Golden Horizon

The Value of Responsibility

By US common law, in order to maintain a 'value' standard, currency was always backed by gold. Thus, the "Golden" standard. In the US, that was until 1933, and the relationship between gold and circulated money ultimately halted in 1971
(US timeline).

 

It is true that gold is rare metal, very strong yet malleable. Also, a powerful conductor of heat. Although, to be truly useful, gold must be combined with another form of metal. Gold's origins are debatable, as it is thought to be ancient elemental material descending from space, and other histories recount of it being developed over time in high pressure scenarios under the earth's surface. 


So what makes gold special, and what is the ultimate measurement of gold's 'value'? Given that it not ultimately needed for humans to survive, the answer is in gold's proven ability to maintain 'value' over years - in fact many centuries. Humans have a demand to exchange and have always found methods to trade with equity and value in mind. Whether exchanging for goods, knowledge and information, currency, or even food, gold can be traced back many centuries facilitating trades such as these.

While sustaining a 'value' paradox, gold has been used for varying purposes. Gold is used, and has been used in money, jewellery, dentistry, electronics, space voyage, medicine, decoration, and masonry. More importantly, gold has consistently been used as an option to facilitate autonomous trade when other monetary systems and economic trading platforms have not been operable.

Some interesting facts surrounding the mining of gold:

  • Around 190,040 tons of gold has been mined throughout history where around two thirds of this amount was excavated after 1950. 

  • The majority of 'accounted for' gold lies in the hands of jewellers (around 90,718 tons)

  • Almost half of the gold mined today is used for jewellery purposes

  • The US Federal Reserve holds 6,700 tons of gold, or 530,000 gold bars.

  • In 2013, The gold mining industry created over $171 billion to the top 15 gold-mining economies. 

  • The mining of gold can have substantial effects on the surrounding environments and quality of natural water sources. Extraction of 20 grams of gold spawns 40 metric tonnes of mining waste, consumes almost 8 kg of toxic sodium cyanide, and results in over 520 kg of Greenhouse Gases.

How can we truly value AND apply the ideal of responsibility in relation to gold?

  • Recycle the gold that has already been mined, to an absolute maximum.

  • Differentiate between "searching" versus "excavating" for gold and apply with action.

  • Consider raising the price of raw gold at the 'supply source'. This creates the economic dilemma, "Is it worth searching, excavating, and then mining for?"

  • Hold jewellers accountable to trace where their gold is coming from.

  • The only difference between a one ounce rock and and a one ounce nugget of gold is understood once we go into a completely dark room, place one in the left hand, and the other in the right hand. Then walk out into the light of day and open each hand.

In  where and what does value exist?

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