Two Sides to the Coin: A History of Gold
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'For Nature herself makes it plain, I think, that gold is produced with toil, is guarded with difficulty, is most eagerly sought for, and enjoyed with mixed pleasure and pain.' - Diodorus Siculus, 1st Century BC Greek Scholar With today's volatile economic conditions, the question of gold is more pertinent than ever. The world history of gold, from ancient times to the modern-day, has been a history of horrible and unspeakable acts that mankind has committed to obtain it, but also a history of beautiful art and jewelry, sublime religious depictions, magnificent palaces and temples, and a symbol of civilization's greatness and wealth. Gold has inspired and propelled up most of the world's greatest civilizations and then drove them into the ground, leaving nothing behind but gold-filled tombs and temples for their ancestors to rob and excavate. Gold's beauty has inspired mankind to paint, mold, shape, and form its very own gods and, at the same time, forsake those very gods in a frenzy of conquest, pillage, and murder. As if it were pulling the strings in the background, gold has played a hidden role in many well-known world historical events. Gold has motivated wars, built-up civilizations, and driven numerous adventurers into reckless quests in its pursuit. The pursuit of gold has always drawn a thin line between success and disaster. Few that have experienced gold's success have not experienced its downfall as well. Yet many more have experienced its downfall without ever experiencing its success. Despite this, mankind always has, and always will, continue to gamble its fortunes on gold. The immortal words that King Ferdinand relayed to Christopher Columbus provide a sufficient answer to explain why: 'Get gold, humanely if possible, but at all costs, get gold.'