Of all the substances that we mine from the earth, gold remains the most useful. This can be attributed to gold’s many special properties. In addition to having a brilliant shine, which the jewelry industry has long appreciated, gold does not tarnish, can conduct electricity, can be hammered, melted, cast, and otherwise manipulated.
Use of gold in jewelry is nothing new. In fact, this special metal has been put to use in ornamental objects for thousands of years. Still today, nearly 80% of the gold mined from the earth is used to manufacture jewelry and other such trinkets. Gold is a fantastic material to use in such applications because it can be so easily worked and shaped. The gold nuggets, like those you may find at Roaring Camp Gold, can be melted down and cast into a million different shapes.
It is not just for jewelry that we have appreciated gold over the years. Humankind recognized the value of this scarce commodity thousands of years ago, and were soon using it as a form of money. The first gold coins were minted as early as 500 BC. Over the years, some were cast to represent dollar amounts, while others were valued only by their weight. In the United States, the gold standard was used for many years. The standard, which relied on a stockpile of it to back each and every monetary bill printed, allowed any average citizen to turn in a bill in exchange for gold of the same value. Unfortunately that is not the case any longer, as it became too difficult and burdensome to store the gold needed to back the vast amount of money in circulation.
Along with being so malleable, it is also an excellent conductor of electricity. And, because it is not prone to corrosion, electricians have come to appreciate it immensely. Electronics created with the use of it are often the most reliable, because the metal does not corrode as others do.