Society placed a value on gold, which made it a desired metal. The chemical properties of gold cause it to shine. Gold shining in lakes and streams helped early humans find water.
Ancient civilizations used gold for coins because it was the strongest known metal and did not tarnish. Gold became associated with kings, gods, and the power of money.
Most of the heavy metal sank on early Earth, when the surface was still molten. Close to the Earth's core is a large stash of gold and most gold on the surface arrived from meteors.
While gold was used for currency in ancient Civilizations in Europe and Asia, ancient American civilizations used it for art and worship. European colonist clashed with South American civilizations over gold.
Spanish colonist created gold from melting down statues from South American civilizations. The California Gold Rush brought thousands of people to the American west. A series of gold rush around the world followed.
Credits: Gold Fever
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This episode asks why mankind is gold crazy, and discovers there's a hard-wired reason we lust after it, and a microscopic explanation for why it shines. We reveal how the science behind our favorite metal drives men across oceans and continents.
Length: 22 minutes
Copyright date: ©2013
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