The human race has had an tumultuous yet strong relationship with gold for millennia. Though it is rather bland as far as chemical elements are concerned, it holds a large amount of value as currency and bullion. Tradition and old-fashioned thinking were the initial cause of its popularity, though it kept a stronghold on its value while its uses changed.
The value of gold comes from its imperishable nature and scarcity. As rings true with diamonds, the duality of its beauty and rarity make it valuable across many cultures. In fact, more than $7.6 trillion worth of the element has been circulated or deposited by the United States alone while 211 tons of it were mined by the U.S. in 2014 alone.
The use of gold as currency stems from its predictability as a chemical element. It is a necessity for currency to be stable, identifiable and not radioactive. These characteristics rule out a large majority of elements on the periodic table, leaving gold as a natural choice.
The increasing popularity of gold as currency transitioned into the use of bullion in the world of banking and investments. It retains its value over paper money due to the fact that it can’t be artificially produced or printed by any governing body. Though it can be diluted, the purest form is 24 karat.
Many investors choose to buy gold bullion to help diversify their investment portfolio. The longstanding value of the element makes it a relatively low-risk investment. The probability of it suddenly becoming worthless overnight is minuscule.
Though uses and ideals for gold have changed over the course of history, one thing has not: it remains one of the most valuable and sought-after natural elements in the world. It’s ability to resist corrosion and corruption make it perfect for use as currency and helps it maintain its reputation among the financial and investment realm.