Ticker Symbol: GYST 

Gold’s Uses Throughout History

January 5, 2012 by  
Filed under About Gold

Gold was the first metal widely known to man. This naturally occurring metal can be found as nuggets or nested in rocks. Its brilliance and malleability makes it fun to work with and easy to mold into shapes.

Since being discovered, gold has been used in jewelry, science, and currency and it remains a highly-coveted commodity. The history of gold is broad and fascinating, dating back to very early days when it was first discovered in 4000 B.C. by an Eastern European culture. Since then the river of gold has twisted and turned through the progression of currency, the development of science, the exploration of space, and the creation of technology.

Currency and Jewelry

From 3000 B.C. until 1284 A.D. gold had been used to create jewelry and build a currency that extended from Iraq and Egypt to China and Britain.

  • In 3000 B.C. the Sumer civilization of southern Iraq began creating jewelry out of this brilliantly magical element.
  • In 2500 B.C. gold was buried in the king’s tomb of the first Egyptian Dynasty.
  • In 1500 B.C. Nubia’s gold created wealth for Egypt and it became recognized as a standard exchange for international trade. The Shekel then followed as the standard unit of measure in the Middle East, containing a naturally occurring alloy of two-thirds gold.
  • In 1200 B.C. the Egyptians began to beat their gold into a thin sheet, or leaf, to extend its use. They also began experimenting by alloying it with other metals. Still in use today, they began casting gold into fashionable jewelry.
  • The use of gold in currency continued, extending to China in 1091 B.C., when China legalized small squares of gold as currency. Then in 1284 A.D. Venice introduced the gold ducat, which quickly became the most popular coin in the world. In this time, Great Britain also created its first major gold coin, the Florin. The Florin then eventually became the Guinea, which was replaced by the British pound that we know today.

Space, Computers, and Communications

As the U.S. gold rush ramped up, gold was found to be useful for more than simply beautiful jewelry and coins. The European Rheumatism Council, AT&T Bell, and NASA all found uses for this brilliant metal.

  • In 1803 the first U.S. gold rush was born as this hot commodity was discovered on U.S. soil in North Carolina.
  • Later on in 1935 gold came into play as Western Electric Alloy #1 was used in the universal switching contact for AT&T telecommunications equipment.
  • In 1960 AT&T Bell Laboratories invented a laser that used gold-coated mirrors to maximize infrared reflection into the lasing crystal. The European Rheumatism Council also used gold intravenously to treat rheumatoid arthritis.
  • In 1965 the first space walk was made using a gold-coated visor that is still in use as a safety feature for astronauts to this day.
  • In 1968 gold began its introduction into computer technology when Intel created a computer microchip that was interconnected with gold circuits.
  • In 1970 the charge-coupled device was invented at Bell Telephone Laboratories. This device is used to collect electrons generated by faint light from the stars. This technology is still used in hundreds of items today, such as the video camera.
  • In 1971 the colloidal gold marker system was created and spheres of gold were used in health research laboratories to tag proteins, revealing their function in the body.
  • In 1980 the first space shuttle used gold-coated impellers in its liquid hydrogen fuel pump.
  • In 1986 the first new gold jewelry alloy was introduced in this century that was easier to work into designs and more durable when fired.
  • In 1996 the Mars Global Surveyor incorporated an onboard gold-coated parabolic telescope-mirror that generated a detailed map of the entire Martian surface.

Ever since its first discovery, gold has been a central theme in currency, crucial in the development of communications, and a contributor to the advancement of science. Beautiful and easy to work with, this brilliant metal has always been in high demand and coveted across nations for its value and beauty.

As one of the most valuable currencies worldwide, gold symbolizes wealth across the world and is used in just about every facet of modern civilization.

Interview with CFO Joseph Mezey

January 3, 2012 by  
Filed under Company News

The Lifespan of Gold: From Formation in the Earth to Processing and Use

January 2, 2012 by  
Filed under About Gold

From the time that it is first carried throughout the rocks and soil until the time at which it appears in a circuit board or as a ring on a finger, gold is formed, processed, and used—gold is in a constant state of repurposing.

Gold is moved from deep underground and then mined after it is deposited nearer to the earth’s surface. Gold is then processed and formed into a great many things in today’s world. It is used by technology, science, and the fashion industry in many ways. A single atomic substance naturally found in the earth, humans have built empires from its brilliance and made lasting commitments by its glow.

The Formation of Gold

There are many theories surrounding how gold is redistributed within the earth. Some believe that gold was once in a molten state, and solidified to create deposits. But it is understood that gold is actually re-deposited by circulating hot water that cools as it reaches the earth’s outer surface, and ends up in specific areas that exhibit the correct conditions.

Intensely hot water deep within the earth brings elements such as gold into a solution form, which is then moved from one place to another by convection. As gold is moved and the water cools, gold nuggets and veins form as this metal solidifies.

Often veins form through natural fissures in the rock, or between two different substances where liquid is better circulated. Creating gold crystals requires a very specific set of circumstances, and therefore gold is most often found in oddly shaped lumps and mounds, instead of in crystalline shapes.

Mining and Processing Gold

Mining begins with ore samples that are taken from the area to help the miners determine the correct extraction process. The gold found in nuggets is easier to detect when mining for gold, and it offers more bang for one’s mining buck as well. But more often than not, gold is spread out throughout an area, making it more difficult to collect. Low-grade gold can be dissolved out using cyanide, whereas high grade gold is often first extracted from the ground, and then dissolved and separated.

Once gold and other rocks are removed from the ground, they are crushed into powder and mixed into a mud. This mud is then filtered to separate the gold from the other elements and liquid. Other methods include leaching the gold by roasting it and then extracting the gold by dissolving it in a liquid and then allowing it to deposit onto activated carbon.

Refining Gold

After being mined, gold is then refined by stripping out its impurities. These impurities are eliminated by melting down the gold and then treating it with chloride. This chloride treatment causes any excess metals to drift off so that a purer gold remains. To complete the refining process, an electrical current is passed through the gold to strip out any remaining impurities.

Gold’s Uses in Modern Life

Although most popularly recognized in the form of jewelry and coins, gold is also used throughout everyday lifein a great many ways, such as:

  • Aerospace – Gold’s reflective properties help protect astronauts and spacecraft from the sun’s heat and radiation. Rocket engines have gold tubing to safely carry liquid hydrogen, and weather satellites deflect heat.
  • Medicine – In medicine, gold is used to focus lasers, create more accurate thermometers, develop life-saving drugs, and study DNA.
  • Transportation – In cars, gold is used to create reliable contacts and sensors for airbags. Commercial airplanes use gold-bonded compressor vanes to cool down turbines, and infrared equipment is used to monitor air-pollutants to ensure safe working environments. Miners themselves benefit from gold by relying on gold-activated monitors that help warn them of low oxygen levels.
  • Technology – Gold is used throughout technology in circuitry, telecommunications, and many sophisticated electronics.

Gold is found across the globe in some form or another, from its original location deep within the earth, to its use in modern-day living and currency.