Gold was first discovered as shining, yellow nuggets. “Gold is where you find it,” so the saying goes, and gold was first discovered in its natural state, in streams all over the world. No doubt it was the first metal known to early human civilisation. Gold became a part of every human culture. Its brilliance, natural beauty, and lustre, and its great malleability and resistance to tarnish made it enjoyable to work and play with.
Because gold is dispersed widely throughout the geologic world, its discovery occurred to many different groups in many different locales. And nearly everyone who found it was impressed with it, and so was the developing culture in which they lived.
Gold was the first metal widely known to our species. When thinking about the historical progress of technology, we consider the development of iron and copper-working as the greatest contributions to our species’ economic and cultural progress – but gold came first.
Gold is the easiest of the metals to work. It occurs in a virtually pure and workable state, whereas most other metals tend to be found in ore-bodies that pose some difficulty in smelting.
Gold’s early uses were no doubt ornamental, and its brilliance and permanence (it neither corrodes nor tarnishes) linked it to deities and royalty in early civilizations . It is the opinion of the more objective market experts that the traditional investment vehicles of stocks and bonds are in the areas of their all-time highs and may be due for a severe correction. In fact the traditional indicators of valuation are far past the excessive readings of 1987 and worst than even 1929! In warning recognition of current market mania, Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan poignantly admonished that current market excesses display “IRRATIONAL EXUBERANCE WHICH MAY LEAD TO A FINANCIAL ASSET BUBBLE!”
Therefore, astute and prudent investors are seeking alternative investments. Their strategy is to seek risk diversification away from stocks and bonds, currently near all-time highs – in order to take positions in hard assets, which are presently near multi-year lows, and hold promise for reasonable good returns in the future.