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Why is gold still valuable if it's not money anymore?


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40 minutes ago, Manticore said:

I know that, but they are in no way different to mined diamonds.

Synthetic diamonds are small. Smaller number of carats.

The world record of synthetic diamond in 2016 was 10.07-carats.

http://www.jewellermagazine.com/Article.aspx?id=7039&h=‘World’s-largest’-synthetic-diamond-record-broken-again

40 minutes ago, Manticore said:

The entire ornamental diamond industry was created by de Beers in the 1930s by a massive advertising campaign.

Queen Victoria had diamond crown in XIX century...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Small_Diamond_Crown_of_Queen_Victoria

Diamond jewelry industry for nobles, kings and queens predate 1930 by centuries, if not millenniums.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crown_Jewels_of_the_United_Kingdom

After I world war they vanished in many European countries, so alternative customer was needed.

"The first well-documented use of a diamond ring to signify engagement was by the Archduke Maximilian of Austria in imperial court of Vienna in 1477, upon his betrothal to Mary of Burgundy."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Engagement_ring

 

ps. I agree it's silly usage, for jewelry, either of Gold or Diamond. I am using Gold in scientific experiments. It's good at stopping radiation, and inside of scientific apparatus.

Edited by Sensei
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I provided a source showing that gold is currently worth about $1,290 per troy ounce. So shut up.

Why is gold still valuable if it's not money anymore? Might make more sense if the question read: Why is money still valuable if it's not gold anymore?

It isn't. It isn't. Let me help you out by disposing of any excess and valueless gold you have. I'll even refund you the postage.

On 8/16/2017 at 11:35 PM, dstebbins said:

 

So what gives? Why is gold still so valuable?

This is a easy one:

Gold dose not oxidize. 

Gold is highly efficient conductor 

Gold is free from corrosion 

Gold is helping with arthritis

Gold has been used for over 4000 years. And it is the most beautiful and scared item of all time. 

Gold is flexible and malleable

Gold is good for like to absorb heat. Great for space travelling 

Gold is rare and hard to come across and it is a perfect unit for currency exchange.

Gold is not toxic 

And 1 thousands more important values for gold 

 

Edited by Baron d'Holbach
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8 hours ago, Manticore said:

I wouldn't call them "fakes" - a fake is something that is not real - they are real diamonds, just manufactured rather than found.

I'm sure a skilled satirist could make something pointed of that which would evoke Paley and the Watch on the Heath, while ridiculing YECs. But where is a skilled satirist when you need one?

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10 hours ago, Manticore said:

I know that, but they are in no way different to mined diamonds. The entire ornamental diamond industry was created by de Beers in the 1930s by a massive advertising campaign.

Diamonds are intrinsically worthless, except for the deep psychological need they fill.

-De Beers chairman Nicky Oppenheimer

They also keep them relatively scarce, I think.

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I have wondered in the past what the initial appeal of gold was. Earliest known gold mines date back 7,000 years. That is a few thousand years before humans started making and using cions. Gold is too soft to have been terribly useful for tool construction. It is nice to look at I suppose but mining it requires a lot of effort and logistics. It strikes me as odd that societies which had just began cultivating gain, domesticating livestock, and etc would waste their time and resources mining for gold. That said the obsession with gold isn't a universal one. While gold mines in Eastern Europe go back 7,000 years they only go back several hundred years in the Americas. Until the miodern era gold has really never been used for anything other than currency or decoration. It seems its value, like the value of any currency, exists within what people project onto it.

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11 minutes ago, Ten oz said:

I have wondered in the past what the initial appeal of gold was. Earliest known gold mines date back 7,000 years. That is a few thousand years before humans started making and using cions. Gold is too soft to have been terribly useful for tool construction. It is nice to look at I suppose but mining it requires a lot of effort and logistics.

Originally, it wasn't mined. It was found in rivers and below the surface (possibly while digging crops). It was only later, after the easy stuff had been found, that serious mining started.

11 minutes ago, Ten oz said:

It strikes me as odd that societies which had just began cultivating gain, domesticating livestock, and etc would waste their time and resources mining for gold.

Because of its intrinsic decorative properties (and scarcity) it would have rapidly become a medium for barter. Rather than having to transport animals or perishable fruit large distance to exchange them for spices or cloth, you can exchange them locally for some intermediate product that is easier to transport (gold, salt, silver, weapons, jewels, etc) and then take those to the people who have the goods you want.

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3 minutes ago, Strange said:

Originally, it wasn't mined. It was found in rivers and below the surface (possibly while digging crops). It was only later, after the easy stuff had been found, that serious mining started.

Because of its intrinsic decorative properties (and scarcity) it would have rapidly become a medium for barter. Rather than having to transport animals or perishable fruit large distance to exchange them for spices or cloth, you can exchange them locally for some intermediate product that is easier to transport (gold, salt, silver, weapons, jewels, etc) and then take those to the people who have the goods you want.

"graves of the necropolis were built between 4700 and 4200 BC, indicating that gold mining could be at least 7000 years old.[2] A group of German and Georgian archaeologists claims the Sakdrisi site in southern Georgia, dating to the 3rd or 4th millennium BC, may be the world's oldest known gold mine"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gold_mining

 

No doubt gold was found in rivers and what not well before mining began. That said the oldest mines are believed to go date back 7,000 years. As for its decorative properties and use as currency I mentioned that. It is what happened. Gold along with other precious stone became currency.

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dstebbins,

I think the biggest reason, outside its beauty and utility is its scarcity.  The same percentage of the Earth's crust is gold as it ever was.  In fact a little rarer since good mines have been emptied of the richest veins.

Diamonds are carbon, which is pretty common, but big diamonds, and clear diamonds and perfect diamonds cut by experts are rare, scarce and because of it valuable.  

People often like the same thing for the same reasons.  When there is only one available, it becomes priceless, it is so valuable.  When something is scarce it can be used as money, as a store of value, because everybody wants it or needs it. Like salt.  Easy to come by if you are near a salt mine, but not easy if you are away from the oceans.  Looking on google Earth at some places in Africa you see large colorful patches where sea water is evaporated to yield the minerals and salt.   Still valuable because we all need salt...even though it is not money anymore.

Regards, TAR

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13 hours ago, tar said:

dstebbins,

I think the biggest reason, outside its beauty and utility is its scarcity.  The same percentage of the Earth's crust is gold as it ever was.  In fact a little rarer since good mines have been emptied of the richest veins.

Diamonds are carbon, which is pretty common, but big diamonds, and clear diamonds and perfect diamonds cut by experts are rare, scarce and because of it valuable.  

People often like the same thing for the same reasons.  When there is only one available, it becomes priceless, it is so valuable.  When something is scarce it can be used as money, as a store of value, because everybody wants it or needs it. Like salt.  Easy to come by if you are near a salt mine, but not easy if you are away from the oceans.  Looking on google Earth at some places in Africa you see large colorful patches where sea water is evaporated to yield the minerals and salt.   Still valuable because we all need salt...even though it is not money anymore.

Regards, TAR

Scarcity only really matters when it's useful (helium, for example) gold will be next to worthless in a global famine.

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2 hours ago, dimreepr said:

Scarcity only really matters when it's useful (helium, for example) gold will be next to worthless in a global famine.

Which is why I find it odd humans have been mining it for 7,000 years. Gold mines in the 40th century BC seem like a waste of resources. Perhaps that was the point though. Societies with enough resources to waste on gold could then use the gold as an example of their prosperity.

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15 minutes ago, Ten oz said:

Which is why I find it odd humans have been mining it for 7,000 years. Gold mines in the 40th century BC seem like a waste of resources. Perhaps that was the point though. Societies with enough resources to waste on gold could then use the gold as an example of their prosperity.

it's an ornamental metal that stays shiny and easy to work.

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27 minutes ago, Ten oz said:

Societies with enough resources to waste on gold could then use the gold as an example of their prosperity.

I think that is a key point. As soon as agriculture was developed and animals domesticated, and before in some cases(*), societies had a surplus of time and goods to trade with others. (Goods, rather than just food, because the artisans would have also had ore time to produce more pots, clothes, jewellery, weapons, etc. than previously. And services.) And as soon as you have trade, you want to progress beyond barter.

(*) I don't think all hunter-gather (pre-agricultural) societies existed purely at a subsistence level.

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8 minutes ago, StringJunky said:

it's an ornamental metal that stays shiny and easy to work.

True but the softness that makes it easy to work with also makes it a poor material for tools. 40th century BC its use would have been decorative more than anything else. The existence of mines proves it had value to people. I am not questioning that. Obviously it was sought after. I am not sure it being shiny was the reason....or maybe it was. Just seems like a big expenditure of reasons for something that looks pretty.

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2 minutes ago, Ten oz said:

True but the softness that makes it easy to work with also makes it a poor material for tools. 40th century BC its use would have been decorative more than anything else. The existence of mines proves it had value to people. I am not questioning that. Obviously it was sought after. I am not sure it being shiny was the reason....or maybe it was. Just seems like a big expenditure of reasons for something that looks pretty.

People like shiny. :)

Edited by StringJunky
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Just now, Strange said:

I think that is a key point. As soon as agriculture was developed and animals domesticated, and before in some cases(*), societies had a surplus of time and goods to trade with others. (Goods, rather than just food, because the artisans would have also had ore time to produce more pots, clothes, jewellery, weapons, etc. than previously. And services.) And as soon as you have trade, you want to progress beyond barter.

(*) I don't think all hunter-gather (pre-agricultural) societies existed purely at a subsistence level.

I suspect this to be true. Following agriculture societies have the prosperity to start building pyramids and all manner of things to display the progress and affluence of their societies.

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Just now, StringJunky said:

People like shiny. :)

And the nice shiny things would have been taken (or given to) the elders/priests/etc hence increasing the scarcity value, and its symbolic importance.

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This is speculative. Several early religions involved, I understand, sun worship. The shining of a gold nugget, or object fashioned from it, may have been interpreted as the presence of the sun and therefore of the sun-god, here with us. This would surely have enhanced its value.

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44 minutes ago, Area54 said:

This is speculative. Several early religions involved, I understand, sun worship. The shining of a gold nugget, or object fashioned from it, may have been interpreted as the presence of the sun and therefore of the sun-god, here with us. This would surely have enhanced its value.

Nice

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59 minutes ago, Area54 said:

This is speculative. Several early religions involved, I understand, sun worship. The shining of a gold nugget, or object fashioned from it, may have been interpreted as the presence of the sun and therefore of the sun-god, here with us. This would surely have enhanced its value.

Sun drops. :)

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1 hour ago, Ten oz said:

I am not sure it being shiny was the reason....or maybe it was. Just seems like a big expenditure of reasons for something that looks pretty.

 

Polished Gold could be used as mirror...

"Spanish chronicler Diego Durán described the image of Tezcatlipoca in the Great Temple of Tenochtitlan as being fashioned from polished obsidian and bearing a mirror of polished gold. The deity was supposed to observe everything that happened in the world through his mirror."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirrors_in_Mesoamerican_culture

 

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On 8/20/2017 at 5:07 PM, Strange said:

Just noticed that the price of bitcoins has shot up in the last few months. So even something that doesn't exist can have a high value.

The price of gold might be weird, but at least it is a commodity with an immense practical value. The "value" of bitcoins and dash and other internet currency is even more bizarre, and I just don't understand how it operates. It is based on nothing at all other than the price somebody is prepared to pay for it. But it represents nothing. Why has the value rocketed over the past year? Perhaps it deserves its own thread.

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2 minutes ago, DrKrettin said:

The price of gold might be weird, but at least it is a commodity with an immense practical value. The "value" of bitcoins and dash and other internet currency is even more bizarre, and I just don't understand how it operates. It is based on nothing at all other than the price somebody is prepared to pay for it. But it represents nothing. Why has the value rocketed over the past year? Perhaps it deserves its own thread.

I see no real difference, gold does have uses but none that can't be replaced, it all comes down to the simple fact that influential people say it has value, which will evaporate when fundamental needs can't be met by money/gold/bitcoins.

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