In recent years, thanks to the international financial crisis, which has undermined the confidence of savers in the share market, there has been what can only be described as an authentic gold rush in many countries of the world.
Many people have begun to want to invest their savings in gold bullion, i.e. a secure investment in both the short and long term.
What is the history of gold bar? How did it start? For what reasons? How has it evolved over history?
According to official sources, it would appear that man began to mine gold about 6,000 years ago, with techniques, of course, that differ greatly than those used in the mining industry today. One of the characteristics that has always been attributed to gold is its rarity, an aspect that makes this metal particularly valuable and sought-after by one and all, irrespective of their location, the period of history and social and economic status.
In ancient times, gold was used like many other materials; it was especially valued for its softness and flexibility when worked, especially when combined with other metal alloys. But over time, man saw its intrinsic value and discovered its function as a store of value.
Gold was indeed well-known to the Persian kings, Egyptians and, of course, also to the ancient Romans, who learned very quickly to recognise the social, political, and economic role of this precious metal. Thus, in these eras, goldsmiths and craftsmen who could work gold, precious metals and other alloys proliferated and became famous.
But when did the real turning point occur that brings us to present day? In which period was the economic role of gold discovered?
The economic and social change was recorded around the 9th century B.C. in the region of Lydia (an area which today corresponds to a region of Turkey, in the tract that encompasses the provinces of Manisa and Smyrna), when the first forms of gold, used as a method of exchange, i.e. currency for trade, began to circulate.
But what led to the shape of the cast bar?
Unfortunately, we are talking about the very distant past and so, there are no certainties. However, some evidence points to the fact that Croesus, the last king of Lydia, had donated 117 gold cast bars to the Temple of Apollo and that, even in Babylon, gold cast bars were already in use in the 3rd millennium B.C. in a standardized weight of about 14 grams each, engraved with the name of the reigning pharaoh. From there, the gold cast bar evolved, varying over the course of history in weight and volume which brings us to present day where the gold cast bar has been confirmed as a store of value and one of the most secure investments in the world.