History and value of gold

Gold is known and appreciated by humans since prehistoric times. Most probably it was the first metal used by the human species ever (even before the copper), for the manufacture of ornaments, jewelry and rituals. Gold has long been considered one of the most precious metals, and its value has been used as the basis for the currencies of many countries (a system known as the gold standard) in various historical periods. The first gold coins were minted by King Croesus, king of Lydia in western Asia Minor, from 560 BC to 546 BC, in particular the gold of Lydia came from the mines and the sand in the river Pactolus. Like other precious metals, gold is quoted in troy ounce or gram. When it is alloyed with other metals, its purity is measured in carats, with a ladder fixing a 24-carat pure gold. Another common way of indicating their purity is the use of a value between zero and one - to three decimal places - or a fraction in thousandths (18K ≡ 18/24 ≡ ≡ 0.750 750/1000 ≡ 75%). The gold used in jewelry can have a purity of up to 18k, as a greater proportion would make impossible the processing. For this reason the value of the object must be estimated taking into account the metal with which the gold is associated. In fact, a jewel with 8k 14k gold and platinum is definitely more valuable than one 6k 18k gold with copper. We must therefore be careful when buying a jewel and not simply to dwell 18k.

The amount of gold mined since the beginning of human history 'and now' estimated at 121 thousand tonnes per year plus about 3,000 tons of new mining. Gold mines are located in South Africa, the United States of America, Australia, Russia, Canada, China, Brazil, the Philippines. Where 'all the gold in the world? The estimates of economists offer a simple proportion: 30% in the reserves of central banks (such as the Bank of Italy, the Bank of England), 20% in private hands (in the form of coins or ingots for investment) and 50% in products of jewelery.

Gold has a decorative function but also in monetary terms, as a store of value. Gold and 'bought for investment: from banks and from your jeweler you can buy bullion, coins and medals. Among the gold coins more 'famous are the Italian marengo, the British pound, the South African kruggerand, the Canadian maple leaf. It seems that the first gold coin to date back to the second millennium BC Surely the gold coins were in circulation in some Greek cities in the seventh century BC