The history of gold is as old as time itself. With references to gold in the text of Genesis, to the myths of Jason and King Midas and the legend of King Solomon’s mines, gold has long been a symbol of wealth, freedom and power. Empires and nations – from Charlemagne to the Spanish conquest of the ‘New World’ and through the American frontier movement – were mobilised by the pursuit of gold or built upon its promise.
Though its first use appears to have been for ornamentation, sculpture or jewellery, gold has been employed most prominently through the ages as a store of financial value – or as currency. From ancient Egypt to modern-day Britain, gold became the standard medium of exchange for trade and was the standard measure upon which monetary systems were based.