The use of gold in decorative objects dates back to 4000 BC, in the part of the world we call Eastern Europe today. By 3000 BC, the people of today’s Southern Iraq use gold in jewelry making. Some of the styles that emerge at the time are still worn today. In 2500 BC, King Djer of the First Egyptian Dynasty is buried with gold jewelry. By 1500 BC, gold becomes a standard means of exchange for that era’s international trade. The Babylonians used fire to test the purity of gold in 1350 BC.
The art of beating gold into leaf emerges in 1200 BC. It was perfected by the Egyptians. They realized that this extended the use of gold and made it possible for it to be combined with other metal for increased durability and hardness. It is at this time, also, that jewelry artists begin using the lost-wax casting method, which is still in use today.
We generally associate Medieval druids with the practice of alchemy, the quest to turn base metals into gold. In truth, alchemy dates back to 300 BC and it was practiced by Ancient Alexandria’s Greeks and Jews.
In 58 BC, Julius Caesar returns to Rome from Gaul (France) with enough gold to repay Rome’s debts and to give each of his soldiers 200 coins.
To be continued…
Read all posts about the History of Gold HERE.
Also Read: Snap Shot No. 6 about lost wax casting.