When thinking about the historical progress of technology, we consider the development of iron and copper-working as the greatest contributions to our species' economic and cultural progress - but gold came first. It occurs in a virtually pure and workable state, whereas most other metals tend to be found in ore-bodies that pose some difficulty in smelting.Gold's early uses were no doubt ornamental, and its brilliance and permanence (it neither corrodes nor tarnishes) linked it to deities and royalty in early civilizations . The earliest history of human interaction with gold is long lost to us, but its association with the gods, with immortality, and with wealth itself are common to many cultures throughout the world.Homer,in the "Iliad" and "Odyssey," makes mention of gold as the glory of the immortals and a sign of wealth among ordinary humans.
But how did gold come to be a commodity, a measurable unit of value? Gold's beauty, scarcity, unique density (no other metal outside the platinum group is as heavy), and the ease by which it could be melted, formed, and measured made it a natural trading medium.Gold was first discovered as shining, yellow nuggets."Gold is where you find it," so the saying goes, and gold was first discovered in its natural state, in streams all over the world.And this happened during a time when gold had no value as 'money,' but was just considered a desirable commodity in and of itself.The 'value' of gold was accepted all over the world.