Who Discovered Gold?

September 25, 2022
Written by Peter Anderson
Who discovered gold? It's a question that has been asked for centuries. 

Many people believe it was the Romans who first found gold, but there are other theories as well. Some people believe that Alexander the Great (356-323 BC) is responsible for discovering gold when he invaded India in 327 BC. 

Others think it may have happened much earlier than this, in ancient times, during one of many wars between Egypt and Nubia around 3000 BC or during the Bronze Age (approximately 2200-1200 BC) when many civilizations went from being poor to creating great empires.

Historical Theories

Theories about who discovered gold have been going on for so long that it's impossible to find out exactly who was responsible for the discovery and exactly where it comes from.

However, one thing is certain: whoever first found gold did a good job of keeping it a secret.

The reason? Gold has been a popular commodity for centuries, and people have been willing to pay a high price for it.


In fact, the first gold coins were created in Lydia, an area that is now part of modern-day Turkey, in about 650 BC.

A Valuable Resource Throughout History

Gold has always been a valuable resource because it doesn't corrode or tarnish, it has a very low melting point, and it is easy to work with.

Because of these properties, gold was one of the first metals that people worked with after copper and lead.

Over thousands of years, humans have used gold for many different things, such as adornments (jewelry) and decorations (drinking vessels). Gold has even been an important element in some religions and used as a symbol of wealth.

The Chalcolithic Age

While seeking to understand the origin of gold in its purest form, it is important to consider the Chalcolithic or Bronze Age. The Chalcolithic Age is a period of time that began around 4500 BC and ended around 3200 BC. 

It is named after the two most important materials used during this time: Chalcos, which means copper, and Lithos, which means stone.

The Chalcolithic Age is often called the "Age of Copper" because copper was the main metal used during this time. Many items that were created using copper are still found today, such as digging tools and weapons.

The Bronze Age

The Bronze Age is the third principal period of the three-age Stone-Bronze-Iron system, as proposed in modern times by Christian Jürgensen Thomsen, for classifying and studying prehistoric societies.

The Bronze Age follows the Stone Age and precedes the Iron Age. Many different civilizations emerged during this time, including the Egyptians, the Sumerians, and the Babylonians.

It was during this time that gold began to be used more extensively.

The Iron Age

The use of gold in various objects continued into the Iron Age.

The Iron Age occurred in the 6th century BC when iron tools were being used for more common tasks. 

At first, people preferred using copper or bronze to create new objects until people learned how to make items out of iron. Although it was often more difficult to create items out of iron, there were some benefits, including strength and endurance.

In essence, the iron age represented a shift from old materials to new ones which created a wealth of new job opportunities.

The Bronze Age and the Iron Age are both important in understanding the history of gold, as they provide a context for when it began to be used more extensively.

However, it is still difficult to determine who was responsible for the discovery of this precious metal. It is possible that it was Alexander the Great or someone much earlier, such as the Egyptians or Nubians.

No matter who discovered gold, the metal's value has made it a popular commodity for thousands of years.

Today, gold is still highly valued even though other metals have emerged to take on more practical applications.

The only certainty about its origin is that whoever discovered this precious metal gained the knowledge of how to work with it, and this led to gold becoming one of the most precious resources in the world.


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In Conclusion

Theories concerning who discovered gold have been going on for so long that it is impossible to determine exactly who was responsible for the discovery.

However, what is certain is that whoever first found gold did a good job of making sure the metal was valuable because gold remains popular to this day and is a necessary resource in many fields, including healthcare.

In particular, the Bronze Age and Iron Age are important in understanding the history of gold as they provide a context for when it began to be used more extensively.

 On the other hand, one can also suggest the involvement of Greek geographers Strabo and Eratosthenes, who mapped the world and correctly measured its circumference.

Gold has been a valuable resource for thousands of years because of its unique properties, and this is unlikely to change in the near future.