Why Was Gold Considered Valuable in Ancient Times?

Gold has been regarded as one of the most precious metals throughout history. From ancient times to modern-day, gold has been used as a form of currency, jewelry, and even in medicine.

But why was gold considered valuable in ancient times? Let’s explore.

The Rarity of Gold

Gold is a rare metal that is found deep within the earth’s crust. It is estimated that all the gold ever mined would fit into a cube measuring just 20 meters on each side. This rarity made it difficult to obtain and thus increased its value.

Symbolic Importance

Gold was also seen as a symbol of power and wealth. Kings and rulers would adorn themselves with gold, which symbolized their status and authority. The Egyptians believed that gold was an eternal substance that represented the sun god Ra and was associated with immortality.

Practical Uses

Gold is a versatile metal with many practical uses. It does not corrode or tarnish, making it an ideal material for jewelry and decorative objects. Its malleability means it can be easily shaped into intricate designs.


Gold has been used to make jewelry since ancient times due to its beauty and durability. It was often reserved for the wealthy and elite who could afford such luxury items.


Gold has also been used as currency throughout history, particularly during the gold standard era where paper money was backed by physical gold reserves held by central banks.


Gold has medicinal properties too. It has been used to treat ailments such as rheumatoid arthritis and tuberculosis due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

The Role of Religion

Religion played a significant role in how people perceived gold’s value in ancient times. Many cultures saw it as a gift from their gods or goddesses, making it even more precious.

The Aztecs

The Aztecs believed that gold was the sweat of the sun and was therefore sacred. They used it to make jewelry and religious objects.

The Greeks

The ancient Greeks believed that gold was a gift from the gods, and it was often associated with their deities. They also used it to make jewelry and decorative objects.

In Conclusion

Gold’s value in ancient times can be attributed to its rarity, symbolism, practical uses, and religious significance. Its value has remained high throughout history, making it a sought-after commodity even today. Whether as jewelry or as an investment, gold continues to hold a special place in human culture and society.