The oldest archeological finds that point out that humankind have been mining for gold for at least seven thousand years were the gold artifacts recovered from the Varna Necropolis that was excavated in Bulgaria. The graves at this archeological sites are estimated to have been established anywhere between 4500 BC.
The fact that gold was common during ancient times is a well known fact. Gold was not as scarce as it is now during the Bronze Age. During the reign of Emperor Justinian who controlled the Eastern Roman Empire at the height of his leadership, the gold amassed by his empire was mostly mine in the Balkans, Armenia, Nubian and Egypt.
The early methods of mining of gold was common during that time due to the cosmetic value of the heavy element rather than the scarcity of it. Gold was mostly turned into gold jewelry. The shine of the gold seem to be the first factor in humankind’s interest into this heavy soft element that has a never ceasing shine. The Slovak gold deposit is thought to be the largest gold mine with the most output during medieval times.
India also seems to have been one of the major gold producers during ancient time. The Kolar gold fields were mined to depths of 50 meters, an amazing feet accomplished during ancient times. The Second Boer War which was initiated by the discovery of gold in Witwatersrand was actually also the founding of what is known now as South Africa.
The founding of cities, states and empires due to gold is not uncommon. Presently California, which was nothing but a back watershed before the discovery of gold that led to the gold rush of 1849. An estimated two hundred thousand gold prospectors were seen making an exodus to California on that very year.
The back water shed was turned in a bustling city within a few months and saw the surrounding areas grow in commerce and population. The same scenario transpired in Australia, from being a land that was supposed to be filled with convicts, the discovery of gold by some of the convicts themselves turned Land Down Under into what it has become today.
This phenomenon of wasteland turning into land of opportunities due to gold has been happening for the past two thousand years or more ever since gold stopped being a cosmetic item and started being considered a precious metal and a tangible trading element in commerce.
Today the majority of gold in existance is either used in the manufacturing of jewellery items, as an investment when people buy gold bullion bars and gold coins, and in consumer electronics along with aerospace engineering.