The Jewelry Insider

April 8, 2009

From hidden gold treasure to golden rivers of fortune, is there a place where all that glitters is gold? Jewelry.com finds out.

No other metal or gem has a history that even comes near to the myths, legends, facts and fiction that surround gold. From the earliest symbol of idolatry to a mythical city built from the glittering material, there’s nothing that can arouse as much debate as gold’s golden history. Some think it’s garish, others great. Some think it’s good, others believe it’s evil. Some say it’s a symbol of wealth, others a sign of wickedness. But one thing’s for sure – most of us still yearn for a pot of it at the end of the rainbow.

From ancient times, gold has been connected to religion and spirituality, especially associated with the Sun. In the Book of Genesis, Abraham was said to be rich in gold and silver, and Moses was instructed to cover the Mercy Seat of the Ark of the Covenant with pure gold.

They say that ‘all that glitters is not gold’ – yet since time in memmorium, adventurers, fortune seekers and opportunists have disagreed – often dying in the search for their pot of gold.

These days a pot of gold is just a click away. In fact, you don’t even have to get up from your chair in order to find your own magical pot of gold. Glamorous golden jewels are the staple of any well-thought-out jewelry collection. But years ago, the hunt for gold was a far more risky, even deadly affair. Jewelry.com takes a look at some of gold’s most famous fables.

Blackbeard’s Gold

According to legend, Blackbeard, a pirate who prowled the oceans off of North and South Carolina and Virginia in the early 1700s, buried a large treasure that included vast amounts of gold. Historians doubt the truth of this story, yet it hasn’t dissuaded thousands of eager treasure hunters diving the seas in search of Blackbeard’s bounty.

El Dorado

Beyond the normal greed and racism that drove the Spanish Conquistadors to commit the acts they did in the new world was the search for the legendary City of Gold, El Dorado. In the 1500s, they searched for the city, expecting to find it with each exploration, then changing its location to drive their men into new regions. By the middle of the 1500s, they had pillaged and plundered all the way
to Western New Mexico. Does El Dorado really exist? Probably not, but no-one knows for sure?

The Wind River Gold

During the great Gold Rush ‘out West’, legends abounded regarding huge sources of gold hiding in rivers and underground caves. As the hunters poured into the region at the turn of the century, stories spread and so did the desperation of the miners searching for their lucky strike. One typical story is the legend of a group of prospectors in the Wind River Mountains who found large nuggets of
gold in a stream. Marauding natives killed two of the men, and the third fled the area. When he returned to the area months later to search for the cabin where they had hidden their gold, he could not find it. Legend has it that the gold is still in its original hiding place.

Luckily today, if you want to strike it rich with jewels of gold, you don’t need to travel the seas or hunt through foreign countries. A simple trip to the nearest jeweler can satisfy even the most Midas among us.

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