The price of gold has been ascending astronomically to new levels despite the fall in the global economy. Gold is highly valuable and a very versatile metal. It is known as the King of metals, it is one of the Noble Metals. It is extremely useful and non-corrosive in nature, in other words has high durability. In its pure form, Gold is practically imperishable when it comes to corrosion or oxidation. Hence it is in its intact form in ancient tombs wherein mummies were from centuries ago.
HISTORY OF GOLD
Gold, the yellow metal which lay inside the earth to the humankind centuries ago. Its very existence initially starts near riverbanks and streams. It was of great use in the principal medium for barter exchange. The earliest history of human interaction with gold are in association with the Gods, immortality and with wealth. They are common to many cultures around the world.
Early civilizations of gold with Gods and rulers and gold is their symbol of glorification. As we all know, the royal families adorned themselves with jewelries all made of gold and even erected deities of gold which increased their grandeur. Around 1500 BC Egyptians also erected their own idols for worship with gold and also even jewelries. Also the manufacturing of gold coins called Shekel became the standard unit of measure. The Romans in 50 BC began issuing gold coins and called it Aurum, therefore providing the chemical name to gold- Au.
The establishment of pound, pence, and shillings are of silver which became the new coin system and replaced gold. Later in 1792 a goldsmith Ephraim Brasher made the first US gold coin. The United States then came with a Coinage Act placing both silver and gold but later in 1976 the removal of gold from the coin system gave rise to fiat money. Back-tracking to 1868 in South Africa a man named George Harrison found some gold in his backyard and since then they started mining gold. Now South Africa produces 40% of the world’s mined gold.
Types Of Gold
It constitutes 100 percent gold metal without any impurities in it. It is of a really great use for jewelers to make royal jewelry. This is very fragile in nature and one can even twist it using their fingers or scratch it with their nails. Nowadays it is of great use in plating, decorating etc. In some places they even add it in eatables such as for meat, various desserts and alcoholic drinks.
Yellow Gold Alloy
It looks like pure gold but contains a mixture of silver and zinc in it. This helps in maintaining the colour of gold. Many jewelries are of yellow gold which are durable, in other words they are not fragile and one cannot bend it using their fingers and hence can be worn regularly. To ensure the purity of the gold the jewelers engrave the karat rating on each jewelry. This information is the part of the quality mark or hallmark.
Coloured Gold Alloys
They are similar to yellow gold and it also contains impurities other than silver and zinc. The most common types of coloured gold are White gold and Rose gold. It is a procedure of adding gold and white metal such as copper, zinc, palladium, etc. If one takes a look at the hallmark of the jewellery, he will know the percentage of gold it contains.
There are various techniques of gold layering which are made using yellow or coloured gold alloys. They are:
- Gold Filled– is made by jewellers using brass and a mixture of copper and zinc. Then it is covered with 2-3 layers of gold alloy. One can get gold filled as single-clad for that shows gold only on the outside. One can also get double-clad where the gold alloy is covered on both sides.
- Rolled Gold– It is a procedure of using thin sheets of gold alloy to a core made of brass. This technique of layering is very common for making watches. It has very low quantity of gold as it requires only half the amount of gold alloy.
- Gold Plating– is also known as gold dipped jewelry. It is a way of applying gold alloy to brass or any other metal which acts as the base. It usually contains one tenth of the gold alloy and so it is very affordable. This type of gold plating is likely to wear off over time.
- Electroplated Gold– is a layering of gold using electric current to charge the metal that acts as the base. The immersing of gold into a solution containing positive charge ions takes place. It attaches to the base metal as it is of negative charge and the gold layer establishes a coating on it. This technique creates a very durable gold layer.
Inflation of Gold Price
Gold price and interest rates have a complete opposite relationship. When the interest rates in banks decreases people tend to buy gold by breaking their deposits. Hence the gold prices increases with the increase in demand. On the other hand when the interest rate increases people sell the gold and invest in banks. Hence the gold price decreases. Gold is a way of setting a standard and establishing glamour for men and women. Many people buy gold ornaments and it is also a reason for the increase in gold price.
In the last ten years, interest rates have been steadily decreasing and the gold price has been inflating. Then, in 2010 the gold price was approximately Rs 18,500 per 10 grams (24 karat). In 2020 despite of Covid-19 pandemic the price of 24 karat gold increased marginally to 48,200(approx.) per 10 grams. In the pandemic situation online marketing has assisted people in buying gold and hence there has been no impact on gold price.
Gold can influence people in both positive and negative ways. In a positive way, as value of gold is increases, many people can make profits by selling gold when its price is very high. It can also turn into a negative aspect as a person cannot determine the price of any metal. It depends on the demand of the metal hence price of gold will be tentative and might decrease anytime.