Cultural Significances of Gold

September 25, 2022
Written by Peter Anderson

Significances of Gold Around the World

Gold has been used in medicine, art, commerce, and religion for ages, and it has influenced practically every known civilization. Gold became an emblem of eternity and sovereignty in many ancient societies because of its dazzling hue and inability to tarnish.

Some societies utilized gold primarily for religious and artistic purposes, while others used it to make money. But one thing is certain: gold was in high demand.

Greece

In ancient Greece, gold was seen as a potent emblem of social prestige, protection from evil, and worship of the gods.

The earliest known money is the cresseid, which was used as a kind of coinage in ancient Greece. Medieval gold coins had an uneven form and were only imprinted on one face. 

Eventually, in Rome, this currency legacy was perfected. Gold was discovered in Greece and became significant for Greek trade from the fifth to the third century BC. Furthermore, when gold's economic worth increased, the less precious metal was employed for aesthetic purposes. 

The deceased, on the other hand, were buried with their jewels and other valuables so that they might "live" in the hereafter.

Rome

As the popularity of ancient Roman civilization grew, the region lured goldsmiths who created jewelry as their job, pottery, and other goods for upper-class residences during this period of gold's ancient history.

Gold was commonly used for decorations since it was regarded as the element of the deities and was said to have ascended from the sun.

Bulla amulets were held by young males from delivery as protection against bad energy. Young boys often favored gold jewelry with phallic motifs, which was supposed to bring good luck. Men wore gold rings as their most common and sometimes only piece of jewelry.

Pendants, bracelets, and armlets were popular among Roman ladies. Their arms were always adorned with more than seven items of jewelry.

They were particularly fond of bracelets in the style of coiled snakes with gold pins. The design was meant to represent immortality.

The Romans built a canal inside the Spanish Pyrenees under Emperor Augustus to better use the state's resources. The Roman economic model was then centered on gold under Julius Caesar. Emperors' likenesses were struck on coins, similar to how US presidents are on printed money in the modern world

From this point on, the major use of gold was for monetary purposes, and other uses became less popular.

Africa

In Africa, one of the most common applications for gold was to embellish the palaces of cultural elites. For ceremonial occasions, golden items were frequently quite ornate.

Exportation, mostly from Ethiopian, Sudanese, and the Bantu region, was an alternative use for gold.

In Africa, gold has traditionally been a sign of riches and dignity. Gold was plentiful in West Africa.

For instance, Mansa Musa of the Malian Empire, who reigned from 1324 to 1337 A.D. and was the richest man in history (with a treasury of over $400 billion), is said to have given away so much gold on his voyage from Mali to Mecca in Cairo, Egypt, that its value fell for a while.

India

Gold has an ancient legacy in Indian history, attracting people from all over the globe with its elegance and allure. Its golden radiance could be seen across oceans and boundaries, stirring feelings in millions of people's hearts.

India's obsession with gold has become stronger over time, with Indians contributing to the majority of gold purchased internationally. Gold is more than an endowment in Indian history; it is a culturally important metal that has found a niche in Indian souls and dwellings.

Regardless of the fact that the great majority of Indian people live on modest means, they find methods to purchase gold and make it an important part of their lives, regardless of gold prices in their region or village. From Delhi to Chennai, Ahmedabad to Kolkata, gold has found buyers across the country.

There are several factors that have catapulted gold to a pinnacle in India, where it is likely to stay for some time.

Egypt

In comparison to the financial value placed on gold by many civilizations, gold's importance and use in ancient Egypt was centered on spirituality.

Gold was regarded as "the skin of the gods" by the ancient Egyptians, especially the sun deity Ra, and was frequently utilized to create spiritual items. Obelisks, deity sculptures, and death masks are just a few of the solid gold objects created by the ancient Egyptians.

Since gold is more durable than silver in the Egyptian heat, the ancient Egyptians connected it with eternity, making it a popular choice for use in funeral objects like gilded coffins or containers, as well as ornaments entombed with the deceased.

This jewelry was also used to show the deceased's social standing.

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