GOLD AS A SYMBOL – Through its specific brightness and color gold has always had a special symbolic significance in all civilizations it was naturally associated with the most powerful manifestations of the sacred: the sun, the light, the idea of ascension and immortality. Hence a complex of symbols that, as in a game of mirrors, sending their meanings and transfer ing signification of their imaginary to one another, through their effects not any less real. Last but not least, gold means prosperity and security.
Wearing a gold jewelry induces an irresistible image of a different, unique person. It suggest the idea of a permanent link with the glamorous world of the gods, that related to us, our historical condition - in which time devours everything - being accidental and fleeting. In our unconscious gold reminds us constantly that.
PHYSICAL PROPERTIES − AS CHEMICAL ELEMENT WITH ATOMIC NUMBER 79 IT HAS RELATIVELY COMPACT CUBIC CRYSTALLINE STRUCTURE, FROM WHERE ITS SPECIFIC BIG WEIGHT (19.28): A TONNE OF GOLD COULD FIT IN A CUBE ONLY 38 CM WIDE. IT PRESENTS A CHARACTERISTIC YELLOW COLOR AND THE HIGH INDEX OF REFLECTION GIVES IT AN OUTSTANDING SHINE.
It is easily processed because it is extremely malleable: from 30 grams of gold can be achieved a 9 m² thin leaf and from a single gram we can get a 2.5 km long wire. Its nobility obliges to be very reserved about any serious chemical combinations and that granites greater strength and stability over time. In addition, in nature it is found most often in pure form and in compact amounts. All these considerations made that gold becoming the ideal element for achieving valuable objects, especially jewelry and even for hoarding. Pure gold is too soft and it is unfit to be used in jewelry. In order to confer strength and durability it is alloyed with various metals: copper, nickel, silver, zinc, etc.
CARATS − the standard to measure the gold is the Karate: 1kt = 1/24 - meaning the twenty-fourth part of an alloy as purity. So the karat show us how many from the 24 parts is pure gold. For instance a percentage of 18k means that from t the 24 parts of the object, 18 are pure gold and the remaining is other metal alloy. Pure gold (or fin) has therefore 24 carats. Not to be confused with the metric carat that issued in the evaluation of gemstones, where 1 ct = 0.2g.
The word 'carat' comes from the world of the Eastern bazaars and appoints the carob tree (Ceratonia siliqua) seed. Because these seeds always presented accurately a constant weight, were used in fine balancing for measuring gold or precious stones.
In Anglo-Saxon world as measurement unit for gold is used the troy ounce (troy ounce, abbreviated ozt) which weighs 31.1034768 grams. This ounce differs from the 'normal’ ounce , which has only 28.35 grams.
Carats definition after pure gold content according to international standards:
|Carat||Parts of fine gold (to 1000)||Gold content in percent||Name|
|Source: World Gold Council|
|24||990||99.0%||Minimum permitted value of pure gold|
|22||916||91.5%||Minimum permitted value of pure gold|
|19.2||800||80.0%||The standard in Portugal|
|14||585||58.5%||583/58.3% in USA|
|10||417||41.7%||Minimum in USA|
|9||375||37.5%||Standard in Great Brittan|
|8||333||33.3%||Minimum în Germany|
HISTORY – The processing of gold is attested from the VII millennium BCE, therefore we can say that the Bronze Age and Iron Age was preceded by one of gold. Along with primitive mining techniques gold was also obtained by filtering the water in certain rivers - legend of Argonauts, and the Golden Fleece, which starts from such a mining method. Since the fourth millennium, a significant progress in processing technique radically changed. Ancient Sumer and Egypt Pharaohs will achieve amazing standards. Very important was also the ' steppes gold ' actually coming from the Mongolian Altai, the ancient Scythians and Goths and later Tartars intermediates of this gold.
Europe is rather poor in gold reserves in the past the most important reserves being in Romania in the Apuseni Mountains. It is estimated that Decebals treasure had over 150 tons of gold and silver about 300, but some researchers argue that gold was not indigenous but imported . The fact is that after the conquest of Dacia, by Trajan the Empire finances are restored in chronic crisis and in Rome the victory fiesta was held 120 days.
In the Middle Ages the absence of gold from the money market meant economic stagnation. Only after resuming contact with gold from Asia, trough crusades, things normalize. And later the fabulous treasures of pre-Columbian empires, exchanged currency, will have a decisive role in the dynamics of a capitalist mentality, which already announces the modern era. An interesting episode is the alchemy, obtaining gold from other materials such as lead or mercury is actually explicit proof of a radical spiritual transformations. Theoretical premises were not even fantasia: in 1968 yielded gold was obtained by the methods of quantum physics, but at an exorbitant price.
It is estimated that the quantity of gold extracted so far from historically stands are at around 160,000 tones ( a cube 20 meters), over 65% of the amount being extracted since 1950. All bank reserves in the world (30,000 tons - a cube 11.6 meters) would fit into a neighborhood restaurant.
În prezent cel mai important producător este Africa de Sud (la mare rivalitate cu China), iar producţia mondială anuală variază în jurul cifrei de 2.500 de tone. Currently the leading producer is South Africa (the great rivalry with China), and the annual world production ranges at around 2,500 tones. A profitable extraction starts at 0.5g / t but in deep mines it can be achieved over 3g / tone. Known reserves are enough for a decade or two but it is hoped they will discover new extraction places.
TYPES OF GOLD − To achieve gold jewelry pure gold is mixed with other metals to give them the necessary strength, pure gold is brittle. But various alloys can be made intentionally in order to get certain colors or shades, depending on personal tastes and fashion trends. It must be said that this does not affect the material value of the jewelry, the final price it is given by the execution and carats (the amount of pure gold it contains).
Yellow gold - is the most common color it has different shades; mainly contains silver and copper alloys; gives warmth, sensuality, a solar aspect.
Red / pink gold - the percentage of copper is higher; relatively intense color suggests femininity and romance; ideal for Valentine's Day.
White gold with nickel or palladium - nickel plus silver; its appearance of a flash cooler brings a touch of modernism, energy, nonconformity and elegance.
Green gold or black gold – gold variant which emphasizes the idea of difference and extravagance.
INVESTING IN GOLD − The statement that ”in long term gold is the safest investment' has become a cliché. But with new financial crisis, when currencies and stock market instability tends to become chronic, gold proves to be a rewarding investment even in the short term. Gold is an excellent protection against inflation because the trend is that the precious metals price to rise when the standard of living decreases.
Although in a crisis year (2009) gold increased by 25%, analysts agree that the current price is much undervalued and that the trend of the last 10 years of steady growth, is to be maintained, if not accelerated. Fluctuations can occur even if artificialy, the yellow metal price will certainly increase. Already the near future it is estimated an exchange rate of $ 1,500 / ounce.
In 2000 the gold’s price was $ 280 / ounce.
„Gold is always accepted.“
- ALAN GREENSPAN, HEAD OF THE US FEDERAL RESERVE. -