In 50 a. C., the Romans began to issue a gold coin called Aureus, which comes from the Latin word for gold, Aurum. Gold is such a precious material that for centuries several attempts were made to produce it through alchemy, that is, the chemical transformation of base metals into gold using the philosopher's stone (lapis philosophhorum). Concern about the authenticity of gold led the Egyptians to devise a method for determining the purity of gold around 1500 BC.
C. (or before). Gold has also been used in medicine, for example Pliny in the 1st century BC. suggests that gold should be applied to wounds as a defense against “magic potions”.
Due to the enormous inflation caused by the issuance of base metal coins by the Roman government, but the refusal to accept anything other than silver or gold for the payment of taxes, the value of Oro aureus in relation to the denarius grew dramatically. Even the purest natural gold can contain 5% silver, but lydiums could refine their gold with salt and furnace temperatures of between 600 and 800°C. The salt mixed with silver and formed a vapor of silver chloride that left pure gold that could be used to create a standardized minting with a guaranteed gold content. In South America, the Chavín civilization of Peru used gold in a similar way around 1200 BC.
and the Nazca society perfected gold smelting starting in 500 BC. The first pure gold coins with printed images are attributed to King Croesus of Lydia, between 561 and 546 BC. C., and a contemporary gold refinery has been excavated in the capital, Sardis. During the 3rd century, gold pieces were introduced in a variety of fractions and multiples, making it difficult to determine the expected denomination of a gold coin.
Both men and women wore gold jewelry in the Sumerian civilization around 3000 BC. and gold chains were first produced in the city of Ur in 2500 BC. Although gold was largely controlled by leaders and the rich, non-royal Egyptians were also known to own gold jewelry. Archimedes also knew that the specific gravity of gold is altered according to the percentage content of base metals, for example, pure gold has twice the gravity of silver.
As a decorative coating, gold plating and gold leaf (gold beaten in extremely thin sheets) have been used to decorate shrines, temples, tombs, sarcophagi, statues, ornamental weapons and armor, ceramics, glassware and jewelry since Egyptian times.