Gold: Natures Gift to Man

Written by Annaliese

Nobody would look at a gold ornament and not be captivated by its beauty, but gold goes much beyond plain aesthetic value due to the amazing characteristics that Mother Nature has incorporated into this rare and radiant metal. Amongst all of the natural elements, gold is the least reactive and coupled with its malleability and ductility, gold is considered as the Prima Donna of the metals pantheon and while artisans craft them and poets write about them, kings, queens, emperors clans and governments sack cities in order to get their hands on the shiny yellow metal.

It is a known fact if we peer into the annals of history that for thousands of years countless conflicts had arisen because of this metal and if we were to dissect the fall of the Roman Empire it will become evident that their demise was due to the fact that they had insufficient gold to maintain themselves, their armies, their cities and their vanity. This is because there were only two choices for the Romans, either hire mercenaries to stand up against the Eastern Horde for which they would require gold to pay, or otherwise submit to the wishes of Genghis Khan who also wanted the Romans to pay in gold to buy peace, but the Romans did not have enough for either, hence the Roman Empire crumbled from greatness to nothingness.

Other popular wars that were basically spinoffs that start from wanting payment or refusing payment in the form of gold and silver was the opium war. The Chinese wanted payment in silver & gold and for what the British bought from them (silk, tea and porcelain) and the British wanted silver from the Chinese by selling them the highly addictive opium (these days it is primarily refined into heroin), but much to the dismay of the British, the Chinese emperor had a higher moral value than the British and did not want drugs flowing into the country and banned the substance and confiscated most of the dope that were in Chinese harbours and some that were docked and arrested more than a thousand drug dealers.

As war became imminent, the Chinese authorities sent a letter to Queen Victoria, stating that since England had implemented a band on the opium trade to protect their citizens, the Chinese emperor’s implementation of the ban was justified and the actions taken at the harbour was due to the merchants ignoring this ban, either the letter never reached Queen Victoria or she was as daft as the rest of parliament for not seeing the validity of this point or they were just too greedy for precious metals to acknowledge it. A full scale war started and the Chinese lost due to the superiority of the British war machine.

It is evident that although the value of rare metals such as gold, silver and copper have the potential to drive some humans to commit heinous deeds, the price of gold bullion bars and gold coins also provide stability and security as owning these metals in the form of bullion or coins is considered to be a method through which people are able to secure the ‘value of their wealth’ in the long run.

As it is with everything else in this world, I guess there will always be a dark side to each and every bright side.

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