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Gold properties

Gold, history and virtues
Gold Chip

Gold, the quintessential precious metal, has embodied the essence of wealth and nobility for millennia.

Naturally occurring in our environment, its exploitation remains relatively straightforward due to its stable chemical structure. It is a unique material, with unparalleled malleability and ductility, offering unmatched versatility in both the arts and industry. Resistant to oxidation, it retains its brilliance eternally, thus defying time and the elements. Fascinating for its ability to be hammered into a sheet as thin as one micrometer thick over one square meter from just one gram, gold symbolizes craftsmanship and precision pushed to their pinnacle.

Beyond its intrinsic rarity, gold charms with its brilliant yellow hue, evoking the majesty of the sun and the warmth of its rays. This radiant color has captivated humanity throughout the ages, granting it a prominent place in religious rituals and beliefs worldwide, where it is revered as a sacred symbol, an incarnation of divinity itself.

In French, its appellation "or" derives from the Latin "Aurum" or "aurora," thus highlighting its connection to celestial light and the dawn of a new day. The chemical symbol for gold, "Au," perpetuates this rich etymological origin rich in metaphorical meanings.
In English, the term "Gold" finds its roots in the Indo-European "Ghelh," meaning "to shine, be yellow or green," evoking the gleaming brilliance as well as the yellow or green hues associated with this precious metal. In the Proto-Germanic language, this root evolved into "Gulpa," thus perpetuating the fascination with gold throughout the ages and civilizations.

Gold traces its origins to the stars, which, since time immemorial, are believed to have scattered this precious metal upon the Earth, bestowing upon humanity a celestial gift of immeasurable value.

The unquenchable fascination with gold has been a constant throughout the ages, captivating minds and shaping epic tales imbued with its sparkling brilliance. Its history, as rich as it is complex, spans millennia of conquests, discoveries, and daring exploits, evoking a saga where the deepest passions of humanity intertwine. From ancient civilizations to modern societies, gold has carved its path through the twists and turns of history, symbolizing wealth, power, and even the eternal quest for immortality. In this brief exploration, we will touch upon some of the noteworthy milestones that have marked its journey through time.

Gold use

Gold has long been revered as an invaluable store of wealth, making it one of the primary forms of hoarding throughout the ages. Central banks worldwide hold significant quantities of gold, not only as a safeguard for monetary stability but also as a bulwark against economic fluctuations and financial crises.

Nearly half of the global demand for gold is attributed to the jewelry industry and the production of various objects. In this richly imaginative realm, gold is often alloyed with other precious or common metals to impart the necessary strength or to play with its radiant hue. Thus, endless nuances are born: white gold evokes timeless elegance, red and pink capture passion and romance, green evokes lush nature, gray suggests modernity, while blue conjures the serenity of ocean depths. Each metal alliance offers a palette of unique expressions, shaping a world where gold reveals its infinite versatility.

history and healing properties of gold
"Gold enclosure" gold plated necklace

Gold, with its remarkable electrical conductivity and unparalleled resistance to corrosion, emerges as an indispensable element in the realm of modern electronics. From integrated circuits to high-tech components, gold is ubiquitous, ensuring reliable and durable connections within the most sophisticated electronic devices.

In dentistry, gold also stands out for its exceptional properties. Its resistance to oxidation makes it a preferred material for the fabrication of durable and biocompatible dental prostheses. Used in dental restorations and crowns, gold offers a proven solution for restoring the functionality and aesthetics of teeth, thereby ensuring comfort and longevity for patients.

Its ability to reflect electromagnetic rays, be it visible light, infrared, or radio waves, makes it a valuable material for protecting sensitive equipment. From satellites to astronauts’ space suits, to certain warplanes, gold is used as an effective shield against the rigors of space and hostile environments, ensuring the safety and functionality of cutting-edge equipment.

Moreover, gold is also found in the field of food, where it is designated by the number E 175. In various forms such as delicate leaves, glittering flakes, or even gold dust, it adds a touch of luxury and exclusivity to various gastronomic creations and refined beverages. Often used for the decoration of fine dishes or elaborate cocktails, gold adds a unique aesthetic dimension and a touch of magic to the culinary experience, dazzling the senses as much as the palate.

Gold also finds its place in the medical field, offering valuable solutions for the treatment of various conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease that affects the joints. In this context, gold salts, in the form of specific compounds, have been used for decades to alleviate inflammation and slow the progression of the disease. The anti-inflammatory properties of gold help alleviate pain and improve mobility in arthritis patients, thus enhancing their quality of life.
Furthermore, medical research continuously explores new applications of gold in the field of medicine, particularly in nanotechnology and medical imaging. Gold nanoparticles show promising potential in specifically targeting cancer cells or in targeted drug delivery, paving the way for more effective and less invasive treatments for a wide range of diseases. Additionally, gold’s unique properties in terms of contrast and conductivity make it a valuable tool in medical imaging, facilitating early diagnosis and disease monitoring with increased precision.

Mines: China, Australia, South Africa, the USA, Russia and Peru.

History, legends and beliefs about gold

Gold, a true treasure of humanity, represents one of mankind’s earliest quests for metallic perfection. After copper, it is the second metal discovered by humans, dating back to the dawn of civilization and marking the beginning of a new era in technological evolution. Since the Chalcolithic period, where the fusion of copper and gold paved the way for unprecedented metallurgical achievements, gold has gleamed in the skilled hands of artisans and blacksmiths, becoming the ultimate symbol of wealth and prestige.

Traces of this ancient fascination with gold date back to time immemorial. The oldest known gold object, dating from the late 5th millennium BCE, emanates from the prestigious necropolis of Varna, nestled in the fertile lands of ancient Bulgaria. This remarkable artifact bears witness to our distant ancestors’ early mastery of gold craftsmanship, revealing their intuitive understanding of the unique properties of this precious metal and their ability to shape it into works of timeless beauty.

Since ancient times, gold has been worshiped as the metal of the gods, intimately linked to the radiant image of the sun. This fascination crystallized among the Egyptians, for whom gold represented much more than mere adornment. It was revered as the very flesh of the gods, particularly the mighty Ra, and was considered the supreme symbol of eternity and divinity.
The importance of gold in ancient Egyptian society shines brightly through the sumptuous treasures discovered in the tombs of the pharaohs, bearing witness to their power and grandeur. The famous treasure of Tutankhamun’s tomb, estimated at over a ton of pure gold, remains an emblematic example of this legendary opulence. Just the funerary mask of this young ruler, weighing 11 kilograms, embodies the unmatched majesty and wealth of the ancient Egyptian pharaohs.
The scarcity of gold led the Egyptians to undertake bold and often perilous quests to obtain it. From risky expeditions in arid deserts to distant territorial conquests, gold promised wealth and power, motivating the Egyptians to push the boundaries of exploration and expansion.
Furthermore, the Egyptians were among the first to explore the medicinal uses of gold over 5000 years ago. Convinced of its purifying properties for both the mind and body, they regularly ingested gold elixirs, believing it provided optimal mental and physical health, in addition to beautifying and rejuvenating the body. Already, gold was also used in dental care, revealing an early understanding of its unique properties and health benefits. Thus, gold embodies much more than a mere precious metal in the millennia-long history of ancient Egypt; it symbolizes the quest for divinity, splendor, and immortality.

gold, history and healing properties
"Aztec sun" gold plated necklace

The birth of the first gold coin in Lydia, between the 8th and 6th centuries BCE, marks a major turning point in the economic and social history of humanity. Composed of a precious alloy of gold and silver, known as electrum, and adorned with a majestic lion’s head, this currency symbolizes gold’s first step towards widespread civilian use, departing from the sacred confines of temples and palaces to enter the everyday sphere of commercial exchange.
The rise of this innovative practice quickly spreads beyond the borders of Lydia, radiating towards distant lands such as Persia and Greece, before conquering the entire ancient Mediterranean world.
Among the iconic figures of this golden age, Croesus, the legendary king of Lydia, stands out as a shining symbol of wealth and generosity. Bathed in the golden sands of the Pactolus River, Croesus amasses a considerable fortune, enabling him to finance monumental offerings to Greek temples and leave an indelible mark on history. His largesse is legendary: the lavish reconstruction of the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and the sumptuous gifts to the sanctuary of Delphi, as recounted by Herodotus, reveal the unparalleled generosity of this legendary ruler. Thousands of heads of cattle, beds and cups of gold, bricks of pure gold, and even a golden lion illustrate the magnificence of his reign and the abundance of his treasures, testifying to the eternal fascination for this precious metal that has captivated the imagination of men for millennia.

In ancient Greece, this fascination with gold was expressed through funeral rituals steeped in symbolism and tradition. The Greeks, believing in an afterlife, often buried their deceased with a gold coin placed in their mouth, symbolizing a safe passage to the other world.
From the ancient times of Mycenaean palaces, gold held a prominent place among the treasures buried in the tombs of nobles. These burials revealed staggering wealth, with a profusion of precious figurines, majestic funeral masks, ornate cups, sparkling diadems, and glittering jewelry, attesting to the importance of gold in both life and death.
Greek legends themselves intertwined with gold, weaving captivating tales that still endure today. The epic of the Argonauts, led by the courageous Jason in search of the Golden Fleece, remains one of the most famous. Near the shores of the Black Sea, they purportedly discovered the mythical place where this precious fleece was kept. However, far from being a mere sheepskin, the Golden Fleece was actually a sheepskin used to filter rivers and recover gold flakes, according to the accounts of the Greek geographer Strabo.
Among the legendary stories of gold, that of King Midas of Phrygia shines with particular brilliance. Around 800 BCE, Desiring wealth and power, Midas obtained from the god Dionysus the gift of turning everything he touched into gold. But soon, this blessing turned into a curse, as even food and loved ones turned into precious metal at his touch. To free Midas from this burden, the god sent him to purify himself in the waters of the Pactolus River, which thereafter flowed with alluvium gold, a timeless metaphor for mankind’s insatiable thirst for material wealth and the wisdom learned through it.

Gold also exerted an irresistible fascination on the Romans, symbolizing wealth and power in the burgeoning Roman Empire. Among the most iconic figures in this insatiable quest for wealth, the famous consul Crassus stands out for his immense fortune and insatiable appetite for gold. Known to be one of the wealthiest men of his time, Crassus was willing to take any risk to further increase his already colossal wealth. However, Crassus’s insatiable quest for gold led to his downfall when he was captured by the Parthian king Surena. Legend has it that, to punish him for his boundless greed, Surena ordered molten gold to be poured down Crassus’s throat, thus ending the life of the man whose greed had become legendary.
This unquenchable thirst for gold, Pline the Elder contemplated with keen insight. In his monumental work "Natural History," he wisely observed that gold represented man’s first folly, closely followed by silver. This reflection, imbued with realism and lucidity, resonates through the ages, reminding us of the fragility of the human soul in the face of the deceptive allure of material wealth and the vanity of the incessant quest for earthly treasures.

Since the Middle Ages, alchemy, this mysterious discipline straddling the realms of science and magic, has captivated the minds of the most daring researchers. These alchemists, fascinated by the prospect of transmuting lead or mercury into gold, devoted their lives to the pursuit of the Philosopher’s Stone, the legendary substance believed to accomplish this miraculous feat. In their intricate iconography, gold was symbolized by a dot surrounded by a circle, representing the perfection and transcendence of this quest.
In parallel with its alchemical mysteries, gold held unparalleled significance in the field of medicine during the Middle Ages. Regarded as a precious remedy, its gleaming purity evoked the promise of healing and vitality. A widespread belief held that something so beautiful could only contribute to human well-being, thus fueling the use of gold in various potions and remedies of the time.

The funeral rituals of the Germanic peoples also revealed a deep attachment to gold, as the deceased were often buried with a gold coin in their mouth, symbolizing their passage to the afterlife and eternal wealth.
But gold was not limited to funeral customs; it was also at the heart of the legal systems of the time. Indeed, the Wergeld, or "man-price," was the compensation tax required by Germanic law for serious crimes such as murder. This sum of money, often paid in gold, was intended to appease the families of the victims and restore harmony within society, thus illustrating the central role of gold in medieval social and legal norms.

The Vikings, famous for their formidable maritime raids, developed a cunning political strategy by instituting the Danegeld, literally "the Danes’ gold," a tax in gold demanded from subjugated territories to avoid the incessant attacks of these fearsome warriors. This practice demonstrates the power of gold as an instrument of diplomacy and coercion, thereby establishing a direct link between wealth and security in medieval societies.

In the sacred texts of the Bible, gold holds a place of prominence, symbolizing power, splendor, and divinity. Despite some negative connotations, such as in the episode of the golden calf associated with idolatry in the Exodus, gold is often used to glorify divine presence.
Within the framework of Jewish worship, it is abundantly found in the sacred objects of the Temple of Jerusalem, such as the menorah, the cups, and the Ark of the Covenant, attesting to its sacredness and importance in Jewish spirituality.
In Catholic tradition, gold also carries profound meaning, symbolizing divine light and holiness. The term "halo," used to describe the luminous circle surrounding saints in religious iconography, derives from the Latin word "Auréola," literally meaning "gold." This association reinforces the idea of holiness as a radiant and sacred quality, evoking closeness to divinity itself.
In the New Testament, gold is a royal gift presented to Jesus by the Magi, symbolizing his divine status and spiritual authority.
In the apocalyptic visions of the Apocalypse, Christ appears to the apostle John surrounded by seven golden lampstands, representing the seven churches, while an angel pours incense with a golden censer, evoking the transcendence and purity of divine presence.

In China, gold holds deep symbolic significance, closely tied to the philosophy of yin and yang, where gold represents the yang element associated with the sun, light, and vitality, while silver embodies the yin, evoking the moon, softness, and receptivity. This cosmic duality permeates every aspect of Chinese life, including marital traditions, where women traditionally wear high-quality gold, often 24 carats or higher, during their weddings. Beyond its sparkling brilliance, gold thus symbolizes prosperity, longevity, and happiness for the newlyweds, offering them wishes of luck and success in their union.

In Buddhism, gold also occupies a prominent place, testifying to reverence and respect for the sacred. A remarkable example is the famous Golden Buddha of Bangkok, an architectural and spiritual marvel that rises majestically over 3 meters tall and weighs nearly 5.5 tons. This imposing statue, entirely crafted from solid gold, embodies the quintessence of Buddhist devotion and stands as the largest representation of the Golden Buddha in the world. It is revered by thousands of faithful and visitors each year, drawn to its transcendent beauty and aura of peace and serenity.

In Hinduism, the goddess Lakshmi embodies the very essence of gold, symbolizing wealth, prosperity, and abundance. She is often depicted with gold coins flowing from her delicate hands, symbolizing generosity and fertility. Devout followers worship her with devotion during the festival dedicated to her in March, adorning their bodies with gold ornaments as homage to this revered goddess, thereby offering their prayers for fortune and success in their lives.

The insatiable quest for gold was one of the driving forces behind the conquest of America.
Hernan Cortes, the Spanish conquistador, undertook the brutal conquest of the Aztec empire in Mexico in part to seize the vast gold riches of Emperor Moctezuma. Once defeated, the Aztec treasures, largely composed of gold, were shipped to Spain to finance the wars and expansionist ambitions of the Spanish crown.
From the earliest days of European colonization in America, the legend of El Dorado, the mythical city of gold, captivated the imagination of explorers and adventurers, driving them ever deeper in their quest for wealth and fortune.
In the mid-19th century, the gold rush triggered the famous California Gold Rush, stimulating the conquest of the American West and attracting thousands of prospectors in search of their share of the precious metal.
For the Incas, gold was perceived as the "sweat of the sun," symbolizing its brilliance and generosity, while silver was considered the "tears of the moon," evoking its soft and soothing light.

Gold, far more than a mere precious metal, played a crucial role in global monetary history until relatively recently. Until 1973, it was widely used as currency, even established as a standard for currencies starting in the 1870s, first in England and then worldwide. However, the decline of this monetary use began with World War I, which saw the gradual abandonment of the gold standard in favor of a system based on the US dollar. Eventually, in 1976, the United States ended the convertibility of the dollar into gold, thus signaling the end of gold’s last monetary role in the modern global economy.

In popular folklore, gold holds special significance, symbolizing 50 years of marriage in many cultures around the world. This ancient tradition, known as the golden wedding anniversary, celebrates the fiftieth year of marital union, representing the solidity, durability, and wealth of conjugal love over time.

Healing properties and benefits of gold

Gold, far beyond being just a precious metal, is associated with a multitude of health and wellness benefits.

  • It adds a touch of brilliance to gemstones with which it can be associated and enhances their healing properties.
  • Gold is considered a valuable ally for the nervous and digestive systems, promoting their balance and optimal functioning.
  • It is renowned for its beneficial properties on the hormonal system, aiding in regulating its complex processes.
  • On the circulatory front, gold is celebrated for its virtues, strengthening the blood system and thus contributing to better cardiovascular health.
  • It is recognized for its effectiveness in relieving arthritis symptoms and as a powerful anti-inflammatory agent, providing welcome relief against discomfort and pain.
  • Regarding the skin, gold is considered an effective barrier against damage caused by UV rays, helping to fade sunspots and signs of skin aging. It also offers protection against external aggressions, thus preserving skin health and beauty.
  • The benefits of gold do not stop there. It is reputed for its effectiveness in treating various conditions, including autism, tuberculosis, dyslexia, heart disease, pneumonia, melanomas, and vascular problems.
  • It strengthens the liver, bones, and joints, while protecting the body against harmful toxins, thus offering a plethora of health and overall wellness benefits.
  • Gold is believed to slow down the aging process and its effects.

⚠ Please note that all healing properties presented for gemstones are gathered from various sources. This information is provided as a service and is not intended to treat medical conditions. It is recommended to consult a healthcare professional for serious medical issues and not to rely solely on gemstones as a treatment.

To learn more about litotherapy, we recommend you the following books:

Crystalpedia: the wisdom, history, and healing power of more than 180 sacred stones
Around 27.00 US dollars
Crystals for healing: the complete reference guide with over 200 remedies for mind, heart & soul
Around 17.00 US dollars
Crystals for beginners: the guide to get started with the healing power of crystals
Around 15.00 US dollars