Gold is the most loved and used precious metal. Valued as an asset from times immemorial, it is a dense, soft, malleable and ductile metal with a bright yellow color and luster. A hedge against inflation and safe haven in economic turmoil, it has been always valued. Gold is called Aurum in Latin, and hence the chemical symbol Au. It is quoted in U.S. Dollars per troy ounce and an international lot size consists of 100 troy ounces.
This metal has been a valuable and highly sought-after precious metal for coinage, jewelry, and other arts since long before the beginning of recorded history. In the past, the Gold standard has been implemented as a monetary policy, but it was widely supplanted by fiat currency starting in the 1930s. The last gold certificate and gold coin currencies were issued in the U.S. in 1932. In Europe, most countries left the gold standard with the start of World War I in 1914 and, with huge war debts, did not return to gold as a medium of exchange.
Egyptian hieroglyphs from as early as 2600 BC describe gold, which king Tushratta of the Mitanni claimed was "more plentiful than dirt" in Egypt. Egypt and especially Nubia had the resources to make them major gold-producing areas for much of history. The earliest known map is known as the Turin Papyrus Map and shows the plan of a gold mine in Nubia together with indications of the local geology. The primitive working methods are described by both Strabo and Diodorus Siculus, and included fire-setting. Large mines were also present across the Red Sea in what is now Saudi Arabia.
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Gold quoted in U.S. Dollars