HISTORY OF GOLD
A culture, centered in what is today Eastern Europe, begins to use gold to fashion decorative objects. The gold was probably mined in the Transylvanian Alps or the Mount Pangaion area in Thrace.
A civilisation in Southern Iraq uses gold to create a wide range of jewelry, using sophisticated and varied styles.
2500 B.C .
Gold jewelry is buried in the Tomb of Djer, king of the First Egyptian Dynasty.
1500 B.C .
Gold becomes the recognised standard medium of exchange for international trade and the immense gold-bearing regions of Nubia make Egypt a wealthy nation. The Shekel, a coin weighing 11.3 grams of gold, becomes the unit of measure in the Middle East.
The Babylonians test the purity of gold.
The Egyptians start casting gold using the lost-wax technique that is still used today in jewelry making. Unshorn sheepskin is used to recover gold dust from river sands on the eastern shores of the Black Sea.
Little squares of gold are legalised as a form of money in China.
The first coins made purely from gold are minted in Lydia, Asia Minor.
Greeks and Jews of ancient Alexandria begin the quest of turning base metals into gold. The search reaches its pinnacle from the late Dark Ages through the renaissance.
218 202 B.C.
During the Punic Wars with Carthage, the Romans gain access to the gold mining region of Spain and recover gold through stream gravels and hard rock mining.
After a victorious campaign in Gaul, Julius Caesar brings back enough gold to give 200 coins to each of his soldiers and repay all of Rome's debt.
Romans begin issuing a gold coin called Aureus.
The Goths (East Germanic Tribes) depose Emperor Romulas Augustus, marking the fall of the Roman Empire.
742 - 814 A.D.
Charlemagne overruns the Avars and plunders their vast quantities of gold, making it possible for him to control most of Western Europe.
With the Norman conquest, a metallic currency standard is finally re-established in Great Britain with the introduction of a system of pounds, shillings and pence.
1250 1299 A.D.
Marco Polo writes of his travels to the Far East, where gold wealth was almost unlimited.
Venice introduces the gold Ducat, which becomes the most popular coin in the world and remains so for more than five centuries.
Great Britain issues its first gold coin, the Florin. This is followed by the Noble and later by the Angel, Crown and Guinea.
Great Britain shifts to a monetary system based on silver and gold.
King Ferdinand of Spain launches massive expeditions to the newly discovered lands of the Western Hemisphere to find gold.
Georgius Agricola publishes the De re Metallica', which describes the fire assay of gold during the Middle Ages.
Gold is discovered in Brazil, which becomes the largest producer of gold by 1720, with nearly two thirds of the world's output.
Isaac Newton, as Master of the Mint, fixes the price of gold in Great Britain at 84 shillings, 11&? pence per troy ounce. The Royal Commission, composed of Newton , John Locke and Lord Somers, recommends a recall of all old currency and the issue of new specie with a gold/silver ratio of 16-to-1. The gold price established in Great Britain lasted for over 200 years.
The resurgence of gold mining in Russia begins with the discovery of a quartz outcrop in Ekaterinburg.
Ephraim Brasher a goldsmith produces the first US gold coin.
The US defines the dollar as equivalent to 24.75 grains of fine gold and 371.25 grains of fine silver through the Coinage Act, which places the US on a bimetallic silver-gold standard.
The first documented gold discovery in the US is found in Cabarrus County, North Carolina when a 17 pound gold nugget is discovered.
The first US gold rush is sparked when gold is discovered at Little Meadow Creek, North Carolina.
1804 1828 A.D.
All the gold mined in North Carolina is supplied to the US Mint for currency.
The British pound is tied to a specific quantity of gold at which the currency is converted.
The Sovereign is introduced in Britain and valued at one-pound sterling.
The discovery of the formula for fired-on Glanz (Bright Gold) by Heinrich G. Kuhn makes Meissen gold decorated china world famous.
One fine troy ounce of gold is valued at $20.67 after the weight of gold in the US is lessened to 23.22 grains.
John Marshall finds flakes of gold near Sacramento, California. This find triggers the California Gold Rush and hastens the settlement of the American West.
Gold is discovered in New South Wales, Australia, by Edward Hammong Hargraves.
France, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium and Greece form the Latin Monetary Union and establish the fineness, weight, size and denomination of silver and gold. Each country in the Monetary Union is obliged to accept each other's gold and silver coins as full legal tender.
Gold is discovered in South Africa by George Harrison while digging up stones in his back garden since then South Africa has become the source of nearly 40% of all gold ever mined.
Silver is eliminated as a standard of value and the United States goes on an unofficial gold standard.
A British patent for the cyanidation process for recovering gold from ore is issued to John MacArthur, which results in a doubling of world gold output over the next twenty years.
Gold is discovered by two prospectors while fishing in Alaska, starting the last gold rush of the century.
The US is committed to maintain a fixed exchange rate in relation to other countries, when the US Congress passes the Gold Standard Act.
An organic medium to print gold on surfaces, is used for decoration, the medium is used many years later for microcircuit printing technology.
All US Notes are backed by 40% gold, when the Federal Reserve passes the Federal Reserve Act.
1914 1918 A.D.
The United States, Great Britain and several other countries suspend the gold standard, during World War 1.
Great Britain returns to the gold bullion standard.
The treatment of rheumatoid arthritis with gold is discovered after a medical study in France.
The gold bullion standard is abandoned by Great Britain.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt prohibits private holdings of all gold coins, bullion and certificates to avert the banking panic.
The US government gets permanent title to all monetary gold and halts the minting of gold coins, after the Gold Reserve Act of 1934 is passed. The dollar is reduced by increasing the price of gold to $35 per ounce. Only the Federal Reserve is allowed to hold gold certificates, putting the US on a limited gold bullion standard. The redemption of gold is restricted to dollars held by foreign central banks and licensed private users.
Western Electric Alloy (69% gold, 25% silver and 6% platinum) finds universal use with AT&T telecommunications in switching contacts.
In Fort Knox, Kentucky, the bullion depository is opened.
An edict is issued by President Roosevelt closing all US gold mines.
The gold exchange standard, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank are established with the Bretton Woods agreement, ratified by the US Congress in 1945. Par values are set for currencies in terms of gold and the obligation of member countries to convert foreign holdings of currencies into gold at these par values.
The US Federal Reserve reduces the gold backing of their notes by 25.5%.
1947 A.D .
The first transistor using gold contacts is assembled at AT&T Bell Laboratories.
London gold market re-opens after being closed at the start of World War II.
The first patent for the invention of the laser is granted to AT&T Bell, this device uses carefully positioned gold-coated mirrors.
Americans are forbidden to own gold at home and abroad.
Col. Edward White does the first space walk using a gold-coated visor to protect his eyes from direct sunlight, during the Gemini IV mission.
The first Krugerrand is produced by South Africa. The one-ounce bullion coin becomes very popular worldwide.
After a sudden demand for gold, the London Gold Market is closed and the governors of central banks in the gold pool announce they will no longer buy or sell gold, a two tier pricing system emerges. Official transactions between monetary authorities are conducted at the unchanged price of $35 per fine troy ounce. Other transactions are done at a fluctuating free market price. The US Mint ends the policy of buying and selling gold to those licensed by the US Treasury.
The practice of backing Federal Reserve Notes with gold is eliminated.
Intel produces a microchip with 1,024 transistors interconnected with small gold circuits.
1970 A.D .
A device, which uses gold to collect the electrons generated by light, is invented at Bell Telephone Laboratories. This device is used in hundreds of civilian and military devices and home video cameras.
1971 A.D .
The US terminates all gold buying and selling on Aug 15, thereby ending conversion of foreign officially held dollars into gold. The dollar is devalued by raising the official price of gold to $38 per fine troy ounce, under the Smithsonian Agreement signed in Washington.
The colloidal gold marker system, which uses tiny spheres of gold to tag specific proteins to reveal their functions in the human body, is introduced by the Amersham Corporation in Illinois.
The US devalues the dollar again, by raising the dollar price of gold to $42.22 per fine troy ounce on Feb 13.
All currencies are permitted to float' freely, without regard to the price of gold. By June the price of gold has risen to $120 per ounce.
Japan lifts the prohibition on imports of gold.
1974 A.D .
As of Dec 31, Americans are allowed to own gold, other than jewelry.
On New York's Commodity Exchange and on Chicago's International Monetary Market, trading begins in gold for future delivery.
A series of auctions are held where bids are accepted for 400 ounce bars, by the US Treasury. In January, 754,000 troy ounces are sold and another 499,500 more in June.
The Krugerrand is launched in the US market.
1976 A.D .
The Gold Institute is established to promote the common interests of the gold industry.
1977 1980 A.D.
25 million troy ounces, which represents one-third of the IMF's gold holdings are sold off to IMF members in proportion to member's shares of quotas and a further 25 million troy ounces, in a series of public auctions held for the benefit of developing member countries.
1978 1980 A.D.
15.8 million troy ounces of gold is sold off by the US Treasury to strengthen the US trade balance.
1978 A.D .
The official IMF price of gold is abandoned, after amended IMF articles are adopted and gold is eliminated as a significant instrument in IMF transactions with members. The IMF is empowered to dispose of its large gold holdings. The US abolishes the official price of gold after an Act of Congress is passed. Member governments are free to buy and sell gold in private markets.
A renewed interest in gold is propelled by a weak dollar, US recognition of Communist China, events in Iran and Sino-Vietnamese border disturbances.
The American Arts Gold Medallion Act is passed by US Congress. Individuals are allowed to buy gold pieces for the first time in half a century.
The gold export ban is lifted by Japan allowing investors to buy and sell.
Canada introduces the 1 ounce Maple Leaf gold coin.
1980 A.D .
On January the 21 in New York gold reaches an historical high of $870 and by year end closes at $591.
A Gold Commission is formed by the US Treasury Secretary to make recommendations with regard to the role of gold in domestic and international monetary systems.
The first space shuttle is launched using gold coated impellers in its liquid hydrogen fuel pump.
No new monetary role for gold is recommended by the US Gold Commission.
New gold deposits are discovered in North America and Australia.
The Olympic Commemorative Coin Act is passed in the US, which includes the first legal tender US gold coin since 1933.
The fractional Maple Leaf coins in 1/4 and 1/10 ounce are introduced by Canada.
The Panda bullion coin is introduced by China.
The US Mint introduces the American Eagle Gold Bullion Coin.
New gold alloy jewelry is introduced; 990-gold (1% titanium) is introduced to meet the need for an improved durability of 99% pure gold, which is traditionally manufactured in Hong Kong.
The Nugget Gold Bullion coin is introduced by Goldcorp Australia.
On October 19, world stock markets suffer sharp reversal and volatile investment markets increase gold trading activity.
The Britannia Gold Bullion coin is introduced by the British Royal Mint.
The World Gold Council is established to sustain and develop demand for the end users of gold.
1988 A.D .
The international media reports huge gold purchases by Japan , who is preparing for the minting of a major commemorative gold coin. The coin, honoring the sixteenth anniversary of Emperor Hirohito's reign, is issued in November.
The Philharmoniker Bullion Coin is introduced by Austria.
United States becomes the world's second largest gold producing nation.
1992 A.D .
The Gold Mark is introduced as an international identification mark for gold jewelry by the World Gold Council.
The value added tax restrictions on financial gold are lifted by Germany, causing a renewed interest in private demand for gold.
Turkey and India liberalise their gold markets.
A domestic gold market is established in Russia.
1996 A.D .
The Mars Global Surveyor is launched with an onboard gold-coated parabolic telescope mirror that will generate a detailed map of Mars.
The US Congress passes the Taxpayers Relief Act, which allows US Individual Retirement Account holders to buy gold bullion coins and bars for their accounts, as long as the fineness is equal to, or exceeds 99.5% pure gold.
The Euro Dollar is introduced, backed by a new European Central Bank guarantee, holding 15% of it's reserves in gold.
The most detailed images ever captured of Neptune and Uranus, is done by astronomers at the Keck Observatory in Hawaii, using giant gold-coated mirrors.
The directors of the Gold Institute, vote to dissolve the association and consolidate it's activities within the National Mining Association, effective January 1, 2003. This decision was made against the backdrop of general business change and consolidation in the gold sector.
Altermore opens its doors in South Africa. It is a company dedicated to moving large quantities of gold into the hands of ordinary people.