by Alasdair, Macleod, GoldMoney:
Gold, ornamentation and money: that was the sequence of events. Man discovered gold, found it malleable, durable and attractive. It was first used for ornamentation, then as social economics evolved into the division of labour, its value as ornamentation and its physical properties made it the most enduring medium for money. Even to this day, Asians representing most of the world’s population still understand this connection between gold, ornamentation and money.
Goldmoney has recently backed a new venture, Menē. Menē manufactures and retails gold and platinum jewellery at prices tied to market values for the physical metal, with a buy-back option, again linked to the market price. The objective is to re-establish the link between the use of precious metals as money and as a medium of exchange. (Please refer to the disclosure note at the end of this article.)
Westerners in the developed world have mostly forgotten the linkage, but this is only in relatively modern times. Nor was this some passing fancy of the Eurasian continent, where gold and silver’s usage as money is as old as any recorded civilisation.
The durability of gold is truly remarkable. It is worth visiting the Cairo Museum just to see gold artefacts wrought over 3,000 years ago, looking so fresh they could have left the goldsmith’s studio yesterday. The death mask of Tutankhamun is simply breath-taking.i
It wasn’t only the Egyptians. The link between gold and value was evident in the art of nearly all European civilisations, many of which had little contact with the others. The existence of gold and silver coins and artefacts from Greece, Rome, and even the Celtic tribes is common knowledge. The great torc of Snettisham was made over 2,000 years ago, and can be seen in the British Museum, looking as fresh as the day it was wrought in Celtic Britain.ii
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