A Glimpse Into Gold
Gold dates back to early human civilization. A revered natural metal, gold was cherished for its imperishable and strikingly beautiful qualities.
Ancient Egyptians used gold to adorn temples and decorate tombs more than 5,000 years ago. Egyptians weren’t the only people to use gold, as the Citadel of Mycenae, located near Nauplion, Greece, held great riches that included gold diadems, figures, masks, jewelry, beads, buttons and cups.
Most ancient civilizations used gold from deposits that were located in the Middle East, near the Upper Nile and Nubian Desert. As gold demands grew, gold mines were further expanded into southern Africa and Yemen. Aztec gold hails from Columbia, though during New World explorations, many European explorers melted Indian artifacts and made them into coins.
Today, gold is used as an exchange medium. Fort Knox Bullion Depository, located near Louisville, Kentucky, contains a substantial vault of U.S. gold stocks. In 1971, the U.S. deregulated gold, causing prices to sore until 1980. With gold prices increasing, more prospectors began to open gold mines.
Gold is considered a “noble” metal, as it doesn’t oxidize. Pure gold is soft and has a density of 19.3. Because of gold’s density, gold separates easily from silt, clay, gravel and sand, which is why sluice boxes, gold pans and rockers are regularly used in the gold mining process.
Gold is found in two different types of deposits: lode and placer.
- Lode – Primary lode deposits are highly prized by hard rock prospectors. Geologists have several hypotheses about why gold is found in lode deposits. One involves geothermal activity, which helps separate metals from rocks, which allows gold to form veins. Another hypothesis suggests that gold-bearing solutions are expressed when magma cools, and a third hypothesis highlights the mountain building process, where earth’s terrain was subjected to chemical reactions, intense pressure and high temperatures.
- Placer – Placers are secondary forms of deposits derived from the aforementioned lode deposits. These are often exposed by disintegration, erosion or decomposition. These deposits are generally located in gravel and in coarse sands, containing a wide variety of heavy minerals. Geologists believe that erosion and intense weather are responsible for creating these rich placer deposits.
With gold consumption continually increasing, geologists are playing a significant role in gold prospecting. They specialize in studying the earth’s joints, fractures, folds and faults, determining where excessive heat and pressure may have formed valuable mineral deposits.
Mineloans.com helps keep gold prospectors’ dreams alive by offering gold mine loans. With more than 75 gold deposits being found in the U.S. over the last 20 years, Mineloans.com understands the valuable role this ancient commodity plays in modern-day society. Mineloans.com also offers coal mine loans and natural gas loans.