posted on Jul, 23 2016 @ 03:42 AM
I disagree... somewhat. The Mayans never had a definitive currency and jade was quite popular both with them and the Chinese. Sure, gold became
popular in their lands, but so did gemstones and semi-precious rocks in Europe. We still value these things today, but we value gold more, like the
Europeans did. I'd argue that gold isn't valuable for its uses and that it isn't valuable because all of humanity gravitates to it. Rather that
humanity gravitates to all things sparkly, shiny, or interesting, but that gold was the one that those who conquered the world were taken with.
It was valuable like silver and others, but I'd argue that what set gold apart was the great marketing of incorporating it into religion. Once gold
became synonymous with holiness and purity people wanted it more. (this paragraph is purely opinion&conjecture.)
Now European countries fanned out to all corners of the world, and gold was among the primary things they took where they went. As you say, British
currency became backed with it and being, even indirectly, it became the currency of the most powerful nation in the world. Now, generally we're
drawn to it because culturally it symbolizes wealth, same with silver though to a lesser extent.
Then good old science came along replicating diamonds. Heck, most gemstones are molecules not elements. Gold however is an element between iron and
lead. Why is this important? Fusion occurs within stars, first from hydrogen to helium, but as the star gains mass you get atoms with more and more
protons in the center of the star. If it burns out you're left with a hunk of that element (and probably others of a lower atomic number.) Now when
you get to the point of fusing iron your star goes supernova on you. Supernovas spit out elements of all sorts of atomic number, but those above lead
eventually decay back down to it as they decay. Thus that magic window makes it not only rare, but impossible to artificially reproduce for the
foreseeable future. Everyone likes a stable investment.
Anywho, there is current demand for it as a conductor in computers, but like with jewellery the old gets recycled into the new, so while it should
bump demand, ideally it's not constantly pulling demand. Also the trait that makes it good for dentistry, plating tableware, ect, is that it's
particularly stable, that is nonreactive. You don't get metallic ions in your mouth leaching off of it. Primarily I'd peg its value on European
culture though. After all, there's hardly a place on earth it hasn't permeated. Had a culture that celebrated mercury or osmium conquered the world
to the extent Europe did, I'd think we'd care more for quicksilver then for silver and gold.
Of course I don't have too many links on hand, so I hope you'll excuse their absence. It didn't really seem right to through out somewhat arbitrary
and unestablished sources to counter your point.