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The Gold Show is for entertainment purposes only and not financial advice.
A Brief History of Gold
3600 BC: Egyptians smelt the first gold.
2600 BC: The first gold jewelry is seen in Egypt, as well as the earliest know maps showing the plan of a gold mine. Hieroglyphs describe gold as being “more plentiful than dirt”.
1223 BC: The famous Tutankhamun’s funeral mask is made from gold.
600 BC: A crude mix of gold and silver is used to forge the first gold coins in Lydia, Asia Minor.
560 BC: The Lydians perfect the art of refining these metals to create the world’s first bi-metallic coinage with gold and silver. They are called Croesids after their King, Croesus. Croesids begin to be used as a form of currency as the gold content was so standard.
546 BC: Persians capture the King of Lydia and adopt gold as their main metal for coins.
500 AD: The ancient Chinese state of Chu begins circulating a gold square coin. The Ying Yuan.
1300: Goldsmith’s Hall in London establishes hallmarking.
1370-1420: The Great Bullion Famine sees gold mines in Europe become overly prevalent and nearly emptied.
1489: Under the reign of King Henry VII the first gold Sovereign is struck.
1717: The gold standard is set in the UK. Meaning currency was now linked to gold at a fixed rate.
1816: During the industrial revolution the way we produce money and the financial landscape, in general, is forever changed. Matthew Boulton and James Watt invent steam-powered coining presses that make the money-making process far more efficient. The Royal Mint also moves from The Tower of London to Tower Hill.
1848: James W Marshall finds gold at Sutter’s Mill in Coloma sparking the California Gold Rush.
1870-1900: The entire world, except China, adopts the gold standard.
1914: The First World War caused many countries to move to fractional gold standards which inflated their currencies. The gold standard doesn’t return to these countries until 1925.
1944: The Bretton Woods Agreement changes the financial system after the Second World War replacing the gold standard with a system of nominally convertible currencies related by fixed exchange rates.
Gold initially served as the base reserve currency but the US dollar slowly becomes the reserve currency, which, in turn, is linked to the price of gold. Banks continue to keep a portion of their liquidity in gold reserves.
The World Bank and International Monetary Fund are both established.
1971-73: The Bretton Woods Agreement US President Richard Nixon abandons effectively meaning they can print money at will.
1999: The first Central Bank Gold Agreement (CBGA) is agreed upon. European banks secure gold as a continued part of their monetary reserves. A cap on gold sales of 400 tonnes per year is also added over the next five years.
2010: The president of the World Bank advocates a return to the gold standard in a bid to help combat floating exchange rates.
2014: A new bullion trading platform is launched by The Royal Mint allowing investors to purchase gold bullion coins directly from The Royal Mint.
2015: Royal Mint Refinery branded gold bars return for the first time in over half a century.
The Royal Mint also launches Digital Gold allowing the purchase of percentages of physical gold by investors from as little as £20.
2020: The Royal Mint’s first financially listed product is released, the RMAU, and is the first Sovereign Mint in Europe to launch a physically-backed gold exchange-traded on the London Stock Exchange.
Disclaimer: This is not financial advice.
Last updated: November 27, 2020
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