|The High Price and Power of Gold|
|For thousands of
years, something in the eternally lustrous gold metal has driven
people to the outer edges of desire to have it and treasure it, to
kill or conquer for it, and to possess it like a lover. Gold exudes
energy. It pulsates with a bright spirit of abundance and exuberance
and resonates with great potency. Believed by the ancients to hold
the power of the sun, to embody the life of force itself, gold
possesses an elemental, life affirming dynamic that drives design
and energy, and revitalizes jewelry wearers. Like a living material,
with a heart and soul, gold moulds itself to the body or cause and
seems to transfer its vitality and vibrancy to the wearer. But don't
take South Atlantic Auctions' word for it. History tells this story
In the early 1500's, King Ferdinand of Spain laid down the priorities as his conquistadors set out for the New World. "Get gold," he told them, "Humanely if possible, but at all costs, get gold." A few years later in 1531, Francisco Pizarro invaded Peru and captured the ruler of the Incas, Atahualpa. As ransom, Atahualpa offered to fill the room in which he was imprisoned once with gold and twice with silver. Over the next four months nearly eight tons of gold were accumulated but, in return, Pizarro baptized Atahualpa, and then promptly had him strangled in public. In order to ship the gold back to Spain, Pizarro had it melted down.
Europe's prime source of gold came from stealing from South America and because of this; relatively few of the ancient treasures remain. However, at the Museo del Oro in Bogota, Colombia, more than 10,000 items of Pre-Columbian jewelry and ornaments are preserved. The preserved jewels come from tombs. The ancient Egyptians equated gold with the sun, the giver of life, and reserved its use for pharaohs only. The amount of gold in Egyptian tombs indicated the importance of the person buried there. Although most Egyptian tombs were robbed centuries ago, perhaps the most famous of all was discovered by Howard carter in 1022. This was the tomb of King Tutankhamun who ruled Egypt in mid 1300 B.C. In the Middle Ages, alchemists attempted to use their magic to make gold from other metals. They believed that gold was a source of immortality and so it was used in medicine to fight old age and prolong life. The Chinese saw gold as the yang of the sun, with silver representing the moon's ying. To ensure a lifetime of good luck and happiness, Chinese and Indian brides wear jewelry of no less than 24-karat gold on their wedding day.
The legendary King Midas of Greece was said to have had the power to turn everything he touched into gold. Meanwhile, the Incas called gold the "sweat of the sun." In some cultures, gold is even eaten to cure such ailments as arthritis, ulcers and tuberculosis. Tutankhamun The boy-king of Egypt from 1361 to 1352 BC whose tomb, discovered by Howard Carter in 1922, preserved some of the greatest treasures of the Egyptian goldsmiths' craft. The king's body was encased in a coffin of solid gold sheet two millimetres thick, weighing over 90 kilos. The head of the mummy was shrouded in a great mask of beaten gold.
One sign of gold's lasting value is that it has been used as a currency for more than 5,000 years. It is perceived as permanent wealth as opposed to paper currency and is bought in large quantities during times of crisis. In that long history, gold has now arrived and is now golden, as the price of the precious metal has soared recently. Here's the skinny for gold buyers and sellers. Gold is so hot because of the global commodity boom. The prices of metals, which include, copper, steel, and gold, have all increased tremendously, along with prices of sugar, soybeans, oil, and natural gas. The growing industrial and consumer bases in China and India are in a four year global economic growth pattern, and the recovery of Japan has also increased demand.
Gold is undoubtedly an ancient
commodity of value, and a safe haven for investors worried that
their other monetary assets will lose value because of inflation or
The United States, the world's second-largest consumer of gold, is also the world's largest holder of gold reserves. The government has 8,134 tons secured in vaults, about $122 billion worth. The Federal Reserve and other major central banks renewed an agreement last year to severely restrict sales from their reserves, offering, in effect, a price support to gold. That price is not simply a matter of supply and demand, but of market psychology. Gold is bought by nervous investors when the dollar is weak and the economy is tentative. That is a big reason for gold's high price today.
Facts You Should Know -
India and Gold in the Marketplace
As a guide, the purer the gold,
the more precious the piece is. Further, handmade, limited edition
and designer pieces cost significantly more than mass-produced
jewelry. However, with such broad range of styles and prices in the
global market, everyone can experience the power of and be dazzled
by gold, as it is truly a product for every price pocket.