The history of gold is the history of the uses that people have found for it, as well as the history of what they have been willing to do in order to get it.

c. 3600 BCE    First smelting of gold
     Egyptian goldsmiths used blowpipes made from clay to heat smelting furnaces in order to melt separate metals.

950 BCE    Solomon builds gold temple
     Solomon’s famed temple was said to have walls and floors overlaid with gold.

600 BCE    First gold dentistry practiced
     The Etruscans made substitute teeth, using gold wire to attach them.

300    First gold nanoparticle
     The Romans melted gold powder into glass, diffusing nanoparticles that refract light.

1803    First gold electroplating practiced
     This was an essential step for many 21st century technologies.

1848     California Gold Rush begins
     John Marshall discovered gold flakes while building a sawmill near Sacramento, California. The greatest gold rush of all time followed, as 40,000 diggers flocked to California from around the world.

1860     Nova Scotian Gold Rush begins
    Joseph Howe, Nova Scotia’s Provincial Secretary (which would be equivalent to being the Premier in the present day) reported, “Some hundreds of persons, tempted by rumours of the Existence of the precious metal, rushed into the woods . . . “

1885     South African Gold Rush begins
    
1961     First gold bonded microchips
     Billions of these chips are bonded every year now, indispensable for many electrical devices.

1961     First gold in space
     This was the first manned space flight; gold was used to protect instruments from radiation.

1985     First gold-based arthritis treatment
     The gold-based drug, Auranofin, was given regulatory approval .
    
2001     First gold used in heart surgery
     A gold-plated stent was used in heart surgery.

2011     Gold in catalytic converters
     For the first time, gold was used in emissions control for automobiles.
  
Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Dian Day, Susan Sellers, Rita Wilson
3600 BCE - 2011
© 2013, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. All Rights Reserved.

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