History behind Gold and Silver

Silver and gold have always been found competing in the race of the ‘precious metals’ with gold usually leading and silver following in its wake. The history of both these metals being considered precious and of great value goes way back. There are numerous mythical theories that seek to explain how the whole tradition of buying and selling these precious metals came into existence. But one does wonder where these valuable metals really originated from?

Let’s have a look at what history has to say about how these metals were discovered.


Gold adopted an incredibly unique and valuable position at the time of its discovery in ancient times, and its history as a precious metal continues to date. The very first evidence of gold and humans coming into contact goes back to the Egyptian era around 3,000 B.C.

Gold plays a significant role in Egyptian mythology, and gold Egyptian jewelry has been found in tombs of various emperors. Also, the capstones on several pyramids were made of solid gold such as those found on the Pyramids of Giza. Archaeological discoveries also include the infamous tomb of King Tutankhamen, an Egyptian pharaoh, with one of the largest collections of gold jewelry to be ever discovered.

Furthermore, ancient history testifies to the fact that Egyptians are the first ever creators of the currency exchange ratio, which basically directed the ratio of superiority of gold over silver. According to that ratio, one piece of gold is equivalent to two and a half parts of silver.

They also produced gold maps that basically acted as directions or guides to abundant deposits of gold and gold mines around the Egyptian kingdom.


Like Gold, the history of silver is long and goes way back into olden times. The first traces of silver being used is said to be some 6,000 years ago and the first instances of silver mining took place around 3,000 B.C. It was first used for jewelry production. It then went on to being used molded into coins which came around during the 7th century B.C., at the same time as gold coins.

Silver was also largely used for decorative purposes due to its malleability and its shelf-life which has been termed as almost permanent. It was one of the most preferred metals by artisans due to its ductility.

Speaking of ancient civilizations, silver mining occurred first in Anatolia after which much of silver production was shifted to Greece, and also across Europe and West Asia. Soon after, in the period of 100 AD, most of silver mining and production was taking place in Spanish mines. Spain, thus, began to be known as the biggest silver suppliers. Like gold, it silver too was cherished by many cultures as soon became a form of currency.

So this is how gold and silver, two of the most valuable metals, have come into form since ancient times. From past civilizations to modern times, both these metals have undergone great changes in terms of value, however, their significance in human history is far from over.

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One Thought to “History behind Gold and Silver”

  1. Kaelyn Long

    Very interesting article! Fun to learn about the history of the metals we all prize.

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