The use of gold in the modern era has extended far beyond monetary purposes. Gold is now used in everything from astronaut helmets to windows that protect from the sun, which just goes to show the evolution of technology and the numerous applications that gold can now be used for.

Gold remains one of the most expensive elements in this world today, but it has been around for centuries, so when was the first discovery of gold?

First discovery of gold

Many people believe that gold was first found in 1848 by a man named James W. Marshall in California. Supposedly, Marshall discovered gold on 24th January 1848 in Sutter Creek near Coloma in California. However, this can’t have been the first discovery of gold, as the use of gold dates back much, much further than the 1800’s. In fact, flakes of gold have been located in Palaeolithic caves which date back as far as 40,000 B.C.

One of the first pieces of evidence of humans interacting with, or possessing gold, comes from around 3,000 B.C. in Ancient Egypt. Gold played a large role in Egyptian society, being highly prized by Pharaoh’s and Temple Priests, and was thought of so highly that the capstones on the Pyramids of Giza were made from solid gold. From the Ancient Egyptian era, gold use moved through into Ancient Greek times, being viewed as a social status symbol for immortal gold and demigods. The discussion of gold through time even dates back to The Bible. The lands of Havilah, near Eden, were described in Genesis 2:10-12 as a place where good gold could be found.

However, following the 1848 discovery in California, this started a number of gold rushes in the USA around the world. Within 2 years of gold being discovered in California, the population of San Francisco grew from around 1,000 to 25,000 as prospectors from across the globe migrated in the hopes of finding large quantities of gold and getting rich.

The first major American gold rush began in North Carolina in 1799 after a young boy came across a 17-pound gold nugget in Cabarrus County. These major gold rushes continued all over the world into the latter half of the 19th Century.

The continuing discovery of gold today

In the modern day era, the majority of gold enriched locations are known to us and are still being mined, with the Witwatersrand Basin in South Africa representing the richest gold field ever discovered. An estimated 40% of all gold ever mined is said to have come from the Witwatersrand Basin. Although the accidental discoveries of gold in nature is now an uncommon occurrence, gold is still actively being mined across the world, just at lower levels.

Fancy selling some gold you own?

If you have any gold lying around at home collecting dust and not being used then why not get some cash from it?

At The Manchester Gold Exchange, we offer same day cash payments for your gold items at competitive rates! We buy a wide range of different types of gold, whether that’s gold jewellery – broken or not, ornaments or any bullion or coins you may have but no longer want to keep hold of.

Find out more about our gold selling process or get in touch today to receive a quote, you can come in and see us for our free valuation services at Victoria House, Great Ancoats Street, M4 7DB or call us on 0161 273 2511.