Gold is one of the most valuable substances on earth. It is a true super commodity. However, you average person has no idea where the gold they value so much originated. This begs the question: Where did all this gold come from? According to recent studies, there are many astronomers who now suggest that it and other heavy metals were formed in the early days of the universe when neutron stars collided. These neutron rich, catastrophic explosions caused by the enormous stars spiraling into each other at unimaginable speeds were among the most powerful explosions in the universe! These explosions seem to account for the neutron rich heavy elements like gold. So gold literally shines like the stars. That explains part of its UNIVERSAL appeal… OK, that was a bad pun.
That is where this mineral literally comes from, but where can you find it on Earth? There are two kinds that can be found on Earth: Loose and Deep Mined. Loose gold is often called ‘Alluvial’ or ‘placer gold.’ It is found in the form of nuggets of a fine dust in stream beds and rivers where the flowing waters have worn away the rocks and ore that once held it. For thousands of years, placer gold has been mankind’s main source of bullion. It wasn’t tell the 1800’s that deep mining for this ore started to be common. Deep mined gold accounts for South Africa’s vast reserves which result in the popular krugerrand coins. When gold is deep mined it can be found with 99% purity, when it is alluvial or found on the surface surface is often 70-90% pure.
Gold is the original recyclable material. It is easy to work with, shape, repair, and melt down. Since it never tarnishes, you never throw it away, you recycle it. What you see today in your ring or necklace could easily have had a very sordid previous life.
Most gold bullion coins that you see on the market today are newly minted or freshly mined. However, there is much of this mineral in the world today that could easily have been the same gold that the Spaniards pillaged out of Mexico and South America. For centuries, South America was one of the most important sources of gold for the European economy. It was stolen, mined, and melted into bars for the upper class of Spain, France, and Portugal. Most of the upper class were none the wiser to how this beautiful commodity came into their possession.
Your necklace could have a very long history. It could have lived before as an ancient coin used to buy goods, it could have spent centuries in a tomb of an ancient king, it could have been washed crimson in the blood of the fallen Incan warriors who protected it from rival tribes and the conquistadors, it could have been carried in the chests that the Queen of Sheba brought over to impress King Solomon, or it could have come out of Solomon’s fabled mines themselves!