gold is basically the only awesome looking thing which isn't a stone you could pick up on a average prehistoric day - yeah they loved it, during the
stone age the first metals we used were those that didn't require smelting and those which were easy to work - gold obviously fits into this
As we moved into the early bronze age gold was still the only easily workable metal we had, rocks couldn't be bent into ring shapes, goat idols, etc
like gold could so of course we loved gold and it became a valuable thing to any elite trying to display is power. Most cultures develop some very
attractive gold work early on, it's not until the moneytization of gold however that we see it becoming politically important. Rome battle many
'barbarian' tribes and of the most interesting events happens when the vandals enter the norhern boarder of the roman empire and the germanic
tribes, the tribes have attach no real value to gold however they are all dripping in gold earings, piercings, broaches, pendants, etc, etc because of
its relative abundance and easy to work nature. The romans quickly con, steal and trade all their gold away from them which quickly installs a system
in which gold is a valuable commodity in the tribe.
This mechanism could well be why the love of gold has consumed humanity, when it became a token of power which was respected by the ruling elite those
that wanted to play the game sucked up all available sources, rome had many, many bloody conquests in the search for gold for example. This then
spread the idea that gold was important, after all if people are willing to fight and die for it they must be willing to perform lesser deeds for
small amounts, right? Those that didn't value gold soon parted with it, when however it became important to do business with someone from the world
in which gold was all important however they lost out. It stands to reason then that our love of gold developed as a form of evolution, those that
didn't join in the game soon lost leaving the only people still around those that value and protect their gold.
The elites with large stockpiles of gold obviously wanted to maintain the and increase the value of gold and as such have manipulated the price ever
since they grabber a huge pile of it. I think the reason most people seem to love gold is because everyone else does, we're brought up with the idea
that gold is worth something -it takes a lot to challenge that belief.
As for Silver, silver is a natural anti-bacterial agent -it's also shiny. Having silver rings helps keep the hands clean, eating with silver tools
helps keep you safe from illness, etc so if anything we #should# value it more than gold -but as someone pointed out already, silver doesn't look
like the sun
An interesting note to history (listen up reptile believers) is that the myth that the royal family have blue blood comes from the
interesting effect of always eating with silver utensils - the silver is consumed in small amounts and can effect the skin pigmentation turning
someone a greyish silver colour - google image search colloidal silver for some shockingly funny images of the real poppa smurf!
As for rare stones, they look amazing - some agates are out of this world, if i found one i would keep it forever and if my grandfather gave me one he
had collected i would never be able to throw it out either -thus the best most awesome stones got collected, remember we did start in the stone age
-all we knew was stones and we knew A LOT about them. If while someone was smashing some rocks they happened to find a really hard. perfectly black
stone then they would probably keep it safe, even more so a brilliant green emerald or sparking blue saphire or some such. These stones no doubt were
often shown off, used in pendants and house ornaments and as now they no doubt caused people to look and wonder at their magnificence. Most people
who see an amazing stone now can turn to a geologist and ask what it is, he'll tell them that the connection between the atoms defines the shape and
that it's calcium carbonate or some copper containing ore - they didn't have our knowledge. to them they were mysterious and magnificent so of
course that attracted even more interest and amazement at their complex forms.
So once again we've created a system by which we rate and rank the 'valuable' and 'semi-precious' stones, now that we know more about the world
we've started to see that the system isn't very accurate or sensible but we still maintain some stones such a diamonds are worth more than others
(although it is widely known that diamonds only have a high value due to a certain dutch cartels conspiracy) for no real reason.
It's interesting to note that this system won't last much longer, we have already managed to make small amounts of gold in particle accelerators,
while diamonds are being factory made in bulk all over the world so before long the 'value' of these items is going to fade away, although i'm sure
our attraction to them for other reasons will continue - hehe maybe we'll see an end to horrible garish displays of diamond encrusted crud and over
sized ugly rocks on wedding rings and start to use these amazing metals and minerals for what they really are, beautiful and fascinating quirks of
nature which when used right can astound and astonish with elegance and beauty.