Gold Symbolism - Gold 101

Since man first discovered gold it has served as a symbol of wealth, power, and achievement. From the Bible to the modern corporate world there are a multitude of examples of how important and valuable gold is in people’s minds and opinions.

In the Old Testament book of Genesis, gold is associated with Abraham who was said to be rich in gold and silver. The precious metal was also linked to Moses and the Ark of the Covenant, which Moses was told to cover with pure gold. The Book of Exodus in the Old Testament uses the example of the Golden Calf to represent one culture’s rejection of God and favoring of an idol. Later in the New Testament, a gift of gold was given to the newborn Jesus by one of the Wise Men. It was given as in indication of Jesus’ status as a king.

Later in Medieval Europe, kings wore crowns of gold to link them with heaven’s eternal light, as well as to indicate their divine authority. It has been a tradition for wedding rings to be made from gold. This is because of gold’s ability to withstand prolonged wear. Another long-standing custom is for the precious metal to represent the longevity of the marriage bond. Gold is commonly associated with 50-year anniversaries, for instance a 50th wedding anniversary is referred to as the Golden Anniversary. A Golden Jubilee references the 50th anniversary of a monarch’s reign.

In the corporate world, gold has long been an emblem of the rich and of capitalism. Credit cards at one time named their high-end cards, reserved for their wealthiest clients, “gold cards.” A gold watch and chain was once a stereotypical reminder of a man’s status as a scion of industry as well as a common retirement gift.

Even our modern-day awards and medals often reference or are crafted from gold. Both the Olympic Games and the Nobel Prize award gold medals to their respective highest achievers. Additionally many other awards, such as the Academy Awards, the Golden Globes and the Emmy Awards are made to resemble gold, even if they are not in fact made of real gold.

Next: Gold as an investment

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Back to the Gold 101

Gold was first discovered thousands of years ago in its natural state, in streams, which lead to mining all over the world. Its brilliance, natural beauty, great malleability and resistance to tarnish made it enjoyable to work with. Gold gave rise to the concept of money itself. Today gold is used for jewelry fabrication, industrial application, and medical uses, by governments and central banks and by private investors.

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