How Was Gold Used in the Past?

Throughout history, gold has been used to create jewelry and as currency. Gold usage dates to 3000 B.C., when people began creating jewelry out of the shiny, malleable metal.

Gold has been used in making jewelry to show the status of the wearer for thousands of years. As early as 2500 B.C., gold was buried with kings in Egyptian tombs. In the centuries that followed, gold became a standard currency used to purchase items throughout a network of civilizations near the Mediterranean. Around 1200 B.C., Egyptians began to extend the usage and amount of gold they had by making gold leaf and creating alloys with other metals.

Gold has continued to be used as a currency, although the shape and amount of the currency has changed greatly. North Carolina had the first gold rush in 1803, and a series of North American gold rushes throughout the ensuing century reinforced its status as a popular commodity among people seeking riches.

Gold is also used in many technology applications. Gold is found in computers, space technology and communications equipment. In 1960, gold was added to intravenous fluid to treat rheumatoid arthritis in Europe. As recently as 1996, a gold-plated parabolic telescope was used on the Mars Global Surveyor.