Gold in Antiquity


Gold, chemical symbol Au (from the Latin aurum meaning 'shining dawn'), is a precious metal which has been used since antiquity in the production of jewellery, coinage, sculpture, vessels and as a decoration for buildings, monuments and statues.

More about: Gold in Antiquity


  • c. 5000 BCE
    Electrum (gold and silver alloy) used by the Egyptians in jewellery.
  • c. 3000 BCE
    Sumer civilization in Mesopotamia use gold in jewellery manufacture.
  • c. 2500 BCE
    Egyptians invent the technique of filigree in the manufacture of gold objects.
  • c. 1800 BCE
    Minoans on Crete use gold in jewellery manufacture.
  • c. 1550 BCE
    Gold death masks (including that of 'Agamemnon') made at Mycenae.
  • 1200 BCE
    Chavin civilization in Peru manufactures gold goods.
  • c. 635 BCE - 585 BCE
    Reign of Alyattes of Lydia. Minting of first coins made from electrum.
  • c. 560 BCE
    Croesus of Lydia first manufactures coins of solid gold.