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How Long Have People Been Investing in Gold?

Thursday, July 18th 2024

Long before modern economic systems or complex financial instruments existed, people recognized the enduring value of one particular metal: gold. Since ancient civilizations recognized this precious element’s symbolic nature – serving as an icon for wealth, power, and financial security- many cultures and histories around the globe have revered gold as an investment material; this post delves deep into this history from ancient civilizations until modern day investing.

The Early History: Gold as a Symbol of Wealth

At approximately 5,000 BC, ancient Egyptians first encountered gold and quickly fell under its spell due to its brilliant shine and malleable texture. Gold quickly became an emblem of wealth and power among them; used for royal attire, sacred religious artifacts, burial processes of Pharaohs, burial plot decorations – as well as being stored away as value against uncertainty. Gold also served as an effective form of investment, acting both as a store of value and hedge against uncertainty.

At roughly the same time, gold mining began spreading throughout other regions of the Middle East and Mediterranean. By 700 BC, Lydia (which now belongs to modern day Turkey) issued the first official gold coins; their use not only enabled trade between services providers but also helped store wealth effectively.

The Middle Ages: The Birth of Gold as a Currency

By the Middle Ages, gold had evolved into an established method of trading. Byzantine Empire flourishing from 4th to 15th century used a gold coin called solidus as its currency; during this period gold gained more significance as an investment than simply as an accumulation of wealth; people could view gold holding as investing in something tangible which might grow its worth over time.

At around this same time, banking concepts emerged in Italian city-states such as Venice and Florence. Gold deposits became bills of exchange – early forms of banknotes that promised holders certain quantities of gold upon demand.

The Age of Exploration: Gold Drives Economic Expansion

From the 15th-17th centuries, European powers undertook extensive exploration to search out new lands and riches; gold proved especially lucrative; Spain extracted vast quantities from America to fuel this endeavor, creating a surge in European wealth.

Gold was then an economic basis, with owning it equivalent to holding part of global GDP (1). Furthermore, many saw gold as an avenue to wealth accumulation leading to the mercantilist period when nations vied to amass gold and silver reserves for themselves.

The Gold Standard: Linking Currencies to Gold

In the 19th century, countries worldwide adopted what became known as “The Gold Standard (2).” This system linked their currencies directly with gold for stability; governments agreed to exchange paper money into fixed amounts of precious metal upon demand – making investing even simpler, like how gold investments operate today. Global economic systems operated according to this model until around the mid-20th century when fiat currency systems took their place.

Modern Gold Investment: Diversification and Digitization

Modern investment options in gold have opened it up to mainstream investment strategies, offering multiple avenues for ordinary people. Bullion, ETFs, mining stocks, and digital tokens all present different paths into investing with differing degrees of risk and reward potential.

The Future of Gold Investment: Technological Influence and Sustainability

Looking ahead, gold investments appear set to witness further advancement due to technological innovation and environmental considerations.

In the age of sustainability and technology, at the core Gold investment is expected to become even more engaging and open in its strategy. While our financial system becomes ever more complicated the appeal of gold as a source of stability promises to remain ever present in a volatile financial environment.

Conclusion

Gold has long been valued as an investment, dating back to ancient civilizations that understood its inherent worth. Since then, its role has continued to shift between serving as a symbol of wealth, currency and driving economic expansion. Today it remains an indispensable component of investment portfolios as an insurance against economic volatility – and with financial systems continually changing it seems certain that its popularity will remain secure as an asset class.

Are you ready to take action today?

It’s time to invest in some gold to protect your retirement funds. Gold is a good investment for an IRA! Take a look at our list below of the best gold IRA – many of which are currently removing fees for the first year for new customers.

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