Although the time cannot be pinpointed exactly, it is widely believed that gold mining dates back about 5,000 years. The first gold was mined in Egypt, and wall paintings have been found which show gold mining in its various stages of production. Gold was extracted (panned) from river water; this was achieved by sifting out the lighter sands in the water to leave the heavier, gold particles behind. By 3,000 BC gold rings were used as a form of payment. With the exception of coins, gold was used only for decorative purposes.

Around 2,000 BC mine shafts were constructed to obtain gold found in ores deep in the ground; the Greeks and Romans became particularly good at this.

Fact File

The gold standard was a monetary system in which the standard unit of currency is a fixed quantity of gold. It was first put into operation in Great Britain in 1821.


Picture Credit : Google