Who Discovered Gold : When this question is asked there seems to be a variety of answers depending on the type of gold in question, from early monetary uses to supply and production.

Various articles ranging from jewelry to large thrones are made of this precious metal. But can anyone tell who discovered gold? It’s still a matter of dispute…

Historical Background Of Gold

Gold has been valued since the beginning of time for it’s beauty, scarcity and durability. First recovered from streambeds where it occurred naturally in it’s metallic form. These early nuggets became prized possessions and could be transformed into ornaments, bars and others items of treasure.

It is generally accepted that gold jewelry and money came into being in Crete, Egypt and Sumer around the year 3000 B.C. Since that early time right up until today gold has been a symbol of wealth and prestige.

Who Discovered Gold

The early nuggets discovered in streambeds have been determined to be 80 to 85% in purity, the remaining percentage said to have been silver. This combination proved to be extremely malleable and was handily transformed into extremely thin sheets of wire which were later ‘woven’ into chains and other forms of jewelry.

The Sumerians, Minoans, Mycenaeans, Egyptians, Etruscans, and other Mediterraneas soon earned reputations as highly skilled artisans and goldsmith’s. It is widely agreed that the height of goldsmithing in ancient times advanced in Etururia in 600 B.C., Crete in the 1500’s B.C. and Egypt from 1700 to 2100 B.C.

The evolution of the fabrication of gold jewelry continued on into the Roman Empire who added the use of precious stones in gold jewelry. Meanwhile in the Americas, natives had begun working with gold around 1200 B.C., they developed many of the same techniques and the Mediterranean people i.e. fusion bonding, alloying gold with other metals, casting, and mechanical plating.

Early Monetary Uses Of Gold

From early ancient times gold became an accepted use of barter and prestige over the then traditional means of cattle, salt and other then sought after commodities due to its portability, durability and divisibility.

Since the 4th millennium B.C. Egyptians used gold bars as a means of money as the Sumerans had earlier with Silver bars. In 650 B.C. the first gold coins were introduced in Lydia or as it known now ‘Turkey’.

Gold and Silver coins continue to be highly sought after for both collectibility and investment.

Who Discovered Gold : Early Production And Supply

As early as the 4th Millennium B.C. gold nuggets and flakes were discovered the river and streams in Central Asia. Egyptians also discovered gold nuggets and flakes along the Nile at approximately the same time, it is said gold was recovered from Sudan to as far east as the mouth of Nile at the Red Sea. The Egyptians proved to be the first to develop underground gold mines tunneling as much as 100 meters below the surface.

Egypt seems to be source for most gold in ancient times as well as the first to mine gold in other locations such as Africa and Arabia.

Gold continued to be discovered in other parts of the world with the Greeks retrieving gold from their own streambeds. The Romans continued on with exploration in Spain, Asia Minor, Central Europe and France.

Through the Dark Ages in the 14th century deposits in Hungary and Bohemia were quickly depleted, there is said to have been a ‘bullion famine’ in the 15th century until the Portuguese started shipping large quantities from Africa, specifically the ‘Gold Coast’ and Guinea.

From the 16th to 18th century mines were established in Mexico, Brazil and Russia, Brazil supplying over 1/3 of the world’s supply at that time.

The 19th Century saw large discoveries in Russia and the United States.

So Who Discovered Gold Then?

By all accounts historians have credited the Egyptians as the pioneers in the discovery of gold with other following suit throughout the world.



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