Gold was extracted in Egypt as early as 2000 B.C. and the first gold coins were minted in 50 B.C. in Rome. This shows that people have always been fascinated by gold and by its rarity, durability and beauty.
Gold, a precious metal, mostly appears in alloys and only rarely in its pure form. Because of its physical properties, it is resistant to air, moisture, heat and many solvents. Gold also has a high density. Gold is regarded as a secure investment and is very popular as a means of coverage in times of crisis. Its high value and its rarity and uniqueness make gold a secure financial investment which also withstands inflation.
Because of its properties, gold is also one of the most important industrial raw materials. The yellow precious metal is easily workable and conducts electricity and heat. Because of its excellent conductivity, gold is used particularly in the electrical industry. Gold has also been used in dental technology for around 3000 years. However, gold is used most frequently in the jewelry industry. This line of business accounts for around 75 per cent of the gold worked. Apart from the Antarctic, where mining is not allowed due to international regulations, the precious metal is mined on all continents. With a market share of 16 per cent, South Africa is the most important producer of gold.