawmill near Sacramento, California. This discovery sparked a gold rush that attracted tens of thousands of people from all over the world, eager to try their luck at finding gold.

Forty years later, another gold rush took place in South Africa when Australian miner George Harrison discovered gold ore near Johannesburg. This discovery helped South Africa become one of the world's leading producers of gold, eventually accounting for around 40% of global gold production. These two gold rushes played a significant role in shaping the history of gold, highlighting its enduring appeal and value and the impact it has had on economies and societies around the world.

Here and Now

Gold Today

Modern technology has uncovered a multitude of new uses for gold, making it even more valuable and coveted than ever before. Its unique properties make it an essential component in a wide range of electronic devices, including satellites, mobile phones, computers, and other advanced electronics. In fact, many of these technologies would simply not be possible without gold, as it is used in the microscopic amounts necessary to support their complex internal circuitry.

In addition to its use in technology, gold is also making a significant impact in the field of medicine, where it is being used to create highly targeted drugs for the human body. Gold is also being used in the production of conducting plastics, specialized pigments, and advanced catalysts that can purify water or air. These developments demonstrate the versatility and value of gold, and highlight its continued importance in the modern world.

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