The Discovery of Gold - Formation, Discovery and Procurement of Gold
Revered by millions around the world for its metallurgical properties and aesthetic allure ever since its discovery, the metal 'Gold' has undeniably played as a pricey and precious treasure for human civilization. Ranging from being used in the form of jewellery, industrial requisite, coinage to a rewarding investment instrument, its area of utility is multifarious in nature.
Since the antiquity era, it has been one of the rarest and most treasured possessions of mankind, which have been extensively harnessed to refine our lives. So, while pondering about the majestic beauty and extensive utility of Gold, have you ever tried to dig out the underlying story of its formation or discovery? Well, here's what you need to know.
How Gold was Formed?
Gold was heralded by the Aztecs as 'the sweat of the sun' which, certainly served as an explicit metaphor for the present-day generation. This high-priced, glittering yellow metal was created due to the cataclysmic supernova of massive stars which, took place after around a hundred million years of the Big Bang. During this catastrophic explosion, tiny atoms of gold were being produced which, then catapulted all over the Universe along with the stack of other debris released in the explosion. Now the next immediate question that would strike your mind is how did this huge assemblage of gold, hurling all around the universe reached our planet Earth?
By analyzing the rock samples of the primitive times with high-precision equipment, scientists have been able to unravel the striking fact that Gold which, is economically or technologically viable; typically known as the consumable Gold, reached the newly-formed Earth with the meteorites, which were packed with various other metals. They have also stated that during the formation of our planet, a massive chunk of molten iron descended into the middle to form the Earth's core, which took along a huge cluster of various other metals including gold, silver with it. Thus, it is believed that the major chunk of gold deposits can be found on the planet's Core instead, of the Crust, from where we usually extract it.
When was Gold Discovered?
Though you would not be able to find much information about the original discoverer of gold while turning back the pages of history, however, traces of gold refining and mining can be found since the early outset of human civilization. The African continent holds a universally-known glorious history where gold was considered to be one of the largest deposits.
Greeks of the ancient era have also talked about the traditional refining processes in which, the fire sitters (refiners) used to work scrupulously for extracting gold from the ores at higher temperatures. By heating the molten gold, the impurities usually rose to the top of crucible whereas, the denser gold sinks to the bottom. The impurities form the shape of a garbage drift and accumulate at top of the fluid, thereby refining the gold and making it utilizable for making jewellery and coinage.
The ancient Romans were also another significant contributor to the widespread popularity of gold as a means of commerce all across the world. With expansion of the Roman Empire, they tried to take their customs and belongings including the Gold coins to their newly-conquered areas thereby, expanding the outreach of gold worldwide.
Where is Generally Gold Found?
Gold, being widely allured as a priceless treasure, has been found in sides of the rock outcroppings, streams and from the Earth's surface. Needless to say that; Gold is mined or panned across several places around the world. Typically, these gold locations have been categorized into two broad categories naming Primary and Secondary.
Major Gold Producing Locations of the World
- Primary Deposits: In the gold mines, typically considered to be the primary deposits, gold is generally found in large heaps or chunks. These mines can be large or small in area, however, but in both cases, gold remains as a part of the structure in the mine. Thus, professional miners and specialized equipment are required to extract the pure gold from the unrefined metal deposits containing dirt and impurities.
- Secondary Deposits: After conducting meticulous research and examining sessions, scientists have stated that; during different times of the prehistoric or ancient era, hot fluids might have flown through the gold-bearing rock formations such as quartz, alluvium and intrusive rocks. Considering the chemical properties and weight of gold, they assumed that it might have been carried off and formed a lode or vein. While examining various other instances, gold nuggets and flakes were disassembled and taken away by the water currents. Gold is a relatively heavier metal and thus, it usually sinks to bottom of the floors and riverbeds, thereby getting covered by dirt and sand.
Two of the largest gold deposits in the world are situated in Africa and Asia. South Africa comprises the largest deposits of gold. Furthermore, the Champion Reefs Mine, which happens to be one of the deepest underground mines of the world is situated in the Kolar region of India. Though this gold mine had been closed way back in 2001, due to declining returns over the gradual passage of time, this region is still believed to accommodate huge deposits of gold.
Over the last two centuries, the North America continent has also flourished as a major source of gold. With huge deposits of gold being procured by the mining companies of United States, Mexico and Canada, North America is giving tough competition to the aforementioned conventional players of the industry.
Though it might apparently seem that Gold mining is typically reserved for the big enterprises, there are many individuals all across the world who relentlessly work to mine and pan for gold. These artisanal miners are undeniably highly knowledgeable and dexterous. Generally, the prospective miners can deploy a set of gold extraction methods, however, an explicit overview on the formation, circulation and procurement of gold will surely help them in conducting the process accurately and earn significant returns.